Hinweis: Die Angaben zu den Semestern sind nur Empfehlungen, keine Anmeldebeschränkungen.
Students are required to obtain a copy of the following works: William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet (recommended is The Arden Shakespeare Edition).
Make sure to get those editions either as hard copies or on an eReader (ideally one you can access from your laptop as well, as this will make working with the texts during our sessions much easier)! All other texts will be made available via learnweb or the institute's Media Center.
This class will be taught in a digital format only. Students are expected to attend and participate in online seminars (a functional microphone and camera are required!).
Students are expected to read and prepare the assigned material, to participate regularly and actively, to prepare and hold a presentation, and to write a term paper (see the guidelines on the department homepage for more information).
“I am all the daughters of my father’s house / And all the brothers too.”
This sentence is uttered by Viola, the heroine of William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. In order to survive in a foreign country, she disguises herself as a young man, and soon finds herself in the middle of a love triangle involving both men and women. Her assessment to be simultaneously “all the daughters” and “all brothers too” illustrates the complex and fluid constructions of gender, (queer) desire and sexuality that we find in Shakespeare’s plays, which disrupt, play with and subvert straightforward notions of gender. In this course, we will read and discuss a select number of Shakespeare’s sonnets as well as two of his plays: the aforementioned comedy Twelfth Night and the tragedy Romeo and Juliet. In order to understand how gender, sexuality and queerness are discussed in the texts, we will look at the historical context of Renaissance drama, as well as theoretical texts from contemporary gender and queer studies. These we will also apply to the contemporary film stagings of the plays in Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet and Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night.