Fall Semester 2001

MWF 2pm  (Brother Anthony)

In this course we will be studying   Henry V, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Twelfth Night.We will study the texts and watch videos of each play

Text Books

Students will need to buy copies of Henry V and Hamlet (Arden edition, available from the university book store), since we are going to go through the text of those plays in detail. Summaries of Julius Caesar and Twelfth Night are available on my home page and should be printed out for the classes in which we study them. Summaries of Henry V and Hamlet are also available. An introduction to the life and theatre of Shakespeare can be found in my book Literature in English Society, Volume II, The Renaissance (Sogang University Press). It may be interesting to read the part of Plutarch's Life of Caesar which Shakespeare used for the main action of his play (he also used Plutarch's lives of Brutus and Antony)

Detailed Course Description

August 27  Week 1
Introduction to Shakespeare, his life and the plays.

September 3 Week 2
Henry V
The text, Acts 1-3

September 10 Week 3
Henry V
The text, Acts 4-5

September 17 Week 4 (Culture Festival. No class Friday)
Henry V
Video of Olivier's version

September 24 Week 5
Henry V
Video of Branagh's version

October 1 Week 6 (No classes Monday & Wednesday)
Julius Caesar
Introduction and Summary

October 8 Week 7
Julius Caesar

October 15 Week 8 : Mid-term Exams

October 22 Week 9
The text Acts 1 - 3

October 29 Week 10
The text Acts 4 - 5

November 5 Week 11
Video : extracts from Olivier's and Mel Gibson's versions

November 12 Week 12
Branagh's Hamlet

Novermber 19 Week 13
Branagh's Hamlet
Comparison of versions

November 26 Week 14
Twelfth Night
Introduction and Summary, Video

December 3 Week 15
Twelfth Night


Each student should read some of the on-line critical comments (by ordinary readers) of the Branagh  and the Olivier film versions we watch on the Amazon.com site (find some that are negative...). Students will write a Midterm Essay (due on the Monday after the Mid-term Exam) in which you discuss to what extent Henry V   can be termed a "heroic history play" with (in a separate section) a discussion of the different film versions of Henry V, contrasting your own ideas about the play with those expressed in the films, using quotations from the Amazon.com site and from the Introdcution to the Arden edition. Compare Henry V with Julius Caesar. You can find customer comments on the film of Julius Caesar here, too.

The Final Essay  (due on the Monday after the Final Exam) will be on  Hamlet, offering your own understanding of and response to the play and relating it to the way the different films interpret the hero's character and role, and including a consideration of the different remarks found in critics' / Amazon.com readers' evaluations of  the films.


Grading will be based on the 2 reports and the result of the Mid-term and Final Exams (Max 50 points each). The exams will test students' knowledge of the action of the plays, and will include tests of precise memorization of the most celebrated passages in Henry V and Hamlet. Exams and reports are of equal weight.