English 416 Shakespeare: Tragedy and its Comic Roots

Dr. Michael Bryson
Sierra Tower 832
818-677-5695
michael.bryson@csun.edu

 

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore six of Shakespeare's tragedies, along with a comedy and a transitional play for a look at the comic structures that sometimes appear in the tragedies.

EVALUATION METHOD: Midterm essay, final essay.

ASSIGNMENTS:

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...see this site for a fairly useful set of examples about how to handle quotations) to back up your arguments. The midterm will be due at the beginning of class on Monday, 4/3. Staple everything together into one paper--do not hand in multiple, separate papers.

Final: Midterm: also 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 final essay will be due by 11:59:59 PM on Monday, 5/15. Finals must be submitted via email to the address listed above. Combine everything in one file/attachment--do not send multiple, separate attachments.

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 (1/23): Introductions
Week 2 (1/30): Sonnets 1-3, 15, 18, 55, 94, 116, 130, 138
Week 3 (2/6): Two Gentlemen of Verona; also, see Lawrence Stone, The Family, Sex, and Marriage in England, 1500-1800, especially pages 178-194 for a description of parentally-arranged and -controlled marriages of the period.
Week 4 (2/13):The Merchant of Venice
Week 5 (2/20): Romeo and Juliet
Week 6 (2/27): Romeo and Juliet
Week 7 (3/6): Othello
Week 8 (3/13): Othello (Midterm assigned)
3/20: Off for Spring Break
Week 9 (3/27): Julius Caesar
Week 10 (4/3): Hamlet (Midterm Due) 
Week 11 (4/10): Hamlet
Week 12 (4/17): Macbeth
Week 13 (4/24): King Lear

Week 14 (5/1): King Lear
Week 15 (5/8): Off. Work on final essays

Final due 11:59:59 PM on Monday 5/15