NC State University Find People   |  Libraries  |  News  |  CalendaR  |  MyPack Portal  |  GivinG  |  Campus Map  

seminars > fall 2014 schedule > seminar: Inquiry, Discovery, and Literature: Shakespeare Among the Philosophers


Honors Seminars Fall 2014

Inquiry, Discovery, and Literature: Shakespeare Among the Philosophers

HON 202 Sec:003  
3 hours  
GEP Category:
Humanities (Literature)  
Tompkins 0G126  
Dr. Christopher Crosbie

Restricted to first semester UHP freshmen.

The most renowned philosophers – classical, medieval, and early modern alike – emerge in multiple guises throughout Shakespeare’s works. This course will investigate how Shakespearean drama engages with philosophical traditions of various stripes even as the dramatist presents his works as popular entertainment in the commercial theater. What strands of intellectual history appear in his plays and to what purpose? How does the theater translate abstract philosophy into material performance? This seminar will examine the relation of Shakespearean drama to key philosophical categories (such as ethics, metaphysics, and aesthetics) as well as to particular traditions (such as Aristotelianism, Platonism, Lucretian atomism, and Epicureanism). Our intent always will be to illuminate the plays themselves. What, after all, did it meant to perform them for a popular audience in the commercial theaters of early modern London? For this seminar, we'll read six plays by Shakespeare, each paired with readings from some of philosophy's greatest luminaries; in order to provide greater context, we'll also frequently examine the source materials Shakespeare used for his plots. Course grades will be determined by two exams, a final seminar paper, and class participation.