Sir Francis Bacon famously described revenge as a “wild justice,” and there are vivid examples of such justice in the drama of William Shakespeare: revenge for political betrayal and tyranny, for sexual infidelities and desires, for religious misbehavior and dogmatism. But what of the experience of reconciliation on the Shakespearean stage? What concepts and practices of love and forgiveness did Shakespeare imagine in his writing? What pathways to concord and peace did his plays offer? In this course, we will conduct an in-depth study of Shakespeare’s poetry and drama, particularly those works which explore the relationship of revenge to the fleeting experience of reconciliation. We will read and discuss plays that work in multiple dramatic genres and that come from across Shakespeare’s career; we will also consider modern adaptations of these sixteenth and seventeenth-century texts. Throughout our study, we will ask how drama as text and performance engaged and continues to engage playgoers as they watch the religious, social, and political upheaval of their worlds mounted to the stage.