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This week, and for one class session only (October 31st), we will be holding class online.
The instructions are below. Upload your work to Canvas by the end of our online class session, October 31st at 9:15 pm. You can upload it in advance, too. The folder is titled “* As You Like It Online Class.*” If you have problems uploading your work, email it to me. Your work needs to be in docx or pdf form; don’t send me any invitations to edit via Google, or anything in Google doc form, which I hate. during October 31st online class session hours: 6:30-9:15 pm.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OCTOBER 31st ONLINE CLASS
Please watch a full-length filmed version of As You Like It with the text of the play in front of you so that you can take notes. The MU library has a subscription to the BBC version. Here is the link:
http://proxymu.wrlc.org/ login?url=http://www. ambrosevideo.com/index.php? option=com_tpc&view=resource& Itemid=230&id=94219
Another great option would be to find the 2006/2007 HBO film version, directed by Kenneth Branagh. It is available online if you have an HBO subscription (or want to do a free 7-day trial). Up to you.
1.) As you watch, note the character, moments, scenes, and lines that are most relevant to YOUR MIDTERM ESSAY TOPIC. For instance, if you wrote about spiritual language or the Friar in Romeo and Juliet, then for As You Like It, you might focus on a philosophical character like Jaques or the representation of the forest (i.e. the PASTORal) itself as a place of transformation. If you wrote about Othello as an outsider then you might focus on the treatment of the exiled Rosalind in As You Like It. You do not have to come up with an exact comparison: if you focused on the objectification of the physical body of women by looking at how men treat Isabella in Measure for Measure, then for this assignment you might focus on the objectification of the male character by looking at how Rosalind talks about Orlando in As You Like It. You don’t need to know what you want to focus on in advance of watching the film/reading the play. In fact, you should AVOID consulting any online “aid” like No Fear before watching the play. The point is to have your own discoveries as the play unfolds.
2.) Choose the scene that you think is most relevant to your topic, and watch/read that scene a second time.
3.) Choose the five words from that scene that you hear/see repeated, or words that seem important to you.
4.) Write an argument-driven analysis of your topic in your chosen scene. It should be ½ page to a full page in length. Quote the relevant key words and phrases as evidence to support your argument. Include parenthetical in-text citations that indicate the act, scene, and line numbers.
5.) Find where else your key words are used in the play, using the online tool for search the play: http://opensourceshakespeare.org/
6.) Write a follow-up paragraph that talks about how you see the words being used throughout the entire play. Which characters are using these words? What is the context?
7.) Upload your work to Canvas by the end of our class session, October 31st at 9:15 pm.
8.) For class on November 7th, I will put you into pairs and ask you to read a classmate’s online work in advance of class.
Keep in mind …
In the second half of the semester, we have been focused on our observations about Shakespeare in performance, including filmed and staged productions of Henry V and As You Like It.
Our objectives in the second half of the semester also include developing two skills:
- argument rather than summary – being able to intepret the text and, when it comes to essay-writing, to lead paragraphs and the overall essay with the argument about the text and the passage. The goal is to move away from essays that are driven by chronology and/or summary (e.g. “The first time Isabella visits Angelo is in act 2, scene 1, and Angelo is clearly attracted to her and wants to sleep with her” is chronology/summary.)
- analysis rather than translation – studying not just what is said but how it is said. The goals are to create moments of discovery for yourself and to see things in the text that you wouldn’t notice from merely explicating the text. The goal of analysis is very different from simply explicating the text. For those students whose opportunities for success have been undermined by reading modern translations of Shakespeare’s language, a focus on textual analysis-rather-than-translation helps to recover opportunities for succeeding in the course.
I have been resistant to teaching Theatre and Literature classes online for three main reasons: I think it’s hard enough to study Shakespeare in person; there are increased temptations for students to use online sources that obstructs students’ abilities to learn, to have original discoveries and to create their own work; and it’s difficult to create the kind of classroom community amongst fellow students that is a necessary component in a Shakespeare course, to support and encourage each other through the process of the course. So having an online class session will be a new, pedogagically-developing experiment for me, and I will look forward to your input on the experience in addition to your replies to the assignment. Thank you.