Dr. Jim Ford Shakespeare
firstname.lastname@example.org ENGL 4223R
Office: Baird Hall 101A Spring 2012
Office Phone: (918) 343-7749 ONLINE
1-2 TR; 9-noon F; and by appointment.
“Analysis of a selection of Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies, histories, sonnets, and other lyric poetry. Selected criticism, 1600 to the present. Historical background and Shakespeare’s theater” (RSU Bulletin 2011-12, p. 172).
Our primary objective is to read, discuss, and enjoy as many of Shakespeare's plays and poems as possible. By the end of the course, every student should be able to:
1. Articulate the essential features of each genre (sonnet, comedy, tragedy, history).
2. Analyze Shakespeare's works in terms of character, scene, passage, and genre.
3. Formulate an individual interpretation of a particular play.
4. Evaluate various interpretations of Shakespeare's work.
Shakespeare, Complete Pelican Shakespeare. Penguin 2002.
Available at the RSU Bookstore in Claremore. Please have the book before the class begins.
This course will emphasize discussion and writing. Each week we will be reading a play (or poems) by Shakespeare. This is an upper-division seminar: the point of this course is to read Shakespeare closely and discuss him together. Always do your own reading, thinking, and writing. This course does not involve research (unless otherwise noted), and your work should be based on your reading and reflecting on Shakespeare's works. When a play is listed for a particular week, that means the play should be read by the beginning of that week (when two weeks are given, specific readings will be detailed online).
There will be three critical essays (1000 words long), a project, and a final exam. Each essay is worth 10% of your final grade. All papers must be typed and double-spaced. Unexcused late work will be penalized 20% per day. All essays are due by 6 p.m. on the respective due date, as listed in the course schedule below. Further details on the nature of these assignments will be posted online.
Every student will be complete a project during the semester and present that project to the class the final week of the semester. This project is 20% of your grade, and the presentation another 5% of your grade. For this project, you have three basic options. Option one is to plan a production of a Shakespearean play (one that we read), including such topics as staging, directing, casting, costuming, editing, etc. Option two is to compare two key characters (from two different plays that we have studied). This is a much fuller treatment of the character analysis paper that everyone will complete. Option three is perform a short scene of your choosing from one of the plays that we studied. This could be a long monologue or a scene with another performer (or performers). In this case your paper will detail your interpretation of that scene and your motivation in performing it. You may also devise another project of your own choosing, but all choices must be approved by the professor. Your project will include a 5-6 page essay describing your project, why you chose it, and what you learned. Your presentation should be a 5-7 minute summary of the project (in the case of option three your performance will be your presentation). Feel free to include any photographs, artwork, or music with your project- be creative. Further information on these projects will be given in class.
Every student’s final grade will be earned via the following:
Papers 30% (each paper=10%)
All student work will be judged according to the following academic criteria:
This course requires regular and constant participation. You must participate fully in each week's lesson, just as if your attendance were required at a weekly class meeting. The only difference is that our participation is asynchronous, which is to say at different times. You are free to post as convenient, provided that you do so before the posted deadline each week (usually Saturday at 6 p.m.).
GRADING SCALE 90-100 A
expected to follow university policies as put forth in the institution’s
Student Code of Responsibilities and Conduct. In accordance with Title 12 of
The Student Code (page 11), instances of alleged academic misconduct will
follow the policies and procedures as described in Title 12. As a general rule,
Note especially RSU’s official plagiarism statement: “Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one’s own, including: direct quotation without both attribution and indication that the material is being directly quoted, e.g. quotation marks; paraphrase without attribution; paraphrase with or without attribution where the wording of the original remains substantially intact and is represented as the author’s own; expression in one’s own words, but without attribution, of ideas, arguments, lines of reasoning, facts, processes, or other products of the intellect where such material is learned from the work of another and is not part of the general fund of common knowledge.” Deliberate plagiarism and/or other forms of cheating are grounds for failure in the course as a whole.
In order to maintain an effective learning environment, students are expected to fully comply with The Student Code. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of each student to read and become familiar with the policies of The Student Code.
Rogers State University is committed to providing students with disabilities equal access to educational programs and services. Any student who has a disability that he or she believes will require some form of academic accommodation must inform the professor of such need during or immediately following the first class attended. Before any educational accommodation can be provided, it is the responsibility of each student to prove eligibility for assistance by registering for services through Student Affairs.
My office hours are listed above. Please feel free to come by, call, etc., during those hours. If that doesn’t work, I would be happy to schedule an appointment at another time. Communication by email is especially welcome (moderation in this, as in all things...).
Finally, realize that it is not unusual for a course like this one to raise challenges to and doubts about some of our most cherished beliefs. It is important that each of us is sensitive to the views of those around us. At the same time, each of us should also be aware that controversial issues, arguments, and positions will be discussed in this course. If something bothers or offends you, let me know and I will do what I can.
“Why, thou owest God a death" -Prince Hal, Henry IV Part One (5.1).
Week One: Jan 9 Introduction and Sonnets
Week Two: Jan 16 Shakespeare's Comedies; A Midsummer-Night's Dream
Week Three: Jan 23 Second Comedy (Reader's Choice)
Week Five: Feb 6 Henry IV, Part One First Essay Due Friday, Feb. 10
Week Six: Feb 13 Henry IV, Part One (continued)
Week Seven: Feb 20 Henry V
Week Eight: Feb 27 Shakespeare's Tragedies; Julius Caesar
Week Nine: Mar 5 Hamlet Second Essay Due Friday, Mar. 9
Week Ten: Mar 12 Hamlet (continued)
SPRING BREAK: Mar 19-25 NO CLASS—work on projects
Week Eleven: Mar 26 King Lear
Week Thirteen: Apr 9 Macbeth
Week Fourteen: Apr 16 Shakespeare's Romances; The Tempest
Week Sixteen: Apr 30 Project Presentations; Final Exam
This schedule may be revised as necessary during the course of the semester.
-Prospero, The Tempest (5.1).