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Final Examination: Saturday, 15 December, 8-11 a.m., 100 Genetics and Plant Biology

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Third Paper (due Thursday, 6 December)

Compose an essay in which you analyze a passage no more than 20 lines in length. Your passage may be taken from any play from Hamlet or later (see reading-list below). King Lear, because it is a late play, is also allowed. This passage should illustrate or be connected to a major theme discussed in lecture, for example Mercy vs Justice or Self-Referentiality (i.e., theatrical references). Your analysis must involve a "close reading" in which you discuss distinctive metaphors, similies, or other poetic devices. Maximum 1000 words.

Do not write on any play which you analyzed in a previous paper.

Second Paper (due Tuesday, 6 November)

Compose an essay in which you argue in utramque partem (that is, on each side of the question) on any character or any plot-circumstance in any play which we have read so far this semester subsequent to Richard III. Identify a character, sentiment, or situation which can be interpreted in two opposite ways. (Example 1: Hal is a "good king" in the making when he consorts with Falstaff and company; Hal is a "bad king" in the making when he consorts with Falstaff and company. Example 2: Shylock is an entire villain; Shylock is not an entire villain. Example 3: Hamlet knows that the King and Polonius are hiding behind the arras; Hamlet does not know that the King and Polonius are hiding behind the arras.) Make as strong a case as you can for each position or point of view. Finish by either 1) attempting to reconcile the two points of view; or 2) arguing for the validity of one point of view over the other; or 3) arguing that the two points of view are equally cogent but irreconcilable.

Please check with your Reader in advance if you have any questions, or to clear a topic of which you have doubts. In fairness to the reader, papers may not be longer than 4 pages (or 1000 words).

Papers should be handed in if possible in class; however, they may be placed under the instructor's office door (421 Wheeler) at any time before 4:00 p.m. on the date due. DO NOT miss class for the sake of completing your paper.

First Paper (due Thursday, 27 September)

Choose a Shakespeare Sonnet, or a "literary" passage in LLL or MSND. Find that passage in the earliest edition(s), and make a printout (or printouts). Transcribe that passage from the earliest edition, and edit it as you think fit.

Compose a brief essay - no more than 1000 words - in which you

- Compare your edited version to the original, and to text as given in Bevington (or any other modern edition).
- Analyze the passage for its distinctive metrical and/or literary qualities.
- Explain the essential purpose of the passage, e.g., to set a mood? to establish character? to advance the plot? as sheer entertainment? some combination of these?
- Discuss any editorial problems which impinge on any aspect of your analysis.

Conclude with a summary paragraph.

Hand in your paper with all items stapled to the back, i.e., photograph(s) of original(s), your edition, passage in Bevington, etc.

Tentative Reading Schedule and Semester Announcents

English 117S                SHAKESPEARE                Fall 2007
Mr. Nelson                                             159 Mulford Hall
Class website:         TuTh 9:30-11:00

Week 1
Tu Aug 28  Introduction: History (timelines), Life, Works
Th     30  Quartos and folios; songs and sonnets

Week 2 (Instructor for this week only: Professor Altman)
Tu Sep 04  Sonnets: 1, 3, 5, 10, 15-23, 29-31, 33-6, 40-2
Th     06  76, 78, 80, 84, 86-7, 92-4, 109-11, 126-7, 129-31, 133-5, 144, 147, 150.

Week 3
Tu     11  Love's Labors Lost
Th     13                          Mini-exam 1

Week 4
Tu     18  A Midsummer Night's Dream (Guest lecturer: Prof. Landreth)
Th     20 

Week 5
Tu     25  Richard III
Th     27                          First Paper Due

Week 6
Tu Oct 02  Henry IV, Part 1
Th     04                          Mini-exam 2

Week 7
Tu     09  King Lear
We     10  Cal Shakes 8:00 p.m.
Th     11 

Week 8
Tu     16  Merchant of Venice
Th     18                          Mini-exam 3

Week 9
Tu     23  Much Ado About Nothing
Th     25 

Week 10
Tu     30  Hamlet
Th Nov 01                           Second Paper Due (postponed to 11/06)

Week 11
Tu     06  Twelfth Night            Second Paper Due (revised deadline)
Th     08                           Mini-exam 4

Week 12
Tu     13  Measure for Measure
Th     15 

Week 13
Tu     20  Antony and Cleopatra
Th     22  Thanksgiving Holiday

Week 14
Tu     27  Antony and Cleopatra
Th     29  The Tempest            Third Paper Due (deadline postponed)

Week 15
Th     06                                Third Paper Due

Final Examination: Saturday, 15 December, 8-11 a.m.,
100 Genetics and Plant Biology

Notes on class business

1) You are expected to have read each play to the end before the beginning of class on the Thursday on which that play is discussed.

2) In lieu of a single mid-term examination, four mini-exams (15-20 minutes each) will be given. Each mini-exam will consist of one identification section taken from the reading for that week, plus questions on topics discussed in lecture. Each student must take three and only three mini-exams. No make-up mini-exams except on written medical excuses.

3) You are required to submit a total of four questions in writing concerning plays or poems under discussion - full explanation to be given in lecture.

4) Filmed Shakespeare plays are available in the audio-visual facility in Moffit Library. You are urged to watch plays in cinemas or on VCR, but as a supplement and not as a substitute for reading the texts.

5) You are expected to attend class regularly: attendance will be taken most days. Unexcused absences beyond three will result in a reduction on the final grade by one grade-increment (i.e. from B- to C+) for each such absence.

6) Do not miss class on the day a paper is due: missing class is a graver sin and will incur a harsher penalty than submitting a paper a day late.

7) You are reminded of the Department of English policy regarding plagiarism.

8) Final admonition: You are required to read all plays and poems assigned over the semester. Mini-exams and the final exam will be designed to test whether you have done the required reading. Failure to accomplish the required reading will be grounds for a failing final grade regardless of how well you may do in other aspects of this course.

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