English 440: Shakespeare

Course No: 1440
Subject: English
Grade Level: 12
Course Length: Semester
Course Type: Elective
UC/CSU Subject Approval: B
Prerequisite: English 100 or 103H; 200 or 203H; 300 or 303H
Criteria for Enrollment: None
Fulfillments: Eight-semester graduation requirement

NOTE:  This course is not being offered for the 2023-2024 school year.  It may be available the following year.

This single-semester course will try to demonstrate why so many people think Shakespeare is “the greatest writer in the English language.”  The course will study selections chosen to represent the major groupings of his work: tragedy, history, and comedy.  The class will explore the nature of tragedy and the Shakespearean tragic hero; the concepts of action, character, and catharsis that underlie tragedy; the characteristics of the tragic hero and the tragic flaw; and the death of the hero as a component of tragedy in Hamlet, III and Josephine Tey’s Daughter of Time will provide insights into the Chronicle plays.  The realm of comedy will include the happy ending and spiritual self-recognition in 12th Night and Much Ado About Nothing. The tragic comedy will be explored in The Merchant of Venice.  History and tragedy will meet in Richard III.  The method of the class will include reading, acting, viewing, discussing, and writing about Shakespeare’s works and words.