English 366E: Summary

Shakespeare's Comedies, Problem Plays, and Romances

The Taming of the Shrew: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Readings

The Focus of the Commentary

The Tutorials

There will be two tutorials to discuss this play. More detailed information about the questions for discussion at the tutorials will be circulated on the Bulletin Board.
  1. Introduction to the course; the use of critical approaches
  2. Women and men; farce and comedy

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Focus of the Written Materials

The Readings

  1. An orderly world?
  2. Shakespeare's stage

The Tutorials

There will be two tutorials to discuss this play. More detailed information about the questions for discussion at the tutorials will be circulated on the Bulletin Board and at each tutorial.
  1. Order and subversion: Theseus and Puck
  2. Questions of staging then and now

The Assignment

Much Ado About Nothing: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Readings

The Focus of the Commentary

The Tutorial

  1. Questions of relevance in a feminist reading: the possible silencing of Beatrice in marriage, and Hero's acceptance of Claudio at the end
  2. Questions about the nature of the comedy in Much Ado About Nothing
  3. Questions comparing the central couples in the play with the central couples in The Taming of the Shrew

The Merchant of Venice: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Focus of the Written Materials

The Readings

  1. Shakespeare as seen by critics from the Renaissance to the Romantics
  2. Extracts from various critics of The Merchant of Venice (included in the commentary)

The Tutorial

There will be one tutorial to discuss this play. More detailed information about the questions for discussion at the tutorials will be circulated on the Bulletin Board.
  1. Problems of historical perspective
  2. The role of Portia: is she yet another shrew?

The Tempest: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Focus of the Written Materials

The Background

The Tutorial

  1. Questions about control and freedom
  2. Questions linking all plays studied

The Assignment

Measure for Measure: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Readings

  1. Themes and Variations: critical approaches of the early twentieth century
  2. G. Wilson Knight: From "Measure for Measure and the Gospels"
  3. Umberto Eco: "The Open Work"

The Focus of the Commentary

The Tutorial

There will be one tutorial to discuss this play. More detailed information about the questions for discussion at the tutorials will be circulated on the Bulletin Board.
  1. The problems and the "problems" in the play
  2. The sub-plot

The Winter's Tale: Study Plan

Your Main Objectives

The Readings

  1. Howard Felperin: 'Tongue-tied, our Queen?': The Deconstruction of Presence in The Winter's Tale
  2. C. L. Barber: "Thou That Beget'st Him That Did Thee Beget": Transformation in Pericles and The Winter's Tale

The Focus of the Commentary

The Tutorials

There will be two tutorial to discuss this play. More detailed information about the questions for discussion at the tutorials will be circulated on the Bulletin Board and at each tutorial.
  1. Questions of closure and the end of the play
  2. Questions of naming and the possible Christian overtones of the play; questions about the final exam

This page last updated on 28 December 2002.

Send queries to Michael Best, English Department, University of Victoria, Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada. mbest1@uvic.ca