S h a k e s p e a r e

david wilson-okamura / english 24-01 / autumn 2001 / macalester college

An introductory survey of Shakespeare's plays and poetry. Students will also receive in-struction in the proper conduct of foreign wars and coups d'état.

Sept. 5 W

Shakespeare's language; Sonnets (1593-1609), 15, 23, 55

7 F

Language (cont.): Romeo and Juliet prologue, 1.3 = (act 1, scene 3), 1.5, 2.0, 2.1, 2.4


10 M

Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-6)


12 W

MND (cont.); read Greenblatt, General Introduction: The Playing Field (Norton 30-41) and Gurr, "Shakespearean Stage" (N 3281-3301)

14 F

Staged reading; read the rest of Greenblatt's Gen. Intro. (N 1-29, 41-76); "Get to Know Your Norton" assignment due at the beginning of class


17 M

Merchant of Venice (1596-7)


19 W

Merchant of Venice (cont.)


21 F

Staged reading


24 M

As You Like It (1599)


26 W

As You Like It (cont.)


28 F

Staged reading


Oct. 1 M

Twelfth Night (1601-2)


3 W

Twelfth Night (cont.)


5 F

Staged reading


8 M

Richard II (1595)

10 W

First paper due; Richard II (cont.)


12 F

Staged reading


15 M

1 Henry IV (1596-7)


17 W

1 Henry IV (cont.)


19 F

Staged reading


22 M

Hamlet (1600-1)

24 W

Hamlet (cont.)




Fall Break


29 M

Othello (1604)


31 W

Othello (cont.); read & print out Cinthio selection (7 pp., on course web page)


Nov. 2 F

Staged reading


5 M

Sonnets 1-60

7 W

Second paper due; Sonnets 61-126


9 F

Sonnets 127-154


12 M

The History of King Lear (1605). Note that the Norton contains three texts of this play; we will read the quarto version (Q1); see textual note, N 2314-15.

14 W

King Lear (cont.)


16 F

Staged reading


19 M

Macbeth (1606)


21 W

Macbeth (cont.)




Thanksgiving Friday


26 M

Antony and Cleopatra (1606-7)


28 W

Antony and Cleopatra (cont.)


30 F

Staged reading


Dec. 3 M

Winter's Tale (1610-11)

5 W

Winter's Tale (cont.)


7 F

Staged reading


10 M

The Tempest (1611)


12 W

Third paper due; The Tempest (cont.)


14 F

Staged reading


required texts

Greenblatt, Stephen, gen. ed. The Norton Shakespeare, Based on the Oxford Edition. New York: Norton, 1997. I recognize that this book is (a) expensive and (b) heavy. Information wants to be free, but wisdom has a price. In this course, wisdom weighs about four pounds.

recommended texts

Boyce, Charles, and David Allen White. Shakespeare A to Z: The Essential Reference. New York: Dell, 1996.

Gurr, Andrew, and Mariko Ichikawa. Staging in Shakespeare's Theatres. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.


Hard copies of all assignments are due at the beginning of the class period. Assignments delivered after that will receive a lower grade. (For instance, an A- essay that is delivered up to 24 hours late will receive a B+, an A- essay that is delivered between 24 and 48 hours late will receive a B, and so on.)

Essays (70%). Over the course of the semester you will submit three essays of app. 1,800-2,000 words each on poems or plays of your choice.

For suggestions on planning papers, see my online handout Writing about Shakespeare. If you are stumped for a topic, try comparing one of the plays with its source(s); see Bullough and Spencer (on reserve).

Recitation (10%). Part of becoming intimate with a play or poem is learning it by heart. I will ask you to memorize two speeches (twenty lines or longer) over the course of the semester; at least one of these speeches must be in verse. You choose the speeches. Grades will be assigned on the following basis: you know the speech, but stumble your way through it = C range; you know the speech letter-perfect, but haven't done much with pauses, emphasis, tone = B range; you know the speech letter-perfect and successfully interpret it to an audience with your voice = A range.

Staged Reading (20%). For the most part, Fridays will be devoted to performance and discussion of one or more scenes from that week's play. You will be asked to play one or more parts in several of these scenes; how many will depend on course enrollment. Some things to consider in preparing your scenes:

In preparation, you will also type up a couple of paragraphs (250 words) about the language your (main) character uses and what you infer from it; these paragraphs will be due at the beginning of your staged reading. Note that I say "language"; I am more interested in how your character talks than in what he says or does; do not summarize the plot.

Midterm and Final Exams. There will be no midterm or final exams in this course.

Attendance and Reading. There is one more requirement for this course: you have to come to class and you have to do the reading. If you don't, you'll get a no credit (nc) for the semester, even if you hand in all of the graded assignments. Not coming to class = missing nine or more class meetings. Not doing the reading = failing three or more random reading quizzes.

Email. Announcements and changes to the syllabus will be delivered by email.


Everyone gets a two-day extension on one paper over the course of the semester. You choose which one. You don't need to ask me ahead of time: just hand in a sheet of paper with the date and your name on it that says "I'm taking my extension on this paper." In the interest of fairness, however, no one will be granted a second extension.


Plagiarism is using someone else's words or ideas in such a way that a reader cannot distinguish them from your own work. As such, it is a form of cheating. If you have questions about plagiarism, please ask me about it before your paper is due; after a paper is handed in it's too late to claim ignorance. This is important: the standard penalty for a first cheating offense at Macalester College is an F on the assignment.

important times, phone numbers, addresses

Office: Old Main 205 (phone 651.696.6643)
Email: wilson-okamura@virgil.org

Office hours: mwf 1:20-2:20. Extra hours as needed and by appointment. If you'd like to schedule an appointment預nd I encourage you to do so if these hours don't work for you曜ust grab me after class or give me a phone call and we'll set up a time. If you call my office and I'm not there, do try me at home, though not after 9:00 pm, please; the phone number there is 651.699.3577.

Email discussion address for this course: shakespeare@virgil.org
Course materials on the web: http://virgil.org/dswo/courses/shakespeare-survey

reference These items can be found online or in the reference section on the first floor of the library.

Cambridge History of English and American Literature, The. 18 vols. New York: Putnam, 1907-1921. Online: http://www.bartleby.com/cambridge/

Catholic Encyclopedia, The. 15 vols. New York: Encyclopedia Press, 1913. Online: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

Champion, Larry S. The Essential Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography of Major Modern Studies. Boston: Hall, 1986. PR2894.C53.1986x.

Cross, F. L., and E. A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. 2nd ed. London: Oxford UP, 1974. BR95.O8.1974.

Davis, J. Madison, and A. Daniel Frankforter. The Shakespeare Name Dictionary. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 976. New York: Garland, 1995. PR2892.D33.1995. "[A]ccumulated facts and speculations" on personal, geographic, and mythological names (including pronunciation).

Dictionary of Literary Biography [abbreviated as DLB]. Detroit: Bruccoli Clark-Gale Research, 1978-. PS221.D5. For 16C poets, see vols. 132, 136, 167, and 172. For 17C poets, see vols. 121, 126, and 131. For Elizabethan dramatists, see vol. 62. For 17C dramatists, see vols. 58, 80, 84, and 89.

Gray, Terry A. Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet. Online: http://daphne.palomar.edu/shakespeare/

Green, Jonathan. The Cassell Dictionary of Slang. London: Cassell, 1998. PE3721.G74.1998.

Grendler, Paul F., ed. Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. 6 vols. New York, Scribner's, 1999. CB361.E52.1999.

Hamilton, A. C., gen. ed. The Spenser Encyclopedia. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1990. PR2362.S65.1990.

Langer, William L. An Encyclopedia of World History. 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972. D21.L27.1972.

MLA International Bibliography. New York: Modern Language Association, 1967-.
Online: http://spweb.silverplatter.com/c117140?

Oxford English Dictionary, The [abbreviated as OED]. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1989. PE1625.O87.1989.
Online: http://dictionary.oed.com/entrance.dtl

Preminger, Alex, and T. V. F. Brogan, eds. The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1993. PN1021.N39.1993.

Spevack, Marvin. A Complete and Systematic Concordance to the Works of Shakespeare. 6 vols. Hildesheim: Olms, 1968-1970. PR2892.S6. Bartlett's one-volume concordance (Ref. PR2892.B34.1966) is more convenient but less precise.

Stephen, Sir Leslie, and Sir Sidney Lee, eds. The Dictionary of National Biography [abbreviated as DNB]. 24 vols. plus supplements. London: Oxford UP, 1921-. DA28.D48.


Boswell-Stone, W. G. Shakespeare's Holinshed: The Chronicle an the Historical Plays Compared. 1896. Rpt. New York: Blom, 1966. PR2955.H7B7.1966.

Bullough, Geoffrey. Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare. 8 vols. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1957-75. PR2952.B8. Note that this is an eight-volume set. Use the following list of volume contents to find the volume for your play: v. 1. Early comedies. Poems. Romeo and Juliet.要. 2. The comedies, 1597-1603.要. 3. Earlier English history plays: Henry VI. Richard III. Richard II.要. 4. Later English history plays: King John. Henry IV. Henry V. Henry VIII.要. 5. The Roman plays: Julius Caesar. Antony and Cleopatra. Coriolanus.要. 6. Other "classical" plays: Titus Andronicus. Troilus and Cressida. Timon of Athens. Pericles.要. 7. Major tragedies: Hamlet. Othello. King Lear. Macbeth.要. 8. Romances: Cymbeline. The Winter's Tale. The Tempest.

Gurr, Andrew. Playgoing in Shakespeare's London. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. PN2596.L6.G87.1996.

-----. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642. 3rd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992. PR3095.G87.1992.

Lewis, C. S. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964. PN671.L4.

Loomba, Ania. "Outsiders in Shakespeare's England." E-reserve.

McDonald, Russ. The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin's, 1996. PR2894.M385.1996.

Spencer, T. J. B., ed. Shakespeare's Plutarch Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964. PR2955.P6 S6.1964 or PR2955.P6.S6.1968. Sources for Shakespeare's Roman plays (Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus) in the Elizabethan translation that Shakespeare used.

Williams, Gordon. A Glossary of Shakespeare's Sexual Language. London: Athlone, 1997. PR2892.W55.1997.

recommended reading for the break

Bate, Jonathan. The Genius of Shakespeare. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.