Required Texts

Buy at Amazon Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Mineola, NY: Dover, 1993. ISBN: 0486275574.

Buy at Amazon Ferguson, Margaret, Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy. Norton Anthology of Poetry: Shorter Fifth Edition. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2004. ISBN: 0393979210.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein. (Any edition will do.)

Buy at Amazon Blake, William. Songs of Innocence and Experience. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1977. ISBN: 0192810898.

Assignment 1

Reading: Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Act III-V.

Consider the ending of the play, does the calamitous endings, with its consequences from earlier acts, owe more to destiny, to the effects of human love, or to human choice? Be certain to ground your considerations in the language and imagery and psychology of the play. You might want to help me with my own wonderment that Shakespeare wrote this play during his "comedy" period. In what sense is this play a "comedy"? How does it relate to the lyric themes and forms we've been considering in class? (5 pages).

Assignment 2

Reading: Milton, John. Paradise Lost. (Statan's speeches).

Write a "missing" monologue for Milton's Statan. Try not to make the scene or speech a comic parody of Milton and/or of his character Satan, but try to make the speech a credible utterance for Satan to say, on the basis of your understanding of this character, and make your style a feasible imitation of Milton's as you understand Milton's style. We should be able to infer your interpretation of each on the basis of the monologue you write. (5 pages).

Assignment 3

Revision Option 1: Revision of the Shakespeare paper.

Assignment 4

Reading: Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein (Any edition will do).

What is a monster? Define what is "monstrous" about Mary Shelley's monster; or consider how the Creature "reads" literary texts to develop a sense of self. Is he essentially "human"? Or monstrous? (Define the difference and consider his "literacy"; is he more like Satan or Adam? Adam or Eve? Romeo or Juliet? Shepherd or shepherdess?) Draw comparisons, if they help, among other works. (6-7 pages).

Assignment 5

Revision Option 2: Revision of Frankenstein paper.

Assignment 6

Readings: Robert Frost and W. B. Yeats poems.

Do a good "close reading" of a short poem (e.g. a sonnet, or a poem by Frost or Yeats) that we didn't discuss in class. I'll give you a paradigm of the questions that a "close reading" ought to address. (5-6 pages).