JCU Logo

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EN 245"
COURSE NAME: "Shakespeare "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Daniel Connelly
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-4:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: TBA

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course is a general introduction to Shakespeare’s plays and an in-depth study of a selection of representative plays including  a comedy, a history, a tragedy, and a romance. Through the close reading of the plays selected for the course, students will learn how to analyze a theatrical text, will study the Elizabethan stage in its day, and consider Shakespeare’s cultural inheritance.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
Throughout his writing career, William Shakespeare revealed a considerable artistic debt to Italy and Italian culture. Though there is no evidence to suggest he left England, Italian settings feature in more than a third of his plays. From his first tragedy, the blood-soaked Titus Andronicus, to the racially-charged The Merchant of Venice, and on to the moral and political turmoil of Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s Italian plays contain intriguing dramatic obsessions regarding the role of power, family, war, treachery, revenge and love.

This course entails the study of five of Shakespeare’s plays in order to assess how he located and historicized his Italian-based drama. Given that we are in Rome, we will be able to compare directly the archaeology of Shakespeare’s creativity with the splendors of ancient and Renaissance Italy that are integral to the works we will read.  

Throughout, we will track the intersections of Shakespeare’s dramatic narrative with the notion of Italian ‘cultural difference’ in Shakespeare’s time. In this way we will learn how he dramatizes the Italian ‘Other’. In doing so, we will read his primary sources and evaluate how Shakespeare’s creative brilliance responded to the writings of historians such as Plutarch and Macchiavelli and story tellers such as Ovid, Matteo Bandello and Giovanni Fiorentino. We will also attempt to gauge whether within his Italian plays there exists a veiled critique of the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts in which Shakespeare’s work was widely circulated.

Moreover, we will see how filmmakers such as Joseph Mankiewicz (Julius Caesar; 1953), Michael Radford (The Merchant of Venice; 2004) and Julie Taymor (Titus; 1999) have documented Shakespeare’s obsession with Italy, and how their work both subverts and confirms Shakespeare’s imaginative settings and Italianate compulsions.

This will require primary and secondary source readings, a solid attendance record, active engagement in class, and total commitment to the scope of the course.

Please note that the following text is the ONLY collected works of Shakespeare acceptable for this course.  No exceptions.  

Paperback ("Copertina Flessibile"):  currently Euros 28.65

http://www.amazon.it/RSC-Shakespeare-Complete-Works/dp/0230200958/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435937141&sr=8-1&keywords=The+RSC+Shakespeare%3A+The+Complete+Works

It is available from Amazon (UK, USA, Italy) and will prove cheaper than purchasing the individual plays.  You can also purchase this edition at JCU’s partner stockist, The Almost Corner Bookstore.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Students will learn to analyse and appreciate the writings of Shakespeare. They will deepen their knowledge of the historical, artistic, and cultural context of the plays, particularly as they relate to Italy and Rome. They will read and analyse primary and secondary sources. They will improve their skills in critical writing and reading.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The RSC Shakespeare: The Complete Works Shakespeare, WilliamPalgrave Macmillan978-0230200951 The class textbook is purchasable here: https://www.amazon.it/RSC-Shakespeare-Complete-Works/dp/0230200958/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497790699&sr=8-1&keywords=rsc+shakespeare
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
3 Home Papers2 pages maximum per paper. Full guidelines will be circulated in class. 45
'Stand Up Shakespeare'PASS/FAIL: Each student will present once on an aspect of your reading. These will serve to introduce the class in question to the themes of the day. 10
Attendance and ParticipationThis is a course in which your participation, both in the classroom and beyond, is vital.10
1 Research Paper x 8 pagesA research topic of the student's choice. To be handed in at the last class. 25
In-class quizzesPASS/FAIL: A weekly quiz, given on a Monday, about the text we are to study. 10

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Students are required to attend all scheduled class meetings and to participate in all classroom activities. Students are allowed only two absences (no questions asked, no excuse needed). However, each additional absence beyond the two allowed will result in the reduction of the final grade for the course by 5%. Students with more than four absences will fail the course.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE


 

Assignment

Guidelines

Weight

Brief oral presentations

'Stand Up Shakespeare' - relating to textual development of character and narrative. Each Student will present once on the quarto or folio text OR once on a director's filmic text. These will serve to introduce the class in question to the themes of the day   x 10%

10%

Home Papers

Students will write 5 x 2-page and 1 x 5-page papers on the plays under discussion. The first will involve textual analysis while the second will focus on a filmed response to the play

                                                                                                                x 80%

80%

Participation

Students are required to take active part in the class discussions, keeping up with the assigned reading and reacting to other student's presentations. Silent attendance does not contribute to this portion of the grade.                                                                        x10%

10%