Our course is aimed at the novice, the student who has little or no experience with Shakespeare on the page, in the theater, or at the cinema. We'll study four plays, watching a film production of each: As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Othello, and The Winter's Tale.
We'll have two (2) take-home exams, and embark on five (5) weekly assignments.
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)
English L22001: Introduction to Shakespeare
Summer (1) 2023 MTR 10-12.20 LA 226
Office: LA 233 Hours: please contact me
Greenblatt et al., eds., The Norton Shakespeare: Essential Plays. The Sonnets (vol. 3E), 3rd ed.
Please note: this is the edition I'll be using, and some of the assigned reading for presentations is from this text. If you choose not to buy it, you are still responsible for the material. Perhaps a friendly classmate will help you out. But you can't be lackadaisical here.
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.
15 May (M): Introductions; As You Like It
16 May (T): As You Like It
18 May (R): As You Like It
19 May (F): First weekly due by 11.59 p.m. on Brightspace
22 May (M): As You Like It
23 May (T): Twelfth Night
25 May (R): NO CLASS
26 May (F): Second weekly due by 11.59 p.m. on Brightspace
29 May (M): NO CLASS
30 May (T): Twelfth Night
1 June (R): Twelfth Night
2 June (F) Third weekly due by 11.59 on Brightspace
4 June (S) First exam due by 11.59 p.m. on Brightspace
5 June (M): Othello
6 June (T): Othello
8 June (R): Othello
9 June (F): Fourth weekly due by 11.59 p.m. on Brightspace
12 June (M) Othello
13 June (T) Othello
15 June (R) The Winter's Tale
16 June (F): Fifth weekly due by 11.59 p.m. on Brightspace
You are allowed three (3) 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.
Your two take-home exams, 100 pts. each, are due on the scheduled non-class dates by 11.59 via Brightspace. Late papers = 0. No exceptions. These will be short, 3-4 pp. Your first exam may be revised after meeting with the instructor in the office and discussing your plans.
There will be five of these, 20 pts. each, like your exams, due on the scheduled non-class dates by 11.59 via Brightspace. Late papers = 0. No exceptions. 2 pp. Late = 0 Please see the instructions for success below. Like your first exam, you can revise them for a better grade after conferencing with me.
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
The course grade will be determined by an average of your take-home midterm, take-home final exam, and weekly writing assignments, each comprising approximately a third of your grade. 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.
You may email me at any time. I will usually get back to you quickly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who said it? Where, and why? What system of notation are you using to indicate the source of your quotation?
Which words or phrases make reference to the concept you're trying to explain, and why does your evidence matter?
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.
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?
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?
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
You are allowed to revise your first exam and any of your five exercises, provided that you meet with me in the office to discuss them first. You are welcome to turn in your revisions at any time before the deadline for the second exam.
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.
Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.
Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.
Thou art thy father’s daughter. There’s enough.
So was I when your Highness took his dukedom.
So was I when your Highness banished him.
Treason is not inherited, my lord,
Or if we did derive it from our friends,
What’s that to me? My father was no traitor.
Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much
To think my poverty is treacherous. (AYL 1.3.58-68)
Rosalind's response to her uncle's unfounded comment that she is "traitorous" suggests that she is no ordinary young woman. What logic does she use to refute the implied allegation? What does it illustrate about her character that would help the actress portray her? If we assume that Shakespeare approves of her behavior at this point, what does he seem to be saying about women's capabilities? Can you connect this exchange with anything else in As You Like It?
How do these lines reverberate throughout the play?
In the middle of Twelfth Night, Viola utters the enigmatic line, "I am not what I am" (3.1.141). Obviously, her primary meaning is her secret. She's not the youth Cesario, but a woman like Olivia with her own agenda and problems. However, the statement could be the keynote of the play. How does it apply to everyone else in Twelfth Night? Why does it matter?
A comedy, wrote Dante, is supposed to end with a marriage or a dance, after beginning on a note of discord or unhappiness. He says nothing about humor or amusements of any kind. Twelfth Night finishes with three potential weddings, two of which feature couples who don't really know each other at all. There are also Antonio, Sir Andrew, and Malvolio, each of whom is unhappy in his own way.
However, Feste has the last word, his lyric "When I was and a little tiny boy" (5.1.389-408). How does the song sum up the characters, specifically? Choose four, and explain how.
Desdemona's line "errs in ignorance and not in cunning" (Oth. 3.3.47) seems to have a broader application in the play. One might even says that it plays. What would be your response to this observation? Are there any parts of Othello that embody it and prove it true--or false?
The main plot of The Winter's Tale will certainly remind you of Othello. However, Leontes does not have an Iago to set him off--his jealousy is self-generated. What in his aside to the audience or soliloquy (WT 1.2.109-20) reminds you of Othello but is different?
"Assume a virtue if you have it not," says Hamlet to his mother (Ham. 3.4.160). He means to be rude. Also, if it were possible for Shakespeare's characters to come to life and speak to each other, it is something he would never say to Rosalind or Viola. What are their virtues, specifically, based on words and phrases you can glean from the play as evidence? How are their virtues similar? How are they different? Do they possess elements of personality that could not be described as virtues?
Late papers = 0
Microsoft Word only.
The question I like to ask at the end of a single-author course is: what is characteristic of the writer we've just studied? So with Shakespeare: what is Shakespearean, based on the four plays we've read this semester? What distinguishes him from anyone else in your hoard of knowledge? Please use examples from the works we've studied this semester to make your points.
Late papers = 0
Microsoft Word only.
As a PFW student, you are entitled to free software, which you'll need. If you follow this link, you can dowload your own copy of Office 365 from IT services.
Everything in your regular papers should be double-spaced. There are no extra spaces between paragraphs, and block quotations are double-spaced. Go into your copy of Word, find the Paragraph menu, and make sure that it looks like the picture to the left.
It can be on the left or the right side
On the next line after the heading, center a title for the paper.
Begin your text on the next line after that title.
You'll compose your papers and shorter assignments in Word and upload them to Brightspace so there is nothing in hard copy. Upload your paper as a Word document to your email. Do NOT send it in Google Docs. Do NOT send it in .pdf.
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good for nothing else, be wise. --Rochester