Shakespeare's characters and his themes are timeless. Hamlet, and Brutus, and King Lear, and Macbeth still exist and may be found anywhere from Wall Street to Main Street. Shakespeare's plays provoke timely questions: What rights and responsibilities does one generation have in its relationships to other generations? What is the effect of racial prejudice? Does power corrupt? Does civilization save us or destroy us? How can modern man find harmony in an imperfect world? This class is designed to encourage students to find their own answers to these and many other questions.
The course requires close reading of the assigned plays and some use of critical material. It also requires that students be moderately well informed on current events that are newsworthy.