ENGL 137(F) Shakespeare's Warriors and Politicians (W)

>From history, legend, and his own imaginative powers, Shakespeare has fashioned superlative warriors: Hotspur, Othello, Macbeth, Antony, and Coriolanus are larger-than-life soldiers on the battlefield. They are, however, frequently undone by love and politics. Hotspur is no match for the shrewd political maneuvering of Prince Hal; Othello's love for Desdemona turns to hate through the machinations of the Machiavellian Iago; Macbeth is pushed to regicide by his wife; and Antony is twice undone-made "a strumpet's fool" by Cleopatra and defeated by a mere "boy" in the supreme politician Octavius Caesar. This course will examine seven plays by Shakespeare, where the virtues and weaknesses of the warrior and the politician are seen to be in tension: Richard III, Henry IV, Part I, Julius Caesar, Othello, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus. In the last play, Shakespeare portrays the convergence of sex, war, and politics with a new cynicism that leaves no character unscathed. Format: discussion/seminar. Requirements: 20 pages of writing in the form of four essays, ranging in length from 3-7 pages, and several short journal-style writing assignments, as well as active participation in class. No prerequisites. Enrollment limit: 19 (expected: 19). Preference given to first-year students.