Shakespeare
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Butler Community College
English Department
Humanities/Fine Arts Division
Fall 1998
Course Outline
SHAKESPEARE

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
LT 218. Shakespeare. 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: English Composition I (EG 101) with a C or better. An examination of several of the significant tragedies, histories, and comedies with adequate background studies in Elizabethan culture.

TEXTBOOK:
Four Major Comedies; Four Major Tragedies; Richard III. All by William Shakespeare in the Bantam edition. Shakespeare Alive! by Joesph Papp. Bantam edition.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:
The primary objective of this course is to introduce the student to the dramatic literature/theatrical scripts written by William Shakespeare and to nurture an informed familiarity in the student with six of Shakespeare's major plays.

At the completion of this course, the student should be able to demonstrate the following related skills:

  1. to give brief plot summaries of six of Shakespeare's plays.
  2. to give brief character assessments of the major characters in six of Shakespeare's plays.
  3. to interpret accurately the language to be found in those plays.
  4. to discuss the principles of plot construction evidenced in Shakespeare's work.
  5. to discuss briefly and clearly the principles of characterization evidenced in Shakespeare's work.
  6. to discuss briefly and clearly the elements of comic and tragic world view evidenced in Shakespeare's work.
  7. to discuss briefly and clearly the use of history and legend in Shakespeare's work.
  8. to discuss briefly and clearly the presentation of philosophical argument evidenced in Shakespeare's work.
TOPICAL OUTLINE OF UNITS:
Unit One: LEARNING TO READ THE TEXT

Description: The purpose of this unit is to guide the students through the reading and discussion of either A Midsummer Night's Dream or The Taming Of The Shrew. The emphasis of the unit is on accurate interpretation of the vocabulary and sentence structure of the dialogue and a thorough accurate understanding of the play's plot structure.
Objectives: At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  1. paraphrase accurately any portion of the annotated script with the assistance of a standard dictionary.
  2. explain accurately the major plot elements of the play.
Unit Two: CHARACTER IN SHAKESPEARE

Description: The purpose of this unit is to guide the students through the reading and discussion of Richard III. The emphasis of the unit is on accurate character analysis and description of the major characters in the play. Objectives: At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  1. give a brief description of the outstanding characteristics of the major characters in the play.
  2. demonstrate how Shakespeare creates characterization through the use of vocabulary, imagery, sentence structure, and plotting.
Unit Three: LANGUAGE IN SHAKESPEARE

Description: The purpose of this unit is to guide the students through the reading and discussion of either Hamlet, Othello, or Macbeth. The emphasis of the unit is on appropriate interpretation of imagery and patterns of imagery used by Shakespeare in the play.
Objectives: At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  1. point out examples of at least three patterns of imagery in the script.
  2. discuss clearly and briefly the thematic significance of one pattern of imagery in the play.
Unit Four: COMIC VISION

Description: The purpose of this unit is to guide the students through the reading and discussing of either Twelfth Night or Merchant Of Venice. The emphasis of the unit is on understanding the use of comic devices and the nature of the comic world view expressed in the play.
Objectives: At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  1. point out and explain accurately the use of at least five comic devices in the play.
  2. discuss briefly and clearly the evidence of comic world view as expressed in the plotting, characters, and imagery of the play.
Unit Five: TRAGIC VISION

Description: The purpose of this unit is to guide the students through the reading and discussion of King Lear. The emphasis of the unit is to guide the students though the interpretation of the plot, characters, and imagery of the play in terms of its tragic world view.
Objectives: At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  1. discuss briefly and clearly the thematic significance of one major sequence of the play's action in terms of the tragic world view as demonstrated in the play.
Unit Six: INDEPENDENT READING

Description: The purpose of this unit is the reading of another major play by Shakespeare on an independent basis. The emphasis of the unit is to give the student the opportunity to pick out another of Shakespeare's plays, read it on their own, and prepare a written essay on some appropriate aspect of the play. The play of choice may be any of the following: Much Ado About Nothing; Henry IV Part one; Henry V; Richard II; Measure For Measure; Romeo And Juliet; Julius Caesar; The Tempest; or any of the plays in the texts not used during the course.
Objectives: At the completion of this unit, the student should be able to:

  1. write an accurate and appropriate essay on some suitable aspect of one of Shakespeare's major plays.
METHODS OF INSTRUCTION:
The content of the course will be presented in a variety of methods including the following: Lecture, instructor-led class discuss, analyses of specific passages from scripts, student presentations, guest speakers, films followed by group discussion and textbook reading assignments.

Telecourses: Independent study of audio/video materials augmented by text and study guide; collaboration and participation with class members and faculty via available means. Faculty role is facilitator of learning experiences.

METHODS OF EVALUATION:
The exact method of evaluation will be left to the discretion of the instructor. However, suitable methods would include objective tests including true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and multiple choice questions; subjective essays written either in class and/or outside of class; grade of participation by students in class discussion. Some form of evaluation should be given for each unit. The instructor is advised not to give a comprehensive final, and if a comprehensive final is given, it should not constitute more than 15% of the total grade.

Miscellaneous:
Students with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills are encouraged and have the responsibility to contact their instructor, in a timely fashion, regarding reasonable accommodation needs.