Syllabus

 

INTRODUCTION TO SHAKESPEARE

ENG 206 Spring 2017 Course Syllabus

Dr. Melissa. J. Rack

Twitter: #bardistry206

FACULTY CONTACT INFORMATION

Dr. Melissa J. Rack

Office Location: 2447 Dunford Hall

Days / Times: MWF 11:15-12:15; and Wednesdays 2:15-4pm

Contact Email: mrack@vols.utk.edu

The best way to contact me is through email. Please make sure that you put the course number (ENG 206) in the subject line and use your utk email account. Please allow a response time of one business day for all emails.

If you would like to meet with me but cannot make it to my office hours, I am happy to arrange a time that works for both of us.

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is an overview of Shakespeare’s literary corpus. Over the course of the semester, we will read and study Shakespeare’s poetry and drama within its historical, generic, and cultural contexts, with a focus on close reading, form, and language. We will trace major themes and motifs in his work, and consider both traditional interpretations and our own analysis.

COURSE GOALS

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Place your reading in a cultural, historical, and literary context;
  • Conduct close readings that address form and style;
  • Develop informal responses based on reasoned analysis;
  • Contribute to conversations about texts and discourses;
  • Write essays that draw on close readings to present an extended argument about the meaning and function of Shakespeare’s works;
  • Demonstrate effective research and information literacy skills, including the use of print and electronic sources, as well as the appropriate citation of both primary and secondary sources.

REQUIRED TEXTS & MATERIALS

Shakespeare, William, The Oxford Shakespeare: The Complete Works, 2nd Edition, Oxford UP, 2005.

(optional) Crystal, David and Ben Crystal, Shakespeare’s Words: A Glossary & Language Companion, Penguin, 2002.

MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS, GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS, & DUE DATES

Assignment Weight Due Date
Textual Analysis (5 pages) 20%  3/13
Final Paper and Annotated Bibliography (7 pages) 20% end of term
Midterm & Final Exam (average) 20%  3/8 and end of term
Sonnet Performance 10% assigned
Blog Reading Responses (10) and

Twitter (every reading) #bardistry206

20% Every play / poem
Staged Readings (2) 10% assigned
Extra Credit: Additional Sonnet Performance OR Additional Staged Reading 2 points (on final grade) optional

TEXTUAL ANALYSIS

Your first paper will be a close reading or analysis of one of Shakespeare’s works that was covered in class over the first half of the semester. It should be at least five (5) pages in length, and you should not use sources.

FINAL PAPER

Your final paper will be a close reading or analysis of one of Shakespeare’s works that was covered in class over the second half of the semester. Your own analysis will be at least seven (7) pages in length and will also consider other readings of the poem / play (3 sources). You should include an annotated bibliography with three scholarly critical articles that you locate using a library database.

MIDTERM & FINAL

The midterm will cover material in the first half of the semester, and the final exam will cover material in the second half. The final exam is NOT cumulative. These exams will ask you to define literary terms, identify quotations from the plays / poems, and “translate” lines of Shakespeare.

SONNET PERFORMANCE

I will ask you to memorize one of Shakespeare’s sonnets and recite it to the class. I will pass around a sign-up sheet with dates. Each of our class meetings will begin with 1-2 sonnet recitations.

READING RESPONSES / BLOG POSTS

You will be asked to provide an informal blog post for each of Shakespeare’s works that we read this semester. These should respond to the reading, be 1-2 pages in length, and either provide a character analysis or trace a primary theme or motif in the play or poem. Your blog reading response should be turned in on blackboard AND posted on the course blog. You will receive an email request to be added as a blog contributor. https://discoveringshakespeare206.wordpress.com

TWITTER

To provide a sense of community and encourage intellectual collaboration, I ask that you pause as you are completing your reading for this course and tweet about the subject matter. These tweets might provide witty commentary on the play or poem, or ask a question which might be answered by myself or your classmates. A tweet is a tweet; there is no “right” or “wrong” way to tweet about Shakespeare, but you must include #bardistry206 in your tweet.  I will choose the top 5 tweets and read them in class on performance days.

STAGED READINGS

I will ask you to perform in two staged readings of a scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays over the course of the semester. These will be group projects that will require preparation / rehearsal outside of class. I will pass around sign-up sheets for these readings.

EXTRA CREDIT

For each additional sonnet recitation and / or staged reading that you do, I will add two extra credit points to your final grade. These may only be scheduled AFTER everyone in the class has scheduled their first recitation and / or scene performances.

CLASS SCHEDULE

I reserve the right to change the course schedule this semester; I will always notify you in advance of any changes and will post revisions on Blackboard.

Unless otherwise noted, all readings and assignments are due on the day they appear on the schedule.

*= office hours subject to change

 

 Date Class Lesson Reading Due Daily Plan
 

 

Week 1

 

W. 1/11 Introduction Syllabus Discussion of course plan, textbooks, and expectations; sonnet performances and staged readings scheduled.
*F. 1/13 Shakespeare’s Language: Sonnets Sonnets 1-50 Blog and Twitter set-up and assignment
 

Week 2

M. 1/16 No Class: MLK Day

 

 
W. 1/18 Shakespeare’s Language: Sonnets

 

Sonnets 50-100, (tweet while reading)

 

Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 1/20 Blog Reading Response Due (Sonnets) (1)

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

 

Sonnets 100-148, (tweet while reading)

 

 

Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 3

 

M. 1/23 Blog Reading Response Due (Sonnets) (2)

Richard III

Richard III, Act I-II (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 1/25 Richard III Richard III, Act III (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 1/27 Richard III Richard III, Act IV-V (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
Week 4
M. 1/30 Richard III: Scenes in Performance Performance

 

Top 5 tweets, Two scenes from Richard III
W. 2/1 Blog Reading Response Due (Richard III) (3); Taming of the Shrew Taming of the Shrew, Acts I-II (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 2/3 Taming of the Shrew Taming of the Shrew, Act III (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
Week 5
M. 2/6 Taming of the Shrew Taming of the Shrew, Acts IV and V(tweet)

 

Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 2/8 Taming of the Shrew: Scenes in Performance Performance

 

Top 5 Tweets, Two Scenes from Taming of the Shrew
F. 2/10 Blog Reading Response Due (Taming of the Shrew)(4); A Midsummer Night’s Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Acts I and II (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 6

 

M. 2/13 A Midsummer Night’s Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 2/15 A Midsummer Night’s Dream A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Acts IV and V (tweet) Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 2/17 A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Scenes in Performance Performance Top 5 Tweets, Two Scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
 

Week 7

 

M. 2/20 Blog Reading Response Due (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) (5); Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice, Acts I-II Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

First Paper Due

 

W. 2/22 Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice, Act III Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 2/24 Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice, Acts III-IV Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 8

 

M. 2/27 The Merchant of Venice: Scenes in Performance Performance Two Scenes from The Merchant of Venice
W. 3/1 Blog Reading Response Due (Merchant of Venice) (6); Venus and Adonis Venus and Adonis Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 3/3 Rape of Lucrece; Mid-term Exam Review 1st ½ Rape of Lucrece Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 9

 

M. 3/6 Blog Reading Response Due (Venus and Adonis) (7); 2nd ½ Rape of Lucrece Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 3/8 Mid-term Exam   Review of Study Sheet
F. 3/10* Paper Discussion    
 

Week 10

 

Spring Break 3/13—3/17

J No Class J

 

Week 11

 

M. 3/20 Reading Response Due (8) (Rape of Lucrece); Twelfth Night Twelfth Night, Acts I and II Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 
W. 3/22

 

Twelfth Night Twelfth Night, Act III Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 3/24 Twelfth Night Twelfth Night, Acts IV and V Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 12

 

M. 3/27 Twelfth Night: Scenes in Performance Performance Two Scenes from Twelfth Night
W. 3/29 Reading Response Due (9); Hamlet Hamlet, Acts I and II Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 3/31 Hamlet Hamlet, Act III Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 13

 

M. 4/3 Hamlet Hamlet, Acts IV and V Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 4/5 Hamlet: Scenes in Performance Performance Two Scenes from Hamlet
F. 4/7 Reading Response Due (10); Othello Othello, Acts I and II Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 14

 

M. 4/10 Othello Othello, Act III-V Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 4/12 Othello: Scenes in Performance Performance Two Scenes from Othello
F. 4/14 Spring Recess

No Class

 
 

Week 15

 

M. 4/17 Reading Response Due (11); King Lear King Lear, Acts I and II Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
W. 4/19 King Lear King Lear, Act III Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
F. 4/21 King Lear King Lear, Acts IV and V Sonnet performance, Short Lecture, Discussion
 

Week 16

 

M. 4/24 King Lear: Scenes in Performance Performance Two Scenes from King Lear
W. 4/26 Catch-up Day  
F. 4/28 Final Exam Review Review of Study Sheet
Final Exam Final Exam TBA