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LIT 40 — Shakespeare for Non-Shakespeareans (CANCELLED)

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 5
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 9
Units: 2
Tuition: $460
Instructor(s): Nicholas Jenkins
Status: Cancelled
Please Note: No class on November 21
On-campus course
7:00—8:50 pm
Sep 26—Dec 5
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 9
2 Units
Nicholas Jenkins
Please Note: No class on November 21
"He was not of an age, but for all time!” wrote Ben Jonson of his contemporary, William Shakespeare. This course will be focused on four of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies—Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and Antony and Cleopatra. We will read the plays together slowly and intensively with plenty of opportunity for discussion.

Many courses on Shakespeare concentrate on anchoring his work as firmly as possible within the context of Renaissance history and culture. By contrast, we will let these plays float freely across centuries toward us. In the spirit of Jonson’s praise of Shakespeare as being “for all time,” we will treat Shakespeare’s work as being richly available and meaningful to all kinds of readers from any period.

We will look at what devoted but unscholarly appreciators of Shakespeare’s work, including poets, philosophers, filmmakers, musicians, painters, and other artists, have found in Shakespeare. And, ultimately, we will talk about what these amazing dramas mean to us, now.

No specialist knowledge or prior experience with Shakespeare is required.

Nicholas Jenkins, Associate Professor of English, Stanford

Nicholas Jenkins is the primary investigator for Kindred Britain, described by The Economist as “an amazing digital humanities website that traces relations between 30,000 British people.” He has contributed to the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, the New Republic, and The New Yorker. Jenkins is the literary executor of the ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein. He received a DPhil from Oxford.