English R1A

Reading and Composition: Shakespeare and Chekov

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2007 Vitaliy Eyber
MWF 1-2 206 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

"(Please use the specified editions: notes and line numbers are different in different editions of Shakespeare; as for Chekhov, we obviously have to read the same translation.)

Othello , Folger Shakespeare Library, 2004

Twelfth Night , Folger Shakespeare Library, 2004.

Anton Chekhov, Selected Plays (Norton Critical Edition), 2004.

William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style (any edition)"


" This is a writing course whose main objective is to turn you into competent writers of academic prose. However, since we need a subject to write about, I have chosen two plays by Shakespeare and two by Chekhov. I think I can teach you more about these two playwrights�one, the most often-performed dramatist world-wide, the other, possibly, the second most-performed�by focusing closely on just four plays: Othello, Twelfth Night, Three Sisters, and Uncle Vanya. We�ll look at these plays so as both to enjoy them (at a reasonably leisurely pace) and try to determine what made them so popular with generations of readers and playgoers. In our discussions we�ll try to cover a broad array of subjects, and you will certainly enjoy great latitude in choosing your own topics. I�m not concerned with leaving you by the end of the semester with a jumble of facts that one is supposed to know about Shakespeare or Chekhov. However, in order to facilitate your understanding of the works you�re writing about, their frame of reference, I will from time to time take up various topics of Shakespearean and Chekhovian lore. This course is meant to accomplish a double objective: refining your aesthetic appreciation of literature and enabling you to effectively share this appreciation with your readers.

Consequently, my main concern will be with developing your skills of close analytical reading and finding efficient ways of translating those skills into writing articulate and sophisticated academic prose. Other than the four plays, I will ask you to read several scholarly essays and to see at least one film or television adaptation of each play. You�ll write a short essay every couple of weeks and have a chance to revise some of them. You can expect various assignments aimed at improving the mechanics of your prose, polishing your grammar, improving you vocabulary, etc. We will conduct in-class writing assignments and peer-review exercises regularly. The assignments will insure that by the end of the semester you know what a solid academic essay looks like and can produce one of your own. "

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