Shakespeare / Delahoyde

English 205
Section 01 [H]
Fall 2008
SLN 27813
MWF 11:10 am – 12:00 noon.
Todd 434

Dr. Michael Delahoyde
Avery Hall 355 — Washington State University
Hours: MWF 9:00-10:45, and by appointment.
Phone: 509-335-4832

Intro. Shakespeare

Course Description:

This course has been recently designed and created for non-English-majors who recognize that a university experience is not complete without at least one Shakespeare class but who may hesitate to enroll in a 300-level class they think will be filled with lots of literary and language virtuosi.

So, we’ll read and see some Shakespeare plays, most of which will be selected by class vote. We’ll give some heretical consideration to the Authorship Controversy and Tudor cultural studies. We’ll see a lot of Shakespeare in film clips, and we’ll take advantage of any film adaptations or local performances appearing this season.

Why you want this course:

  • You can finally work past the trauma of high school Shakespeare.
  • Shakespeare essentially created our conception of what a human being is, of human psychology and human relationships. In other words, Shakespeare created us.
  • How can you accept a university degree without having taken a Shakespeare class?
  • Shakespeare shaped the English language more than anyone else, ever.
  • It may be your last chance to master this key field of subtle literacy.
  • Shakespeare cultivates sensitivity and sensibility. How much of that is in circulation these days?
  • A guy who’s been dead for four hundred years can make you laugh and feel something. That’s a kind of miracle.

Course Objectives:

To gain exposure to early modern thought, poetic craft, and drama by poring over the works of one rather well-known English author.

To increase intellectual maturation and clarification of our own values through examination of ideas and attitudes in literary/cultural contexts and especially through articulation of these in academic discourse.

To develop skills in verbal analysis, critical thinking, and detection of subtlety through reading, discussion, and writing about some tricky literature.

Required Text:

The Norton Shakespeare. 2nd ed. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 2008.

This is the text ordered at the Crimson & Gray and at the Bookie. You would, however, be fine with any scholarly edition(s), even the Signet or Penguin paperbacks, for the individual plays if you lack the arm strength and can track them down individually (usually not difficult — even malls have Shakespeare), so long as you have act, scene, and line numbers in your responsible edition for proper documentation of the following plays:

  • Comedy of Errors
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • and other plays to be elected by the class.

Course Requirements:

A significant part of your life this semester has to become Shakespeare studies. Coasting along with Sparknotes will not save your butt. Responsibly reading and studying Shakespeare can be demanding, but at least we have the opportunity to be doing it together as a learning community. Because classroom interaction is essential for this to be a valuable experience, and because frequent quizzes and homework writings will be exchanged, more than a few absences will affect your grade regardless of reason. Here’s the math:

I will frequently ask for relatively minor homework assignments to be turned in (or submitted electronically on the Blackboard system), designed primarily to stimulate subsequent discussion [although it will arise anyway because the readings are so provocative (i.e., cool)] and to practice conventions for writing about literature. At other times I will ask you to answer questions in writing in class, often ad lib responses to the reading before class discussion begins. Homework assignments and quizzes will receive numerical grades (points) and, although these writings cannot be made up (except for a couple optional writings that can take their place), the final semester totals will be curved if necessary.(30%)

You will submit two written projects of manageable length. Late papers will receive F grades; failure to turn anything in, even late, will result in an F for the course. (30%)

Your presence will be kindly requested at three exams.(30%)

Class participation and other service to the learning community will be expected (occasional group work, for example). (10%)

Students with Disabilities:

I am committed to providing assistance to help you be successful in this course. Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. Please visit the Disability Resource Center (DRC) during the first two weeks of every semester to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. All accommodations must be approved through the DRC (Admin. Annex Bldg. Room 205). Call 509-335-3417 to make an appointment with a disability specialist.

Academic Integrity:

As an institution of higher education, Washington State University is committed to principles of truth and academic honesty. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and supporting these principles. When a student enrolls in Washington State University, the student assumes an obligation to pursue academic endeavors in a manner consistent with the standards of academic integrity adopted by the University. To maintain the academic integrity of the community, the University cannot tolerate acts of academic dishonesty including any forms of cheating, plagiarism, or fabrication. Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty.

Dr. Michael Delahoyde, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of English
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