for English 117S: Shakespeare
1: Jan 21: Introd. Begin
reading Richard II (In Riverside Shakespeare)
2: Jan 26-28: complete Rich II. The discussion sections will have various assignments but
the play should be read by the first day of the lectures on it. Then the play should be reread, preferably in conjunction
with a video from the Media Center in Moffit Library. You want to get used to thinking theatrically about where
people will stand on stage and how one can stage interactions
that go beyond the words.
3: Feb2-feb 4: Midsummer Night's Dream.
Feb 4. First short paper due (papers are described below)
4: Feb 9-11: As You Like It.
5: Feb 16-18: Hamlet.
Feb 18: Second short paper due.
6: Feb 23-25. Hamlet cont.
7: Mar 1-Mar3: Othello
8: Mar 8-10: King Lear
9: Mar 15-17 King Lear cont.
" 19: Midterm in sections.
10 Mar 29-mar 31: Macbeth
11: April 5-7: All's Well That ends Well
12: April 12-14: A Winter's Tale
13: April 19: end Winters Tale
21: Performance Day, continuing to April 23 in sections
14: April 26: Review performances. Each student should bring in a two page review
of some aspect of the passages performed.
April 28: Begin The Tempest
15: May 3: End Tempest
May 5: either no class or catch
16: May 10 Review.
Assignments. There will be three papers and a mid-term, as well as one or two
in-class writing assignments. And there will probably be occasional quizzes, mainly asking
you to paraphrase
speeches or summarize what choices involve. You should also be warned that you will be asked to perform
speeches in class, so when you read think about how you might
act the materials. Making yourself memorize fifty lines a week
will deepen your pleasure and give you something to keep you occupied
while you wait in lines during the rest of your Berkeley career. Paper 1: This will be a maximum of three pages. I want you to pay close attention to one of four passages
in Richard II: 1:1: 165-74 (looking back at 152ff); 1:3: 154-67
(looking back at 44-47); 2:1: 79-84; or V:5: 31-41. Give a rough paraphrase of what is being said,
then try to say why it matters that what is said is being said
in this particular way. Why
are the metaphors used; why this syntax perhaps; why the echoes
that call up and modify earlier passages; and what do we learn
about the character or situation or theme from the way that the
speeches are rendered?
Paper 2: Here
I want you to think structurally? In no more than three pages take any two characters or
consecutive scenes from one of the first three plays we do and
ask what relation of contrast or comparison or reinforcement you
can develop by considering them together. I will be doing a lot of that in class, so you ought try
to develop relations that do not repeat lecture or discussion.
Paper 3: This
will be somewhat longer, about five pages, and can be on any aspect
of any play up to the date assigned to you. The crucial question is simply how can your thinking make
a difference in how we interpret some aspect of a play or how
we understand what issues are at stake. You might clarify the nature and role of some minor character,
or again show how scenes relate in complex ways, or address some
question left open in class or that you think was badly there. Or you might show how a certain speech becomes central
to the themes or character relations in a play. Or you could compare how specific scenes are
handled in different performances on tape, but if you do this
you must be careful to make the comparison develop some idea about
what matters in the text of the play. Different units of the class will have this paper due at
different times. If your last name begins with a letter from S-Z the paper is due
on Fri April 3. Last name
from N-R due on March 12. Last
name from F-M on April 9. And
from A-E on April 23.
On Acting: I want to give you the opportunity to have the fun of being
a ham, and incidentally learning a great deal about Shakespeare,
so I offer a deal. Those of you who are willing to act out a major
scene in section (with minor parts doubled) will be allowed to
drop your worst grade and replace it by a duplicate of your other
grades averaged. You will
have to memorize your speeches and get together to rehearse, then
present before the entire class. I need to know who will do this by the end of week 4 of
General rules for this class:
1. Regular attendance is required, and I may
take moves to check on it.
section leaders will give the basic operating rules for grading.