English 3306
Shakespeare: The Major Works

Dr. Mark Womack Summer 2017
Office Hours:
MWF 1:00-2:00 (& by appointment)

Time Room Section
M–F 2:00–4:00 Roy Cullen 107 #15998

Required Text

The Complete Pelican Shakespeare
Stephen Orgel & A. R. Braunmuller, et al eds.

You need a fully annotated, one-volume edition of Shakespeare for the class. You may use any well-annotated, modern edition. For a list of acceptable editions, see: Textbooks.


You should attend all of every class. Be in class on time with your reading done and your text in hand. I don’t take roll, but I don’t take kindly to students who skip class or arrive late either. It is your responsibility to find out, from your classmates, what you missed when you are not in class.


You will write five Stylistic Analyses, one for each play we discuss in class. You will also write a Critical Essay that focuses on reading Shakespeare’s language closely. The Final Exam will be a Performance Project, with groups of students performing brief scenes for the class.

Assignments not submitted on time will not receive grades. I never assign extra credit or make-up work. I discuss grades only in private, and only forty-eight hours (at least) after I have returned an assignment.

Stylistic Analyses

This semester, you will write five brief analyses (about 300 words each) of specific stylistic choices, one for each of the assigned plays. For each analysis, you should pick a few lines from one of the assigned plays, then focus on a particular linguistic detail in them (a surprising word choice, an arresting metaphor, a complex allusion, a striking use of rhythm), and offer your insights into what that specific stylistic nuance does for a reader.

Everything you say in your analysis should relate directly to the actual words of the text. Don’t get sidetracked; stick with the words. Think about how Shakespeare has shaped and arranged the language. Strive for fine-grained analysis, not mushy generalizations.

Post your Stylistic Analyses in the Journal component of Blackboard. Please DO NOT submit your analyses as attached files. You must submit your Stylistic Analysis for each play on or before the last day we discuss that play.

Critical Essay

For your essay, I will ask you to compare a brief passage of Shakespeare’s original language to a modern, prose translation of it. You will find a detailed assignment sheet for the Critical Essay on the main website.

Performance Project

In lieu of a final exam, you will form acting companies and stage scenes from the plays we have read this semester. See the assignment sheet for the Performance Project on the main website for more details. You will perform your scenes in class at the date and time scheduled for the final: Wednesday, August 9, 2pm to 5pm.

Cell Phones

You may not use cell phones in class. Keep your cell phone turned off and out of sight from the moment the class starts until the moment it ends. Every time I see or hear your cell phone during class, I will deduct ten points from your Final Average. (Notify me before class begins if there is an emergency situation that absolutely requires you to leave your cell phone on.)

Laptops & Tablets

You may use your laptop or tablet computer only for taking notes, accessing the class website, or other specifically class-related work. If you use it for tweeting, emailing, gaming, shopping, or any other such activity during class, you lose ten points from your Final Average and forfeit your right to bring the device to class for the rest of the semester.


You will submit your Essays on-line through Blackboard:

Class Website

You can find all course materials — including the syllabus, assignment sheets, handouts, and so forth — on the class website:

Course Grade
Stylistic Analyses 20%
Critical Essay 40%
Performance Project 40%

Numerical Values of Letter Grades
A+ (100–97) A (96–93) A- (92–90)
B+ (89–87) B (86–83) B- (82–80)
C+ (79–77) C (76–73) C- (72–70)
D (69–60)
F (59–0)

Schedule of Readings & Assignments

Week One
M 7/10 Introduction
Review of instructions, policies, and syllabus
T 7/11 Performance Workshop
W 7/12 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1.1–3.1
Th 7/13 A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 3.2–5.1
F 7/14 Performance Workshop
Week Two
M 7/17 1 Henry IV, 1.1–2.3
T 7/18 1 Henry IV, 2.4–3.3
W 7/19 1 Henry IV, acts 4 & 5
Th 7/20 Performance Workshop
F 7/21 Twelfth Night or What You Will, acts 1 & 2
Week Three
M 7/24 Twelfth Night or What You Will, acts 3–5
T 7/25 Performance Workshop
W 7/26 Othello, act 1
Th 7/27 Othello, acts 2 & 3
F 7/28 Othello, acts 3 & 4
Week Four
M 7/31 Othello, act 5
Last day to drop a course or withdraw with a “W.”
T 8/1 Performance Workshop
W 8/2 The Tempest, acts 1 & 2
Th 8/3 The Tempest, acts 3–5
F 8/4 Performance Workshop
S 8/5 Critical Essay Due
Week Five
M 8/7 Performance Workshop
T 8/8
W 8/9 Performance Projects (2pm–5pm)

Withdrawal Policy

I strongly encourage every student to complete the course, but I recognize that occasionally a student may need to withdraw, especially for non-academic reasons. Please bear in mind that it is your responsibility to fill out and turn in the necessary forms in order to withdraw formally from the course.

According to university policy, if you wish to withdraw from the course you must do so by the “Last Day to Drop a Course” on the official academic calendar.

If you have not withdrawn by then you will receive a grade for the course. Current university policy dictates that students who fail to submit their required work and do not qualify for an Incomplete will receive a failing grade for the course.

Last Day to Drop a Course: July 31

Policy on Incomplete Grades

The grade of “I” (Incomplete) is a conditional and temporary grade given when students are passing a course or still have a reasonable chance of passing in the judgment of the instructor but, for non-academic reasons beyond their control, have not completed a relatively small part of all requirements. Students are responsible for informing the instructor immediately of the reasons for not submitting an assignment on time or not taking an examination. Students must contact the instructor to make arrangements to complete the course requirements.

An Incomplete is granted only if (a) the student has sufficient non-academic reason for not completing the coursework within the term allotted; (b) the student has already completed a substantial portion of the coursework; and (c) the student requests a grade of Incomplete before the date of the Final Examination. Students who receive an Incomplete grade must complete all the course requirements by a deadline set by the instructor. If the student fails to submit the work on time, the grade will be changed to reflect the work completed in the course. Bear in mind that a grade of “I” automatically changes to “F” at the end of a calendar year if the student has not fulfilled all course requirements by then.

Date of the Final Exam: August 9

Your instructor, Mark Womack, reserves the right to revise 
or amend the policies listed here with sufficient verbal and written notice.

Page Last Updated: 29 June 2017