JCU Logo

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EN 245"
COURSE NAME: "Shakespeare "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Nefeli Misuraca
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:05-4:25 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

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. This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 200-level literature classes are required to produce 4-5,000 words of critical writing.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
COURSE DESCRIPTION: 
This course is a general introduction to Shakespeare’s reception and meaning today. Through a comparison between what it meant to watch one of his plays back in the 17th century and what it means to read it now, we will try to find our own individual path through the enduring art of his writing. 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. This is a reading and writing intensive course. Students in 200-level literature classes are required to produce 4-5,000 words of critical writing.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT: 
We will study A Midsummer Night’s Dream [MND] (1595), Hamlet (1599), King Lear [KL] (1605-1606), and Macbeth (1606). Each play will be examined via lectures as well as through student-led presentations. We will also research how the Shakespearean text is brought to the screen, with regular in-class viewings of filmmakers attempts to make the plays accessible to mass audiences. Textual, contextual and critical analyses will allow us to site the works within both early modern and contemporary frameworks.

REMOTE CLASSES BEHAVIOR:
When logged-in a synchronous class, you must be always visible to the professor and the other classmates;
You need to respond to any questions and/or prompts from the professor;
You can excuse yourself if you need the facilities, or have other unforeseen, impending issues (in these cases, though, you need to send a message via internal chat to the professor – you can leave your workstation before you receive an answer);
You can be absent from a remote participation only if you already contacted the professor in advance.
 
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
As a result of taking this course, students will understand the role that Shakespeare had in early-modern theatrical production and post-modern cinematic production. Moving beyond distinguishing between Shakespearean genres, students will be able to engage in sophisticated analyses of staged and screened compositions.
TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
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 day20%
Home PapersStudents will write five 2-page and one 4-page papers on the plays under discussion. There will be a mixture of textual and film analysis. 60%
ParticipationStudents 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.20%

-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 the cour
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:
Through the study of four of Shakespeare’s plays, written across the breadth of his career, we will focus on how this playwright speaks to his and to our time. Given that we will be looking at two tragedies, one comedy and one romance play, our thematic enquiries will vary considerably. Of foremost concern will be families at war, the outsider, religion, revenge, and sexual corruption. In this regard, we will briefly assay a number of other plays of the period authored by Shakespearean and his contemporaries. Our analyses will call upon ancient, medieval, and renaissance literatures, as well as late 20th-century filmic responses to the texts in question.
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


Session Session Focus Reading Assignment Other Assignment
Week 1 Introduction to Shakespeare;
What Shakespeare means to you. Tolstoy on Shakespeare
Week 2 KL Act 1; Paper 1 due
Week 3 KL Acts 2 - 3 Presentations (5 people)
Week 4 Film: King Lear (dir. Richard Eyre, 2018) Presentations (4 people)
Week 5 Hamlet Acts 1 – 3; Paper 2 due
Week 6 Hamlet Act 4
Week 7 Films: Hamlet (dir. Kenneth Branagh, 1996; dir. Laurence Olivier 1948) Paper 3 due
Presentations (5 people)
Week 8 MND Acts 1 – 5;
Week 9 Film: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (dir. Michael Hoffman, 1999). Presentations (5 people)
Week 10 Macbeth Acts 1 – 2; Paper 4 due
Week 11 Macbeth Acts 3 – 4;
Week 12 Film: Macbeth (various excerpts) Act 5 Presentations (4 people)
Final Paper due