Section 01 [H]
MTWThF 9:00 - 10:15
This course will focus primarily on those plays traditionally assigned to the Shakespearean earlier period: comedies that are actually funny instead of weird, at least one history play, an early tragedy or two.
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 consideration to the Authorship Controversy and Tudor-era cultural studies. And we'll take advantage of any film adaptations or local performances appearing these summer weeks.
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?
- A guy who's been dead for four hundred years can make you laugh and feel something. That's a kind of miracle.
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 Norton Shakespeare. 2nd ed. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008.
A significant part of your life this mini-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 formal written projects of manageable length. (30%)
Your presence will be kindly requested at two exams. (30%)
Class participation and other service to the learning community will be expected (occasional group work, for example). (10%)
Students with Disabilities:
I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Please go to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations MUST be approved through the DRC, located in the Administration Annex Bldg, Room 205. To make an appointment with a disability counselor, please call 335-3417.
Here's what a couple students from several years ago thought you should know going into this class: http://www.wsu.edu/~delahoyd/shakespeare/strumpets.html.