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Course Description

Summer 2021 • Grade 7 and above • Literature Sequence

Summer Shakespeare I

A lively march through nine Shakespeare plays, one per week. The goal here is to familiarize students with the breadth of the Bard's work, and provide basic tools for understanding and enjoyment.

A student taking the full range of literature courses through Scholars Online (five years) will have the opportunity of covering nine plays there; this will double the exposure to eighteen. The coverage here is of course not especially deep, but we do get into lively discussions of the texts, their characters, their themes, and their language that can lead to further study and reflection. We accordingly introduce a range of plays from all three sorts — comedy, tragedy, and history.

Course Website: Summer Shakespeare I

Sections and Teachers

Section 1:

Instructor: Bruce McMenomy

Starts: June 14, 2021
Ends: August 13, 2021

Wednesday 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM ET

Tuition: $250.00



Prerequisites

The student should have some previous experience with literary study, though there are no specific expectations.

Recommended background

Some experience with reading older works, and especially Shakespeare's language, is highly recommended; seeing some plays would also be useful. Students’ reading levels vary greatly by age, so parents are encouraged to use their judgment.

Teacher's notes:

Please secure the editions specified here. Other versions of the plays can create confusion (since there is some textual variation) and unannotated editions are very difficult for younger students to master.

Textbooks and Materials

This textbook is required:

A Midsummer Night's Dream , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0743477545

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

As You Like It , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 074348486X

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

Julius Caesar , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0743482743

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

King Lear , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 074348276X

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

Richard II , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0743484916

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

Romeo and Juliet , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0743477111

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

The Merchant of Venice , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0743477561

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

The Taming of the Shrew , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 074347757X

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This textbook is required:

Twelfth Night , Authors: William Shakespeare

ISBN: 0743482778

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

All of Shakespeare , Authors: Maurice Charney

ISBN: 0231068638

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: NOT required. A convenient middle-weight overview of the whole Shakespeare corpus by a scholar and theorist of theater. Not as penetrating as Garber or Bloom, but somewhat more accessible.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Essential Shakespeare Handbook , Authors: Leslie Dunton-Downer, Alan Riding, Karen Wilks (Designer), Elizabeth Wyse (Editor)

ISBN: 0789493330

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: NOT required. This book provides a systematic overview of the whole corpus of Shakespeare plays in an accessible and colorful form, with notes on famous performances, themes, settings, and other such details. It is very useful for a student first getting to know Shakespeare, and equally useful for an advanced student wanting to have the ability to see the corpus in outline.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Shakespeare After All , Authors: Marjorie Garber

ISBN: 0385722141

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: NOT required. A useful book covering all of Shakespeare's plays critically and thoughtfully, aware of contemporary scholarly trends but not overly encumbered by them.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human , Authors: Harold Bloom

ISBN: 157322751X

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: NOT Required. A celebrated and widely cited book, filled with Bloom's own highly personal approach to the various plays in the Shakespeare corpus. Appropriate for the more advanced general reader or the serious scholar; certain to be intimidating for the novice.


This book is recommended but not required and its use is optional:

Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare , Authors: Stephen Greenblatt

ISBN: 0393050572

Best sources: Scholars Online Bookstore

Other information: NOT required. This is a fascinating recent biographical discussion of how Shakespeare's life may have shaped his work. All Shakespeare biography is chancy, and theories about Shakespearean authorship tend largely to divert us from the more serious issues of understanding his plays, but this study has some material relevance to the material at hand. Suitable for more mature readers; probably not appropriate for younger readers.


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