English 305
Section 1 [H]
Summer 2004 -- (June 21 - July 30)
SLN 14118
MTWThF 10:30 - 11:45
Avery 8

Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Avery Hall 355 -- Washington State University
Hours: TWTh 9:00 - 10:00, and by appointment.
Phone: 335-4832
E-mail: delahoyd@wsu.edu


Course Description:

If you're taking the Shakespeare plunge for the first time, fear not: this course will be relatively 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 may have to teach some Shakespeare eventually, you're not alone and we'll keep this in mind. If you are taking this class because you vaguely suspect that, as a human being, you should, you're probably right.

We'll shoot for both some general coverage of Shakespeare, for consideration of the big biographical question, and for close focus on several plays (including several chosen by the class) with emphasis on those traditionally assigned to Shakespeare's earlier period and that you could see performed this season in the Pacific Northwest (Ashland, local campuses, movie theaters, etc.) if you were so inclined.

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. He shaped the English language more than anyone else too. Therefore, I want some answers from this mini-semester, Billy! Therapy is too expensive.

Course Objectives:

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 some tricky literature.

Required Text:
The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997.

This is the text ordered at the Bookie. You would, however, be fine with any scholarly edition(s), even 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 documention of the following plays:

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Richard II (maybe)
  • and other plays to be elected by the class.

Course Requirements:

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 posted to the Bridge), 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%)

We actually will have a mid-term exam. No time to think about how ludicrous that is! Hurry! It's only a couple weeks away! Your presence will also be kindly requested at whatever form of final exam takes place on the last day of class. (30%)

Class participation and other service to the learning community will be expected (occasional group work, for example). (10%)

Shakespeare Syllabus

Summer 2004

[We will often be reading plays selected by the class.
The syllabus below is therefore only a rough outline of the semester.]

June 21 -- Introductions and Images.
June 22 -- Background; The Taming of the Shrew: Induction and Act I.
June 23 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act II.
June 24 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act III.
June 25 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act IV.

June 28 -- The Taming of the Shrew: Act V.
June 29 -- The Authorship Controversy.
June 30 -- Julius Caesar: Act I.
July 1 -- Julius Caesar: Act II.
July 2 -- Julius Caesar: Act III.

July 6 -- Julius Caesar: Act IV.
July 7 -- Julius Caesar: Act V; Project #1 Due.
July 8 -- Midterm Exam.
July 9 -- Much Ado About Nothing: Act I.

July 12 -- Much Ado About Nothing: Acts II & III.
July 13 -- Much Ado About Nothing: Act IV.
July 14 -- Much Ado About Nothing: Act V.
July 15 -- The History Plays.
July 16 -- Henry V: Excerpts.

July 19 -- Lucrece.
July 20 -- Selected Sonnets.
July 21 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act I.
July 22 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act II.
July 23 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act III.

July 26 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act IV.
July 27 -- The Merchant of Venice: Act V.
July 28 -- Odd Moments in Shakespeare; Project #2 Due.
July 29 -- Last Words and Review.
July 30 -- Final Shakespearasummerama 2004.

Shakespeare Index

Dr. Michael Delahoyde, Senior Instructor, Department of English
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This site last updated 20 July 2004.