MW 9:30-10:50 AM
Shakespeare, William. The Norton Shakespeare: Early Plays and Poems. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2008. Print. Vol. 1 of The Norton Shakespeare. 2 vols. 2008
---. The Norton Shakespeare: Later Plays. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2008. Print. Vol. 2 of The Norton Shakespeare. 2 vols. 2008.
English Department Goals
GOAL 1. Critical Inquiry
Objective 1.1: Student engages in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrates aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis.
Objective 1.2: Student evaluates secondary sources and applies skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.
GOAL 2. Knowledge of Language and Literature
Objective 2.1: Student understands the usage and structure of the English language.
Objective 2.2: Student recognizes the stylistic techniques that distinguish key literary texts relevant to subject and genre.
Objective 2.3: Student is familiar with the legacy of important ideas and contexts associated with literary periods.
Objective 2.4: Student is introduced to academic and professional publications in the field.
GOAL 3. Writing as Process
Objective 3.1: Student reflects on his or her arguments over multiple stages of development.
Objective 3.2: Using traditional resources and emerging technologies, the student references and formats primary and secondary sources in MLA style.
GOAL 4. Engagement
Objective 4.1: Student is aware of a cultural context for his or her own values and those of his or her sources.
Objectives in Shakespeare
Midterm & Final Blue Books (open book)
May 7, 2014: Wednesday 8:00-10:00 AM. Six paragraphs (open book). Students may pre-enter the Block Quote in their Blue Book. They may have a pre-prepared outline with bullet points on the inside Blue Book covers. The Blue Book is open-book and students may have their highlighted outside source with them during the test. The outside source must be properly acknowledged and documented in the Works Cited, which may also be pre-entered in the Blue Book. There is NO introductory paragraph, but otherwise everything is the same including proper MLA in-body citing.
Each essay (including the Blue Book Final) is worth the same amount. The grades for the essays are added together and divided by four for the final semester grade.
Proper Format (using MLA citing standards)
The first paragraph, or introduction, begins with the clearest possible explanation (3-5 sentences) of the student’s argument (and, for that reason, the first paragraph is best composed last). The first paragraph should end with a context that explains the relevant plotline and anticipates a key idea in the Block Quote that immediately follows (the first paragraph ends on a colon, followed by the Block Quote).
Each essay features a Block Quote (BQ), a long passage from the play cited word for word exactly the way it appears in our text (don’t turn poetry into prose). Instead of quotation marks, students set the BQ off an extra 10 spaces on the left all the way down. At the close of the BQ, students should provide parentheses with act, scene, and line numbers:
To be, or not to be; that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them. To die, to sleep—
No more, and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—‘’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. […] (3.1.58-66)
NOTE: MLA stipulates that we simply use numbers: e.g., (3.1.58-66) means Act three, Scene one, lines 58 through 66. Once we know the act and scene, we simply use the line numbers in parentheses: e.g. Prince Hamlet goes on to worry about the afterlife: “To die, to sleep. / To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub” (66-67). Notice the forward slash between lines when we’re NOT using Block Quotes.
The second paragraph comes AFTER the BQ and mines the BQ for ideas. The second paragraph does NOT have any quotes, either from the Block Quote or from elsewhere in the poem or story.
The third paragraph, regarding character (the motivation of a person in the story), utilizes four Short Quotes (SQs) that were not part of the BQ. Always provide the line number(s) immediately following the quote.
Hamlet seems to reject Ophelia, advising her to retire into celibacy at a “nunnery” (3.1.139).
Hamlet’s mother doesn’t see her husband’s ghost, saying to her son that his vision was merely the “coinage of your brain” (3.4.128).
Hamlet’s mother hints that she believes her son’s vision to be the consequence of an infirmed, feverish mind: “This is the very coinage of your brain. / This bodiless creation ecstasy / Is very cunning in” (3.4.128-130).
Notice that we always ANTICIPATE a quote with its significance for our discussion, especially if it’s a longer quote of a line or more. NOTE: We do NOT lead with a quote—we lead with its meaning to us. The 3rd paragraph should begin In regard to character.
The fourth paragraph, regarding irony (when the opposite of what we expect proves to be true), utilizes four more (never before used) SQs. NOTE: Think of this paragraph as an opportunity to acknowledge your hypothetical opposition. For instance, if you are arguing in the Blue Book that Prospero is the natural ruler of the island, offer concessions in paragraph four where you admit there are valid arguments in favor of Caliban. The 4th paragraph should begin In regard to irony.
The fifth paragraph begins In regard to my critical review. Here students need a point from either the general introduction or from the play’s preface. This point must be reinforced by at least one direct quote (of some length, but not a Block Quote). You also need to offer a comparison (with direct quote) from another Shakespeare play on our reading list:
In regard to my critical review, I want to cite Stephen Greenblatt’s preface to the play where he emphasizes the “painful interiority” (104) of Prince Hamlet’s interior life. People around Hamlet—most notably Polonius—make assumption after assumption based on what they assume would be his self-interest, but they reason from mere appearances, rather than what Hamlet is, a person of complexity: “Hamlet at once invites and resists interrogation. He is, more than any theatrical character before and perhaps since, a figure constructed around an unseen or secret core” (104). Now if you were making such a point, you would want to offer YOUR interpretation as to the nature of that secret core—the real motivation of Hamlet. You must follow up on your use of Greenblatt with your own INSIGHT. Then connect with another play in our list: King Lear—like Polonius who uses Ophelia as bait and decoy—throws away the life of his daughter, Cordelia. When he holds her dying body, he realizes there was only one thing that mattered, not his kingdom or his vanity, but his daughter. When he thinks he sees her breath, he grasps at straws, hoping she may be restored to him: “This feather stirs. She lives. If it be so, / It is a chance which does redeem all sorrow / That ever I have felt” (Lr. 5.3.239-241).
The sixth paragraph (which continues the critical review) should introduce an idea from an outside source (either, a scholarly article from the Moffett-supported database Academic Search Complete or a serious title from the Moffett book stacks). The idea is to offer a sustained discussion of a thought in your outside source. There should be at least one direct quote (no longer than 4 lines of your typing). NOTE: We never just quote—we anticipate the quote with the idea and context in our own words. The quote itself is just reinforcement (proper acknowledgement is highlighted in bold):
According to Cameron Hunt, in his article “Jephthah’s Daughter’s Daughter: Ophelia” for ANQ, Hamlet taunts Polonius, calling him “old Jephthah” (Ham. 2.2.392), because like the Old Testament figure who foolishly promised God the first thing he saw when he returned home, Polonius is using the most important person in his life—his daughter—as a pawn in a dangerous game. The daughter, whom Jephthah “lovèd surpassingly well” (390), rushed out to greet the father she herself adored and respected. The Prince (implicitly) is accusing Polonius of carelessly pushing his daughter ahead of him, oblivious to the dire consequences of abusing her dutiful nature: “This allusion identifies Ophelia as a virgin, destined for sacrifice at the hands of her politically ambitious father from the play’s outset” (Hunt 14). Significantly, as Hunt points out, the story in chapter 11 of Judges indicates that Jephthah’s daughter acquiesced. She merely desired some time—two months—to lament the fact that she would never marry (14). Hunt drives home the significance of two months: when Hamlet hosts the play-within-the-play, Ophelia herself says two months have passed since the funeral of King Hamlet (14-15). Ophelia’s time is nearly up! As Hunt makes clear, the willows of Ophelia’s drowning symbolize virgins who miss out on becoming brides (16). Polonius is playing a game both father and daughter will regret when it robs Ophelia of love and children, just as Jephthah threw away the prospects of his virgin daughter who does not so much mourn her loss of life as she does her loss of love and children (15-16).
NOTE: You may bring to bear additional material in pars. 5-6 only if it is pre-approved by the instructor (e.g., a hand-out in class). It must be properly documented in-body and in the Works Cited.
The seventh paragraph begins with the position (your thesis), offers a concession (based perhaps on a point in the irony paragraph), and then reinforces the position (refined position) with THREE sub-points: i.e., three supporting reasons in support of your thesis (three examples or explanations in your own words derived from key points in pars. 2-3). NO quoting in the seventh paragraph. Suggestion: The first sub-point reinforcing your position might kick off with nevertheless or nonetheless—because you are returning to your thesis despite (and in light of) the concession you just offered.
Proper Submission of Student Writing
You must properly cite your sources in the Works Cited according to MLA standards. Here is a sample Works Cited (using the MLA cross reference technique for anthologies):
Greenblatt, Stephen. Preface to Hamlet. Greenblatt 103-115.
Hunt, Cameron. “Jephthah’s Daughter’s Daughter: Ophelia.” ANQ 22.4 (2009): 13-16. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Aug. 2010.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. Greenblatt 116-204.
---. King Lear. Greenblatt 603-757.
---. The Norton Shakespeare: Later Plays. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt. 2nd edition. New York: Norton, 2008. Print. Vol. 2 of The Norton Shakespeare. 2 vols. 2008.
Late Penalties and Illness
An essay is late if submitted after the class period it is due and penalized 10 points. If late by two class periods, the essay is penalized 20 points. No late work may be submitted after the last official class period, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. A class period is officially over when the instructor dismisses it. All late work must be submitted IN PERSON.
If students are too ill to submit their work personally, they should submit it when they return to class. They may avoid penalty for late submission by obtaining documentation from a relevant professional in a timely fashion (e.g., a doctor or the Dean of Students’ office). A missed Blue Book may be made up but (barring documentation) the same late penalties apply.
SEVEN absences from class (excused or not, documented or not, approved by MSU or not) will result in an automatic F for the semester grade. Roll is taken right away as soon as class begins. Late is the same as ABSENT. SEVEN of any sort of absence means an F for the semester grade (no exception for illness, court date, or university-sanctioned event). The instructor will notify the Office of Student Conduct and/or Dean of Students who in turn will inform the student of the F in the course. If the student continues to attend the class, the instructor reserves the right to withdraw the student with a WF. Documentation may avoid a late penalty on an assignment, but it cannot excuse an absence under this policy.
Plagiarism and Proper Documentation
Any use of a non-documented source as if it were a student’s original work is considered plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Plagiarism can be of ideas; it can be of exact phrasing. In either or both cases, if the student has failed to acknowledge the source in the body of the essay and to document it in the Works Cited, the grade will be a “0” (no points) for the assignment (even if the rest of the assignment is original and use of other sources properly documented). Upon being informed of the plagiarism, the student is no longer welcome in the class. The student may withdraw from the course with a penalty-free “W” if available; if not, the student must cease attending and the grade will be whatever points the student has accumulated minus the plagiarized document and any other tests or assignment as yet not completed (which are forfeit). If the student continues to attend, the instructor will contact the Dean of Students and withdraw the student with a WF.
Phrasing that is too close to the student’s own documented sources.
Students who reproduce the phrasing of their documented source(s) as if it were their own phrasing will be penalized for language that is too close to source. Students can use terminology they find in their documented sources, but four words in a row are too much without quoting. Verbatim use of a documented source must be confined to QUOTES set off with quotation marks or ten extra spaces on the left if more than four lines of poetry, five lines of prose.