300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400
PhD Washington University
MA Washington University
BA Dartmouth College
Christopher D’Addario teaches and studies early modern British literature. His teaching interests include Shakespeare and early modern drama, Milton, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century poetry and prose, transatlantic literature, and the literature of the city. He is the author of Urban Aesthetics in Early Modern London: The Invention of the Metaphysical (Cambridge, 2023) and Exile and Journey in Seventeenth-Century Literature (Cambridge, 2007). He is also the co-editor with Matthew Augustine of Texts and Readers in the Age of Marvell (Manchester University Press, 2018). His essays have appeared in various journals, including Shakespeare Studies, ELH, Philological Quarterly, English Literary Renaissance, and The Huntington Library Quarterly. They have also been included in essay collections such as Political Turmoil: Early Modern British Literature in Transition, 1623-1660 (Cambridge, 2018),The New Milton Criticism (Cambridge, 2012) and The Literatures of the Exile in the English Revolution and Its Aftermath (Ashgate, 2010).
Intermediate study of a variety of authors, themes, genres, and movements, ranging from Anglo-Saxon literature through Shakespeare’s works.
This course attempts to comprehend Shakespeare's evolution as a dramatist and the continuing appeal of his tragic, magical and historical worlds. We will also examine Shakespeare's plays in their own time, attempting to understand how they were influenced and influenced the culture of early modern England. Because he was so attuned to the everyday lives of Elizabethan Englishmen and women, he was able to explore the deeply felt interactions of human society and imaginatively recreate characters with an unprecedented complexity and emotional realism. We will seek to understand the power with which his creations spoke the theatregoers four hundred years ago and continue to speak to us today. Fulfills humanities requirement and English department Pre-1800 requirement.
Poets, playwrights, and essayists in the early modern period were often in the thick of political intrigue, dispute, and faction. The playwright Christopher Marlowe was rumored to be a spy and an atheist and was killed in a mysterious bar fight that many attribute to his political involvement. John Milton not only is responsible for the great epic poem Paradise Lost, he was also jailed for his involvement in the English Civil War. We will study the interplay between early modern texts and their political contexts, investigating the role of drama, poetry, and prose in the power of the state and the ideological conflicts that abounded during this period. In the process we will be interested in the manner of political expression and resistance during this period, from the court-influenced writings of Thomas More and Edmund Spenser to the wonderfully equivocal public poetry of Andrew Marvell, as well as the central influence that literature and the printed text generally had on the rapidly changing politics of early modern England. Fulfills humanities requirement and English department Pre-1800 requirement.
To say that William Shakespeare’s appeal is universal, both timeless and worldwide, is a platitude. This course examines the truth and fiction behind this platitude by having students read several of Shakespeare’s plays alongside rewritings and reproductions of these plays across time periods and across the globe. Our focus will be on the cross-cultural connections and dissonances, as well as the fascinating revisions, that occur when distinct cultures take up these plays and put them to their own purposes. Texts and films may include Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, King Lear and The Tempest, the modern American film Ten Things I Hate About You, the Italian documentary Caesar Must Die, the censored Thai film Shakespeare Must Die, the Japanese masterpiece Ran, and Aime Cesaire’s postcolonial rewriting of The Tempest, Une Tempete.
Introduction to advanced literary study. Attention is placed on close reading, using the library and electronic resources and incorporating scholarly perspectives. Course also considers a variety of theoretical approaches to literature and their place within contemporary literary scholarship. Offered regularly.
“Love at first sight.” “Head over heels in love.” Modern cliches abound about the onset and emotions of love. But how did people think and write about love four hundred years ago? This course will explore the flood of love poetry, essays on marriage, and romantic comedies that began in the Renaissance with the Petrarchan poet Thomas Wyatt. What did these authors have to say about courtship, sex, marriage and the opposite sex? What did they say to capture the interest of their audience? We will not only be reading representations of more traditional male-female relationships in the drama and love poetry of the period, but also the homoerotic sonnets of Shakespeare, the homosocial poetry of Amelia Lanyer and Katherine Philips, and the strange figurations of divine love in the poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. Fulfills Humanities requirement and English Department Pre-1800 requirement.
In this course we will investigate the major generic forms and preoccupations of the poetry of the seventeenth-century, a period in which England stood on the verge of our modern world. This period marked a series of radical changes and conflicts that altered the nature of society, and perhaps more importantly for our purposes, literature as well. Our focus for much of the semester will be on learning advanced techniques for reading and analyzing some of the great poetry in the English language, poetry by John Donne, George Herbert, John Milton and Andrew Marvell. We will study scansion, meter, rhyme patterns as well as a variety of poetic modes and forms. By the end of the semester, you will be expert readers of poetry, as well as better writers of it (if you are so inclined). As we hone our poetic skills, we will connect our enhanced understanding of these poems to some of the important developments of the century, including: the political upheavals of Civil War and Restoration; the growth and spread of a Protestant and Puritan poetics and politics; the widening public sphere and rising literacy rate; the burgeoning literary marketplace and professionalization of the author; the changing role of women both in the public and domestic spheres; the profound expansion of, and centrality of London to, English culture. This is a tremendously fascinating period in British history, both historically and literarily, and there will be a lot into which to delve. Fulfills Humanities requirement and English Department Pre-1800 requirement.
What did the original performances of Shakespeare look like, sound like, smell like, feel like? This course attempts to answer this question, studying the performance spaces, the costuming, the acting styles, the lighting of the early modern stage. We will do so while also reading some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, using our knowledge of the conditions of performance to understand more fully what meanings are being conveyed in these texts.
Intensive studies of announced topics in Medieval and Renaissance literature. Prerequisite: one course from 290-299.
From the hit show 24 to coming of age comedies such as Superbad, we remain fascinated with how much or how little can happen to us in one day. This course studies exclusively literature and film that cover events that take place over 24 hours. We examine how literature represents the close passage of moments as well as the profound transformations and stasis that might occur in one day. How do authors and filmmakers choose to represent the details of everyday existence? What gets close attention? Perhaps more importantly, what gets left out? What are the psychological and ethical implications of such inclusions and omissions? Can one's life really change unalterably in one day?