E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course has three main objectives. The first is to explore the ways in which Shakespeare's plays develop modern conceptions of self and society, a conception of human identity as something fashioned by the individual and a conception of the social order as historically contingent and man-made. The second objective of the course is to increase understanding of how Shakespeare constructs his plays, how he sets characters off against one another, how he uses verbal images and dramatic action to convey themes, and how he shapes scenes, groups of scenes, and whole plays. Finally, the course will explore the issue of genre and will try to arrive at some definition of the different kinds of plays (comedies, histories, tragedies, and romances) that Shakespeare wrote.
There will be two essays and two exams. Each of the two best essays and exams will constitute one quarter of the final grade. Each of the two less successful essays and exams will count twenty percent of the final grade. There will be short quizzes given whenever we begin study of a new play; taken together, they will count ten percent of the final grade. Class participation will be factored into the final grade.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare, edited by David Bevington (Scott, Foresman), or any comparable edition, such as the Pelican Shakespeare, or the Riverside Shakespeare, or individual paperbacks such as those in the Pelican and Signet series.
NOTE: You MUST bring your book with you to class.