Shakespeare – ENGL 322

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/16/2023

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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.

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 the Course Overview. 

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each thread. 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 Response and Prompts Assignments (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 the student's claims.

Research Paper Assignment

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.

Quizzes (4)

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