LITR279 Introduction to Shakespeare

Department of Language & Literature: Literature

I. Course Number and Title
LITR279 Introduction to Shakespeare
II. Number of Credits
3 credits
III. Number of Instructional Minutes
IV. Prerequisites
V. Other Pertinent Information

The Department of Language and Literature has determined that all literature courses must require a minimum of at least 2500 words in writing assignments.
During the first week of class, the instructor provides students with a weekly suggested reading schedule for the semester.

This course meets the General Education requirement in Arts/Humanities.
This course meets the General Education requirement in Critical Thinking.

VI. Catalog Course Description
This course provides an introductory study to Shakespeare's tragedies, comedies, and histories, and a careful study of major plays and sonnets. Shakespeare's importance as a dramatist and the enduring nature of his ideas and vision are stressed. The class may view films and live performances.
VII. Required Course Content and Direction
  1. Course Learning Goals

    Students will:

    1. analyze Shakespeare’s works through discussion and writing [Critical Thinking & Arts/Humanities];
    2. demonstrate an understanding of such literary terms, themes, strategies, and issues as are relevant to the works being studied [Arts/Humanities];
    3. express their understanding of the relationship between literature and the historical/cultural contexts in which it was written [Critical Thinking];
    4. effectively utilize contemporary criticism, original reception, text, and history as ways of providing a context for understanding the plays; and
    5. demonstrate a fuller and deeper understanding of all the facets of Shakespearean drama and the sonnets and their relation to the students’ lives.
  2. Planned Sequence of Topics and/or Learning Activities

    Students read carefully and discuss representative comedies, histories, tragedies, and sonnets. They attend live performances when available; listen to audio recordings, and view films and other visual media.

    In addition:

    1. Students enter the course both with and without training in verbal analysis of literature; therefore, a subsidiary set of objectives dealing with literary analysis may be imported as individual student needs dictate.
    2. Reading remains the basic learning method available to students although various means of instruction are employed: lectures, group discussion, mock trials, role playing, individual or group presentations to the class, team teaching, library research, etc.
    3. Through reading, writing, discussion, and various class activities, students identify, explain, and analyze the following: formal elements of the literature, particularly images, image patterns, narrative strategies, diction, and structural divisions of the work; themes and thematic patterns; literary periods, movements, and terms as appropriate to the literature.
    4. The writing requirement complies with Department standards for literature courses, a minimum of 2,500 words. Writing assignments reflect the course goals that students can comprehend, interpret, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the literature.
    5. Because there are no prerequisites for literature courses, it is important that students understand the kind and quality of the writing expected.
    6. Students use various critical approaches as ways of assigning the meanings in the work; these include but are not limited to the major critical schools--humanistic, ethical, socio-cultural, historical (both the history of events and the history of ideas), psychological, mythical, and formal.
  3. Assessment Methods for Course Learning Goals

    To evaluate all learning goals and objectives, instructors may determine the depth and quality of student comprehension and critical thinking through several analytical essays (2500 words total required), exams, quizzes, journals, oral or multi-media presentations, class discussions, conferences with individual students, service learning projects, and other methods as necessary to course content.
  4. Reference, Resource, or Learning Materials to be used by Student:

    An appropriate anthology or anthologies of the instructor’s choice should be used; e.g., Riverside. See individual course syllabi.

Review/Approval Date -4/99; Revised 5/2010; New Core 8/2015