Approved by Faculty Senate.


University Studies Course Approval-Writing Flags


Department or Program English


Course Numbers 414,417,447


Semester Hours each-3


Frequency of Offering each-every year


Course Titles Shakespeare: Comedies &

Histories, Shakespeare:

Tragedies, Modern Literary



Catalog Descriptions Varies (see current catalog)


These are existing courses previously Yes approved by A2C2


This is a new course proposal No


(If this is a new course proposal, the WSU Not applicable

Curriculum Approval form must also be

Completed as in the process prescribed

By WSU Regulation 3-4)


Proposal Category Writing Flag


Department Contact Douglas Hayes


E-mail Address dhayes


English 414: Shakespeare: Comedies & Histories

English 417: Shakespeare: Tragedies

English 447: Modern Literary Criticism



The courses listed above require, in a substantial way, that students engage in writing assignments connected to the literature covered in the courses. This substantiality manifests in two ways the frequency of the writing process, and the advanced nature of the writing projects and products. The latter relates to the fact that these courses are 400-level courses, which carry the expectation of students' bringing to bear their prior years of study in the English Department and consequently of students' writing papers marked by depth, breadth, and sophistication. In devoting a good deal of their effort to the various stages of these time-intensive writing endeavors, students will usually be occupied in some sort of writing at any given point in the semester. Their centrality stressed by the weight that they register in a student's final grade, these writing assignments are further accented by the emphasis that professors give to the assignments; by the guidance that professors give to students involved in writing, and by the revision work that students will conduct upon receiving constructive commentary from their professor and peers. Not only do students in these courses have both opportunities and feedback as they write in these courses, but they also have pertinent contexts for writing, as the writing assignments will correlate closely with the literature covered in these courses. Hence the students in the courses will be writing about texts specific to the discipline of literature. In doing so, students will be asked to use the methods and approaches that-as they have learned in other, less advanced English courses, and as they will review in these courses-are appropriate to literary studies.

These courses merit the writing flag in that they

-have section enrollments of 25' or fewer students; they are thus relatively small classes that therefore allow for "clear guidance, criteria, and feedback for the writing assignments."

-include such work in writing that, by virtue of either the depth and thus frequency of this writing, students will be engaged in 'a significant amount of writing ... distributed throughout the semester"

-are based on a grading plan that derives at least 50% of each student's final grade from the grades on the writing assignments that each student completes; writing, therefore, constitutes "a significant portion of the students' final course grade."

-integrate opportunities for students to revise their writing after having received comments from their peers and professor; students thus will be in the position to "incorporate iaaders1 critiques of their writing."

These courses Include requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to

a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields.

Students who enroll in these courses will have been learning about such processes and procedures as early as their

freshman composition course and their introductory courses to literary studies. The 400-level writing-flagged courses of the English Department will review and emphasize these basic strategies: pre-writing, exploring topics,




· Pending approval

examining secondary sources, formulating a working thesis, drafting, integrating information and insights from primary and secondary texts, sharpening and solidifying an argument, revising, incorporating the critiques of the professor and peers, revising further, editing, and proofreading. In addition, students writing in these courses will strengthen their skills in analyzing literary texts, discussing these texts from a contextual angle or theoretical. perspective, and shaping their arguments to interact productively with what others have said about the literary topic in question.

b. understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields. Students in these writing-flagged courses will, before entering any of these courses, have acquired some knowledge of the principal features of writing about literature. In these courses, though, students will be required to apply the terminology and approaches distinctive to written arguments concerning literature. To this end, those who teach these courses will review the specialized vocabulary and particularly pertinent methodologies of literary study. As students in these courses will learn once more, and more thoroughly, the uses of writing about literature vary widely, comprehending, as they do, applications related to pragmatic realms such as teaching. reviewing, or professional writing. or less readily applicable realms such as scholarly or critical contributions to the ongoing conversations that take place in books, articles, on-line avenues, conferences, and academic commerce among students who are peers. Writing in focused, informed ways about complex literary material, students in these courses will in some fashion enter a significant dialogue in reference to the subject that they choose to treat.

C. adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers In their fields. As students in these courses will be reminded, the audience of an advanced paper in literary studies will expect not just such things as credibility, proper citation of sources, standard English usage, apt modulation of tone, and use of suitable terminology. but also an analytical penetration of the literary text(s) under consideration and an effective incorporation of historical, biographical, theoretical, or critical sources into a discussion. that shows knowledge of the subject and that develops an argument about the same. The feedback of both the student's professor and peers should give the student a good idea of readers' expectations. Furthermore, the outside reading that the student does as he or she is engaged in a writing project should give the student a sense of the standards and nature of the critical dialogue that he or she is entering, as well as a sense of what elements his or her audience comprises.

d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing In their fields. Although much writing about literature draws directly from primary texts, students who take these courses will be expected to integrate into their papers information from secondary sources. Whether they fall under the inchoate category of technology or not, such secondary sources can take many forms, and many of them exist in actual books shelved in libraries and actual articles found in journals on libraries' shelves. Yet in order to locate these sources, students will use on-line catalogs that point them to such non-electronic books and articles. Further use of technological resources may include information resources that students will find and use through computerized venues. By the time that students enroll for the 400-levels courses that have writing flags, they should have some finesse in navigating these cyberpaths, but insofar as they may not, these writing-flag courses will include a review of such technologies. For example, students may be given, or asked to discover, websites, chatrooms, or listserves related to the subject about which they are writing. Or, students may be asked to turn in working bibliographies that they cull from on-line databases such as the MLA bibliography or a humanities-oriented index.

e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation In their fields. The papers assigned in

these courses will require that students use MIA (Modern Language Association) format for citation and documentation (MIA sets the conventions for such matters in the field of literary studies). Students in these 400-level classes should already be familiar with MLA style, but in these classes students will review and practice it.


Likewise, students will be re-exercised in the conventions that govern usage associated with formal academic writing in standard English. With regard to conventions of evidence, students in these classes will be expected to apply what they in prerequisite courses have learned about argumentation and evidence in writing that pertains to literary analysis. Any student who display a suboptimal aptitude in these areas will ideally attain competence as they work on writing assignments with the help of their professor and peers.


Department of English: Writing Flag Course Information

While in many courses you may be (may have been) expected to write, in English Department Writing Flag courses you can expect to write frequently, throughout much of the course, and to a high standard of accomplishment. A 400-level literature course carries the expectation of your bringing to bear your prior study in English-and, consequently, of your writing papers marked by depth, breadth, and sophistication.

You will usually be occupied in some sort of writing at any given point in the semester, and you can expect that your writing will account for a substantial part-at least 50%-of your final grade. You can expect some considerable discussion of the assignments, considerable guidance given to your writing, and considerable revision work based upon constructive commentary from your professor and peers. Your writing in this class may be used as part of your graduation portfolio in English, as part of a dossier should you apply to graduate schools or for related employment, and/or as potential topics for possible conference or teaching presentations.

As a Writing Flag Course in the University Studies Program, this course includes requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to...

a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields. This course will review and emphasize basic strategies: pre-writing, exploring topics, examining secondary sources, formulating a working thesis, drafting, integrating information and insights from primary and secondary texts, sharpening and solidifying an argument, revising, incorporating the critiques of the professor and peers, revising further, editing, and proofreading. In addition, writing assignments will help you strengthen your skills in analyzing literary texts, discussing these texts from a contextual or theoretical perspective, and shaping your arguments to interact productively with what others have said and written.

b. understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields. You will work to apply the terminology and approaches distinctive to writing about literature, and the course will include review of the specialized vocabulary and particularly pertinent methodologies of literary study. As the uses of writing about literature vary widely, from applications related to teaching, reviewing, or professional writing to scholarly books, articles, on-line avenues, and conferences, your writing may take varied forms. But you will be expected to write in focused, informed ways about complex literary material, in the process taking part in the ongoing discourse of literary studies.

c. adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields. Audiences for literary studies will expect not just credibility, proper citation, standard English usage, and appropriate tone and terminology, but also an effective incorporation of historical, biographical, theoretical, and/or critical sources. Feedback from your professor and peers should provide a good idea of readers' expectations, as can model essays and handbook advice. Furthermore, your outside research and reading should provide a sense of the standards and nature of the critical dialogue that you are entering.


d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields. Although much writing about literature draws directly from primary texts, here you will be expected to evaluate and integrate reliable information from authoritative secondary sources; thus the "technologies" most frequently used consist of scholarly books and journal articles. You will be expected to use online catalogs and databases (such as the MLA Bibliography), and you may be expected to include information from online venues.

e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields. The writing assignments will require MEA format for citation and documentation, with which you should already be familiar, given the prerequisites for the course. The course will provide some review of the conventions of MLA format, as well as of those that govern usage in formal academic writing, and you will be expected to apply what you have learned about argumentation and evidence in writing literary analysis.



The Writing Center

The English Department's Writing Center, located in Minne 340 and staffed primarily by graduate assistants in English, offers WSU students free, individualized instruction in all aspects of writing. You may visit the Center on your own, or on the recommendation of a teacher; you may "drop in" or sign up for a scheduled appointment; you may seek assistance with any aspect of your writing for any class or purpose. Call x5505, email "wcenter", check the schedule and sign-up sheet posted on the Writing Center door-or visit the Writing Center Web at

Selected Resources for writing about Literature

Harmon and Harmon, A Handbook to Literature, 7e

Gibaldi, MIA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Se

Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Literature

Stevens, A Guide to Literary Criticism and Research

Browner, Literature and the Internet: A Guide for Students, Teachers, and Scholars

Shakespeare 414: Comedies and Histories


Dr. Jane Carducci Office: Minne 332 Phone: 457-2376

E-mail: jcarducci

Office hours: MWF 8:30-9:15 a.m. and MW 10:30-12:30 TR 11:00-Noon

Texts: Bevington, ed: Midsummer Night's Dream

Much Ado about Nothing

Henry V

Richard III

Dolan, ed. Taming of the Shrew

Hodgdon, ed. Henry IV. Part I

Saccio, Shakespeare's English Kings

Course Description: This course is based on careful reading and discussion of Shakespeare's comedies/histories and Early Modern English social and political texts. Since the plays were written to be performed, we will also view various productions of the assigned plays. The class meetings will consist of mini-lectures, group work, class discussion, and oral presentations.

Just so you are warned in advance, much of the literature we will be reading in this class is difficult and lengthy. I can guarantee that if you try to read through your assignments in a rush, at the last minute, in front of the TV, or even with music playing in the background, you will simply be wasting your time. You need to approach these assignments with a fresh, rested mind and a great deal of determination to draw meaning from them. You may need to read selections several times to sort things out and make sense of them. If you take the time to read the assignments, make your time count for something. Don't be content throwing your hands up in despair and saying, "I'm totally lost." Talk to others if necessary and try to get yourself on track.

Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive and discourteous; please be punctual. Habitual tardiness will affect your final grade. Attendance is up to you, but you should realize that class participation is itself counted in the final grade. ABSENCE FROM CLASS IS NO EXCUSE FOR IGNORANCE ABOUT WHAT THE CLASS IS DISCUSSING; IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO LEARN ABOUT THE WORK N CLASS


The following assignments should be completed by the dates listed


Week I.

Thursday, March 12 Introduction/Comedies

Week II. Midsummer Night's Dream

March 17, 19 Translation due March 17

Weeks III and IV: Taming of the Shrew

March 24-April 2 Readings: Introduction 1-38

Marriage 160-199 Household 200-204

Wife Beating 281-228

A Merry Jest 254-287

Punch and Judy 296-303

Analogues 304-326

Week V: Much Ado

April 7, 9

Week VI: Exam: Comedies April 14

April 14, 16 No class April 16

April 18. Saturdav Guthrie Theater Production: Much Ado

Week VII:

April 21, 23


Oral presentations

Saccio: Sh's English Kings

Henry IV. Part 1

Readings: Introduction 1-16

Historiography 121 - 139 Civil Order/Rebellion 169-179

Cultural Territories 195-235, 243-249

Education of a Prince 275-292, 309-313

Honor and Arms 318-337, 341-344

Oldcastle 349-362, 372-379






Weeks VIII, IX, X:

April 28- May 14

Henry IV. Part 1 and Henry V Oral presentations

Week XI. Richard III

May 19, 21 Oral presentations

Research Paper due May 19

Final exam: Histories Friday, May 29 3:30-5:30

Note As with all things in life, this syllabus is subject to change.

English 414: Shakespeare's Comedies and Histories

Paper Assignment: Translating Shakespeare into Modern English This is a three stage paper.

1. Find one passage from 8-12 lines in Midsummer Night's Dream to translate. The passage should be of interest to you, and should be "Shakespearean" in feeling.

2. Write out the original passage and below it your translation in Modern English. (You should not attempt to write in verse.) Whenever possible use words other than what Shakespeare wrote, even if they don't require translation. Present your translation clearly and cleanly.


And then the moon, like to a silver bow

New bent in heaven, shall behold the night

Of our solemnities (I .i. 9-1l)


And then the new moon, which looks like a silver bow that has been drawn in heaven, will shine on our wedding ceremony.

3. Write a commentary on what has been lost in the translation (two pages, double-spaced, one-inch margins). Your commentary ought to consider, when appropriate, not only change in word meaning, but also sound, rhythm, dramatic context, and verbal context. For example, my translation loses the tautness of the bow, which in turn sacrifices some of the precision and tautness of the Amazon who is speaking. In changing "behold" to "shine" I have lost not only the sense that the moon can look (it's a very animate universe in this play), but also some of the grandeur and formality of the occasion (further lost in the change of "solemnities' to "ceremony"). Note also that I have lost the sense of night, which is too bad, considering the play's title. I have also lost some of the "0" sounds in the passage, which are concentrated in the

original ("moon," "bow," behold "solemnities") and which help make the presence of the moon even more pronounced. Besides noting details, your commentary ought to focus on what you think most importantly has been sacrificed in the translation. (It may be that your translation has also improved Shakespeare, but I am not asking you to advertise this in your commentary.)


Research paper

(Due dates on syllabus)

1 Length 8-10 pages, typed, double-spaced, one-inch margins

2. Make sure you have a strong central idea. Your thesis should control and shape your paper and give it an argumentative edge.

3. You should use direct quotes from the texts and from at least seven (7) outside sources. Be selective and quote only material that is relevant to your analysis. Introduce quotes grammatically and always give act, scene, and line numbers; document correctly according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) format.

4. Do not merely summarize the works you are studying, always evaluate and interpret.

An outline of your paper with a thesis statement (e.g., "I will take Shakespeare's religion and, using the plays, articles, books, and the internet, attempt to find out Shakespeare's religious preference.") and working bibliography (the books, plays, articles that you've found to help you with your project) in correct MLA format are due to me the class period before your oral presentation.

A precis of your paper (one page, typed, double-spaced) is also due the class meeting before your oral presentation. Make enough copies to hand out to each classmate. Your colleagues will read this precis and, on the day of your oral presentation, type out and bring to class one question about your topic. I will collect all of these questions at the end of your presentation and pass them on to you along with the evaluation forms.

For each source you cite in your paper, you need to annotate it on a

5x8 card with the following information (due with research paper)

1. Bibliographic information

Author: (last name, first name)


Periodical: Volume:

Date: Pages:

(for a book, give place of publication, publisher, and date)

2. Thesis of article (book)

3. How the article (book) relates to your research

4. Personal evaluation of the article (book)



Journal Requirement: Shakespeare

Shakespeare's plays are challenging, and class discussion will be both more useful and more fun if you have thought about the plays before we begin discussing them. To this end, I am requiring that you keep a reading journal for four (4) plays (excluding Midsummer Night's Dream). These journals will be collected the second day we discuss a play; they will be graded and account for 10% of your final grade. Each journal must include (but not be limited to) the following three sections:

Part I: Your choice (but you must try each at least once):

1 A log. Trace something that is repeated in the play (e.g., a kind of image, a situation, a word); write out the line(s) from the text, underline or highlight the image, give act/scene/line numbers.


2. A character study Pick one of the main characters of the play and

answer the following questions, writing out the line(s) from the text

for evidence and documenting with act/scene/line numbers.

1. Does the character's name reveal anything about her/him?

2. What is the character's appearance? -~

3. What do the other characters say about him/her?

4. How do the other characters act in response to her/him?

5. What thoughts does the character have? What does s/he say?

6. What behaviors might reveal her/his psychological make-up?

7. Is the character consistent? How so?

8. Is the character plausible? Why? Why not?

9. What motivates the character? (There must be reasons for the way a character behaves and for what s/he says.)

10. To what extent is the character developed?

a. Is the character "flat"? (one-dimensional, static, stock)

b. Is the character "round"? (fully developed, deep, puzzling, in conflict, dynamic)

Part II: Write a long paragraph responding to each act: these should not be formal or polished; just note some things about your responses to or observations about the play so far. (See Response Journal Guidelines.) For at least one but no more than two of the history plays, use this part to compare and contrast Saccio's "historical king" and events to Shakespeare's "dramatic king" and events. Note what Shakespeare has changed/added/deleted for dramatic effect and why he might have made these changes.

Part III. Write two questions you want to ask about the play--these may be local or general.

Sample Journal Entry for Midsummer NI£ht's Dream


Part I:

Log of "moon" imagery

(The magic of the play is due to the magic of the moon.)


3--Another Moon but 0, methinks how slow

4-7--This old moon (wanes)! She lingers my desires...

9-11--And then the moon, like to a silver bow/New bent in heaven...

30--Thou hast by moonlight at her window sung

73--Chanting fair hymns to the cold fruitless moon

83--Take time to pause and by the next new moon

209--Phoebe = moon

2lO--silver visage

2l1--liquid pearl = moonlight


Rude mechanicals meet by moonlight


7--Puck's "moon's sphere"

60--I'll meet by moonlight. proud Titania

103--...the moon (the governess of floods)

104--pale in her anger washes all the air

l11--[moon] Is in mockery set

140--moonlight reveals

156--cold moon

16 1-62--Cupid 5 fiery shaft/Quenched in the chaste beams of the wat'ry jii&~ji


47--working men; problem in play Pyramus and Thisbe; how to bring moonlight into the chamber

5O--Pyramius and Thisby meet by moon1ight

51--doth shine moon

54 -- moonshine, moonshine

55--It doeth shine that night

58--moon may shine in casement window

60--or lantern, person of moonshine


198--The moon methinks looks with a wat'ry eye

199--and when she weeps, weeps every little flower

200-201--lamenting some enforced chastity



54--May through the center creep


73--Dian (Diana = virgin goddess)

97-98--Puck circles globe "swifter than the wandering moon"


136--moonshine = actor in play

I 37--moonshine

206--Now is the moon used between the two neighbors

238--let us listen to the moon

239--moon = character plus pun on "lantern" horned moon lantern

1. sides of transparent horn rather than glass

2. crescent moon

3. cuckold horn

243/4--repeat line (moon character)

man in moon

246-247--The man should be put into the lantern. How is it else the man in the moon.

251--a weary of the moon, would be would change

253-small light of discretion

254--he is in the wane

256--proceed moon

257-259--moon character moon = lantern

267-268--well shone, moon. Truly the moon shines with good grace

272--Moon, I thank you for thy sunny beams

273--Gracious, golden, glittering gleams

274--I trust to take of truest Thisby sight

305--Moon, take my flight

s d - exit Moonshine

312--Moonshine is gone

349--Moonshine and lion are left to bury the dead

373--Wolf behowls the moon

384--Hecat = Moon

Part II:

Response to Act I

i. Why doesn't Hippolyta say much? She was, after all, a queen. She now seems tamed by Theseus. Hermia, on the other hand, has the spirit and fortitude that Hippolyta lacks. Whereas Hippolyta seems resigned to her wifely duties, Hermia rebels against her '1duty" to her father (I.i.47 "duty"). I find lines 97-98 in this scene especially offensive when Egeus says, "She is mine, and all my right of her/I do estate unto Demetrius." The language ("mine," "right," "estate") imply that Hermia is her father's chattel. I wonder if this was true for all women in Shakespeare's time.

ii. In scene ii, Bottom won my heart. He calls P&T a very good story (line 13), but 6 lines later asks if Pyramus is a lover or a tyrant. Does this look back on the Theseus/Hippolyta relationship? Is Theseus a lover AND a tyrant? Does this question of Bottom's underline Bottom's tyranny in the acting troop and foreshadow his role as Titania's lover in the forest? In any event, Bottom has an amazing range. He would certainly try my patience, so I admire Quince's quiet tolerance of him.



Part III.

Two questions about MND:

1. Who is Theseus in mythology?

2. What is the character of Bottom doing in the play?


Response Journal Guidelines

*First thoughts Take some time to write down anything that comes to you in relation to the text--your initial reactions and responses. Do some focused freewriting in response to what you've read. re the reading bores you write that down. If you're intrigued by certain statements, if you're attracted to characters or issues or problems, write that down. Just write! Try to take at least 5 minutes to write something whenever you've finished an assignment, or when you've put your book down for a break. Keep your journal close by when you read. You may want to write something that strikes you, rather than wait until you're finished.


*Make connections with your own experience. What does the reading make you think? Does it remind you of anything or anyone? Make connections with other texts or concepts or events. Do you see any similarities between this material and other books you've read? Does it bring to mind other issues or contexts that are somehow related?


kAsk yourself questions about the text: What perplexes you about some passage or some point that the writer is making? Try beginning, "I wonder why...'1 or "I'm having trouble understanding how..." or "It perplexes me that..." or "I was surprised when...


*Try agreeing with the writer. Think of all the things you can say to support her ideas. Or try arguing with the writer. On what points, or about what issues, do you disagree? Think of your journal as a place to carry on a dialogue with the writer or with the text. Speak to her. Ask questions, and have the writer answer back. See what happens when you imagine yourself in her shoes.


*Write down words, images, phrases, details that strike you. Speculate about them. Why are they there? What do they add? Why did you notice them? You might try dividing your notebook page in half, and copying words from the text onto the left side, writing your own responses on the right. On a first reading you might simply put checks in the margin where the passages intrigue you; on the second reading you cati choose the most interesting to speculate about.


*Identify the author1s point of view, her attitude toward what she is saying. Ask yourself how this perspective or attitude shapes the way the writer presents the material, develops the thesis or main idea. How do you think the author feels about the ideas she is presenting, the story being told?




These guidelines were developed in collaboration with Anne

Herrington and the faculty of Bard College Language and Thinking





Demonstrated plagiarism--the act of benefiting directly from Someone else1s writing or ideas without giving proper credit--will guarantee failure in the course. All written work is due at the beginning of class period on the day assigned. If you are sick or have to miss class the day work is due, hand the assignment in early or send it to class with someone trustworthy. Late submission of assignments (including journals) will result in the loss of one (1) whole letter grade for each day the assignment is late. In other words for example, a B paper automatically becomes a C if the paper is one day late. I will make no comments on late papers or in late journals.

Nonsexist ~ Critic Elizabeth Sklar has noted that "When we choose our pronouns, we inevitably make political statements." Therefore, it is important to consider your pronouns carefully. Please use nonsexist language in all your class participation and written work. For example, say "humankind" instead of "man" or "mankind," "firefighters" instead of "firemen," etc. Use the phrase "she or he" or "s/he" or other formulations; the best result with the least awkward phrasing is often obtained by using plural forms ("they," "theirs," etc.) since they are non-gender specific in English.



Translation 10%

Reading Journal (4 plays) 10%

Exam: Comedies 20%

Exam: Histories 20%

Research Project 20%

Oral Presentation (based on Research Project)

Class participation/attendance ½;o}

Attendance: Guthrie Theater production of Much Ado (10$) Saturday, April 18


All of the above written requirements and oral presentations must be completed In order

to pass the class.