Course Instructor Days Times Room


The objective will be for students to become thoroughly familiar with a small number of plays written by William Shakespeare (or possibly by a contemporary of the same name): King Lear, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Merchant of Venice, and The Taming of the Shrew.

In pursuit of the objective, students will get acquainted with contexts of the plays, including the social and intellectual circumstances of the English Renaissance, literary conventions of the time, and the venerable tradition of reading plays (rather than—or in addition to—paying to watch and listen to plays).

Students are expected to attend class, participate in oral exchanges, take several short-answer quizzes on assigned readings, write some essays or commentaries of a critical nature (some in class, some out), and complete a final examination.  The critical commentaries and essays will contribute about half of the overall grade for the course, the final examination about a third, and all other evidences of knowledge and effort (including class attendance and performance on the quizzes) about a sixth. Success in the course will require an intimate familiarity with the texts, critical acumen, conversancy in ways of discussing literature, competence in writing English, and faithfulness in contributing to the cooperative learning venture of the class.
Regarding CLASS ATTENDANCE:  Most students who fail this course have poor attendance.  Remember, you are (in effect) an employee of the hard working taxpayers (and unlucky lottery-players) of the state of Georgia; they are paying for you to attend college and to learn.  As with any other job, you may occasionally be unable to come to work, but you can’t expect to succeed at a job—or to keep a job—if you are absent (or unprepared, or inattentive) with any frequency.

If you have doubts about the normal and customary standards of ACADEMIC HONESTY at the University of Georgia, consult the University’s official brochure on the subject, A Culture of Honesty.

As regards the TEXTBOOKS to be obtained:  I have asked the bookstore to order The Riverside Shakespeare, edited by G. Blakemore Evans.  However, if you already possess a textually reliable, helpfully annotated edition of the plays, you can probably manage without buying the hefty Riverside tome.  You will need a copy of an additional book, a small paperback:  E.M.W. Tillyard’s Elizabethan World Picture.