Shakespeare: Later Plays McIver 116
Spring 2003 Office Hours: MW ,
MWF 11-11:50 334-4691 (o); 316-0463 (h)--before
McIver 140 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.
Students successfully completing this course
1. will savor some of the finest writing in any language.
2. will acquire a thorough reading knowledge of all works on the syllabus.
3. will recognize and understand the genres and subgenres in which Shakespeare wrote during his later years—
“problem” play, tragedy, and romance.
4. will recognize and understand the issues involved in interpreting Shakespeare for performance--both on stage and
5. will know the main facts of Shakespeare's life.
6. will understand Shakespeare's development as a poet and playwright in his historical period.
7. will understand Shakespeare's continuing importance as a cultural icon and as a center of controversy.
8. will develop their abilities in research and in interpretive, analytical, and critical writing, as well as in oral presentation.
Week 1 1/13—Introduction to course and to the Renaissance stage
1/15—All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 1
General Introduction—Shakespeare’s Life and Work, 1564-1616
Quiz: All’s Well Act 1, Intro to Life and Work
Informal scene analysis due—A-F
1/17—All’s Well, Acts 2-5—Quiz Informal scene analysis due—G-L
Week 2 1/20—King Day—No Class
1/22—All’s Well Informal scene analysis due—M-R
1/24—All’s Well Informal scene analysis due—S-Z
Week 3 1/27—Troilus and Cressida—Quiz
1/29—Troilus and Cressida
1/31—Troilus and Cressida—ANNOTATIONS BEGIN
Week 4 2/3—Troilus and Cressida
2/5—Measure for Measure—Quiz
2/7—Measure for Measure
Essay #1—Scene Analysis—Due
Week 5 2/10—Measure for Measure
2/12—Measure for Measure
2/14—Measure for Measure
Week 6 2/17—Othello—Quiz
Week 7 2/24—Othello
2/28—King Lear—Acts 1-3—Quiz
Week 8 3/3—King Lear
Week 10 3/17—King Lear—Acts 4-5—Quiz
Plan for Essay #2—Due
Week 11 3/24—Macbeth
Week 12 3/31—Macbeth
Week 13 4/7—Antony and Cleopatra
4/9—Antony and Cleopatra
4/11—Antony and Cleopatra
Week 14 4/14—The Winter’s Tale—Quiz
4/16—The Winter’s Tale
Essay #2 Due 4 pm
4/18—The Winter’s Tale
4/23—The Winter’s Tale
Week 16 4/28—The Tempest
5/2—The Tempest—Course evaluations
Week 17 5/5—The Tempest
Revised Essay #2 Due 4 pm
Final Examination Monday, May 12, 8-11 am—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 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: On most days 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.
Informal Scene Analyses: Each student will be assigned one scene from most 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.
Essay #1—Scene Analysis Essay (due Friday 2/7, 4 pm): You will write a short (2-3 page, 500-750 word) analysis of a scene from one of the first three plays studied this term—All’s Well That Ends Well, Troilus and Cressida,
or Measure for Measure (see Questions for Scene Analysis handout). This is to be an essay, not simply an itemized
answering of the set questions. The purpose of the essay is to describe the inner dynamics of the scene, and to explain
its relation to the immediately adjacent scenes and to the play as a whole. Thus I recommend that you choose a scene of
moderate length, neither unusually brief nor unusually long. Proofread carefully.
Critical 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 second 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.
Essay #2--Research Essay (due Wednesday 4/16 at ): This essay will be a longer (4-6 page) study of
any play from All’s Well on--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 Wednesday 3/19 at ), 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 parenthetical citation style. I must receive and approve an Essay #2 Plan before I can accept and grade Essay #2 itself.
Required Rewrite of Essay #2 (Due Tuesday 5/6 at ): Rewrites should reflect your own developing
thinking about the subject, as well as your close attention to my written comments on the original. Your rewrite must be
attached to your original Research Essay with my comments to receive consideration.
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 (3/7) and one at the scheduled final time (5/12 )--will cover
approximately the first and second halves of the semester, respectively. Exams will consist of essay questions and
definitions of key terms. 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.
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:
Essay #1: 20%
Critical Annotations: 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
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