nl en

Literature 6B: Shakespeare: An Introductory Course



To account for the position of Shakespeare in contemporary global culture. Among the issues to be covered are: Shakespeare’s language, dramatic structures and genre conventions; consideration of his work in its original historical and cultural contexts (this includes the Elizabethan and Jacobean performing space and all-male acting companies); the history of Shakespeare scholarship; and the approximate chronology (insofar as it can be determined) of the plays (the next section presents them in what would be a consensually-agreed order of composition).

Teaching method

Two hour seminar per week.

Course objectives

A thorough knowledge of the following plays will have been gained: The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, Titus Andronicus, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1 Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest.

Required reading

  • G. Blakemore Evans, et al., eds. The Riverside Shakespeare, second edition (New York & Boston: Houghton & Mifflin, 1997).

  • Recommended editions of individual plasy will appear in due course on Blackboard.

Test method

2,500-3,000 word essay(40%); written test (60%).

Time table

The timetable will be available from June 1st on the Internet.


English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or by mail:


Students can register through U-twist before 15 July. After 15 July students can only register through the Departmental Office.


There will be a Blackboard site available.