Professor Michelle Dowd
Office: 119 McIver
Office Phone: 334-4692
Office Hours: MW 1:30-3:00 and by appt.
Course Description and Objectives:
In this course we will read eight plays from the latter half of Shakespeare’s career. Students should emerge from this course with an appreciation for Shakespeare’s plays as texts for reading and performance and with a better understanding of how those texts engaged with the theatrical, historical, and social tensions of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. We will pay particular attention to the structure and the language of the plays as we develop the skills of close reading, critical writing, and group discussion.
The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. B. Evans. 2nd Ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 1997). Other modern editions of the plays (such as Norton, Oxford, Arden, and Penguin) are acceptable as long as they have sufficient notes and introductory material. Check with me if you are unsure about your edition.
• Midterm Exam
• Final Exam (Fri. Dec. 10)
• Reading quizzes (one per play)
• Term paper (5-7 pages)
• Attendance and participation
Schedule of Readings and Assignments:
Mon. Aug. 16: Introduction Part I
Wed. Aug. 18: Introduction Part II (please read McDonald Ch. 4, available on e-reserve)
Fri. Aug. 20: Hamlet (Act I) Quiz
Mon. Aug. 23: Hamlet (Act II)
Wed. Aug. 25: Hamlet (Act III)
Fri. Aug. 27: Hamlet (Act IV)
Mon. Aug. 30: Hamlet (Act V)
Wed. Sept. 1: Othello (Act I)
Fri. Sept. 3: Othello (Act II) Quiz
Mon. Sept. 6: Labor Day Holiday. No class.
Wed. Sept. 8: Othello (Act III)
Fri. Sept. 10: Othello (Act IV)
Mon. Sept. 13: Othello (Act V)
Wed. Sept. 15: King Lear (Act I)
Fri. Sept. 17: King Lear (Act II) Quiz
Mon. Sept. 20: King Lear (Act III)
Wed. Sept. 22: King Lear (Act IV)
Fri. Sept. 24: King Lear (Act V)
Mon. Sept. 27: Macbeth (Act I)
Wed. Sept. 29: Macbeth (Act II)
Fri. Oct. 1: Macbeth (Act III) Quiz
Mon. Oct. 4: Macbeth (Act IV)
Wed. Oct. 6: Macbeth (Act V) Midterm Review
Fri. Oct. 8: Midterm Exam
Mon. Oct. 10: Fall Break. No Class.
Wed. Oct. 13: Antony and Cleopatra (Act I)
Fri. Oct. 15: Antony and Cleopatra (Act II) Quiz
Mon. Oct. 18: Antony and Cleopatra (Act III)
Wed. Oct. 20: Antony and Cleopatra (Act IV)
Fri. Oct. 22: Antony and Cleopatra (Act V)
Mon. Oct. 25: Cymbeline (Act I)
Wed. Oct. 27: Cymbeline (Act II)
Fri. Oct. 29: Cymbeline (Act III) Quiz
Mon. Nov. 1: Cymbeline (Act IV)
Wed. Nov. 3: Cymbeline (Act V)
Fri. Nov. 5: The Winter’s Tale (Act I) Quiz
Mon. Nov. 8: No Class
Wed. Nov. 10: The Winter’s Tale (Act II)
Fri. Nov. 12: The Winter’s Tale (Act III)
Mon. Nov. 15: The Winter’s Tale (Act IV) Optional Outline or Draft of Term Paper Due
Wed. Nov. 17: The Winter’s Tale (Act V)
Fri. Nov. 19: The Tempest (Act I) Quiz
Mon. Nov. 22: The Tempest (Act II)
Wed. Nov. 24: Thanksgiving Break. No Class.
Fri. Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Break. No Class.
Mon. Nov. 29: The Tempest (Act III)
Wed. Dec. 1: The Tempest (Act IV)
Fri. Dec. 3: The Tempest (Act V)
Mon. Dec. 6: Last Day of Class. Term Paper Due. Review for Final Exam.
Final Exam: Friday, December 10: 8:00AM-11:00AM
Participation (including quizzes): 15%
Term Paper: 25%
Attendance and Participation: In addition to the reading quizzes, your grade for participation will be calculated directly from your attendance record and from your participation in class discussion. I expect you to attend every class meeting and to arrive on time. More than three unexcused absences will directly lower your course grade, and a pattern of unexcused absences will cause you to be dropped from the course. Because arriving late to class is rude and disruptive to your peers, habitual lateness will also lower your course grade. No absence will be excused unless you call or email me in advance (or as soon after the absence as possible in the case of an emergency). You are responsible for keeping up with the reading and writing assignments for any class that you miss.
I encourage everyone to participate in class discussion, and regular and active participation will raise your course grade. Of course, in order to participate fully, you will need to come to class prepared – that is, having read the material, having thought about it, and having brought it with you. Be sure to silence cell phones, pagers, and any other electronic devices when you enter the classroom!
Reading Quizzes: We will begin class with reading quizzes on selected Fridays, as listed on the syllabus. You will take one quiz for each play we read. Quizzes are designed to see if you have been reading carefully and will consist of 10 questions and a possible bonus question. Each quiz will cover a different amount of material depending on where it falls in our reading schedule: i.e. the quiz on August 20 will cover Act I of Hamlet, and the quiz on October 29 will cover Acts I-III of Cymbeline. Your lowest quiz score will be dropped; there are no make-up quizzes.
Exams: There will be two exams—one at midterm (Oct. 8) and one at the scheduled final time (Dec. 10, 8-11AM). The midterm will cover our reading during the first half of the semester (through Macbeth) and the final will cover our reading during the second half of the semester, with some additional emphasis on comparing plays from both halves of the semester. Exams will consist of short-answer and identification questions as well as essays questions. Dates and times of both exams are firm; there are no make-up exams.
Papers: Papers should be typed in a 12-point font, double-spaced, and stapled. You are required to hand in paper copies of your essays; I will not accept essays handed in via email or computer disk. Papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date. I WILL NOT ACCEPT LATE PAPERS. You have the option of turning in a draft or outline of your final paper for me to read and return to you with comments. If you choose this option, you must turn in your draft or outline to me no later than Monday, November 15. I will not read drafts or outlines that are turned in later than that date.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism—copying or using another’s work without
proper acknowledgement—is a serious academic offense that will not be
tolerated in this class. I expect you to abide by the UNCG academic honor policy
on all work. If you plagiarize, the work in question will receive an F and
you will risk failing the course. Repeated offenses can cause you to be expelled
from the University. If you are unsure about how to give credit to your sources
or have any questions about what constitutes an act of plagiarism, please come
talk to me!