E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
This course studies one of the most popular and difficult writers in English, whose complexity might be underestimated because he seems so accessible in the theater and in popular culture. We will study six Shakespeare plays, primarily to develop and challenge our appreciation of his work, but also to enhance reading and writing skills. We will also read two plays by Christopher Marlowe to better understand what Shakespeare was imitating and what he aspired to surpass.
1. Daily reading assignments and class discussions. I expect that you will come to every class with opinions, ideas, and questions about what you have read.
2. Four essays, each five pages in length.
3. Two entries (at least one page each) in a drama-commentary journal
4. Leading discussion with a classmate once during the course
5. Performance in a pedagogical "game" about the playwrights and their companies
1. Attendance is required. A total of three unexcused absences are allowed. If you miss more than five classes, you cannot pass the course.
2. Please arrive promptly to class. Habitual latecomers will be penalized on "class participation."
3. Frequent, unannounced quizzes will be given at the beginning of class periods. A missed quiz counts as a zero.
4. Improvement throughout the semester will be considered favorably in your evaluation. Writing, 70%. Game performance and essay, 20%. Quizzes and class performance will constitute the remaining 10% of the grade. You may rewrite any essay for the chance at a better grade.
5. No incompletes will be given except for documented medical emergencies.
The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans et. al.
The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, ed. by Russ MacDonald, 2nd. edn.
Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays, ed. Romany and Lindsey
Works for this semester: Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, The Jew of Malta, Doctor Faustus