EL 305 Spring 2020 Assignments

Assignment DUE DATES: Unless otherwise specified, there is no hard deadline to these assignments. But I will grade only one assignment 25 May.
Assignment GRADING: These assignments are graded for completeness; if you do the work in good faith, you will get a perfect score.

Please note that there are four total assignments. You should do FIVE of these if you are seeking a letter grade for the course. You can therefore do one assignment twice (on a different play), whichever assignment suits your fancy. You can also do an additional assignment for extra credit. If you are seeking P/F you should do three assignments.

Assignment 4: Shakespeare’s Sources

On the slack channel I’ve provided a list of source material that Shakespeare used to write his plays. Read the excerpt for the play you are writing on for your final paper, and write a short paragraph on how the material sheds new light on some aspect of the play, a line, a character, and so forth.

Assignment 3: Shakespeare in Performance

I’ve posted a variety of Shakespeare performances on stage and on film on the slack channel. Watch one and write a short paragraph on it, describing how it changes your view of some part of the play, a character, a line or speech, and so forth. You are encouraged to do this assignment on the play you are writing your term paper on.

Assignment 2: EEBO

First, watch the EEBO tutorial on our slack channel. Choose a word (for example, “sparrow”) or phrase from Hamlet that intrigues you. Look it up in EEBO under word search (for phrases, it’s helpful to use quotation marks). You’ll want to limit your results to no greater than 20 years in either direction. I.e., 1583-1623. Browse the results and write just a short paragraph about how seeing this word or phrase in another context in the period helps you read its appearance in Hamlet in a new light. Again, I’m just looking for a paragraph here. I will be asking you to use EEBO for your research papers. So, if you are doing a paper on a play that we did earlier this semester (Titus, for example) you can do this assignment on Titus instead. You’ll have a chance to repeat this assignment again for future plays if you wish to earn extra credit.

Assignment 1: Scansion

Take a soliloquy or speech in Hamlet (at least half the length of the speech below…you can choose a part of a speech), and scan it, including caesuras. Write comments in the margins (as you see here) that offer interpretive commentary on what the meter or rhythm communicates. These should be a bit more detailed than what you see here, because I’ve offered a number of explanations in the audio commentary. Then, record a recitation and email it to me!

Please note that you cannot choose the “To be or not to be” speech, because I chose it! See the sample scansion below, my recitation, and my audio commentary.

Due next Wednesday, 8 April. 5 points. Please note that I’m grading this assignment for completeness and good faith effort rather than correctness. If you make an effort here, you will get 5 points. Also know that my late policy is very flexible given the circumstances. If you need extra time, just let me know.

Hamlet scansion

 

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