Credit hours: 3
Prerequisites: Six credit hours (two courses) of English at the 2000-3000 level, or instructor permission
|The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare, 2nd edition||Russ McDonald||Bedford||978-0312248802|
|(see below for plays)|
Course Objectives: Shakespeare might be the most famous author in English literary history. This course offers an advanced introduction to his works and the culture and theater in which they were produced. It will provide a range of techniques and resources to enable you to read, see, discuss, and write about Shakespeare with skill and pleasure. I do not assume prior college-level experience with Shakespeare, although I do assume experience with the basic tools of college-level literary study, especially explication (“close reading”) and the ability to analyze literature in writing.
Course Content: We will sample a few sonnets but focus mostly on Shakespeare's dramatic works. Our plays (which survey three major dramatic genres) include: A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Richard II, Romeo and Juliet, and Antony and Cleopatra. I have ordered the Folger Shakespeare Library editions (each $6 new on Amazon, also available used and as ebooks). You are welcome to substitute other good editions -- just check with me to see if yours will do. We will supplement our study of the plays with critical essays, historical context, and film clips to explore different strategies and contexts for interpretation.
Method of Presentation: Discussion and lecture
Method of Evaluation: Attendance and participation, one-question daily reading quizzes, short close reading essay, two brief research assignments, final paper