English 416 Shakespeare: Comedy

Dr. Michael Bryson
ST 832 (Office Hours W 3:30-6:30)



COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore ten of Shakespeare's comedies, along with two tragedies for a look at how the comic structures can also drive tragic outcomes.

EVALUATION METHOD: Midterm essay, final essay.


Midterm: in the range of 8 pages, this will be comprised of responses to essay questions, and will require you to present an analysis of characters from the blocks of plays we will have read to that point. These essays will not require secondary sources, but will require you to read the plays closely, and cite evidence from the plays (using MLA citation) to back up your arguments. The midterm will be due 5 PM Friday, 3/19.

Final: In the range of 10-12 pages, this will be an essay tackling a question of your own choosing. This essay will be a researched argument paper that makes use of secondary sources. Print is an excellent thing, of coursebooks are still the coin of the realm in the highest reaches of humanities scholarship, but journal articles are often more immediate in terms of what is going on at the moment. Excellent sources for journal articles include JSTOR, Project Muse, and Academic Search Elite. These databases must be accessed from the CSUN campus, or from off-campus with your CSUN email unsername and password. Also have a look at the CSUN library's page outlining electronic resources for English. Quotations from the works you deal with—and quotations from secondary sources—should follow MLA format.  The final essay will be due by 5 PM on May 14th by email (no physical submissions of finals). In your email subject line, put English 417 final, and make sure your name is on your paper, especially if using a non-CSUN address.

READING LIST: Complete Pelican Shakespeare

Statement on Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism is a serious offense that will be treated seriously. Please read the CSUN policy here.

Weekly Preview

1/20Introductions, selected sonnets
1/27—No Class
2/3The Comedy of Errors
2/10Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Taming of the Shrew
A Midsummer Night's Dream
The Merchant of Venice
Much Ado About Nothing
3/17As You Like It
3/24Twelfth Night
3/31Caesar Chavez Day...no class until after Spring Break
4/14The History of Troilus and Cressida
4/21Measure for Measure
4/28Romeo and Juliet

Final due 5 PM Friday, May 14 (via email attachment--no physical submissions)

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