45C Lectures [C. Altieri]


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Syllabus for English 117B: Shakespeare. Instructor: Charles Altieri,

Wheeler 427 OH Mon 1-2: 3-5.

Wk 1: Jan 18: Introd. Begin reading Richard II. I ordered Signet editions but any edition you have will work.

“ 20. Begin R 11. 

Wk 2. Jan 23-27. Rich II. You are expected to read and re-read each play. If you can the rereading works best 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. And to foster that kind of consciousness we will begin acting scenes on Jan 27. WE need 3 actors to play 3:2. 121-210 and 4.1: 162-317. Then I hope we can reprise the play by asking about the choices the actors made and did not make. The actors must memorize their roles and you should get together to rehearse and work out stage movements. 

Wk 3: Jan 30-_Feb 3: Midsummer Night's Dream. Acting on Feb 3: MSND 3:2-122-342 (4 actors) 5:1 108-362 (6 actors). First short paper due (papers are described below.) 

Wk 4: Feb 6-10: As You Like It. Feb 10: 3 actors 3.5: 1-139. 4.1: 1-217 (4)  

Wk 5: Feb 13-17 : Hamlet. Feb 17 3 actors 3:4: 1-217;

Feb 17: Second short paper due. 

Wk 6: Feb 20-holiday Feb 22- Hamlet cont. and 7actors 5.2: 195-402. feb 24 gone 

Wk 7: feb 27-Mar 3: Othello. Mar 3: 4 actors, 3.3: 256-480. 4.1: 1-252 (6); 7 actors. 5. 2: 244-end. 

Wk 8: Mar 6 MIDTERM. Mar 8. begin King Lear. Mar 10 I will be gone. 

Wk 9: Mar 13-17 King Lear. Mar 17 4 actors 4:6: 1-207. 5:3: 1-327 (7) 

Wk 10 Mar 20-mar 24: Notice change mar 22 5 actors1:3: 79-155. all of 1.7. 

Wk 11: April 3-7: All's Well That ends Well. 4 actors 4.3: 82-340, 5.3: 73-333 (7) 

Wk 12: April 10-14: A Winter's Tale 

Wk 13: April 17-21: Winter’s Tale(cont). Apr 19: 5 actors 1.2: 1-366, 3.2: 83-117 then

130-243 (5 actors), 5.3: 8-155 (6)  

Wk 14: April 24-28 :Tempest Apr 24: 2.2: 1-188 (3); 5.1: 141-265 (6); 5.2: 1-212 (10).

Wk 15: May 1: End Tempest

May 3-5: Review.

Assignments: There will be three papers and a mid-term, as well as one or two in-class writing assignments. 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 you pleasure and give you something to keep you occupied while you wait on 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 ends with a letter from S-Z the paper is due on Fri April 7. Last name from N-R due on March 17. Last name from F-M on April 14. And from A-E on April 21.

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 2 of the semester. If you sign up by Monday you can choose your parts.

General rules for this class:

1. Regular attendance is required, and there will be quizzes to establish that.

2. On my web site I will ask questions for each class. Questions will be prepared by 10PM the evening before class. Quizzes will be based on these questions.

3. There will be 10 percent of the grade based on general in class performance.