Elon College

English 342-A
Shakespeare: The Tragedies

Professor Robert Blake

Course Syllabus

Course Description


     An intensive study of Shakespeare's major tragedies in the context of the historical and intellectual milieu.  Printed texts are supplemented by video productions of selected plays. 



English 110 

Course Meeting Times

 10:30-12:10 Tuesday and Thursday 

   Prompt and regular class attendance is a course requirement.  Over two unexcused absences may adversely affect your grade.  Students are encouraged to attend to their personal needs before class begins.  Leaving and returning to the classroom once class is underway is disruptive to others and discouraged except in the case of genuine emergency. 


Grading Standards


            The following grading standards apply to work done in and out of class, i.e., essay answers to test questions and assigned papers: 

A     Writing of this quality is characterized by originality of thought, felicty of expression and coherence of structure. Writing must not only be free of gross mechanical mistakes, it must also display some sophistication of style marked by syntactical variety and precision of word choice. The writing must be knowledgeable and interesting. The reader may think "I wish I had written that." In short, A writing displays a uniform excellence in content and expression. 

B       This writing is expected to show some originality of thought, but it is not held to the same high standard as the above.  Writing may have a few errors of usage, but nothing as serious as subject-verb disagreement, dangling modifiers and sentence fragments.  Sentences should be somewhat varied to avoid monotony.  A definite organization and progression of thought must be evident.  While this writing does not measure up to the highest level, it is still obviously above the average in content and expression.

C         Writing of this level will display a fair number of mechanical problems of usage and organization.  There may be a few serious grammatical errors and a lack of syntactical variety, leading to a monotony of expression.  Although there is some attempt at structure, the organization is not as close knit as in the previous levels.  This writing displays some effort of original thinking but falls far short of honor level work. 

D            As college level writing this is not acceptable.  There is minimal or no control of grammar, punctuation and spelling.  Little or no attention is given to paragraphing, and the content is garbled and unoriginal.  Sentences, when they are not fragments are predominately 
simple, boring, and repetitive.  This writing is a serious warning sign that something is definitely wrong.  Either no effort was put into this essay or the student needs extensive help in the Writing Center. 

F             Unacceptable in all respects.  Serious grammatical and punctuation errors abound.  Thought is immature, and organization is extremely weak or nonexistent with no attention paid to paragraphing. 

Course Text


The Complete Works of Shakespeare, edited by David Bevington (New York: Longman, 1997) 



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