Concentrating on five of Shakespeare’s comedies, this seminar will inquire into the ways in which Shakespeare’s development of comedy’s distinctive theme of romantic love enabled him to explore a range of issues. These include hetero- and homosexual love, parent-child relationships, as well as broader political concerns. Essential to the endeavor will be the analysis of character, language, and plot. The ultimate aim will be to deepen our sense of the richness and variety of comedy as Shakespeare wrote it. It was the dramatic form he turned to more often than any other.
Any standard edition of the plays will do, provided the format includes act/scene division and numerical lineation, and unfamiliar words are glossed on the page. Individual plays in such series as the Signet or Pelican editions are available on-line through Amazon, AbeBooks.com, Thrift book, and the like. If you prefer a single-volume of Shakespeare's complete works, I recommend the Riverside edition (Houghton Mifflin ed. G. Blackmore Evans, 1974 (and subsequently)). This is the edition I use. Previously owned copies through the outlets mentioned above are often available at reasonable prices and are in more than adequate condition.