E s321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
In this course we will read a selection of Shakespeare's plays that demonstrate the variety of genres, themes, and characters that he tackled. Richard III will represent his history plays and illustrate how poets and playwrights contribute to nation-building by crafting national myths; Merchant of Venice will represent his comedies and will provide us a chance to investigate problems of religious and ethnic identity, as will the tragedy Othello. The Tempest will represent his romances and provide insight into Britain's nascent imperialism, and the tragedy King Lear will open up questions of justice and authority.
We will focus on oral performance to give voice to the power of these lines and to allow students the opportunity to enhance their oral skills in a variety of settings. We will also consider several films of the plays themselves in order to complement our discussion.
Students will be required to complete three take-home tests, each worth 10% of their grade, and for another 10% to bring questions and topics for discussion to class each day. In lieu of formal essays, the student will write two precis for 25% and present an annotated bibliography on a potential paper topic for 10% of the grade. Students will be required to give a presentation for 15% of their grade.
After three absences, your grade will drop a letter until you fail after six absences. After the second tardy, they will count as absences.