English 370
Shakespeare for the Millennium:
in-print, on-stage, in-film, and on-line
Winter 2002
Meg Roland

Text: The Norton Shakespeare. Greenblatt, Stephen, Ed. New York: Norton, 1997.
Used editions are available from Powells or Amazon.com. Multnomah County Library also has many copies.

  • Muller, Gilbert H. and John A. Williams. Ways In: Approaches to Reading and Writing about Literature. New York: McGraw Hill, 1994.
  • Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 5th Ed. New York: Modern Language Association, 1999. You can also use this on-line source.
  • Course Overview
    This class explores the long fascination with Shakespeare and the material form in which we encounter Shakespeare--from the first printed folio of the 17th century to digital representations of the 21st century. We will read texts, both in books and on-line. We will also experience theater and contemporary film performances of Shakespeare's plays, considering ideas of representation and interpretation and the impact of culture and politics, book and hypertext.

    This term we will read three of Shakespeare's plays as well as attend a local performance.

    Primary Learning Objective (Liberal Arts Core AIB4):
    Explore how works of art embody and/or contest socio-cultural contexts and values.

    This class will also prepare you to read critically and to write an academic essay based on reading and research. Your essay will propose a significant claim, develop complex ideas, analyze textual evidence, and properly cite "secondary sources" (that is, ideas from other studies). Finally, the class should prove to be a rewarding introduction to Shakespeare's plays and the way in which the plays reverberate in our contemporary culture.

    We will read a play from each of the "sub-genres:" a tragedy, a history, and a comedy.

    • King Lear
    • Richard III
    • Midsummer's Night's Dream

    As we delve into the plays themselves, we will also consider three major topics in the course:

    1. Material Shakespeare

  • Authorship, Collaboration, and the Shakespearean Text
  • Renaissance Print Culture
  • 2. Shakespeare and Performance

  • Performance, Editing, and Reproduction
  • Renaissance Theater/Modern Theater
  • 3. "Shakespeare" and Media Culture

  • Shakespeare in film
  • Shakespeare on the web
  • Assignments:
    For each play, prepare a one-page response paper which recounts your encounter with the play--either as a text or in performance. One of the three will be a response to a text read (either on-line or in our text), one will be a response to either a performance or film version, one will be a creative "writing in" of a new scene or character for the play.

    One final paper, approximately six pages, on a topic you develop over the course of the term.

    We will attend one performance and will make some compensation in terms of reducing class time that week.

    Your final grade will be calculated as follows:

    • Three Response Papers: 30%
    • Final Paper: 40%
    • Book Review and Presentation: 10%
    • Participation: 20% Includes class discussions, film review, reader's theater.

    Academic Honesty:
    Marylhurst University's policy on academic honesty reflects a commitment to principles of academic integrity. Violation of honesty standards (see page 15 of the Catalog) can result in denial of credit and/or dismissal from the university. Plagiarism is considered theft of someone else's words or ideas. Papers copied (in whole or in part) from the web or from other students, in addition to being obvious, diminish your learning experience and can be as much work as writing the paper yourself in that you would have to create a rough draft to match! I do subscribe to all the major on-line sources of student papers and I check them periodically. If you are feeling overwhelmed, or if you are having such difficulty writing that you are tempted to use or buy someone else's work, come see me instead; we can work together to help you develop and present ideas that are you own. In class, we will discuss the proper way to cite sources in your essays.

    Links to Shakespeare sites on the web
    My home page.