ENG536 202101 Graduate

Fall 2021
ENG 536
Applies To: 
Adv Shakespeare

Lara Bovilsky

Lara Bovilsky profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-1309
  • Office: 246 PLC
  • Office Hours: S21: W 10:45-noon, Th 10-11:15, and by appointment
Department Section Description: 

In this course we will read Macbeth, King Lear, Coriolanus, and Antony and Cleopatra to think about how they represent cultural crisis at every scale: the large scale of a society, country, city-state, or empire in turmoil, the small scale of individual errors, cruelties, deceptions, and self-deceptions, and the medium scale of failures within human relationships (romantic love, family and political bonds), all centered on the figure of a ruler who unleashes chaos on his or her realm. Each of these four plays investigates crises precipitated by or caught up in flawed rule by leaders who overindulge their desires or fail in self-control, empathy, or love, refusing to meet cultural norms related to gender, sexuality, race, family obligations, healthy selfhood, and concern for their citizens. As we think about our own times of crisis and how these plays have been perceived, we’ll also consider the theories of rule and the ties between ruler and land that underpin Shakespeare’s and our interest in linking tragedy to depictions of compelling and terrifying leaders.