The course examined the Ancient Roman history and mythology behind the four stories used by Shakespeare, the transmission of those stories to the time of Shakespeare, how Shakespeare molded the stories for his late 16th and early 17th century royal and public audiences, and how Shakepeare's four Roman plays are staged (and made into movies/TV productions) in our own time. 

Each of the four units in this course consists of two three-hour classes, during the first of which we view a video of the play and during the second of which we examine a play's origins, transmition, early productions and reception, and modern productions and reception

We take up the four plays in the order that their stories fit chronologically into Ancient Roman history:  Coriolanus -- very early Republic, ca. 500 BC;  Julius Caesar -- 44 BC to 39 BC;  Antony and Cleopatra -- immediately following Julius Caesar; and Titus Andronicus, at an unspecified time late in the Roman Republic.  (They were not written in that order:  Titus was written first in 1593;  Julius Caesar in 1599; Antony and Cleopatra in 1606; and Coriolanus in 1607.)

No textbook are necessary for this course, but you may want to familiarize yourselves with the four plays, either by reading them or by watching them live or on video. 

Links to information on the four plays can be found here.