ENGL 1634 CRN 20079:


Mr. Radcliffe drad@vt.edu
Office Hours: TTh 2:00 412 Shanks Hall

MW 4:00   Surge Building 109


In this introduction to Shakespeare we will read a selection of favorite plays and discuss what makes comedy comic, tragedy tragic, and Shakespeare Shakespeare. We will also take up the tricky relationship between "page and stage" as a way of enhancing the reading experience of the plays.

There is no paper assigned in this introductory course: evaluation will be based on three quizzes (66%) and a final examination (33%). Since this is a lecture course, the main thing required is to show up having read the play (bring the text with you to class so you can follow along). Penalties may be imposed for regularly missing classes. All work is expected to be your own as per honor code. Students needing accomodations should see me at the beginning of term.

Books: I've ordered the Norton Shakespeare for our primary text; if you already have a college textbook edition you my use that. That set passed down from your grandparents may be a handsome thing, but it is not what is needed for present purposes: Shakespeare can be passing strange, and we need the benefit of a full set of glosses and an unexpurgated text ("family Shakespeares" edit out the naughty jokes or let them go unglossed).


Week 1 (January 22) Introduction

Week 2 (January 27-29) Merry Wives

Week 3 (February 3-5 Merry Wives

Week 4 (February 10-12) Henry V

Week 5 (February 17-19) Henry V

February 17: Quiz 1

Week 6 (February 24-26) Merchant of Venice

Week 7 (March 3-5) Merchant of Venice

(Spring break March 8-16)

Week 8 (March 17-19) Hamlet

Week 9 (March 24-26) Hamlet

March 24: Quiz 2

Week 10 (March 31-April 2) Lear

Week 11 (April 7-9) Lear

Week 12 (April 14-16) Winter's Tale

Week 13 (April 21-23) Winter's Tale

April 21: Quiz 3

Week 14 (April 28-30) The Tempest

Week 15 (May 5-7) The Tempest

Final Examination: May 12 7:45 AM