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MFA Course Descriptions

IMF 55800
Advanced Studies in Prose:
Shakespearean Revisionist Fictions

Instructor: Ted Morrissey

Class Type: Literature

Course Description:

In the sciences, it is commonplace to think of current researchers as building on the work of previous scientists (of “standing on the shoulders of giants,” as Sir Isaac Newton famously phrased it in 1676). However, this phenomenon is not limited to the sciences. Writers often have been inspired by the work of earlier authors to produce what has become known as “revisionist” texts (stories, novels, poems, plays); that is, they write narratives that are sequels or prequels to the original, or they tell the story from a different point of view, or in a different literary style. In this course we will study some originating texts and then works they have spawned. Specifically we will read four plays by William Shakespeare, followed by specially commissioned contemporary novels which reimagine the Bard’s original work. Among other issues, we will analyze the techniques that the contemporary authors employ to synthesize the original into their own unique creations. If writers think of all that has come before as potential sources of inspiration, it opens innumerable possibilities for their own creative efforts.


Atwood, Margaret. Hag-Seed. Hogarth Shakespeare, 2016. (9780804141314)

Chevalier, Tracey. New Boy. Hogarth Shakespeare, 2017. (9781524779467)

Shakespeare, William. Othello. Folger, 2004. (9780743477550)

Shakespeare, William. The Taming of the Shrew. Folger, 2004. (9780743477574)

Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Folger,  2004. (9780743482837)

Shakespeare, William. The Winter’s Tale. Folger, 2005. (9780743484893)

Tyler, Anne. Vinegar Girl. Hogarth Shakespeare, 2017. (9780804141284)

Winterson, Jeanette. The Gap of Time. Hogarth Shakespeare, 2016. (9780804141376)

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301