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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Imposture »

April 30, 2007



Another interesting question might be: In those universities where Shakespeare is compulsory, what's the minimum number of plays a student has to be familiar with in order to pass the course?


I took a Chaucer class as an undergrad (and loved it) but never took Shakespeare.

But, I have read or seen performed live:

1. Macbeth
2. Hamlet
3. Henry V
4. The Winter's Tale
5. Twelfth Night
6. Romeo and Juliet
7. THe Taming of the Shrew

ACTA might also acknowledge that many students who do not take Shakespeare acquire an appreciation for the playwright in other ways (in my case, by spending a semester in London and checking out every play available).

I think my list represents a fairly decent cross-section of tragedies, comedies, and even a lone history play.


My alma mater is listed as "requiring Shakespeare" because you must take two of the following three courses: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton. I'd be very interested in knowing -- though not enough to do the work -- whether anyone in the history of the English Department ever met the requirement with Chaucer and Milton, but no Shakespeare.
As an aside, in my one upper-division English course, on Comedy, we were told that an upcoming exam would ask us to compare in various ways any two of the three playwrights we had read to that point: Aristophanes, Shakespeare, and Jonson, after which he added "that means none of you will write about Jonson."

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