L41500 / L52501: Major plays of Shakespeare

Spring 2020 TR 3-4.15 LA 212

Our course is aimed at the intermediate, the student who has some experience with Shakespeare on the page, in the theater, or at the cinema.  We'll study six plays, watching a film production of each at least in part. 


We'll have an early essay, a take-home midterm and final.

Linkage

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (the folks in Stratford)


Folger Shakespeare Library (the finest American resource available for Shakespeare study)


British Library (finest UK resource for Shakespeare)


Historical Editions of Shakespeare (a fairly complete run of all texts from the early quartos to the end of the nineteenth century)


Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive (all the engravings from the great nineteenth-century editions)


Syllabus

GENERAL INFORMATION

Office:  LA 233  Hours: please contact me

email: stapletm@pfw.edu   phone: 481.6841 (message)

webpage: www.elmlsteach.org


Text:

Greenblatt et al., eds., The Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays. The Sonnets (vol. 3E)

Please note: this is the edition I'll be using. If you choose not to buy it, you might have some minor difficulty following along.  


Electronic Devices:

Yes, please. Feel free. I only ask that you use their magic powers for Good.  E. g.  don't use your phone as a textbook.

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“When beggars die, there are no comets seen”

Julius Caesar

14 16 21 23 28 January

John Everett Millais, Ophelia
“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so”

Hamlet

30 January; 4 6 11 13 February

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“Virtue? a fig! ‘Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus”

Othello

18 20 25 27 February; 3 March


ANALYTICAL ESSAY DUE FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY, 9 A.M., VIA EMAIL: 

stapletm@pfw.edu 

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“My mind is full of scorpions”

Macbeth

5 17 19 24 26 March


FIRST EXAM DUE FRIDAY 27 MARCH,  9 A.M., VIA EMAIL: 

stapletm@pfw.edu

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“Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say”

King Lear

31 March; 2 7 9 14 April

Beerbohm Tree
“No grave shall clip in it a pair so famous”

Antony and Cleopatra

21 23 28 30 APRIL


NO CLASS ON 16 APRIL

SECOND EXAM DUE FRIDAY 8 MAY, 9 A.M. VIA EMAIL:

stapletm@pfw.edu

COURSE POLICIES

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ATTENDANCE AND GOOD MANNERS

You are allowed five (5) absences for any reason you choose. Students who miss more than this will fail the course, without exception, regardless of circumstances. I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences, nor am I responsible for material that you miss because you are absent. Students who miss the attendance call (the first five minutes of class) will be marked absent; students who get up and leave in the middle of class will be marked absent. Please take care of your rest room issues BEFORE class. If you must leave, give us the high sign.  DON'T JUST GET UP AND WALK OUT.


NOTE: if you signed up for the class, it is understood that you can attend it regardless of family or employment obligations. If you have emergencies, this is why you have absences allowed.  Doctors's notes, team travel letters, and other personal effects do not entitle students to extra absences. If circumstances prevent you from observing the attendance policy, drop the course.   

DUE DATES

Your paper and take-home exams are due on the scheduled non-class dates by 9 a.m. via email. Late papers = 0. No exceptions. These will be short, 4-5 pp. for undergrads, 10-12 pp. for grads. Your paper and first exam may be revised after meeting with the instructor in the office and discussing your plans.

DON'T BE A PLAGIARY

It should go without saying that students are also expected to do their own work; indebtedness to secondary materials (either printed or electronic) must be clearly indicated so as to avoid plagiarism: 

—(piecemeal) using someone else’s words and phrases as if they were your own, not pararphrasing or summarizing properly, even with proper documentation;
—(grotesque) using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own, without proper documentation;
—(more grotesque) allowing someone else to write your paper for you.     


 PLEASE DO NOT BE A PLAGIARIST! THIS IS UNNECESSARY, AS WELL AS UNETHICAL   

GRADING

The course grade will be determined by a rough averaging together of your  paper, take-home midterm, and  take-home final exam.  I  reserve the right to take into additional factors into account; improvement, class participation, and, of course, attendance. Grades are not negotiable, personal, or subject to the influence of extracurricular academic factors. 

COMMUNICATION

You may email me at any time. I will usually get back to you quickly: stapletm@pfw.edu


NOTE WELL: 
I always acknowledge an email submission with a reply confirming receipt. If you DON'T hear from me after a reasonable period of time, it means I didn't get the paper. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up in this case, not mine.  

instructions for exam writing (AND PAPERS!)

Identify each quotation

Who said it? Where, and why? 

Explain, specifically, how it relates to the point you're making

Which words or phrases make reference to the concept you're trying to explain, and why does your evidence matter?  

Devote a solid paragraph-page to each quotation

Paragraphs should be focused on a single topic, with topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. They should not consist of a series of broad, unrelated statements.



Relate the quotations to one another

 This is where we see what you've got. Which words and phrases seem especially important in each quotation as they relate to the other quotations?  

Avoid summary or storytelling: analysis only, please

What each quotation says is fairly clear. So there's no need to rehash or summarize the Shakespeare. Assume we can all read it. Why does it matter? Why is it important? What insight can you bring to the material?

Check out the Writing page--Revision

Go up to the site menu and click on Writing. Pay special attention to the sections on analysis, lead-ins and quotations, and quoting poetry.


We cite Shakespeare in parentheses by (Play abbr. act.scene.line-numbers).  TN, H5


Your  papers  should be 3-4 pp., double-spaced.  


You are allowed to revise your paper and first exam, provided that you meet with me in the office to discuss it first. You are welcome to turn in the revision at any time before the due date for your second exam.

First paper

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Prompt

Hamlet has been Shakespeare's most studied work. One reason: its complicated textual history. As we discussed, many modern editions conflate the trio of early editions: the First Quarto (Q1 1603); the Second Quarto (Q2 1604); and the First Folio (F1 1623). All differ significantly from one another. Each has at least one great passage that does not exist in the other two.  


It seems unthinkable to excise the "So oft it chances in particular men" meditation (1.4.17-38). The 1948 Laurence Oliver film production transposes the passage to the beginning and frames the entire movie with it. 


Why, specifically, is the section so important?  Why should it be retained? Why should it be excised? Pick a side and argue it.


Please see the hints just above on writing papers for a college literature course. Attend to the WRITING page on the home menu tab.

SUGGESTIONS AND SPECS

Paragraphs should be focused on a single topic, with topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. They should not consist of a series of broad, unrelated statements.

Late papers = 0

3-4 pp.

DUE FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY, 9 A.M., VIA EMAIL: 

stapletm@pfw.edu

Be sure that I acknowledge the receipt of your paper by  responding to the email including your paper.

Microsoft Word only


Please keep in mind that you may revise this paper as often as you like, as long as you meet with me to discuss it after you have turned it in the first time. Revisions are due on or before the due date for the fourth essay, 8 May

first exam

Tom Hiddleston as Henry V, The Hollow Crown (2016)

The Prompt

Our first three works, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Othello, might not seem to have much in common at first glance. As thinking people, however, you know that this would be a superficial observation.  Find three somewhat brief (i.e., not enormous) passages, one from each play, that have something significant in common with one another. Use these selections to show the common thread you have detected.

SUGGESTIONS AND SPECS

Paragraphs should be focused on a single topic, with topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. They should not consist of a series of broad, unrelated statements.

Late papers = 0

3-4 pp.

DUE FRIDAY 27 MARCH, 9 A.M., VIA EMAIL: 

stapletm@pfw.edu

Be sure that I acknowledge the receipt of your exam in responding to the email including your exam. 

Microsoft Word only


second exam

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PROMPT

"The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together."


Let's take this splendid observation and apply it to our plays.  You only need confine yourself to the second half of the course, but feel free to use the earlier texts.  

SUGGESTIONS AND SPECS

Paragraphs should be focused on a single topic, with topic sentences, evidence, and analysis. They should not consist of a series of broad, unrelated statements. 

DUE FRIDAY 28 FEBRUARY, 9 A.M., VIA EMAIL: 

Late papers = 0

3-4 pp.

stapletm@pfw.edu


Be sure that I acknowledge the receipt of your exam in responding to the email including your exam. 

Microsoft Word only.


Please keep in mind that you may revise this exam as often as you like, as long as you meet with me to discuss it after you have turned it in the first time. Revisions are due on or before the due date for the fourth essay, 8 May