Section 1 [H]
Summer 2001 -- (25 June - 3 August)
Four-hundred years later and the guy continues winning Oscars! Obviously Shakespeare's still got game.
This course will focus partly on Shakespeare plays that you could see performed this summer in the Pacific Northwest (Ashland, U of I, movie theaters, etc.) if you were so inclined. If you're taking the plunge for the first time, this course will be non-threatening and usually merciful. If you're "brushing up your Shakespeare," here is an assortment of mostly greater and some lesser works of the Bard. If you have to teach some Shakespeare every once in a while or "Will" eventually, you're not alone and we'll keep this in mind. If you take this class every summer for the variety of plays, welcome back. If you are taking this class because you vaguely suspect you should, you're probably right.
We'll shoot for general coverage of Shakespeare, for consideration of the big biographical question, and for close focus on several plays (including several chosen by the class).
A recently published book on Shakespeare asserts what has been the consensus for centuries: that Shakespeare essentially created our conception of what a human being is, of human psychology and human relationships. In other words, Shakespeare created us. Therefore, I want some answers from this mini-semester, Billy! Therapy is too expensive.
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 and detection of subtlety through reading, discussion, and writing about especially tricky literature.
The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997.
[This is the text ordered at the Bookie. You would, however, be fine with the Signet or Penguin paperbacks for the individual plays if you lack the arm strength and can track them down individually (usually not difficult -- even malls have Shakespeare), so long as you have act, scene, and line numbers in your responsible edition for proper documentation.]
- The Merchant of Venice
- Henry V
- and other plays to be elected in the next few weeks.
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, more than a few absences will affect your grade regardless of reason. [Alleviation from the strain will be built into the schedule.] Additionally, no late assignments of any sort will be accepted. HereÕs the math:I will frequently ask for relatively minor homework assignments to be turned in, 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, the final semester totals will be curved if necessary. (25%)
We actually will have a mid-term exam. No time to think about how ludicrous that is! Hurry! ItÕs only a couple weeks away! (25%)
The summer-session abbreviated version of a "paper" will be required, but how demanding can I possibly get away with making that? (25%)
Your presence will be kindly requested at whatever form of final exam takes place on the last day of class. (25%)
June 25 -- Introductions and Images
June 26 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Induction and Act I
June 27 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act II
June 28 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act III
June 29 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act IV
July 2 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act V
July 3 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act I
July 4 -- Independence Day Š No Class Whatsoever
July 5 -- The Merchant of Venice: Acts II & III
July 6 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act IV
July 9 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act V
July 10 -- Othello
July 11 -- Othello
July 12 -- Othello
July 13 -- Othello
July 16 -- Mid-Term Exam!
July 17 -- Julius Caesar
July 18 -- Julius Caesar
July 19 -- Julius Caesar
July 20 -- Julius Caesar
July 23 -- Much Ado About Nothing
July 24 -- Much Ado About Nothing
July 25 -- Much Ado About Nothing
July 26 -- Much Ado About Nothing
July 27 -- Henry V
July 30 -- Henry V
July 31 -- Henry V
August 1 -- Henry V
August 2 -- Last Words and Review
August 3 -- Final Shakespeararama 2001