English 217

Graduate Course: Shakespeare

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2008 Booth, Stephen
Booth, Stephen
TTh 5-6:30 221 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Book List: Shakespeare, W.: /The Complete Works/, ed. Alfred Harbage et al., or /The/ /Riverside Shakespeare/, ed. G.B. Evans et al., or /The Complete Works/, ed. David Bevington, or /Signet Classic Shakespeare/, ed. Barnet et al. McDonald�s /Bedford Companion.


"I expect this course to do all the basic work of a Shakespeare survey and also to have seminar-like intellectual crossfire. We will take up all the topics that concern Shakespeare scholars, but rather than approaching them systematically, we will wait for particulars of classroom discussion to invite comment and background on such issues as printing-house practices, Shakespeare's stage, and the composition of his audience. The course will concentrate on Shakespeare's language and on the plays as plays. I will ordinarily assign one play per week, although, if no one objects, I will twice ask you to read two plays (/Richard II /and /1 Henry IV; 2 Henry IV /and /Henry V/) in a single week/. /The other assigned plays will /probably /be/: Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Love's Labor's Lost, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night,/ and /The Winter's Tale./ (/Hamlet/ and /King Lear/ are not listed because I assume previous study of them; if my assumption is ill-founded, we can substitute one or both of them for one or two of the others on the list.)

Each week's play will be the basis for that week's writing. Every other week (or, if the class is unusually big, every third week), each member of the class will write a very short essay on some aspect of that week's play. In his or her week off (or weeks), each member of the class will read and comment scrupulously and strenuously on all the essays written by students in their ""on"" week. I will read all the comments on all the papers and comment on the comments. Essays will be due at the beginning of class on Tuesdays. Two sets of comments (one for each essayist, one full set for me) will be due at the beginning of class on Thursdays. You may, if you can conveniently do so, do your commenting by e-mail; my e-address is sbooth@berkeley.edu. "

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