English 339-01 Christopher Hodgkins
Shakespeare: Early Plays and Sonnets McIver 116
Spring 2002 Office Hours: MW 3:20-3:50
MWF 10-10:50 and by appt.
McIver 140 334-4691 (o); 316-0463 (h)--before 10 pm
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 research and in interpretive, analytical, and critical writing, as well as in class discussion.
Week 1 1/14--Introduction to course--Sonnets 1-3 (handout)
1/16--The Sonnets--Quiz on the Introduction to sonnets; 4-10
sonnet paraphrase due--A-H
1/18--Sonnets 18-20, 29, 55, 71, 73
Week 2 1/21--MLK Day; No Class
1/23--Sonnets 116, 123, 127-130
Quiz: General Introduction--Shakespeare's life and work through 1601
sonnet paraphrase due--I-P
sonnet paraphrase due--Q-Z
Week 3 1/28--The Taming of the Shrew--Quiz
Essay #1 (Sonnet analysis) due--in class
Week 4 2/4--Richard III--Quiz
2/6--Richard III--Annotation sign-ups
Week 5 2/11--Romeo and Juliet--Quiz
2/13--R & J
2/15--R & J
Week 6 2/18--A Midsummer Night's Dream--Quiz
Week 7 2/25--MSND
2/27--The Merchant of Venice--Quiz
Week 8 3/4--Merchant
Week 9 3/11, 3/13, 3/15--No Class--Spring Break
Week 10 3/18--I Henry IV--Quiz
3/20--I Henry IV--Performance groups assigned
3/22--I Henry IV
Week 11 3/25--I Henry IV
3/27--I Henry IV
3/29--Much Ado About Nothing--Quiz
Week 12 4/1--Much Ado
Plan for Essay #2 due--in class
Week 13 4/8--Much Ado
Week 14 4/15--Henry V
Week 15 4/22--Performance Projects
Week 16 4/29--Hamlet
5/3--Hamlet Course evaluations
Essay #2 due--4 pm
Week 17 5/6--Hamlet
FINAL Monday May 10, 12-3 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. 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 will simply test whether 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.
Essay #1--Sonnet analysis essay (due Friday, 2/1 in class): 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.
Annotations: 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 (2/18-5/6) which 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 which referee varying interpretations of a work, thus displaying your powers of discernment. I often will call on annotators to share their researches and insights with the class, so come prepared to speak on your assigned day.
Essay #2--Research Essay: This essay (due 5/3 at 4 pm) 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 4/1 in class), 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 week-day. 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 (3/8) and one at the scheduled final time (5/10 12-3 pm)--will cover the first and second halves of the semester, respectively. Exams will consist of essay questions and short-answer objective questions. 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: On Monday or Wednesday, April 22 or 24, each of you will take part in presenting (as part of a group of seven or so) a 15-minute excerpt from one of the plays on the syllabus (see handout). I will grade each group for 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%
Plan for Essay #2: 5%
Essay #2: 20%
Midterm Exam: 15%
Final Exam: 25%
Plus or minus consideration of attendance, participation, and quizzes.
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