The English in Shakespeare's Plays - Spring 3-week, 2017

Travel Dates for spring session: April 19-May 9, 2017 (Tentative)

The Faculty

Paul Gaffney, Professor of English

Rick Hyde, Professor of Theatre Arts

The Course(s)

THEA/ENGL 29500: The English in Shakespear's Plays (one credit hour during Spring 12-week session, 2017)

INTD 29500:  The English in Shakespear's Plays (three credit hours during Spring 3-week session, 2017)


The Program

This program will study how Britain appears in Shakespeare's plays while also looking at how Shakespeare's plays appear in Britain, including England, Scotland, and Wales.  Several plays will match travel and viewing opportunities, concentrating on how Shakespeare pictured his home island in his history plays, his tragedies, and even in his comedies.  Through travel, reading, and watching participants will reflect on how Shakespeare's plays helped to define and shape the language he used and the country he loved.  Expect to also see how Shakespeare has continued to be important to the development of British identity since his time.

About the courses:

THEA/ENGL 29500: One Credit Hour

This class will be an introduction to the four Shakespearean plays that we will use to sample how Shakespeare (and perhaps others) used the English language, the  medium of live enactment, and available dramatic formulas to depict his country onstage.  It will use the plays to differentiate the different approaches mentioned above, and also as a beginning point for presentations and discussions about the upcoming travel.

INTD 29500: Three Credit Hours 

This course will investigate how England appears in Shakespeare’s plays while also looking at how Shakespeare’s plays appear in England.  A variety of plays will be chosen to match travel and viewing opportunities, concentrating on how Shakespeare pictured England and Great Britain in history plays, tragedies, and even in comedies which, although not often physically set in England, are still peopled with clearly British characters.  Through travel, reading, and watching we will reflect on how Shakespeare’s plays helped to define and shape the language he used and the country he loved through the separate perspectives of his plays as great literature and as living theatre.

Field Trips:

Most sites being visited will be associated with William Shakespeare, both places he lived and places he wrote about, all over Britain.

The overseas program will begin in the walled Tudor city of Chester, near the Welsh border.  Next, the group will explore a remote corner of the English Midlands as we live in the countryside that inspired As You Like It and other Shakespearean pastoral works.

Stratford-upon-Avon will open to us not only Shakespeare's birthplace and grave, but lesser-known sites of his life, and of course the Royal Shakespeare Company.

We will take a several-day excursion to Scotland, then dedicate more than a week to the bustling city of London and its amazing theater world.

Other excursions will include places like Brighton and Dover, with its castle and white cliffs.

Class Requirements:

Grade work is based on participation, written responses to play, presentations, journals, tests, and essays.


Estimated Program Costs

$4,000 above tuition, room and board.  Costs include round trip airfare, housing, meals, entrance fees and tips.  Personal expenses, passport fees, and independent travel are not included.  

Application Deadline

October 21, 2016

A $75 non-refundable fee is due upon receipt of your application.  This fee is used to pay for processing costs, an International Student Identity Card, passport holder, and luggage tags.

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