Shakespeare has had a long run. He was and is the most performed playwright in the world. Scholars have written tomes, reading closely and with objectivity, arguing for this meaning or that or over the facts of his life, of which there is very little to know, or about the period in which he wrote. Students all over the world have been required to read his works uncertain why they've been required to. In class we'll read, talk about and write about a few of the plays and poems with a concern for the question of their relevance. Do they move us? Do they reflect the world around us? Do they entertain us? We'll look at films and consider performance as a significant part of what the plays are. We'll stop and wonder at the lushness of the language. We'll write critically and intelligently but above all feelingly about the works. At the end of King Lear, which is one of the plays we'll read, Shakespeare has one of the characters entreat the others to "Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say." There will be a midterm, several creative writing projects, and finally a performance with others of a scene from a play.