Section 01 [H]
TTh 12:00 - 1:15
This course has been newly designed and created for non-English-majors who recognize that a university experience is not complete without at least one Shakespeare class but who may hesitate to enroll in a 300-level class they think will be filled with lots of literary and language virtuosi.
So, we'll read and see (in lots of film clips, at least) some Shakespeare plays, most of which will be selected by class vote. We'll give some heretical consideration to the Authorship Controversy and Tudor Cover-Up. We'll see a lot of Shakespeare in film clips, and we'll take advantage of any film adaptations or local performances appearing this season.
Why you want this course:
- You can finally work past the trauma of high school Shakespeare.
- Shakespeare essentially created our conception of what a human being is, of human psychology and human relationships. In other words, Shakespeare created us.
- How can you accept a university degree without having taken a Shakespeare class?
- Shakespeare shaped the English language more than anyone else, ever.
- It may be your last chance to master this key field of subtle literacy.
- Shakespeare cultivates sensitivity and sensibility. How much of that is in circulation these days?
To gain exposure to Renaissance (or Early Modern) thought, poetic craft, and drama by poring over the works of one rather well-known English author.
To increase intellectual maturation and clarification of our own values through examination of ideas and attitudes in literary/cultural contexts and through articulation of these.
To develop skills in verbal analysis, critical thinking, and detection of subtlety through reading, discussion, and writing about some tricky literature.
The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997.
A significant part of your life this semester has to become Shakespeare studies. Studying this stuff can be demanding, but at least we'll be doing it together as a "learning community." Because classroom interaction is essential for this to be a valuable experience, and because frequent quizzes and homework writings will be exchanged and no late assignments of any sort will be accepted, more than a few absences will affect your grade regardless of reason. Here's the math:
I will frequently ask for relatively minor homework assignments to be turned in (or submitted electronically), designed primarily to stimulate subsequent discussion [although it will arise anyway because the readings are so provocative (i.e., cool)] and to practice conventions for writing about literature. At other times I will ask you to answer questions in writing in class, often ad lib responses to the reading before class discussion begins. Homework assignments and quizzes will receive numerical grades (points) and, although these writings cannot be made up (except for a couple optional writings that can take their place), the final semester totals will be curved if necessary. (30%)
You will submit two written projects of manageable length. (30%)
Your presence will be kindly requested at three exams. (30%)
Class participation and other service to the learning community will be expected (occasional group work, for example). (10%)