English 273. Malcontents, Monarchy and Revenge in Early Modern Drama
The decades from 1590 to 1640 produced some of the richest–and most violent–drama written in English. Playwrights such as Marlowe, Kyd, Dekker, Jonson, Webster, Beaumont and Fletcher as well as Shakespeare dramatized nationhood and nightmarish revenge for London audiences who also were entertained by bear baiting and public hangings. As global exploration and commerce accelerated, the English public and private theatres excited playgoers by portraying foreign characters and societies as degenerate and immoral. Students will read selected plays and historical and cultural texts, perform and produce scenes, and write a variety of papers as well as a revenge play to understand more fully the social and imaginative worlds of early modern English theatre.