Shakespeare: Early Plays and Sonnets McIver 116
Fall 2002 Office Hours: TTh 1:45-2:15
TTh 12:30-1:45 334-4691 (o); 316-0463 (h)--before 10 pm
McIver 139B email@example.com
David Bevington, ed. The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 4th revised edn.
Joseph Gibaldi. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th edn.
1. Students will acquire a thorough reading knowledge of all works on the syllabus.
2. Students will recognize and understand the genres and subgenres in which Shakespeare wrote during his earlier years--lyric, comedy, history and tragedy.
3. Students will recognize and understand the issues involved in interpreting Shakespeare for performance--both on stage and screen.
4. Students will know the main facts of Shakespeare's life through 1601.
5. Students will understand Shakespeare's development as a poet and playwright in his historical period.
6. Students will understand Shakespeare's continuing importance as a cultural icon and as a center of controversy.
7. Students will develop their abilities in spoken communication and presentation.
8. Students will develop their abilities in research and in interpretive, analytical, and critical writing.
Week 1 8/20--Introduction to course--Sonnets 1-6 (handout)
8/22--The Sonnets--Quiz on the Introduction to sonnets; 7-10, 18-20
sonnet paraphrase due--A-H
Week 2 8/27--Sonnets 29, 55, 71, 73, 116, 123
Quiz: General Introduction--Shakespeare's life and work through 1601
sonnet paraphrase due--I-P
8/29--Sonnets 127-130, 144-54
sonnet paraphrase due--Q-Z
Week 3 9/3--The Taming of the Shrew--Quiz
Week 4 9/10--Richard III--Quiz
9/12--Richard III--Annotation sign-ups
9/13--Essay #1 (Sonnet analysis) due—4 pm
Week 5 9/17--Romeo and Juliet--Quiz
9/19--R & J
Week 6 9/24--A Midsummer Night's Dream--Quiz
Week 7 10/1--MSND
10/3--The Merchant of Venice--Quiz
Week 8 10/8--Merchant
10/17--Merchant--Performance groups assigned
Week 10 10/22--Merchant
10/24--I Henry IV--Quiz
Week 11 10/29--I Henry IV
10/31--Much Ado About Nothing--Quiz
11/1--Plan for Essay #2 due--4 pm
Week 12 11/5--Much Ado
Week 13 11/12--Henry V--Quiz
Week 14 11/19--Henry V
Week 16 12/3--Hamlet
12/5--Hamlet Course evaluations
12/6--Essay #2 due--4 pm
Week 17 FINAL Thursday, December 12, 12 Noon-3 pm--no exceptions
Attendance and Participation: Due to the high demand for this course, I will drop any student not attending the first or second day of class. Consistent attendance is mandatory, particularly in this Speaking Intensive course. Regular and active participation in class discussion will raise your course grade. In-class quizzes will be fairly frequent, and no make-ups will be allowed. Thus, unexcused absences will indirectly lower your course grade. Furthermore, more than two unexcused absences will directly lower your course grade, and a pattern of unexcused absences will result in your being dropped from the course. Two tardies will count as an absence, and students leaving class unexcused and not returning will be marked absent. Two unexcused tardies equal one unexcused absence. Attendance will be taken daily, and no absence or tardy will be excused without advance notice.
In cases of adverse weather, classes will meet unless the Chancellor closes the University.
Quizzes: Whenever we begin a new unit or play, I will start class with a ten-point reading quiz covering the entire assignment or play. These quizzes will be strictly factual and simply will test whether or not you have read the material. These quizzes will not be returned. A pattern of poor or missed quizzes will lower your course grade. A pattern of good or excellent quizzes will raise your course grade.
Writing and Speaking:
Daily Discussion: Each day I will begin class by calling on one or two students and inviting your informal comments on, questions about, and/or reactions to the day’s assigned reading. I will call on each student in the class in this way at least once per term. Your readiness for discussion will be considered as part of your overall participation.
Essay #1--Sonnet analysis essay (due 9/13): You will write a short (2-3 page) analysis of a sonnet (see handout). Choose any of Shakespeare's sonnets not on the syllabus, and in 500-750 words explain its meaning by commenting closely on its use of figurative language, particularly of any "conceits," and of the sonnet form, to convey its themes. The analysis is to be entirely your own; you are to do no research for this one outside your textbook's notes.
Scene Analysis: Each student is required to choose one scene from each of the nine plays and write informal answers to a series of analytical questions about it (see Questions for Scene Analysis); I will call on each student at least twice per term to comment for a few minutes on his or her chosen scene.
Critical Annotation Presentations: One set of 3 one-page critical annotations (typed, single-spaced) is required, due in class on your assigned day (see handout). During the fourth week of the semester, you will sign up for individual due dates that will be determined by the dates for discussing particular plays. The annotation assignment requires that you search the library for 3 academic journal articles discussing the assigned play, and prepare a one-page annotation for each critical source that you choose. Each annotation must (a) begin with the basic bibliographical information about each source in correct MLA citation style (see MLA Handbook, required for this course); then (b) it must summarize the critic's interpretive argument; and finally (c) it must assess whether the article makes a worthwhile contribution to our understanding and appreciation of its subject, and why (or why not). I prefer annotation sets that referee varying interpretations of a work, thus displaying your powers of discernment. I will call on annotators to share their researches and insights with the class, so come prepared to speak on your assigned day. Your speaking will be evaluated for clarity, audibility, pacing, and coherence.
Essay #2--Research Essay (due 12/6): This essay will be a longer (4-6 page) study of any play up to and including Hamlet--whether on the syllabus or not. It will incorporate library research into an interpretive argument of your own (see handout). In addition, in advance of the second paper you will submit a Plan for Essay #2 (due 11/1), in which you will a) write out your idea in the form of a question, and then b) briefly answer that question in no more than one page (250 words). Papers will follow MLA style. I must receive and approve an Essay #2 Plan before I can accept and grade Essay #2 itself.
Late papers: Late papers will drop a full letter grade per weekday. However, if you know that a difficulty is coming up and you'll need more time, come see me well in advance to discuss an extension.
Plagiarism: You are expected to abide by the UNCG academic honor policy on all work, and to sign a statement to that effect on each paper and exam. Plagiarism involves any situation in which another's work (whether their ideas or their actual words) is submitted as your own. A first offense may result in an F on that assignment, while repeated offenses can cause you to be expelled from the University. If you are unsure about how to give credit to your sources, see the MLA Handbook or come talk to me.
Exams: Two exams--one at midterm (10/10) and one at the scheduled final time (12/12)--will cover the first and second halves of the semester, respectively. Exams will consist of essay questions, definitions of key terms, and identification of important quotations from the works studied. Dates and times of both the midterm and the final exams are firm. If you know now that you cannot attend one or the other exam as scheduled, you should not take this class.
Performance Projects: Each of you will take part in presenting (as part of a group of five or so) a 15-minute excerpt from one of the plays on the syllabus (see handout). I will grade each group for oral presentation, effort and participation.
Grading: I will grade on a straight percentage scale, as follows:
A 100-94 C+ 79-77 D- 63-60
A- 93-90 C 76-74 F 59-0
B+ 89-87 C- 73-70
B 86-84 D+ 69-67
B- 83-80 D 66-64
Your assignments count in the following ways:
Performance Project: 5%
Essay #1: 15%
Critical Annotation Presentation: 15%
Plan for Essay #2: 5%
Essay #2: 20%
Midterm Exam: 20%
Final Exam: 20%
Plus or minus consideration of attendance, participation, and quizzes.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: To enhance communication with majors, the English Department maintains a listserve. Please join the listserve by sending the following message from your e-mail account (whether on campus or at home) that you use most regularly to firstname.lastname@example.org: subscribe English-l firstname lastname (giving, of course, your own first and last names). For example: subscribe English-l Jane Doe. Note that the letter l (L) follows "English," not the number 1 (one).