Fall Semester 2004
MWF 2pm (Brother Anthony)
In this course we shall mainly be studying Hamlet and King Lear. We will study the texts in detail and watch videos of each play. We will also watch a video of Much Ado About Nothing, but will not study the text.
Students will need
to buy copies of both plays in the New Cambridge edition. 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).
The introductions of the New Cambridge editions will provide useful
information and there are many books about Shakespeare in the library.
You are expected to use some of them when writing your two reports. Each report
must include a list (‘Works Cited’) of the critical works you have actually
quoted in the report.
Detailed Course Description
Introduction to Shakespeare
6 Week 2
Hamlet Act 1
13 Week 3
Hamlet Acts 2 - 3
20 Week 4
Hamlet Acts 4 - 5
27 Week 5 (No class Monday and Wednesday, Chusok)
Hamlet Act 5
Hamlet video and discussions
King Lear Acts 1 - 2
King Lear Acts 3 - 4
King Lear Act 5 and discussion
15 Week 12
King Lear video
22 Week 13
King Lear video
29 Week 14
Much Ado About Nothing video
Much Ado About Nothing video (Final exams start on Thursday)
Students will write a Midterm Essay (due on the Monday after the Mid-term Exam) in which you discuss your own interpretation of and reactions to Hamlet, including discussion of the way the various characters were interpreted in the film productions. Is Hamlet really the victim of his own hesitations? In what sense is he a ‘tragic hero’?
In the Final Essay (due on the Monday after the end of the Final Exams) you will comment on the way King Lear explores the notions of love, duty, nature, and gratitude. What view of human existence do you think the play’s conclusion shows? Compare this with your interpretation of the view of human existence found in Hamlet and in Much Ado About Nothing, concluding with a discussion of Shakespeare’s notion of tragedy.
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 the plays. Exams and reports are of equal weight.