Shakespeare End-of-Semester Exam
Spring 2022



I. IDENTIFICATIONS. “The wind and the rain.”
[Total 30 points = 15 questions, 2 points each.]

Short identification questions from Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Lucrece may ask you to identify who says “I will have my bond,” or who reminds everyone “I am an ass.” On the designated day for this second exam — Wednesday, April 20th, at 9:00am — 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. “A merry war.”
[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. 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. ESSAYS. “Too cunning to be understood.”
[Total 30 points.]

Through the generosity and benevolence of me, you may submit these mini-essays as late as Friday, April 22nd, 12:00 noon. You will find a designated folder on Canvas in Discussions for submitting a Word.doc or pdf version of the essay. Answer the following questions with brilliant critical thinking, originality, and superb writing skills. The essays should each be a virtuoso piece of glory manifested in impressive eloquence, with facile reference to specifics from the Shakespearean texts, properly documented, to the tune of about two pages each, double-spaced.

  • 1) Consider the three last plays of the semester: Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, and The Merchant of Venice. In what order do you think Shakespeare wrote these and why? Use your own instincts and perceptions, realize that there is no certifiable “right answer,” and know that consulting orthodox scholars on this matter will mislead you and mess up this minimally two-page double-spaced essay.

  • 2) One of the objectives of this course has been “To increase intellectual maturation and clarification of our own values through examination of ideas and attitudes in literary/cultural contexts and through articulation of these.” So what have you learned about yourself in relation to the works we’ve read this semester? In a minimally two-page double-spaced essay, identify what content in this class made an impression (of any sort) on you and explain why.

BIG DAY: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20th, 9:00-10:00am.
ESSAY: FRIDAY, APRIL 22nd, 12:00 noon.