Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Shakespeare Final Exam
Spring 2020


BIG DAY: FRIDAY, APRIL 24th, 9:10am.

I. IDENTIFICATIONS. “The play’s the thing.”
[Total 20 points = 10 questions, 2 points each.]

Short identification questions from Macbeth, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, and a bit from the History Plays overview, may ask you to identify who says “brevity is the soul of wit,” or who is referred to here: “There is a kind of merry war between them.” On the designated day for this second exam — Friday, April 24th, by 9:10am — you will receive from me an e-mail containing identification questions similar to those on the midterm exam. Attached will be a Word document with the same questions, so that you can type the answers in whichever mode is safest and preferable to you.

II. QUOTATIONS. “Something rotten.”
[Total 40 points = 8 questions, 5 points each.]

The same e-mail/document will contain bigger questions, a combination of identification and, more importantly, significance questions will follow quotations from the plays and other relevant materials, extracted for their representativeness of our discussions over key points during these latter weeks. This again is not trivial pursuit. If you have read the plays and paid attention in class, only a close review of notes is necessary for preparation; my web notes may be of use also. Otherwise, woe to thee, gleeking beef-witted knave. You should plan to e-mail your completed exam back to me by 10:00 am. (Since probably very few of us are used to taking exams remotely like this, to depressurize the time-frame note that I have reduced the numbers of questions in both portions.) You may work in coordinated cooperation with another member of the class, in which case only one of you should e-mail back to me with both names designated.

III. ESSAY. “Too cunning to be understood.”
[Total 40 points.]

In accordance with traditional WSU policy, you should submit this essay also on Friday with the other portions of the exam as a separate document to a designated space on Blackboard. But, through the generosity and benevolence of me, you are afforded an automatic extension to Monday, April 27th, 12:00 noon. Answer the following question thoroughly and precisely to about three or four (3-4) pages, double-spaced. Answers should be virtuoso pieces of original brilliance manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the Shakespearean texts.

Now that you’ve been through a good portion of Shakespeare’s works, what would you say is one of the most important messages Shakespeare would like us to understand?
Based on quotations in several of the works from throughout our semester, discuss this message: its relevance, importance, brilliance, applicability to us in contemporary times. Avoid the obvious, contrived, or trite. Feel welcome to discuss this idea beyond the realm of Shakespeare, in terms of either your personal experience or your worldview.

BIG DAY: FRIDAY, APRIL 24th, 9:10-10:00am.