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Connections

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English 121, Intro to Shakespeare
Fall 2010

Friday, August 27

First day: Introductions and course outline


Unit One

Shakespeare's Language:
The Sonnets


Monday, August 30

Come to class prepared to apply the film and readings to a discussion of one of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Also, please go to the class discussion board and write a solid paragraph or two introducing yourself to the class. Aside from the obvious introductory function of this assignment, it also ensures that we flush out any technical problems before moving farther into the term.

Note: here and throughout this syllabus, the first (less indented) reading or link is required, while the second (more indented) reading or link is supplemental and optional. Here, for example, the film viewing and Connections links are required, whereas exploring the other websites is optional.


Wednesday, September 1

Using the close reading handout as a guide, write a paragraph about something unusual and interesting you find in one of the sonnets. We will discuss some of your paragraphs in class, and I will collect them all.


Friday, September 3

  • Read Marjorie Garber's introduction to Shakespeare After All.

  • Shakespeare's "Young Man" sonnets (selections): 20, 30, 37, 62, 76, 84, 93, 115, 116, and 123

  • And the "Dark Lady" sonnets (selections): 42, 127, 130, 133, 138, 144, 147, 148, and 152

Group 1: Write a response connecting some small issue you find in a close reading of one of these sonnets to one of the broader concerns that Garber raises about interpreting Shakespeare's works. The key to this assignment lies in conveying that connection between a few small details and the big issues or questions of Shakespeare criticism.


Unit Two

Shakespeare Tragicohistorical and Comical:
Richard III and Much Ado about Nothing


Monday, September 6

Group 2: Stage-setting response


Wednesday, September 8

  • Richard III, Acts II and III

Group 3: Middle acts response


Thursday, September 9

SONNET EXPLICATION DUE UNDER MY
OFFICE DOOR AT 4:00 P.M.


Friday, September 10

  • Richard III, Acts IV and V

  • Russ McDonald, "Theater à la Mode: Shakespeare and the Kinds of Drama"

    • ERIC (English Renaissance in Context) has a tutorial on Richard III

Group 4: Final acts response


Monday, September 13

Group 5: Film response


Wednesday, September 15

  • Connections, Developing a Thesis

    • If you want to see more of what I say about writing papers, you are welcome (but not required) to look through the other sections of the Writing section of Connections.

No response required: we will talk about writing in class.


Friday, September 17

  • Much Ado about Nothing, Act I

  • Review the comedy section of Russ McDonald, "Theater à la Mode: Shakespeare and the Kinds of Drama"

Group 6: Stage-setting response


Monday, September 20

  • Much Ado about Nothing, Acts II and III

Group 7: Middle acts response


Wednesday, September 22

  • Much Ado about Nothing, Acts IV and V

Group 1: Final acts response


Friday, September 24

  • Film: Kenneth Branagh, Much Ado about Nothing (1993)

Group 2: Film response


Unit Three

Extreme Shakespeare:
Titus Andronicus


Monday, September 27

  • Titus Andronicus, Act I

Group 3: Stage-setting response


Wednesday, September 29

  • Titus Andronicus, Acts II and III

Group 4: Middle acts response


Friday, October 1

Group 5: Final acts response


Monday, October 4

Group 6: Film response


Wednesday, October 6

MIDSEM EXAM IN CLASS


Unit Four

Critical Perspectives on Shakespeare:
The Example of Hamlet


Friday, October 8

Group 7: Scene-setting response


Monday, October 11

  • Hamlet, Acts II and III

Group 1: Middle acts response


Wednesday, October 13

  • Hamlet, Acts IV and V

Group 2: Last acts response


Friday, October 15

  • Readings on the critical history and feminist criticism of Hamlet

Group 3: The response assignment will be the same for both critical approaches. For the approach we read about each day, discuss a point in the article that you consider especially instructive or, on the contrary, to be a misreading of Hamlet. You can talk about more general applications of the day's theory if you like, but every response should start by discussing a specific moment in the day's article.


FALL BREAK

Monday, October 25

  • Readings on deconstructionist criticism and Hamlet

Group 4: See the assignment for October 15th.


Wednesday, October 27

No response required: we will talk about writing in class.


Unit Five

Shakespeare in Context:
The Merchant of Venice and Othello


Friday, October 29

  • The Merchant of Venice, Act I

  • Contextual readings on Venice

    • ERIC (English Renaissance in Context) has a tutorial on The Merchant of Venice

Group 5: Stage-setting response


Monday, November 1

  • The Merchant of Venice, Acts II and III

  • Contextual readings on finance

Group 6: Middle acts response


Wednesday, November 3

  • The Merchant of Venice, Acts IV and V

  • Contextual readings on religion

Group 7: Last acts response


Friday, November 5

  • Film: Michael Radford, The Merchant of Venice (2004)

  • Film: Barton, section 4 of Playing Shakespeare (on Shylock)

Group 1: Film response


Monday, November 8

No readings for today: we will talk about writing in class.


Wednesday, November 10

  • Othello, Act I

Group 2: Stage-setting response


Friday, November 12

PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE IN CLASS

  • Othello, Acts II and III

Group 3: Middle acts response


Monday, November 15

Group 4: Last acts response


Unit Six

The Shakespearean Text:
King Lear


Wednesday, November 17

  • King Lear, Act I

Group 5: Stage-setting response


Friday, November 19

  • King Lear, Acts II and III

Group 6: Middle acts response


Monday, November 22

  • King Lear, Acts IV and V

Group 7: Last acts response


Wednesday, November 24

PAPER DUE
UNDER MY OFFICE DOOR BY NOON

No class today


THANKSGIVING BREAK

Unit Seven

Shakespeare on Stage:
Macbeth


Monday, November 29

  • Macbeth, Act I

  • Sourcebooks edition introductory materials, pages 1-20, and CD tracks 1-18 (all material from Act I)

Group 1: Stage-setting response with special attention to the interpretive decisions made by at least one of the actors on the CD


Wednesday, December 1

  • Macbeth, Acts II and III

  • CD tracks 19-29 (all material from Acts II and III)

Group 2: Middle acts response


Friday, December 3

  • Macbeth, Acts IV and V

  • CD tracks 30-40 (all material from Acts IV and V)

Group 3: Last acts response


Unit Eight

Shakespeare's Legacies:
The Tempest


Monday, December 6

  • The Tempest, Act I

Group 4: Stage-setting response


Wednesday, December 8

  • The Tempest, Acts II and III

Group 5: Middle acts response


Friday, December 10

  • The Tempest, Acts IV and V

No responses: we will leave time for end-of-course carnival events and contests of skill.


Friday, December 17

FINAL EXAM AT 9:00 A.M.
 

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