Fall 2012 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Murphy, Jessica
Discipline and Number
LIT 3320 Section 001
MW Time 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Course Title

Description of Course:

William Shakespeare is funny. In this course, we will read a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies, a bit of tragedy, a bit of history, and some of his sonnets to tease out the ways he uses humor in his work. With some attention to comedy as a narrative structure, we will also think about what is not so funny in these plays. Throughout the semester, we will consider some film adaptations of Shakespeare’s work and how recent directors have handled the comedy of the plays.

Required Texts:

1. The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare’s Comedies ed. Penny Gay, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-521-67269-6
2. Course Reserves
3. Pelican Shakespeare Editions of:
The Merchant of Venice 9780140714623
A Midsummer Night’s Dream 9780140714555
Much Ado about Nothing 9780140714807
Romeo and Juliet 9780140714845
Richard III 9780140714838
The Taming of the Shrew 9780140714517
Twelfth Night 9780140714890
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 9780140714616
The Winter’s Tale 9780140714883

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should demonstrate:

  • a detailed knowledge of the plays we read;

  • the ability to think critically about the texts; and

  • an understanding of Shakespeare’s drama in its cultural and historical context.

Assignments will include short writings, exams, and a social network project.

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