English 117 - Fall, 2019


Class Information

Instructor: Dolan, Frances
Time: MWF 11:00-11:50
Location: 250 Olson


    This course will closely examine a selection of Shakespeare’s plays. In order to consider what dramatic genre means and the difference it makes, we will consider how Shakespeare depicts the same problem—jealousy and false accusation—in three different genres, comedy (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING), tragedy (OTHELLO), and a late play or romance (THE WINTER'S TALE). This approach will also enable us to think about changes in the course of Shakespeare’s career. In addition to these three plays, we will also read TITUS ANDRONICUS, TWELFTH NIGHT, and MEASURE FOR MEASURE. These are all challenging plays; they are also some of my particular favorites. Lecture and discussion will focus on locating the plays in their historical contexts, reading and re-reading the texts carefully, imagining performance possibilities, and speculating about how the plays’ meanings have changed over time. Students will hone their reading, writing, and research skills.


    15% 1st paper
    20% 2nd paper
    15% Midterm
    20% 6 quizzes (Quizzes cannot be made up but we will drop the lowest grade)
    5% attendance
    10% section participation
    20% final exam


    Measure for Measure (Folger), Shakespeare, William/ed. Mowat
    Much Ado (Folger edition), Shakespeare, William/ed. Mowat
    Othello (Folger), Shakespeare, William/ed. Mowat
    Titus Andronicus (Folger), Shakespeare, William/ed. Mowat
    Twelfth Night (Folger edition), Shakespeare, ed. Mowat
    The Winter's Tale (New Pelican edition), Shakespeare, William/ed. Dolan