Approved by Faculty Senate.



University Studies Course Approval-WritingFlags


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 Criticism


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




English 417: Shakespeare's Tragedies

Spring 2000

Dr. Jane Carducci Offlce: Minne 332 Phone: x2376

e-mail: jcarducci @ vax2. wi nona. ms us. ed u

Office hours: MWF 11:00 a.m.-Noon

TR 11:00 a.m.-I2:30 p.m.: 2:00-2:30 p.m.

(and by chance)

Text: Evans, ed. The Riverside Shakespeare, 2nd ed.

Objectives: The course will be based upon careful consideration and discussion of the plays, both the printed texts and filmed versions, in the order given in the outline below. The class meetings will consist of mini-lectures, group work, class discussion, and oral reports--any of which could be used for test material.

By gaining an understanding of Shakespeare's time and his works, I hope that, by the end of the term, you will be able to join (he community of Shakespeare fans as described by Herb Coursen:

We all share--in our different ways--the sentiment that Murf Swander reports of a young woman in Texas after her first encounter with Shakespeare. "This," she said, "is the greatest thing that's happened to me since I've been saved!" Some of us might end-stop at "me" in that sentence, and still count ourselves among the blessed, if not the saved.

N.B.: Just so you are warned in advance, much of the literature we will be reading is difficult and lengthy. You need to approach these assignments with a fresh, rested mind and a great deal of determination, You may need to read selections several times to sort things out and make sense of them. Talk to others if you get lost and 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 IN CLASS.

Demonstrated plagiarism--the act of benefiting directly from someone else's writing or ideas without giving proper credit--will guarantee failure in the course. All written work is due at the beginning of the 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. L ate submission of assignments (including journals) will result in the loss of one (I) 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 let. I will make no comments on late work

Nonsexist Language: 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.



Reading Journal (5 plays) 20%

Midterm 20%

Final exam 20%

Research Project 20%

Oral report (based on Research Project) 10%

Class participation/attendance 10%

Various assignments (e.g., blocking, psychodrama, etc.)

Graduate students should see me for extra requirements.


All of the above written requirements (journals, midterm, final exam, and research project) and the oral report must be completed in order to pass the class.



English 417:


The following assignments should be completed by the dates listed below. Journals are due the second class period we discuss a play.

WK I: Introduction

Jan. 11-13 Richard III (Act I)

WK 2, 3 Richard III

Jan. 18. 20, Film: Looking for Richard

25; 27 Response to film

WKS 4, 5: Romeo and Juliet

Feb. 1,3,8, 10 Block Act III, Scene iv

WKS 6,7,8: Hamlet

Feb. 15. 17 Social constructions of Shakespeare:

22, 24, 29 "The Skin Head Hamlet"

"Shakespeare in the Bush"

Feb. 29: Topics due for Research Paper

March 2: Midterm Exam

Spring Break: March 4-March 19

WK5 9, 10: Othello

March 21, 23.28,30

WKS 11, 12: King Lear

April 4, 6, 11,13

WKS 13, 14: Macbeth

April 18: No class

April 20, 25, 27

WKS 15, 16: Antony and Cleopatra

May 2,4, 9, 11

Oral reports

Last day to drop classes: Friday, April 7

Final Exam: 1:06-3:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 17

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

The written part of your Research Project is due May 9.


If you want me to read and comment on your paper before you hand it in for a grade, I must have it no later than April 27. These drafts must be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and correct MLA documentation.)

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 three (3) plays (excluding Richard III and Antonv and Cleopatra ~ These journals wilt be collected the second day we discuss a play; they will be graded and account for 30% of your final grade. As a rule, more is better (To present a respectable journal, you are committing to at least 8 hours per play.) Each journal should be typed, single-spaced, All Options require research and should be correctly documented in correct M LA format with a Works Cited page at the end

Three options (you must try each at least once).'

Option I

A character study. Pick one of the principle characters of the play and answer the following questions, writing out the line (s) from the text as evidence and documenting with act/scene/line numbers. You' will need to do some research to augment your character study. and answers to numbers 3, 4, .5, and 6 must be copiously documented with quotes from the play to offer a comprehensive study. (In other words, you 'viii be keeping a log of everything the character thinks, says, and does, plus tracking and recording what other characters say about him/her and how they react Co your character.)


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

2. What is the character's appearance9

3. What thoughts does the character have? What does s/he say or think? To ~

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

5. What do the other characters say about him/her? (Who says this? to whom? under what circumstances?)

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

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)

II. What has been the critical reception to this character? Find out what at least 5 critics have had to say about this character and record their comments.

12. What is the performance history of this character? Research at least 5 performances of this play and focus on your character's presentation. Has the presentation of this character changed over the years? Why? (For example, Shylock the Jew in the Merchant of Venice was generally a stock character in early productions of the play; since The Holocaust he is usually presented in a more sensitive and sympathetic manner.)


Sample questions and 2




Part I: A Character Study of Edmund.

1. Does Edmund's name reveal anything about him?

Edmund means "Happy defender". I did not find that Edmund fit this description. However, Edmund is a similar name to Edgar. Edgar is Edmund's older and legitimate half-brother. This similarity in names creates a need for comparison. A comparison/contrast is vividly displayed by Shakespeare in these two lines: "Edm. 'Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:/ Our father's Love is to the bastard Edmund.' (Act I Scene If)." Edmund compares himself to his brother, "Why bastard? Wherefore base?/ When my dimensions are as well compact./ My mind as generous, and my shape as true (Act I Scene [1)."

2. What is the Edmund's appearance?

As mentioned earlier Edmund and Edgar must look similar, at least in size, shape and mental capability. Edmund must look pretty good because Kent compliments him, -I cannot wish the fault (the adultery that went into Edmund's creation) undone, the/issue of it being so proper. (Act I Scene I).More evidence for Edmund's good looks come in the form of his success with ladies. Both Goneril and Regan like him and want to 'hook up" with him. "Gon. 'My most dear Gloster (Edmund)/ 0, the difference of man and man!/ To the- a woman's services are due;' (Act [V Scene II)." Regan too wishes to enjoy Edmund's company a bit more:

Reg. I know your lady (Goneril. Regan is speaking to Oswald) does not love her husband;

I am sure of that: and at her late being here
She gave strange eyelids and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund.
I know you are of her bosom
I, madam?

I speak in understanding; you are, I know' t:
Therefore [do advise you, take this note:
My lord is dead: Edmund and I have taIk'd
And more convenient is he for my hand
Than for your lady's


Option II

'Part I:

Log: Trace an image that appears throughout the play, writing out
the complete line, highlighting the image, and then documenting with act, scene, and line numbers. Speculate about the meaning of this imagery. For example, in Macbeth, a play about ambition and the brutal stabbing of a king, there are lots of references to "blood." These many references probably underscore one theme of the play. Do the critics have anything to say about this imagery?

Part II.

Reader Responses:

Write a long paragraph responding to each act and scene (See Response Journal Guidelines for questions) Ask questions, make comments and connections and include direct quotes from the play documenting with act, scene, line numbers.


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 free writing in response to what you've read, if the reading bores you write that down. IC you're intrigued by certain statements, if you're attracted to characters or issues or problems1 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 those 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?


*Ask questions about the text: What perplexes you about some passage or some point that the writer is making? Try beginning, " I wonder why..." 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.

Or try arguing with the writer. On what points, or about what issues do your 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 passages intrigue you; on the second reading you can choose the most interesting to speculate about.

bulletIdentify the author's 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 Program

Richard III Part 1- Log of references to Richard's evilness.


30- I am determined to prove a villain

32- Plots have I laid, induction's dangerous...To set my brother
Clarence and the King/In deadly hate the one against the other

37- as I am subtle. false, and treacherous

119- That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven

145- He cannot live, I hope. and must not die

149- And if I fail not in my deco intent

154- What though I killed her husband and he? father/ The readiest

             way to make the wench amends/is to become her husband and her

    father/the which will I; nor all so much for love./As for another

secret close intent


34- What black magician conjures up this fiend

45- And mortal eves cannot endure the devil. Avant, thou dreadful

minister of hell'

50- Foul devil. for God's sake hence and trouble us not For thou

hast made the happy earth thy hell1

57- Blush. blush, thou lump of foul deformity

60- Thy deeds inhuman and unnatural

67- Which his hell-governed arm hach butchered!

70- Villain thou knowest no law of God nor man-

73- 0, wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

78- Vonchsafe, defused infection of a man/Of these known evils but

to give me leave/By circumstance t' accuse thy cursed self

83- Fonter thou heart can think thee thou canst make

91- But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.

95- In thy foul throat thou liest! Queen Margaret saw'Thy

murderous falchion smoking in his blood

101- Thou was provoked by thy bloodv mind,IThat never dream'st

on aught but butcheries.

105- Thous mayst be damned for that wicked deed

lO8-. He is in heaven, where thou shall never come.

111- And thou unfit for any place but hell

128- If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide

140- To be revenged on him that killed mv husband

150- Never hung poison on a fouler toad.

195- I would I knew thy heart/'Tis figured in my tongue/I fear me both are false

226- 'Tis more than you deserve

232- I'll hae her, but I will not keep her long

239- But the plain devil and dissembling looks?

252- On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety


65- Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred/That in you outward

action shows itself

69- Out of your ill will. and thereby to remove it.

118- Out, devil. I do remember them To well /Thoui killedst my

husband Henry...

134- A murderous villain. and so still thou art.

144- Thou cacodemon! There thy kingdom is.

158- Hear me, you wrangling pirates. that fall our

163- Ah, gentle villain. do not turn away!

219- 0, let them keep It till thy sins be ripe/And then hurl down

their indignation/Oh thee, the troubler of the poor World's peace!

230- The slave of nature and the son of hell!

246- To help thee curse this poisonous hunch-backed toad.

291- His venom tooth will rankle to death.

293- Sin. death. and hell have sent their marks on him,

298- And soothe the devil that r warn thee from?/O, but remember

this another day/When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow.

336- And thus I clothe my naked villainv

338- And seem a saint when most I play the devil~.


234- You are deceived. Your brother Gloucester hates vou

245- Right as snow in harvest. Come you deceive yourself/Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.

250- Why, so he doth, when he delivers you/From this earth's thralldom to the joys of heaven.


27- Ah, that deceit should steal such gouthe shape

29- He is my son - ay, and there is my shame/Yet from my days he

drew not this deceit

53- And I for comfort have but one false glass.


28- 0, fall of danger is the Duke of Gloucester






17- He was the wretchedist thing when he was Young...that, if his

rule were true, he should be gracious.

50- The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind,

53- Welcome destruction. blood, and massacre!


17- For standing by when Richard stabbed her son


95- Make a short shift. He longs to see your head

103- 0, bloody Richard' Miserable England!


18- Shall I be plain? I wish the Bastards dead.


40- l had an Edward, till a Richard killed him;/I had a Harry. till a Richard killed him:/Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard killed him/Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard killed him

48-A hell hound that doth hunt us all to death./That dogthat had his teeth before his eves/To worry lambs and lap their gentle blond./That foul defacer of God's handiwork,/That excellent grand tyrant of the earth/That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,/Thy womb let loose to chase us to our graves./0, upright and true-disposing God./How do I thank thee that this carnaleur/Prevs on the issue of his mother's body.

71 - Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer

81. That bottled spider. that foul bunch-backed toad!

[20- Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were/And he that slew them fouler than he is

35 [- As long as hell and Richard likes of it

383- That thou hast wronged in the time o'erpast,

398- So thrive I in my dangerous affairs/Of hostile arm's Myself mvself confound!

414 Plead what I will be, not what I have been,

413- Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?/ Ay, if the devil tempt you to do good.

422- Yet thou didst kill my children.





7- The wretched. bloody. and usurping boar./That spoiled your

summer fields and fruitful vines,

10- In you embowered bosoms, this foul swine

13- To fight against this guilty homicide.


184- Is there a murderer here? No. Yes I am.

189- Alas, I rather hate myself/For hateful deeds committed by

myself!/T am a villain. Yet, I lie, am not.

195- And every tale condemns me for a villain.

2- The day is ours, the bloodv dog is dead.


Part II Responses

Act I. In the first scene we learn of Richard's intentions from his soliloquy. He is sort of a narrator foreshadowing what the play is about. We also learn that his brother has been sent to the tower by their ocher brother, the King. I don't really understand why the King sent Clarence to prison. Was it merely because of some dreams? And prophecies of a wizard"

The second scene shows Richard winning Anne to help his claim to the throne. I'm still not sure how Shakespeare pulls this off, but he takes a most unbelievable scene and makes the audience believe it. Richard is quite the sweet talker. He appeals to Anne's vanity: "But twas thy heavenly face that set me on(I.ii.185).

In the third scene we see Richard interacting with Queen Elizabeth and some other nobles. Everyone there seems to know Richard is evil and Clarence is not, yet the King does not perceive this. I was really confused by the old Queen Margaret. Why was she there? I now she was going to torment the killers of her husband and son. but how could she just be in the royal court? Even old Queen Margaret knows Richard is evil: "Thou cacodemon (I.iii.114)! Again we see Richard's ability to talk his way out of confrontation. In his brief speech to the audience he mentions this. "But then I sigh and, with a piece of scripture./Tell them that God bids us do good for evil./ And thus I clothe my naked villainy. ..And seer" a saint when most I play the devil (I.iii334-8).

In the fourth scene we see the 2 murderers contemplating and finally killing Clarence. The murderer's exchange is funny, talking about what Clarence will say when he wakes after being stabbed (99-102). The second murderer's remorse is also kind of funny.

Sample answer to question 1.


Study Outline of Othello (based on Freytag Formula)


I. Beginning Exposition

a. Introduces characters

Roderigo and lago arousing Brabantio Roderigo gullible

lago using him

Desdemona has deceived her father [ago-antagonist Othello=protagonist

b. Sets scene (court. country, period or age) Venice and Cyprus. 1570

C. Sets mood

Night. trouble, villainy, deceit, tragic, marriage without father's consent

d. Gives antecedent action

Othello has 'wooed and won Desdemona - -

Roderigo has been rejected by Desdemona

bulletCassio has been chosen over Lago as Lieutenant --

Lago and Roderigo have learned of elopement and are seeking to make trouble with what they know.

II. Exciting Force

Roderigo wants Desdemona

[ago will help him

Brabantio aroused at Desdemona and Othello's elopement

Will go to Signory--will they agree or disagree with him?

Desdemona upholds legal marriage--Reputes drug and potion charge

Accepts Othello rather than Brabantic

FOREBODING--she has deceived her father and may thee.

III. Rising Action

Marriage followed by immediate possibility of separation Othello must fight Turks--Desdemona to come too

Enemy dispersed

[ago will break up Othello's harmony Lago sees Emilia kissed and suspects adultery Traps Cassio into drunken brawl

Traps Othello "Ha! I like not that...," Othello takes the bait

Cassio dismissed from service

Lago advised Cassio to get Othello to pardon him--and arouse Othello's jealousy

Cassio's method of releasing his tension

Otheild in anger

Handkerchief dropped

Emilia finds it and gives it to Lago

IV. Crisis

Othello demands the handkerchief

Desdemona pleads for Cassio arousing Othello more

Othello keeps asking for handkerchief

Desdemona can't produce it




V. Duration of decision

We know Ernilia is watching.-\Vill she come forward with the truth? She is cnly good" person who knows.

VI. Climax

Emilia doesn't reveal truth. Dooms Desdemona. Could have ended play here if she had confessed. (Thus her death is catharsis--she was guilty) Emilia waited until it was too late and Desdemona was dead.

VII. Tragic Force

Othello sees Cassio al Bianca with the handkerchief.

Now Othello has the ocular proof.


VIII. Falling Action

Murder of Desdemona plotted by Iago and Othello Murder of Roderigo and Cassio plotted Roderigo to kill Cassio and Cassio to be killed fo~murder Lago's plot doesn't wcrk--Cassio merely wounded Iago kills Roderigo--Has realized that this might either make or mar his fortune


IX. Moment of Final Suspense

Will truth be revealed in time?

Will Desdemona convince Othello nor to murder her?

Will Emilia be admitted when she knocks?

Nothing works

x, Catastrophe

Desdemona is killed, Emilia reveals truth. Iago stabs her Othello stabs [ago--wounds him only

XI. Denouement

Emilia has revealed truth--Iago will be punished Lodovico enters--announces letters found that Roderigo should kill Casslo and another one which Roderigo had meant to send Othello. Cassio reveals how he got handkerchief. Gratiano to inherit Othello's

Fortune Cassio made Lord Governor to punish Iago


XII. Catharis in Tragedy

Iago Roderigo deserved their dealth (Emilia too? Poetic justice)

Lago to be tortured and killed

Orthello was perplexed in the extreme--Loved not wisely, but too well. Brabantio's death from broken heart is announced (poetic justice? Was he at fault)



















17. Performances

1999, Alanta Opera

Performance of Verdi's Macbeth Opera. Some interesting aspects: The witches were! transported on and offstage with "amazing swiftness" and would appear "unobtrusively yet menacingly at key points in the opera. The set used little light, with some interior scenes "illuminated only by the flickering light of a single torch, and even the banquet scene was set in a smoky, cheerless hall" providing a sinister atmosphere. This atmosphere was so persuasive that the "audience gave a palpable sigh of relief in Act HI when chilly dawn light bathed the Scottish refugees in 'Patria oppressa'."' The play ended under "a brilliantly starry night sky," which "seemed exhilarating and cathartic." Reviewed by John Crook.

1996, My Town Opera Co, Kawachi Nagano, Japan.

Another.- performance of Verdi's Macbeth. The cast were all Japanese actors with the exception of the Tenor from New York who played Mcduff. The play was staged outside the large cities of Japan to be outside of the "stultifying traditions that often govern artistic performance in Japan's more famous cities." The review was good, no indication of how the Japanese audience responded. Reviewed by Peter J. Mallett.

1995, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal National Theater, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

All of the characters were played by an all-black cast. There was a clear attempt to make a parallel to the civil and tribal wars that are going on in Africa today. The "Scottish King's and noblemen, [are} now fore grounded in a preference for African dashiki, military camouflage. and modern suits." The director ( Rayne) justified his production because there are certain similarities between medieval Scotland and contemporary Africa. He writes in the playbill:

The Scotland Shakespeare portrays is a country in which certain supernatural forces are at work; a country in the grip of tribal and international war, suffering from famine and disease, where extremes of good and bad ("fair and four') are at play.

Mackbeth and Banquo are dressed as ordinary soldiers in camouflage. The witches' are identified with the rebel cause, giving reason to turn Macbeth against his own King In an early scene the witches carry off an injured rebel, hiding him from the approaching loyal soldier coming to bring the news of the rebel defeat to die king. This choice, to portray the supernatural as intervening with a political side undermines the supernatural in the play. The reviewer felt that even the banquet scene lost its supernatural ambience. "In a more effectively worked African ambience, the presence of the supernatural would have been more generally felt, and extended into (he audience."

The reviewer felt that Lady Macbeth's influence on Macbeth does not resound true with the African experience. "no woman in recent African history is known to have had quite the kind or influence that she had on Macbeth. Had there been (directorial) suggestions of a magic potion, of a charm, her ability to thus influence his actions, or to manipulate Rim might have been more consistent with certain African perceptions of how such control could have been engendered." (I'm glad Ididn't say that!). Reviewed by S. Ekema Agbaw.

1999 Macbeth , Bin Kadi-So, Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

This African adaptation of Macbeth, which is in French, focuses on the occult world and the different levels of reality. It does this by focusing on a mystical gestural language. The director, Maire-Jose Hourantier writes:

The invisible is translated in the African adaptation of Macbeth through an actor who. through gestures above all else, subjects the environment to his will to power. The actor's mystical gestural language cannot be' subjected to a precise interpretation by the spectators: it is first and foremost a matter of the spectators individually apprehending it, sensing its manifestations in the characters' comportments, immersing themselves in it. and then projecting their individual interpretations. Each spectator reaps. then, the fruit of his or her individual openness to the experience,

The play focuses on these gestures, "which operate in the depths beneath the mind," and trances which are "rites of passage where the problem character passes from one level or consciousness to another." For instance, enters into a trance after receiving the message from Duncan: "Look how our partner's rapt" (I.iii.t44). In scene V, Lady Macbeth receives the missive from Macbeth not by letter but in a "psychic fashion" through a "gestural performance chat is danced." The dance continues and changes as the voices of the drums change until she is completely transformed:

...Come you spirts

That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here

And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full

Qf 'direst cruelty! Make thick my blood,

Stop up the access and passage to remorse.. .(I.v.40-44)

Masks are used for much of the supernatural. Banquo wears a large white mask at the banquet. The apparitions that predict Macbeth's fate are masks. The set is divided between the "forest symbolized by a camouflage net where spirits stir about, and the palace, symbolized by cloth corridors" representing a "labyrinth of corridors."

The play utilizes shadows, as having control over someone's shadow" (or your own) gives
you power over that person-
In the fight between Macbeth and Macduff they fight each
thers' shadows. They "decline hand-to-hand combat in favor of a battle of initiates where
he blows cause reverberating shocks in a perfectly regulated occult ballet,.."

From an article written by Marie-Jose Hourantier, professor at the Ecole Normale
Superieur in Abidjan and Director of Bin-Kadi So.




1998, Pidgin Macbeth, Piccadilly Theatere, New York


Makbed blong Wilium Sekspia, an adaptation of Macbeth in the obscure language of Bislarna of Vanuatu, once the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides. Pidginization of a 1anguage occurs when "the substrate speakers imitate the superstrate speakers' imitation of the substrate speakers' imitation of the superstrate language." Out of this jumble can come anew idiom that may become a stable rich and native speech." The production is in the hands of Ken Campbell who also does much of the acting.

Reviewer Eric Korn describes it like this:

The first act of Pidgin Macbeth is essentially an illuminated lecture on pidgin linguistics, shouted and acted and sung by Ken Campbell with a manic glint in the eye, inexhaustible invention, a few, Melanesian props.. and the enthusiastic support: of a motley crew of actors of various sexe's and ethnicities, whom Campbell has dragged into his lair and coaxed, bullied, or inspired into learning to tok the tok and wokabaot the wok.

Korn enjoyed the play but admitted that "It: helps to be fairly familiar with the text of the Hebridean play, as superstitious Melanesians call it." Here is the summary: The audience enjoyed themselves hugely. Lady Mckbeth handwashed, Bimam Bush did its stuff, and for a bonus Nial McDevitt translated Yeates.

Reviewed by Erick Korn.

The Macbeth CD-ROM

A bonus performance track on CD-RON!! includes the text with notes, criticisms and neat little indexing tools for finding lines, characters, etc. It also has a picture gallery and some video clips of some short: scenes. The most interesting thing is 'The Macbeth Karaoke" which consists of' two Macbeth-Lady Macbeth scenes" in full audio where you can play one part or the other by deleting the voice of one of the actors! She novelty quickly wears off'. Reviewed by Joe Calarco.

Sample Works Cited page


Works Cited

Aghaw, S. Ekema. "Africanizing Macbeth: 'Down-fall'n birthdom."' Research in African Literatures.


27.1(1996): 102-110.

Amneus. Daniel. Macbeth's 'Greater Honor."' Shakespeare Studies vol. VI. Ed Dubuque: Wm.Brown. 1970

Antos. John. "The Naive Imagination and the Destruction of Macbeth." ELtH 14(1947): 114-126.

Blair, David. ""'What Happens in Macbeth' Act I scene vii?" The Review of English Studies. 47(1996):




Calarco, Joe. "Macbeth by Williarn Shakespeare (Review)." Theatre Journal. 58 (1996): 529-531.

Clayton. Torn. "Macbeth" yet Iwill cry the last' What?" Notes and Queries" 44(1997): 507-508.

Crook, John. "From Around the "World : Atlanta'." Opera News. 62.3(1999): 103.

Delaney. Bill. "Shakespeare's 'Macbeth."' Explicator. 57(1999) 133-138.

Hourantier, Marie-Jose. "Gestural Interpretation or the Occult in the Bin Kadi-So Macbeth." Research in African Literatures. 30.4(1999): 135-140.

Korn, Eric. "Naradei mo narade mo naradei." Times Literary Suppliment. 16 Oct.1993: 20.

Mallett, Peter J. "Verdi; Macbeth." Opera News. 61.5 (1996): 54.

Mc.Arthur, Colin. "Out. out darmned Scot? (revision of Scotish higher education curriculum in English Literature)." New Statesman. V. 123 Cl 999): p42.

English 417:

Shakespeare Ten-Page Research Project

Descriptions of Topics:

I Middle-Class Domestic Texts: This research project is based on the

conjunction of Shakespeare's texts with Renaissance middle-class domestic texts. Your research will primarily consist of carefully reading all or part of the popular, middle-class domestic texts that you choose, then looking at how they interact with Shakespeare's work. You will be reading marriage sermons, domestic conduct books, argumentative treatises, and dialogues whose purpose is to define and reinforce gender behavior, in marriage and out. Remember that these domestic texts do not reflect the "reality" of Renaissance culture any more than Shakespeare's work does. We cannot assume any direct correlation. In fact, Linda Fitz argues that the very existence of these domestic texts, with their expressions of patriarchal desire concerning gendered behavior, is our best clue that women were not conforming to social expectations for obedience, silence, etc. These texts also do not act as keys that allow us to "correctly" interpret literature. Rather, working together, they shed light on issues in the period

You will nor need to do extensive secondary research in critical materials because I want you to concentrate all your attention and energy on the primary texts. Pollard and Redgrave's Short Title Catalogue (found in the Reference section, WSU Library) is the best place to look for titles that are useful in Renaissance gender analysis.

Survey the middle-class domestic texts to see what they contain. Some of these texts will be too long for you to use completely, so you may need to make some choices about your focus. You do not necessarily have to read the entire text. (Note: The purpose of this project is not to summarize any text, although a brief summary is always useful).

2. Shakespeare in Performance: Describe the production history of a character in any one of the Shakespearean plays. You will want to consult multiple sources and multiple productions of the play you choose. The focus on character should lead you to make some informed comments about how the character has changed. developed, or maintained over time, and how those dramatic changes and choices reflect the societies in which they occur. In other words, how do changes in art mirror or interact with changes in culture and society?

You are also welcome to refer to video texts, but it is up to you to find copies of these performances. You can try media services on campus, the \VSU library, the public library, and video stores. Another good place to look for changes in perception concerning a character is in the introduction to editions of the play you are interested in working on

Remember that each play has been performed hundreds of times. You might start with Appendix A and Appendix B in your text book (plates 32-39 between pages 1898 and 1899 and pages 1905-1950). Your best options for sources for this project may be drama/production journals, other journals, Variorum editions of plays, in addition to the Shakespeare Quarterly yearly bibliography which lists articles and reviews.

3. Intertextuality: This project asks you to Look at, compare. contrast, and analyze the sources that Shakespeare rnav have used when composing the final text(s) that have survived. You will find a source section in the

appendices or the course text (pp. 195 l~2Ot9). You need to Look up the sources and read them carefully. The Variorum editions of the plays sometimes have useful source material reprinted.

The point of this project is to ask yourself questions about how

Shakespearean texts interact with earlier versions of the same basic narratives. How does Shakespeare adapt his sources, change them, adopt them, and what do these decisions say about Renaissance culture/society? Why did he

choose to retell these particular narratives, what is the larger societal significance of the choices he made? How are characters different, how do the narratives change, what are the tonal, the "message" changes? The middle-class domestic texts will be very useful as you attempt to reconstruct narratives that describe gender roles during Medieval and Renaissance England.

4. The Politics of the Introduction: For this topic, I want you to read a variety of introductions from different time periods. The best way to start this research is to go to the WSU library, find the call number for Shakespeare's works, and go to the shelves and browse until you find what you need: a variety of edited editions of the play you are interested in working on. This essay requires that you ask questions about the perspective of the editor: Who and

what does this. editor represent? What are the politics of the publication? What values does the editor have? What issues or perspectives does the editor ignore? About what is s/he trying to convince the reader? What is the editor's critical perspective on Shakespeare? Begin by doing an extensive rhetorical analysis of each editor (purpose, persona, topic, audience)

S. Textual Studies: Select one play with an active textual history (For example. originally Hamlet appeared in three editions: two quarto editions and one folio edition.) If there is more than one edition of the play, study each version carefully, researching the printing and editorial history of each, noting similarities and differences, the textual problems, the implications--and then determine which edition is the most authoritative To begin: At the end of each play in your textbook, there is a section "Note on the Text" with specific "Textual Notes" that follow. Browse through these notes and select a play that might interest you

6. Critical Approaches: Select one play and explore various critical approaches to the text written by credible Shakespearean scholars. These interpretations could include feminist, Marxist, formalist, psychoanalytic, New Historicism, or deconstructionist theories. You need to read and analyze at least five (5) different theories and discuss how they help reveal the play. Then pick the theory you like best and discuss why. Pages 1970-1975 in your textbook offer information about early critical commentary on Shakespeare's plays and poems; pages 27-34 offer relevant information about twentieth-century criticism.

7. Cultural contexts: Shakespeare's plays grew out of various cultural contexts.. Topics here might include the exploration of family life during Shakespeare's time, social structure, marriage, minorities/women in Early Modern England, sumptuary laws, travel literature, the reigns of Elizabeth I/James I, the supernatural. economics, scientific revolution, and the church.


You can start with pp. 5-8 in your textbook and then read around on one of the topics. Be sure to connect whatever topic you choose to Shakespeare's writing/written works.

8. Theatrical considerations: Even though most of Shakespeare's plays aesthetically beautiful, he was also a practical playwright; he knew his audience, his stage. and his acting companies Here you might look at the playhouses, the boy acting companies, costuming, the actors, or the stage it5elf. Pa2es 14-IS in your textbook offer an introduction to the theatrical setting. Of course when researching this topic you want to connect it to Shakespeare's plays.

Suggested Procedures:


--Spend some time looking at several of the texts that interest you from the

selected bibliography (pp. 2021-2034) in your text book.


--Find out if anyone else in the class wants to collaborate on reading, copying. discussing, etc. the texts you want to work on.

---Find out in what form your text is available: microfilm, books from another library. Remember that you can use interlibrary loan, but it takes time to receive materials. IF you haven't gotten the sources you need to complete your then you probably haven't done your part as a researcher.


--Once you are familiar with your other text choices, begin thinking about and

making connections between them and Shakespeare. You may or may not know what play or poems you want to use before you start on your research. The process is discovery, and you are not expected to know the

answers before you begin.


(If none of the above topics suits your fancy, come see me with a detailed accounting of the topic you would prefer to research and how you plan to go about it.)



- .



The Renaissance (a period of rebirth of interest and learning in the Classics/merged with

Medieval background) carne later in England than in Italy and France.

Student Blooper: It was an age of great inventions and discoveries, Guttenberg invented removable type and the Bible, Another important invention was the circulation of the blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.


George Stevens (1700s) "All that is known with any degree of certainty concerning Shakespeare is--that he was born at Stratford upon Avon--married and had children there,--went to London, where he commenced actor, and wrote poems and plays, returned to Stratford, made his will, died, and was buried.'

Student Blooper: The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic Pentameter. (If you make a mistake in Islamic Pentameter, I understand they cut off your hand.) Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couplet. Romeo 5 last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

1485-1660--English Renaissance

1485--Henry VII (beginning of Tudor line)

1509-1 547--Henry VIII

1558-1603--Elizabethan era

1603-1625--Jacobean Era (James I)

1625 - 1649--Caroline Era (Charles)

1649-1 660--Commonwealth

Shakespeare 1564-1616

A Sampling of Events:

1492-1580--exploration of New World

1495--syphilis epidemic all over Europe

1500--book printing and typography/reflect favorable conditions increase in wealth

first banks/double bookkeeping system black leaded pencil

recorded caesarean performed on a Swiss pig gelder Jakob Nufer

1512--Copernicus (heliocentric universe)

1529--women on Italian stage for first time

15 17--Martin Luther: posted 95 Theses, Germany/Reformation coffee in Europe for first time

1531--Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England

1535--London Exchange (money economy)

1550--first billiards in Italy

1551--first licensed ale houses in England


1558--Elizabeth I on throne

1 564--Shakespeare born/Galileo born Michaelangelo dies

1565--Sir John Hawkins introduces sweet potatoes/tobacco to England

1568--Alexander Nowell, Dean of St Paul's invents bottled beer

1570--Lodovico Castelvetro demands introduction of Aristotelian principles to contemporary drama

1575--population of London=1 80,000 people

1576--Richard Burbage opens first public theater in London

1580--London earthquake

1588--defeat of Spanish Armada

1592--plague kills 15,000 people in London/theaters closed Shakespeare mentioned as actor for first time

1595--invention of gunpowder/ England abandons bow and arrow first appearance of heels on shoes

1596--first flush toilet designed by Sir John Harington (courtier, author) installed at Queen's Palace, Richmond

1597--Act in 1597 state given authority to punish rapists

crime = corporal one against women (before = theft from her family)

1599--Globe Theater built

1600--England and Ireland 5.5 million people

1603--James I on throne

1605--Santa Fe, New Mexico, founded

1607--Jamestown, Virginia (first English settlement on mainland)

1608--first check ("cash letters") in Netherlands

16102-Stationer's Company begins to send a copy of every book printed in England to Bodleian Library, Oxford

1616--Shakespeare dies/Cervantes dies

Ben Jonson's first folio published

1623--The First Folio "Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies,

Histories, and Tragedies Published According to

the True Originall Copies" by Heminge and Condell