Shakespeare – ENGL 322

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A study of the principal plays of Shakespeare read in the light of the dramatic and literary background of his time. Research paper required.


ENGL 101 and (ENGL 102 or MUSC 200) and (ENGL 201 or ENGL 202 or ENGL 215 or ENGL 216 or ENGL 221 or ENGL 222)


Shakespeare’s works are varied and often problematic. Critics continue to dispute whether Shakespeare’s emphasis is psychological, religious, social, or political; they question whether Shakespeare himself is Christian, pagan, or modern in his understanding. These controversies show us that we are dealing with the most complex and philosophical of playwrights. Our goal in this course is to approach Shakespeare with a respect for his greatness and difficulty, yet to do so without despair. Shakespeare wrote his plays to be viewed (and read), enjoyed, and understood. It is also our goal to see how this great writer deals with the great questions concerning human action, human will, and human passions; and, to the extent that eight plays can tell us, what his view of man is.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Recall key events from each play, as well as historical, philosophical, and literary points that pertain to the each play.
  2. Recognize themes and ideas from the plays as expressed in the readings and presented in class presentations.
  3. Analyze the plays covered in the course.
  4. Examine images, symbols, character, language, and form.
  5. Make judgments about the meaning of the plays.
  6. Apply biblical principles to the themes in the plays.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–250 words.

Play Responses (3)

The student will write 750-word responses in current MLA format that focus on a provided prompt based on a particular play. The response must include specific reference to and brief quotation of passages in the plays to support claims.

Research Paper

The student will write a 6-page research-based paper in current MLA format that focuses on the history plays. The paper must include at least 6 scholarly references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Exams (4)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned, as well as the previous module/week. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 40 multiple-choice and/or true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.