Dr. Michael Delahoyde
English 205 -- Fall 2013
Washington State University
A MOST LAMENTABLE COMEDY
I. IDENTIFICATIONS. "Tedious and brief?" [Total 26 points.]
The same as before: identify who says "Lord, what fools these mortals be," or "I am but mad north-north-west" -- that kind of question, taken from the materials of the second half of the term: Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and other in-class materials. This "merry war" will take place during the scheduled class period, Wednesday, November 20th.
II. QUOTATIONS. "Merry and tragical?" [Total 50 points; answer 10 for 5 points each.]
A combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions will follow quotations from the materials of the second half of the semester, extracted for their representativeness of our discussions over key points these weeks. If you read the plays and paid attention in class, a close review of notes should be adequate preparation. My website notes may be of use also. This time, for this section of the exam, you may form human groups of your own selection and size (but beware of gleeking, onion-eyed knaves). "I'll devise thee brave punishments," but it is advisable that you convert all your sounds of woe into hey nonny nonny.
III. TAKE-HOME ESSAY. "Hot Ice." [Total 24 points.]
Answer the following question thoroughly and precisely, and aim for about three (3) pages, double-spaced. The essay should be a virtuoso piece of brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics and quotations from the Shakespearean texts where appropriate, rather than just "Words, words, words."What's new?
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 (that will take place separately and soon), 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.
For more advice on writing a sterling essay and avoiding common pitfalls, see here: Essay Advice.
The essay is due as hardcopy on exam day to accompany the other in-class components of the exam. "The readiness is all."
"I woo'd thee with my sword,
And won thy love doing thee injuries;
But I will wed thee in another key...."
"And as I woo'd for thee to obtain her,
I will join with thee to disgrace her."
"Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably."
"It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse, my lord."
"She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd."
"Friendship is constant in all other things / Save in the office and affairs of love."
How does this principle apply to each of the last three plays of the semester?
"Thou toldst me they were stol'n unto this wood;
And here am I, and wode within this wood...."
Explain the pun (the three meanings of wood/wode in this play).
For what literary genre (beyond "play") is this a typical setting,
and what state of mind does this setting signify?
Who says this to whom?
This moment occurs shortly after what famous scene?
How is this a significant turning point in the play?