ENGL 225 A: Shakespeare

Politics and Play

Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 11:30am - 12:20pm
Location: 
MUE 155
SLN: 
13779
Instructor:
Meagan Loftin

Syllabus Description:

English 225: Politics and Play in Shakespeare’s Henriad

 

LOCATION/TIME: MUE 115 M-TH 11:30-12:20

INSTRUCTOR: Meagan Loftin

OFFICE:  ART 347

OFFICE HOURS: MW 12:30-1:30 or by appointment

EMAIL: mloftin@uw.edu

CLASS WEBSITE: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/915212

Course Description

Shakespeare was not only a prolific poet and dramatist, he was also a historian of sorts; keenly aware of the politics of his own day and the monarchy’s turbulent past.  His history plays, often overlooked in favor of his more gripping comedies and tragedies, provide a window into some of the most pressing concerns of Elizabethan England: What are the characteristics of a good ruler?  What makes a tyrant? How should political succession be determined? When is rebellion justified?  The history plays also lack the concrete textual conventions that define the comedies and tragedies prompting readers to consider how history operates as genre, the function of the play as such, and the complex textual history of Shakespeare’s work.  This course investigates one of Shakespeare’s greatest story arcs the Henriad, covering 17 years of English history (1398-1415) and three kings (Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V), which allows us to examine these questions and issues within a tight regnal narrative of upheavals, interpersonal tensions, and precarious peacetimes. 

As a W credit course, we will also be using the four plays of the Henriad as the foundation for practicing writing skills important not only to literary studies, but more broadly to the analytical and critical thinking required of you in your other classes at UW.  Students will complete several reading responses, 3 short papers (1000-1500 words each), and a final portfolio project (1000 words).  Additionally students should expect to actively participate in class activities—including lectures, in-class writing, group work, and reading responses—and attend one 15 min conference.

In order to guide our progress this quarter, we will be working to achieve the following outcomes over the next ten weeks.

By the end of this quarter, you will be able to:

  1. Successfully read, comprehend, and critically analyze the works of Shakespeare.
  2. Thoughtfully articulate the political, cultural, and textual concerns of literature.
  3. Formulate claims, based in specific evidence and analysis, which consider the full complexity of the issue at hand.
  4. Clearly and coherently organize your ideas and evidence in order to facilitate you claims.
  5. Critically analyze and revise your own writing to produce persuasive scholarly work. 

Course Texts

We will be using the Folger Shakespeare Library editions of the following plays:

  • Richard II: ISBN 978-0743484916
  • Henry IV, Part 1: ISBN 978-0743485043
  • Henry IV, Part 2: ISBN 978-0743485050
  • Henry V: ISBN 978-0743484879

Additionally, you will be reading two articles on Course Reserve, available through the course Canvas site. You will also be watching 4 film adaptations of the plays above.  These are available on 2-hr course reserve or can be rented from iTunes/Amazon for $2.99 each (SD).

Course Assignments

I will post all writing prompts, reading response prompts, etc. on the class Canvas site.  You will submit all informal and formal written work to the Canvas site, on each assignment’s respective page.  Documents must be submitted in Word.  If for any reason, Canvas is down at the time of submission, you must email me your assignment.  I will not accept any excuses for late work.

As noted above, this course will require you to produce 3 papers and a portfolio of formal writing.

Papers are due online by 11:30AM on the day indicated on the syllabus. The portfolio is due at 11:59PM On June 7th.

All formal writing should be formatted as follows:

  • It should have your name in the upper left of the first page and a title above the text. No heading.
  • It should be double-spaced, with 1 in margins.
  • It should be in either Times New Roman or Calibri font (12 pt).
  • It should be proofread for typos, grammar, and spelling.
  • It should use correct MLA citation if any text is used.

It should include a separate Works Cited Page(not included in page count) in MLA format if any text is used.

Additionally you will be required to submit 9 short (250-350 word) informal reading responses on Canvas.  These are due at 10:00PM on the day indicated on the syllabus.  You should also have read several, if not all of the other responses, by class the next day.

Grading

Formal writing accounts for 60% of your grade.  Each paper is valued equally for your grade.  The portfolio, also worth 15% includes a revised version of one of these three papers so that you essentially choose which paper (through revision) you wanted to be valued the most in your grade.  The full breakdown of the grading scheme is:

  • Paper 1: Richard II   15%
  • Paper 2: Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2   15%
  • Paper 3: The Henriad    15%
  • Reading Responses (9): 15%
  • Participation (in-class writing, conferences, class discussion): 25%
  • Portfolio 15%

Evaluation

The following evaluation rubric will be used as part of my feedback on formal and informal writing

  • Outstanding: Offers a very highly proficient demonstration of the trait(s) associated with good writing for this course, including some appropriate risk-taking and/or creativity.
  • Good: Effectively demonstrates the trait(s) associate with good writing for this course, but less proficiently; could use revision to demonstrate more skillful and nuanced command of trait(s).
  • Inadequate: The trait(s) associated with good writing for this course are not adequately demonstrated and require substantial revision on multiple levels.

Late work

I will not accept late reading responses; failure to turn these in on time will result in failure of that response.  I will accept late formal writing but your paper will be assessed a .3 penalty (on a 4.0 scale) for each 24-hours period it is late.   Thus if you turn in a paper at 2:30PM instead of 11:30AM the same day, it will result in a .3 penalty, just as it would if you turned it in at 10:30AM the next morning. You may also request an extension (requested at least 24 hrs before the paper is due) for extenuating circumstances.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism, or academic dishonesty, is presenting someone else’s ideas or writing as your own. In your writing for this class, you are encouraged to refer to other people’s thoughts and writing, as long as you cite them.

If you are in a position where you’re tempted to plagiarize, it probably means there’s something else going on. Perhaps you’re having trouble understanding what the assignment is asking you to do, or you’re struggling to manage the multiple obligations of being a college student. These are totally understandable dilemmas, so please come talk to me about the source of the problem (so we can work on solving it) instead of creating a more serious problem for yourself by plagiarizing.

As a matter of policy, any student found plagiarizing any piece of writing in this class will be reported to the College of Arts and Sciences for review. For more information, refer to UW’s Student Conduct Code at: www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html

Writing Resources

I encourage you to take advantage of the following writing resources available to you at no charge. You may make up one reading response or 2 days of class participation if you visit a writing centerTo receive this extra credit write me a 250-word, double-spaced summary of who you worked with, what paper you focused on, and what you learned

  • The CLUE Writing Center in Mary Gates Hall is open Sunday to Thursday from 7pm to midnight. The graduate tutors can help you with your claims, organization, and grammar. You do not need to make an appointment, so arrive early and be prepared to wait.
  • The Odegaard Writing and Research Center is open Sunday to Thursday from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. This writing center provides a research-integrated approach to writing instruction. Make an appointment on the website: www.depts.washington.edu/owrc.

Accommodations

If you need accommodation of any sort, please don’t hesitate to talk to me about it so that I can work with the UW Disability Services Office (DSO) to provide what you require. This syllabus is available in large print, as are other class materials. More information about accommodation may be found at http://www.washington.edu/admin/dso/.

Course Calendar

While we have class 4 days/week, the calendar below lists only those dates on which reading/writing is due. You should consider it to be accurate unless I inform you otherwise. Note that additional homework may be assigned in class that is not detailed on the syllabus. It is your responsibility to ask a member of the class about missed assignments if you are absent

Additional Details:

POLITICS AND PLAY

Shakespeare was not only a prolific poet and dramatist, he was also a historian of sorts; keenly aware of the politics of his own day and the monarchy’s turbulent past. His history plays, often overlooked in favor of his more gripping comedies and tragedies, provide a window into some of the most pressing concerns of Elizabethan England: What are the characteristics of a good ruler? What makes a tyrant? How should political succession be determined? When is rebellion justified? Furthermore, the history plays, lacking the concrete textual conventions that define the comedies and tragedies, prompt readers to consider how history operates as genre, the function of the play as such, and the complex textual history of Shakespeare’s work. This course investigates one of Shakespeare’s greatest story arcs the Henriad, covering 17 years of English history (1398-1415) and three kings (Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V), which will allow us to examine these issues within a tight regnal narrative of upheavals, interpersonal tensions, and precarious peacetimes.

As a W credit course, we will also be using the four plays of the Henriad as the foundation for practicing writing skills important not only to literary studies, but more broadly to the analytical and critical thinking required of you in your other classes at UW. Students will complete several reading responses, 3 short papers (1000-1500 words), and a final portfolio project (1000 words). Additionally students should expect to actively participate in class activities, including lectures, in-class writing, group work, and discussions.

Required Course Texts: We will be using the Folger Shakespeare Library editions of the following plays
• Richard II: ISBN 978-0743484916
• Henry IV, Part 1: ISBN 978-0743485043
• Henry IV, Part 2: ISBN 978-0743485050
• Henry V: ISBN 978-0743484879

Catalog Description: 
Introduces Shakespeare's career as dramatist, with study of representative comedies, tragedies, romances, and history plays.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Writing (W)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
March 16, 2016 - 11:20am