European Drama of the Golden Age
The seventeenth century was a golden age of drama across Europe, where the stage rapidly came to include lavish visual spectacle and music as well as passionate action and magnificent poetry. Plays of the period were among the most important of public media, a popular and influential forum of political representation by both church and state. This course will explore examples from England, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, and Germany. We will take account not only of the drama’s poetic form, but also of the aesthetic and social contexts from which they emerged, and of performance practice, as we consider works by Shakespeare, Calderon, Corneille, Racine, Vondel, Gryphius , and at least one opera from the period. Assignments will include several short exercises and two papers.