2020-2021 Catalog

ENGL 178 Shakespeare and Film

This class introduces you to some of Shakespeare’s most challenging and rewarding plays, with a focus on both their historical moment and film adaptations that have reanimated them across the second half of the 20th and 21st centuries. Our main topic will be Shakespeare’s evolving exploration of the predicament of tragedy in an era of major social, religious, and political transformation for Europe (England especially), and the ways that filmmakers have adapted Shakespearean tragedy for the big screen in different times and places. We will study Shakespeare's explorations of dramatic form, poetic style, characterization, and ideology, and examine how the choices made in filming Shakespeare allow us to think in new ways about the plays themselves, and about the historical context in which the films were made. This course will introduce you to foundational concepts in literary studies and film studies, help you learn how to engage with Shakespeare's plays more deeply, and enable you to analyze how film adaptations bring to life or transform the complex, unruly energies that characterize Shakespearean tragedy.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Regional Focus
  • Pre-1800