This course is a study of representative Shakespearean plays set against the literary, political and social setting that spawned them. Attention is paid to Shakespeare's influence not only in the development of the drama, but also in the literary tradition of the English-speaking world. Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to: Identify the particular types of plays and poetic verse of Shakespeare. Reconstruct the text of Shakespeare's plays in order to view them as dramatic productions. Examine how literary elements function within Shakespeare's work. Read and comprehend Shakespeare's language. Analyze Shakespeare's writings as products of the Renaissance cultural climate. Recognize the correlations between historical context and literary sources in Shakespeare's work.