English 205 -- Spring 2013
Washington State University
"THE READINESS IS ALL"
I. IDENTIFICATIONS. [Total 26 points].
You know, maybe match Column A with Column B; or identify who says "I am dead, Horatio"; or who is really the "Merchant" of Venice -- that kind of question, only a bit harder. These "words like daggers" will be inflicted individually and intracerebrally during the scheduled class period. Put on your thinking caps and press the "Fry" button.
II. QUOTATIONS. [Total 40 points].
A combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions will follow quotations from the three plays and other relevant materials, extracted for their representativeness of our discussions over key points during these first weeks. This is not Trivial Pursuit, and I derive no glee from stumping you; but you do need to recognize key ideas and moments from the plays and from our interactions in class. If you have read the plays closely and paid attention in class, only a close review of notes is necessary for preparation; my web notes may be of use also. Otherwise, woe to thee, gleeking dog-hearted knave.
III. TWO TAKE-HOME ESSAYS. [Total 34 points].
DO THIS PART NOW! Answer the following questions thoroughly and precisely. Answers should be virtuoso pieces of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the Shakespearean texts, rather than just "Words, words, words." The essays are due as hardcopies in class on exam day -- Monday, February 25th, 10:10 am -- to accompany the other in-class components of the exam.ESSAY I. [20 points.]
Select a short quotation from one of the plays we've read together, and avoid the obvious well-known examples. Then discuss the relevance, importance, or brilliance of this quotation in relation to all three plays so far -- and also beyond the realm of Shakespeare, in terms of either your personal experience or your worldview. Aim for about a minimum of three pages double-spaced.
ESSAY II. [14 points.]
That is, describe your frame of mind about Shakespeare and your expectations about a university Shakespeare course before this semester began (or, if you had taken one already, then before that class). What facet of Shakespeare, emerging since the start of this semester, has changed or modified your prior impression of this field of study, and what is the significance of this experience? Be precise enough to be including specifics and quotations from at least one of our plays. I'm not looking for an early course evaluation here, nor flattery, but rather a reflective moment on the critical thinking component of this portion of your educational experience at WSU while it is, ideally, happening. Aim for about a minimum of two pages, double-spaced.
For more advice on writing a sterling essay and avoiding common pitfalls, see here: Essay Advice.
The essay is due on exam day to accompany the other in-class components of the test -- will ye, nill ye. The rest is silence.
Identify the character or thing referred to (underlined) in the following.
"And what should I do in Illyria?""
"One of them showed me a ring that he had of your daughter for a monkey."
"Get thee to a nunn'ry, why wouldst
thou be a breeder of sinners?"
"Leave her to heaven."
Answer completely but concisely the following.
"A little more than kin, and less than kind."
Identify the playwright.
Whose first line is this, and what does it mean specifically?
"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath."
Who delivers this noble speech, at what point in the plot?
How does this grand sentiment prove to be rather ironic?
"Dost thou think Alexander look'd a' this fashion I' th' earth? . . . And smelt so? pah!"
What is happening in the drama?
Explain how this moment indicates a more mature development in the character than we've seen before.