Section 01 [H]
MTWThF 9:00 - 10:15
This course will focus primarily on those plays traditionally assigned to Shakespeare's later period, tragedies and dark comedies. If you're taking the Shakespeare plunge for the first time, fear not: this course will be relatively non-threatening and usually merciful (and English 305 is not a prerequisite). 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 you should, you're probably right.
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 heretical consideration to the Authorship Controversy and Tudor cover-up. And we'll take advantage of any film adaptations or local performances appearing these summer weeks.
A recent 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 semester, William, if that is in fact your real name! 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, critical thinking, and detection of subtlety through reading, discussion, and writing about some tricky literature.
The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997.
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.