English 43H - Spring, 2015

Introductory Topics in Drama: Honors Section

    Topic: Introduction to Shakespeare (honors section)

Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
Time: TR 1:40-3:00
Location: 110 Hunt


    This class is an honors section of the introduction to Shakespeare. It, too, approaches Shakespeare as a cultural phenomenon, an historical person, and a body of work. But it is a small, hands-on class rather than a big lecture, and it focuses on discussion and student research. We will read five plays, which I have selected because their language and plots are reasonably accessible yet the issues they tackle remain engrossing today (cannibalism, revenge, political upheaval and assassination, witchcraft, love magic, domestic violence, and murder) and they conjure up gorgeous language, weird people, and riveting scenes. Together, we will work to locate and analyze resources that will help us understand the plays and how they engage with the world—-both in Shakespeare’s time and in our own. In the course of the quarter, students will sharpen their skills as critical, enthusiastic readers, resourceful and imaginative researchers, confident speakers, effective and flexible writers, and mindful revisers. They will also develop their historical awareness and literary sensitivity.


    Grading: 1st paper (15%); short writing assignments and exercises (15%); final paper preparation and pre-writing (10%); research paper (25%); quizzes (15%); final exam (20%).


    Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England, Ian Mortimer
    Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare
    Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare
    Richard II, Shakespeare
    Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
    Macbeth, Shakespeare