Varieties of English Renaissance Drama
English 246 – Renaissance Literature
Prof. Debora Shuger
Mondays 3-5:50 pm, Humanities A56
The aim of this course is three-fold.
- To get some sense of the diversity of English Renaissance drama: university plays, humanist school plays, plays for the boys’ companies, court masques, history plays, city comedies, pastorals, tragi-comedy, revenge tragedy, Turk plays, Protestant saints plays, closet drama, humors comedies, and Chapman.
- To explore outside the box: we’re not going to read much (if any) Shakespeare; or Jonson, we’ll probably do Every Man, Out of His Humor and The New Inn, but not Volpone, etc. Even for those who intend to work in Shakespeare (and perhaps especially for them), some greater familiarity with the range of contemporary drama than much Shakespeare scholarship evinces would be “perhaps/ a thing not undesirable.”
- Since some of these plays have no modern edition, we’re going to have to create one, which means learning something about editing Tudor-Stuart drama. For the first week, it would be helpful to have read Nicholas Udall’s Ralph Roister Doister (1553) — click here for the online edition with notes by Clarence Griffin Child — and Gascoigne’s Supposes (1566) — click here for the online edition with notes by John Cunliffe.