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ENGLISH 2CR3 Shakespeare: Comedy, Play, Rom

Academic Year: Fall 2016

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Cathy Grisé

Email: grisec@mcmaster.ca

Office: Chester New Hall 325

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23510


Office Hours: Tuesdays 1-2 pm, Thursdays 3:30-4:30 pm

Course Objectives:

Course Description:

This course studies a selection of Shakespeare’s comedies, problem plays, and romances as representatives of early modern dramatic forms and genres. We will examine the plays both as literature and performance, considering a number of issues of contemporary and modern concern: e.g., genre and dramatic/literary devices, gender, sexuality, race and culture, reward and punishment, and social order and disorder.

By the end of this course students will

  • Be able to identify generic forms and conventions for Shakespearean comedy and romance
  • Be conversant with close reading and scene analysis techniques for studying early modern drama
  • Be familiar with some of the important social and critical issues of Shakespeare’s time
  • Have enhanced their critical thinking and communicating skills through the instruction, materials, assignments, and discussions for the course


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

A Midsummer Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare, Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780743477543, Status: Required

As You Like It
by William Shakespeare, Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780743484862, Status: Required

Measure for Measure
by William Shakespeare, Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780743484909, Status: Required

The Tempest
by William Shakespeare, Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9780743482837, Status: Required

Method of Assessment:

This course comprises two lectures and a tutorial every week, as well as readings available as your course textbooks as well as additional readings available on Avenue. Students are expected to attend all lectures and tutorials, keep up-to-date with Avenue, complete all the readings on time, and complete assignments for the deadlines. The method of assessment reflects this variety of tasks and responsibilities.

A. Reading Quizzes: weekly, best 10/12 marks counted: 10 %

B. Play Review Tests: four dates: AMND, Sept. 30; AYLI, Oct. 21; MM, Nov. 11; TT, Dec. 2: 5% each; total: 20%

C. Lectures: attendance and participation: twice weekly, 5%

D. Tutorials: weekly in-class attendance and participation: 10%, tutorial assignments: 5%; total: 15%

E. Essay: Proposal/outline, 500 words, in tutorial Nov. 14-18, 10%; Final submission, 2000 words, on Avenue Drop Box, on tutorial day, week of Nov. 28-Dec. 2: 20%; total: 30%

F. Final Exam, in December exam period: 25%

Further information about assignments will be available on Avenue.


 Lecture expectations: All students are expected to attend all lectures and are responsible for all materials, activities, and information provided therein. If you have to miss one please tell your TA and ask a classmate for notes.


Tutorial expectations: All students will attend and participate actively in their tutorial every week and are responsible for all materials, assignments, activities, and information provided therein. If you have to miss one please tell your TA and ask a classmate for notes.


Prolonged absences: Please contact your TA and your faculty advisor if you have to miss several lectures and tutorials. It is your responsibility to make up the missed work, but accommodations for deadlines can be made if you go through the appropriate channels.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Late penalties for major assignments are 5% per business day; late assignments will be accepted up to one week after the deadline, after which special consideration must be sought from the TA and instructor. Students will have an opportunity to make up quizzes and review tests, as per the instructor’s instructions. There is a distinct possibility that missed tutorial work may not be made up, but students may contact their TA to discuss their options.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Weekly Reading Schedule

Sept. 6-9: Introduction to the course: Shakespeare and Comedy

   First week - Readings: course outline and http://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/an-introduction-to-shakespeares-comedy

Sept. 12-16: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act I

     Tutorials and TA office hours begin this week

Sept. 19-23: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, II-III

Sept. 26-30: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, IV-V

     Sept. 30: Play review test

Oct. 3-7: As You Like It, I-III

Reading Week: Oct. 10-14

Oct. 17-21: As You Like It, IV-V

     Oct. 21: Play review test

Oct. 24-28: Measure for Measure, I

Oct. 31-Nov. 4: Measure for Measure, II-III

Nov. 7-11: Measure for Measure, IV-V

     Nov. 11: Play review test

Nov. 14-18: The Tempest, I

     Nov. 14-18: Essay proposal due in tutorial

Nov. 21-24: The Tempest, II-III

Nov. 28-Dec. 2: The Tempest, IV-V

     Nov. 28-Dec. 2: Essay proposal due in tutorial

     Dec. 2: Play review test

Dec. 5-7: Exam Review

     Date TBA: December Exam in the exam period