English 416 Shakespeare: Tragedy and its Comic Roots

Dr. Michael Bryson
Sierra Tower 832


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore several of Shakespeare's tragedies in light of their use of/relation to comic techniques and plots.

EVALUATION METHOD: Midterm essay, final essay.


Midterm: in the range of 6-8 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 in class on Monday, March 25th.

Final: In the range of 10 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. Excellent sources for journal articles include JSTOR (http://www.jstor.org/), Project Muse (http://muse.jhu.edu/), and Academic Search Elite (http://library.csun.edu/restricted/ebsase.scr). These databases must be accessed from the CSUN campus, or from off-campus with your CSUN email unsername and password. Quotations from the works you deal with—and quotations from secondary sources—should follow MLA format.  The final essay will be due by 11:59:59 PM on Friday, May 17th, and must be submitted via email attachment.

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

Week 1 (1/28)Introductions, Sonnets 1-20, 94, 116, 130, 138
Week 2 (2/4)
Titus Andronicus
Week 3 (2/11)
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Week 4 (2/18)The Merchant of Venice
Week 5 (2/25)Romeo and Juliet
Week 6 (3/4)Othello
Week 7 (3/11)Othello
Week 8 (3/18)Julius Caesar
Week 9 (3/25)Hamlet 
Week 10 (4/1)
Week 11 (4/8) Spring Break
Week 12 (4/15)
King Lear
Week 13 (4/22)
King Lear
Week 14 (4/29)
Week 15 (5/6)

Final due by email attachment on 5/17 at 11:59:59 PM—no physical submissions

The Humanist (Re)Turn 
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