Term: Fall 2005
Time: 4-5:20 p.m.
Place: Bliss 145
Prof. G. Steinberg
Office: Bliss 216
Office Phone: 771-2106
Office Hours: 2-4 p.m. MR
I am assuming that you have seen or read at least a few of the major Shakespeare plays – e.g., A Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and Richard II. If you have never read or seen these plays by Shakespeare, I strongly recommend that, before the mid-term exam, you read (or see) all of them. If you are already familiar with these plays, I recommend that you read (or see) a few more this semester (such as Coriolanus, As You Like It, King Lear, and Merchant of Venice).
COURSE DESCRIPTION. The focus of LIT 321 will be the reconstruction of the literary “horizon of expectations” for Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies at the time of their first performance. The course will not be a course in Shakespeare per se but rather a course in the literary, dramatic, and cultural texts that shaped the literary expectations, perceptions, and tastes of Shakespeare and his audience. We will reconstruct what an Elizabethan audience might have expected when it went to the theater to see a play – reconstructing Elizabethan expectations “from a pre‑understanding of the genre, from the form and themes of already familiar works, and from the opposition between poetic [or, in this case, dramatic] and practical language” (Hans Robert Jauss, Toward an Aesthetic of Reception, p. 22).
GOALS. By the end of the course, I want you to
REQUIREMENTS. For this course, you must complete the following graded assignments:
ATTENDANCE. Regular attendance is a virtual necessity for successful completion of the exams and papers in this class. Class exercises and discussion constitute important, useful preparation for the course’s graded assignments. If you miss a class, you will essentially lose out on that day’s contribution to your preparation, since it is never really possible to reproduce or recapture the dynamics and flow of information for a missed class meeting (even if you get notes from someone). If, however, you positively must miss a class, I expect you to find out what you missed and to come fully prepared – without excuses – to the next class meeting.
OFFICE HOURS. My office is Bliss 216, and my office hours are 2-4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. If you cannot see me during my office hours, feel free as needed to call my office (771-2106) or talk to me before or after class to arrange an appointment at another time. You may also contact me by email (email@example.com), or you may leave a message for me in my box at the English department offices in Bliss 124. Email is generally the fastest way to contact me in an emergency.
EMAIL. I may, on occasion, want to email everyone in class. I generally only have access to your TCNJ email addresses, however. As a result, if you regularly use an email address other than your TCNJ address, I recommend that you have mail from your TCNJ address forwarded to the address that you use more regularly. That way, if I email your TCNJ address, my message will be forwarded to your other address automatically. To forward mail from your TCNJ address, just go to http://managemail.tcnj.edu/ and click “Mail Forwarding Manager.” Follow the directions there to set up the mail forwarding.
If you would like to send an email message to one or more of your classmates, you can do so through SOCS. To access SOCS, go to http://socs.tcnj.edu and, after you have logged in with your TCNJ email username and password, choose this class from the list of your courses this semester. Then, when our course page comes up, click the “Email” button. From there, you can select individual email addresses or the entire class and send a message to the addresses you’ve selected.
LANGUAGES ACROSS THE CURRICULUM. Languages Across the Curriculum is an initiative to infuse foreign language study across the curriculum, thus building on the skills of language-proficient students in courses where foreign language sources are not a regular component of the curriculum. Those students who have completed at least two 200-level courses in a foreign language or have intermediate level proficiency in a language and are interested in enhancing their work in this course through complementary readings or research in that language may enroll in a one credit Languages Across the Curriculum Independent Study, LAC 391. The specific assignments will be identified by the course professor and the LAC supervisor, Deborah Compte of the Modern Languages Department. Dr. Compte will assist you in accessing appropriate materials and engaging in course-related research and activities in another language, and will monitor your progress. A brief biweekly report of ongoing progress in relation to the LAC component of the course is required. The LAC independent study is offered on a Pass/Fail basis only and thus does not impact on your GPA, but indicates your initiative in utilizing your language skills to enhance your coursework. It will be noted as LAC 391 on your transcript.
You must register for the LAC independent study by the end of the first week of classes. The specific work involved in the independent study will be clearly identified and articulated in the Independent Study Summary Proposal which you will draw up with Dr. Compte, with the approval of the course professor. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Compte promptly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 771-2392 so that the necessary forms can be completed by the College’s deadline. The LAC website contains further information, Frequently Asked Questions, a list of courses that support LAC, sample student projects and student comments: http://internationalstudies.intrasun,tcnj.edu/. This is an exciting opportunity for students with the requisite language skills to build on their expertise and complement their academic studies.
Accommodations. The College of New Jersey prohibits discrimination against any student on the basis of physical or mental disability or perceived disability. The College will also provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to enable students with disabilities to participate in the life of the campus community. Individuals with disabilities are responsible for reporting and supplying documentation verifying their disability, and requests for accommodations must be initiated through the Office of Differing Abilities Services (Eickhoff Hall 159). If you require special assistance, I will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your needs and to create an environment where your special abilities will be respected.
NEW JERSEY PROJECT. For students who write a paper in this class that addresses issues of gender or that approaches its topic from the perspective of gender studies, I recommend that you submit your work to the New Jersey Project’s Student Achievement Awards for Excellence in Feminist/Multicultural Scholarship Competition. This competition is a contest in which authors of winning essays receive a monetary award ($300) and get their essays published by the New Jersey Project. I have uploaded more information about the contest in SOCS.
RESPONSE PAPERS. In the course of the term, you are required to write 10 short, informal papers (about 2 pages each) on the readings for class. You may choose for which days you want to write a response paper, as long as you have completed ten response papers by the end of the term. For each response paper, choose one of the following topics and analyze the reading assignment for the day with respect to the topic you’ve chosen:
You should have written on each one of these topics over the course of your 10 response papers for the term. Keep in mind that some topics are more relevant to some readings than others (and some topics aren’t relevant at all to other readings).
Response papers will be graded Pass/Fail. I ask you to type them (so that they are easier for me to read), but they need not be a perfect, polished product. Rather, response papers should be just what their name says – a response. Think about one of the topics that I ask you to consider; then, write a response. Don’t worry about typos or comma splices or organization. Don’t worry about answering every question I ask under the particular topic. In fact, focus on the one question that seems most interesting to you, and be as specific as you can, getting down as much as you can, as quickly as you can. Treat response papers more like a journal entry than like a formal paper. I don’t want a five-paragraph theme. Rather, I want an exploration – as detailed and specific as possible – of the reading assignment for the day.
Normally, as long as you submit a response paper of suitable length, detail, and thoughtfulness (and as long as you submit it in hard copy in class on the assigned day), you will receive all the points that the response paper is worth. The purpose of the response papers is
- to help you in your preparation for class discussion,
- to help me see where you’re struggling with the readings for class,
- to help you develop your intellectual independence and your confidence as a reader,
- to help you explore the relationships among the texts we’re reading, and
- to practice comparative literary analysis (in preparation for PAPER 1 and PAPER 2).
You may submit more than 10 response papers in the course of the semester (to make up for any response papers that do not receive a grade of Pass), but no matter how many extra response papers you turn in, you will not receive credit for more than 10 total. You may not submit more than one response paper on a single day, nor may you submit a response paper for a day that you are absent from class – absolutely no exceptions.
PAPER 1. Choose a Shakespeare play written before 1600. I would recommend Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In a paper of 5-7 pages, argue a clear and specific thesis about how Shakespeare’s play reflects or upsets the Elizabethan “horizon of expectations” for drama? Think about which material that we have been reading for class is most relevant to the play that you have chosen and focus closely on just one or, at most, two readings from class in your paper (in addition to your chosen Shakespeare play). To help you think about what to write, consider the topics listed under “Response Papers” above. How does Shakespeare’s play compare to the material that we have been reading for class in the areas of plot, character, values, conflict, setting, genre, form, language, etc.? What is the most important similarity or difference? How does that similarity reinforce (or how does that difference challenge) the Elizabethans’ “horizon of expectations” for a play? (NOTE: The answer to this last question will probably make an excellent thesis for your paper.)
You need not use outside sources for this paper; in fact, I would encourage you not to use outside sources (because I'd rather hear what you think than what some published scholar thinks). Your paper will likely have two parts:
- a section in which you characterize what the Elizabethan “horizon of expectations” would likely have been for your chosen Shakespeare play, based on one area (genre, character, conflict, values, setting, religion, or other) and with reference to just one or two readings from class, and
- a section in which you discuss your chosen Shakespeare play and its relation to the Elizabethan “horizon of expectations” that you characterized in section #1.
You will submit this paper to me electronically in the “dropbox” of SOCS (not in hard copy or in class).
Your paper will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
PAPER 2. Choose a play by Shakespeare (not the same play as for PAPER 1 and, I recommend, not a history play). Research the specific literary sources of that play. Focus on one source and read that source (not one of the sources that we read for class). In a paper of 8-12 pages, argue a clear and specific thesis about the relationship between Shakespeare’s play and the source in the context of the “horizon of expectations” that we have been reconstructing in class. To help you think about what to write, consider the following questions:
Do not try to answer all these questions in your paper. Instead, use these questions to help you think about a clear and specific thesis that you want to argue in your paper. Your paper will likely have three parts:
- a section in which you characterize what the Elizabethan “horizon of expectations” would likely have been for your chosen Shakespeare play, based on one area (genre, character, conflict, values, setting, religion, or other) and with reference to just one or two readings from class,
- a section in which you discuss Shakespeare’s source and its relation to the Elizabethan “horizon of expectations” that you characterized in section #1, and
- a section in which you discuss Shakespeare’s play and its relation to its source and to the Elizabethan “horizon of expectations” that you characterized in section #1.
You will submit this paper to me electronically in the “dropbox” in SOCS (not in hard copy or in class).
Your PAPER 2 will be evaluated according to the evaluation criteria for PAPER 1, plus the following additional criterion:
COURSE SCHEDULE. This schedule is subject to revision at the discretion of the professor. Changes in the schedule will be shown in red.
|R Sep 1||Introductions|
|M Sep 5||NO CLASS (Labor Day) – class will be held on Tuesday instead|
|Cycle Plays of Shakespeare’s Youth|
|T Sep 6||The Murder of Abel and Noah and His Sons (in Medieval and Tudor Drama)|
|R Sep 8||the Brome Abraham and Isaac and The Second Shepherds’ Play (in Medieval and Tudor Drama)|
|M Sep 12||Plautus, The Menaechmus Twins (elsewhere known as The Menaechmi)|
|R Sep 15||Plautus, Pseudolus|
|M Sep 19||Seneca, Thyestes|
|R Sep 22||Seneca, Phaedra|
|Tudor Plays of Shakespeare’s Youth|
|M Sep 26||Nicholas Udall, Ralph Roister Doister (in Medieval and Tudor Drama)|
|R Sep 29||Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, Gorboduc (in Medieval and Tudor Drama)|
|M Oct 3||Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|R Oct 6||John Lyly, Endymion (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|M Oct 10||Robert Greene, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|R Oct 13||Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great, Part I (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|M Oct 17||Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta (in
English Renaissance Drama)
OPTIONAL THESIS PARAGRAPH for PAPER 1 DUE to me by email before class.
|R Oct 20||MID-TERM EXAM|
|M Oct 24||NO CLASS (Mid-term Break)
|R Oct 27||Christopher Marlowe, Edward II (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|F Oct 28||PAPER 1 DUE in the “Dropbox” of SOCS|
|M Oct 31||Arden of Faversham (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|R Nov 3||Thomas Dekker, The Shoemaker’s Holiday (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|M Nov 7||Francis Beaumont, The Knight of the Burning Pestle (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|R Nov 10||John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi (in English Renaissance Drama)|
|Sources of Elizabethan Plots|
|M Nov 14||Ovid, Metamorphoses, Books I, IV, and VI|
|R Nov 17||Ovid, Metamorphoses, Books X-XI and XV|
|M Nov 21||Plutarch, “Brutus”|
|R Nov 24||NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)|
|M Nov 28||Plutarch, “Mark Antony”|
|R Dec 1||“Duchess of Malfi” in The Palace of Pleasure|
|M Dec 5||“Romeo and Juliet” in The Palace of Pleasure|
|R Dec 8||“Diego and Ginevra” in The Palace of Pleasure
OPTIONAL THESIS PARAGRAPH for PAPER 2 DUE to me by email before class.
|R Dec 15||FINAL EXAM (2-4 p.m. in our
PAPER 2 DUE in the “Dropbox” of SOCS
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