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English 218: Introduction to Shakespeare MWF 10-10:50 12-207 Professor Colleen Kennedy

Office: 5-535 Office Hours: MWF 11-11:50 & by appointment Mailbox: There is a mailbox on my office door and I also have a mailbox in the English/Philosophy department (5-532). Email: and Phone: 585.413.6977 Contents: I. Catalogue Course Description II. Course Description III. Goals IV. Learning Outcomes V. Texts and Supplies VI. Attendance VII. Grades VIII. What is an A Paper? IX. Late Papers X. Academic Honesty/Plagiarism XI. Learning Center XII. Emergency Closings XIII. Schedule XIV. Classroom Policies I. Catalogue Course Description: Reading and discussion of eight or nine or plays that have been considered the greatest ever written. Buffoons, gravediggers, shrews, kings, and tender lovers express themes of power, revenge, love, jealousy, ambition, betrayal and mysticism. Three class hours. (SUNY-H) Course Description: In this course, we will read several of Shakespeares Sonnets and seven of his playsfrom several different genres, tragedy, comedy, problem comedy, history, and romance. We will discuss Shakespeares use of language and


staging techniques of the plays, amongst other literary approaches. We will become familiar with the history and culture of Early Modern England including concepts of gender, religion, politics, class, daily lives, etc. III. Goals: There are several inter-related goals in this course: 1. To gain an introductory understanding of Shakespeare's work and how it fits into his life and times; 2. To learn to write about Shakespeare's work; 3. To develop insight during class discussions; 4. And to gain some insight into why his work is so central to the understanding of English literature.

Now, these are very general goals, and don't necessarily address what I take to be a key subtext to this (or any) literature course: the cultivation of simple curiosity and interest which motivates all significant learning. Shakespeare's works are endlessly fascinating on many levels: linguistically, historically, politically, socially, and culturally (that is, in how they consider relationships between people and the social forces that construct us and our society). We will consider all of this. IV. Learning Outcomes: By the end of this course, you should be able to: 1. Understand and be able to talk about literary elements and meaning in Shakespeares texts 2. Grasp the relevant features of the historical thought and times that shaped the material 3. Read, think, and write about applicable critical opinions 4. Trace historical themes in the texts 5. Write essays on literary elements based on your understanding of the texts and what other Shakespearian scholars are doing 6. Contribute to the knowledge of the community in an informed manner V. Texts and Supplies:

Text: Only one textbook is needed for the course, although I may give additional materials that may be mandatory and/or suggested readings. Bevington, David. The Necessary Shakespeare. 2nd Ed. New York: Pearson-Longman, 2005. Supplies:

Any good dictionary. If you do not currently own one, this is a good time to invest in one. There are many available in the bookstore. (I recommend Websters or the Oxford.) A full-sized notebook for writing assignments in class. OR, a 3 ring binder with looseleaf paper. A sturdy folder in which you keep all your work for the class AND a disk or flashdrive on which you save all your writing (including multiple drafts).

Note: Save all the writing you do during the semester. You can clear your files at the end of term. Until then, you never know what may prove to be useful during a revision. If you compose and revise on a computer, periodically print out (or save on disk/flashdrive) versions of your draft so that you have a record of its process. Keep a copy for yourself (either on disk or a hard copy) of all major assignments handed in to me. In addition, keep all drafts on which you have received comments from me or your classmates. VI. Attendance Policy: You are allowed three absences without penalty. You may be dropped or fail the class after three absences. If you arrive after I have taken attendance (at the very beginning of class), you must see me at the end of class to replace the mark A with the mark L. Two late arrivals--that is, two marks of L in the attendance roster becomes an absence. Although the advice "Better late than never" should be heeded (you will learn by being present), arrival in class more than 10 minutes after it begins will be considered an absence. You are responsible for contacting me or a fellow class member if you miss a class, and you are expected to be fully prepared for the next class session. I know that sickness happens, accidents happen, bad weather happens, computer problems happen, over-sleeping happens, family crises happen, the bus never comes ... that's what the three excused absences are for. Save them for these kinds of emergencies. Please note that many in-class writing exercises assume (and depend upon) your having read the assigned material. Review your syllabus frequently, and plan your workload accordingly.

VII. Grades: Participation: 15% Film Paper: 15% Response Papers: 20% Group Presentation (Introduction to the Plays): 10% Group Performance: 10% Final Paper: 30% Participation 15%: Participation is all. This course will be conducted as a combination of lecture and discussion. There will be ample opportunity for class discussion and student participation. Participation begins with attendance. If you are not here, you are not participating. Your participation grade reflects the quality and thoughtfulness of your contributions in class, respect shown to class members, your attitude and role in small group exercises, and evidence given of completion of reading assignments. You are expected to volunteer an answer, insight, comment, or question at least once a week. If you do not, be prepared to be called on. I will give a grade of F in participation, even if you have excellent scores on your quizzes and papers. This is college and you are expected to become actively involved in your own education. Response Papers 20%: You will produce 5 short typed (1 -2 pages) response papers to readings of your choosing. Response papers

may answer one of the provided reading questions for a text and/or analyze a text, create an intertextual reading with another one of the texts read in this class or another, examine a reading of the text, etc. Response papers (hard copies) are due at the beginning of class on the day that the specific work written on is being discussed. Look at dates in the syllabus. In addition, you must write a 1-2 page response to the film Scotland, PA that we will watch in class. Film Paper 15%: You will sign up for a particular play, and then watch a Shakespeare film that corresponds to that text. You will write a 2 -4 page essay that analyzes the film. The essay will involve the synthesis of materials covered in readings and lectures, and original analysis. You will decide your play/film during the first week of class. Dates for the film paper will be found in the syllabus. Group Presentation 10%: Students will be broken up into small groups and be asked to present a 5-7 minute long PowerPoint presentation for a specific play. Using the appendix, you will introduce the assigned play, its genre, its original date(s) of production and publication, and introduce Shakespeares sources for the play. Outside research is encouraged, but you will have to create an MLA Works Cited page. You are also encouraged to dress-up and create handouts. Group Performance 10%: You will discuss and perform a scene from one of plays studied during our scheduled final exam time. Students will be split into small groups (3-4) students and assigned a specific text. Within the text, you must find a specific brief scene (3-5 minutes) that may be interpreted in various ways, or be generally problematic. You will perform the same scene twice so that the class can see how the scene can be interpretated and acted in different ways. You will give a brief description before the performance as to why you have decided on a specific scene, and after the performance, you will field several questions concerning your directorial decisions. Performances will be evaluated concerning the relevance of the chosen scene and text, use of gesture and body movement/placement, consideration of staging and other historical and technical concerns, accuracy, and creativity. Note: Prior acting experience is not expected or required. Props and/or costuming are strongly encouraged. Typed scripts are allowed on the stage, but textbooks are not. Final Paper 30%: You will write and submit one substantial and original research essay (6-8 pages) on a topic submitted by the student and

approved by the instructor. Essays will be composed in consultation with the instructor, with opportunities for peer review of drafts before the final hand-in date. The essay will involve the synthesis of materials covered in readings and lectures, original analysis by the student, and contextualizing research using scholarly (i.e., library) resources for which adequate MLA-style documentation will be required. VIII. What is an A paper? This question is probably the most frequently asked in any English class. To help answer it, let me outline for you what a paper must have in order to get a "C" grade:

The paper must be college-level work: that means that it must have evidence of thoughtful inquiry. A college-level paper does not have distracting mechanical concerns. Misspelled words (spellcheck!) and grammatical problems can divert from even the most engaging of essays. Take time to revise your essay, read it aloud, and have someone else proofread for you. The paper must have a thesis. A thesis is the paper's "point," what the paper is about--which is more particular than just being "about" the Middle Ages, for instance, or about medieval kingship. What in particular are you exploring? What point are you trying to make about your specific area of inquiry? Consider a thesis the conclusion you've come to about a specific topic. It is a statement that is a not a fact, question, or opinion, but an observation that you must prove in the body of your paper. If your paper doesn't have a thesis, it will receive no grade higher than a C-, and it will probably receive a D.

So what makes a "B" paper? Besides correct spelling, good grammar, and a thesis, the "B" paper's thesis is interesting, limited, and specific. Its argument makes clear steps, and its good, cogent evidence and organization reveal the care taken in writing the paper and analyzing the evidence. Its paragraphs make sense as paragraphs--each treats a part of the argument--and the paragraphs follow one another logically, tied together by an implicit structure (the enthymeme). Then there's the "A" paper. Besides correct spelling, good grammar, an interesting thesis, good evidence, and logical organization, the "A" paper has a compelling thesis, one that might challenge at first but which holds its own with the reader. There are no holes in its argument: on the contrary, its analysis is sophisticated. It's a paper the reader thinks with, where the next idea presented is both precise and intriguing. An "A" paper reads beautifully aloud, and reveals a probing intellect. An "A" paper has some "art" to it.

The most important advice I can give you for writing "A" papers is to write a draft a week ahead of the due date and revise it BEFORE HANDING IT IN. I've found in my own writing that I don't figure out what I'm talking about until the end of writing my first draft. Only when I've written a draft does my thesis become clear. When I rewrite, I use what I've figured out at the end of the writing process to BEGIN my second draft, and VOILA! I have a better paper. I'm happy to read rough drafts of your papers, and I encourage you to spend the minimum time needed to write a good paper (a simple rule of thumb: a five-page paper requires at least ten hours of organizing and writing, and that doesn't include research time). IX. Late Papers: Essays are due at the beginning of class on the date due. Late essays are subject to having their final grade reduced (typically 1/3 grade for each day lateincluding days we do not meet). Don't test me on this. And don't make it a habit. Absence from class on the date due does not excuse the lateness of your assignment. Do not email me your essay, as I will not accept emailed assignments. Allow plenty of time for printing your essay in the computer lab, and/or keep an extra printer ribbon/ink cartridge handy at home. All essays handed in to me are to be typed. Papers must be presented in size 12, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins, and no spaces between paragraphs. Each essay to be graded will be accompanied by a cover letter, minimum one page, detailing your writing process for that particular piece and the essay's evolution, along with your assessment of the successful and less successful aspects of the essay. I will not grade essays that are hand-written or lack a cover letter, and the assignment will accrue late penalties until it satisfies this requirement. Essays will be evaluated for: quality (including technical and mechanical elements); command of voice, tone, and a sense of audience; the degree to which they satisfy the given assignment; and the development they demonstrate from earlier efforts or original drafts. Assignments submitted one week late will receive an F. X. Academic Honesty Plagiarism: Plagiarism is using another person's words and ideas as though they were your own. It is easy to avoid plagiarism: simply put the material you have taken from someone else's writing in quotation marks and cite the person's name and publication in your paper. Plagiarism is a serious offense which can result in expulsion from the University. A paper which contains any plagiarized material at all will

receive an F; two such plagiarized papers will result in the student receiving an F for the course. (Note: plagiarism is not restricted to the use of published work; the passing of another student's work as your own is also a case of plagiarism.) XI. Learning Center: Monroe Community College has a number of Learning Centers at Brighton (for example, Accounting, Math, Psychology, Writing, the Electronic Learning Center, etc.) and at Damon (for example, the Integrated Learning Center, Electronic Learning Center, etc.). Learning centers are staffed with instructional personnel and may be equipped with computers and software to assist students. It is recommended that students use the Learning Centers to get additional help with concepts learned in the classroom and with their homework. Please complete Part A of the Learning Center Referral form attached to this Course Information Sheet and return the form to your instructor. XII. Emergency Closing: If the College is closed due to inclement weather or some other emergency, all Rochester area radio and television stations will be notified no later than 5:30 a.m. In addition, the homepage on the MCC website ( will display a message indicating the College is closed. Please do not call the College to avoid overloading the telephone lines. Class cancellation information is available daily on the web or through the telephone. Simply go to the MCC website ( and under the Quick Links window on the homepage, click on Class Cancellations. Additionally, class cancellation information is available by dialing 292-2066, press 1 for the Brighton Campus and 2 for the Damon Campus. If possible, please use the web as there could be delays in the voice recordings based on the number of cancellations.

XIII. SCHEDULE (Subject to Change) Note: You are expected to come to class having already read the assigned texts and materials.

Students must read each play in its entirety as well as its introduction by the first lecture on that topic. The schedule is subject to change depending on class progress, and supplemental readings will be distributed to students. Students should also read the handout packets I offer for each play. The questions provided should guide your reading and/or provide possible topics for response papers and even possibly the longer final paper. Students are urged to read each play twice; e.g., even if they read Macbeth in high school or another course, they should reread the play for this one. This also means for longer or more difficult plays (e.g. Henry IV Part I, Macbeth, and especially King Lear), they should begin reading these plays well in advance of these lectures.

DATE W Jan 23 F Jan 25 M Jan 28

ACTIVITIES/ASSIGNMENTS Introduction to the Course: Fill Out Information Sheets Lecture: Introduction to Shakespeares Life (li-lxxix) Lecture: Introduction to Elizabethan and Jacobean England (viii-xxviii) * Last day to add a course without Instructor/Department Approval; Last day for 75% Refund of Tuition Shakespeares Sonnets (#1, 3, 18, 20, 23, 36, 73, 116, 130, 135, 138, 144) Lecture: Introduction to Elizabethan/Jacobean Theater (xxviii-li) Shakespeares Sonnets (continued) (Sonnets response paper due) Lecture: Introduction to Shakespeares English and Editions of Shakespeare (lxxix-xcvii) Henry IV Part I **Group 1 introduces the play**

W Jan 30

F Feb 1

M Feb 4

W Feb 6 F Feb 8 M Feb 11

* Last day for 50% Refund of Tuition Henry IV Part I (Henry IV Part I response paper due) Henry IV Part I Henry IV Part I * Last day students may drop courses; Last day for 25%

W Feb 13

Refund of Tuition A Midsummer Nights Dream (Henry IV Part I film paper due)

F Feb 15 M Feb 18 W Feb 20 F Feb 22 M Feb 25 W Feb 27 F Feb 29 M Mar 3 W Mar 5

**Group 2 introduces the play** A Midsummer Nights Dream (A Midsummer Nights Dream response paper due) Winter RecessNo Classes Winter RecessNo Classes Winter RecessNo Classes A Midsummer Nights Dream A Midsummer Nights Dream Class CanceledConference A Midsummer Nights Dream Twelfth Night (A Midsummer Nights Dream film paper due)

F Mar 7 M Mar 10 W Mar 12 F Mar 14 M Mar 17

**Group 3 introduces the play** Twelfth Night (Twelfth Night response paper due) Twelfth Night Twelfth Night Twelfth Night The Merchant of Venice (Twelfth Night film paper due)

W Mar 19 F Mar 21 M Mar 24 W Mar 26 F Mar 28

**Group 4 introduces the play** The Merchant of Venice (The Merchant of Venice response paper due) The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice Macbeth (The Merchant of Venice film paper due)

M Mar 31 W Apr 2 F Apr 4

**Group 5 introduces the play** Macbeth (Macbeth response paper due) Macbeth Macbeth

M Apr 7 W Apr 9 F Apr 11 M Apr 14 W Apr 16 F Apr 18 M Apr 21 W Apr 23 F Apr 25 M Apr 28 W Apr 30 F May 2

Final Paper Proposal Due Macbeth Scotland, PA (film) (Macbeth film paper due) Scotland, PA (film) Spring RecessNo Classes Spring RecessNo Classes Spring RecessNo Classes King Lear (Scotland, PA response paper due) **Group 6 introduces the play** King Lear (King Lear response paper due) King Lear King Lear King Lear The Tempest (King Lear film paper due) (The Tempest response paper due) **Group 7 introduces the play** The Tempest

M May 5

Rough Draft of Final Paper Due (Please bring two copies) W May 7 The Tempest F May 9 The Tempest M May 12 The Tempest Rough Draft of Final Paper Due (Please bring two copies) Group Performances (The Tempest film paper due) Group Performances Final Paper Due

W May 14 F May 16

XIV. Classroom Policies 1. Arrive on time for class. Two late arrivals will be counted as one absence under the attendance policy. Attendance is taken at the beginning of class. If you are late, it is your responsibility to see me after class to mark you present. If you are late, please quickly excuse yourself and sit in the closest available seat. 2. Do not pack up until I have told you that class is over. 3. Please raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged when you want to answer a question. If you have already answered three times in a given class, please refrain from answering until other students have had the opportunity to speak. 4. Please do not speak while I am speaking or while a fellow classmate is speaking. Please do not speak while I am calling roll at the beginning of class, but take those few minutes to look over your readings for the day. 5. Since this is a long class drinks will be allowed, but please no food. Please do not chew gum, fix makeup, comb your hair, etc. 6. No sleeping in class. I will wake you up and ask you to leave (and you will be marked absent). If you feel ill or have to use the bathroom, please leave without asking permission. 7. Attend class having read the assignments for that day, and bring your book to class. I will freely call on anyone, especially those who are unwilling to raise their hands. 8. No cell phones, i-pods, etc. in class. Finish all phone calls in the hall (no telephone use in the classroom, even before class begins!). Please set your phone on vibrate (if it absolutely must be on), and please remove any headphones before you enter the classroom. I would prefer if students took notes the old fashioned way, but if you would prefer to take notes on your laptop, please consult me first. 9. All response papers are to be typed and all in-class writing (exams, quizzes, group assignments, etc.) should be done in blue or black ink. In most collegiate humanities and/or liberal arts classes (English, history, philosophy, etc.) pen is the preferred medium over pencil. I will not accept anything written in pencil, so you may have to ask a classmate to borrow a pen.