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A study of Shakespeare's plays in relation to the social, intellectual, and political climate of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods and with reference to theatrical production.
The principal objective of this course is to help you gain confidence in reading and understanding Shakespeare's plays. Because Shakespeare's plays are written in a largely unfamiliar idiom and literary form, and because they are the product of specific historical circumstances, the course will give equal emphasis to the development of analytical skills and to acquiring a working knowledge of the social, political, and theatrical milieu in which Shakespeare wrote.
- Four essays of 1,250-1,500 word (15% each) = 60%
- Final Exam = 40%
See information about the exam format in the Start Here section of the course Moodle site. You must submit all the assignments, write and pass the exam in order to pass the course.
Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period
The course lessons are organized by individual plays in chronological order. In addition to twelve lessons covering twelve different plays, there is a general introduction outlining the history of Shakespeare criticism and explaining the approach that is followed in this course (see "Approaches to Studying Shakespeare"). For each of the twelve lessons, you are responsible for reading the play in the Norton Shakespeare, the introduction to it in that text, and any additional readings listed at the beginning of the lesson. You should also familiarize yourself with the contents of the General Introduction to the Norton Shakespeare (pp. 1-78) and the section on “The Shakespearean Stage” by Andrew Gurr (pp. 77-99). These pages are reprinted in each volume of the four-volume set. Individual lessons will direct you to specific sections of these readings, but you are responsible for reading through both of them at some point in the course.
There is also an excellent chronological table of events in Shakespeare's time beginning on page 1092 of each book in the four-volume set.
Plays to be Studied
- The Taming of the Shrew (1592)
- Richard III (1592-3)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595)
- The Merchant of Venice (1596-7)
- Much Ado About Nothing (1598-9)
- Henry V (1599)
- Hamlet (1600)
- Twelfth Night (1601)
- Measure for Measure (1604)
- Othello (1604)
- Macbeth (1606)
- The Tempest (1611)
Textbooks and Materials
CDS reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at http://www.campusbookstore.com/Textbooks/SearchEngine/ to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.
- The Norton Shakespeare, 2nd edition (2008)
- The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents (Shakespeare in Context) by Russ McDonald, 2nd edition (2001)
The lesson for Henry V includes the viewing of two films. You are to rent these films from your local video outlet.
To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course.
Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.
About Credit Units
Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.
To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.
The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s are 1 April (for May summer term), 1 June (for July summer term), 1 August (for fall term), and 1 December (for winter term). All documents must be received by the 15th of the month following the deadline. You can register for a course up to one week after the start of the course. See also Dates and Deadlines.
Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2013-14 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $597.70; for a 6.0-unit course, $1195.40. See also Tuition and Payment.
All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.
All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.
Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.