Iambic pentameter. Dramatis personae. Soliloquy. Would it make you feel better to know that these are, more simply, a pattern of sounds, a list of characters, and a long speech? That’s exactly the kind of work we’ll do in this seven-week course. You’ll read – and understand! – two of Shakespeare’s most famous plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. You’ll definitely get the plot (all the plots, really) and you’ll also use literary tools to understand how the humor, horror, and humanity in each of the plays.
Throughout the course, students will complete several short close readings as well as a movie poster or trailer, dramaturgical analysis of a scene, and an analytic essay, and a soliloquy performance. This class will require several hours of reading and writing each week. Additionally, students who have had some previous experience with literary and analytic writing are most likely to be successful in this class. As Shakespeare is one of the most cited and referenced authors in the English language, this course will provide a sound base for all further literary study, including both the AP Language and Literature exams.
Over the seven weeks of this course, we’ll read and work with two plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet. Our live classes will be Monday afternoons and all assignments will also be due on Mondays. I will be available to answer questions or provide additional information throughout the week via email or Zoom. Assignments will increase in scope over the course, starting with short close reading assignments, and concluding with two creative projects and an analytic paper.Who should enroll?
This class is aimed at 8th-12th graders. This class will require several hours of reading and writing each week. Additionally, students who have had previous experience with literary and analytic writing are most likely to be successful in this class.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
Your students will receive ample written feedback within a week of submission. Because the emphasis in this class is on accessing and understanding the plays, grading will also prioritize understanding. All communication will take place through the Canvas messaging system.
All communication with parents will take place through the Canvas messaging system. Please feel free to contact the instructor with questions before the course at email@example.com. Once parents have registered, they can look for a welcome email with introductory information like texts, dates, and information for how to access the live sessions.