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Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 21-May-24

Fall 2024 | ENG-2310-VO01 - Perspectives on Shakespeare

Online Class

Online courses take place 100% online via Canvas, without required in-person or Zoom meetings.

Location: Online
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Meets online
Semester Dates: 09-03-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 16 (as of 07-13-24 3:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Sarah Mell
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Jennifer Gundy

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Arts & Aesthetics
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

In this course, students will read sonnets, comedies, tragedies and historical plays for evaluation and critical insight. Students explore the cultural and historic context of Shakespeare’s work by examining the events and stories that inspired their creation. Students explore the ways these works have been adapted over time and examine their relevance in contemporary culture.

Essential Objectives

1. Describe the elements of Shakespearean drama in the context of Elizabethan England, its culture, history, politics, and language.
2. Identify some of the mythical, cultural, historical, and literary sources of Shakespeare's work.
3. Define the basic literary elements in the plays, such as theme, character, plot, conflict, exposition, foreshadowing, setting, symbolism, denouement, and unity.
4. Identify figurative uses of language in Shakespeare's work, such as irony, metaphor, imagery, and personification, and explain how these elements are used to express ideas, emotions, and values in his work.
5. Compare how Shakespeare's work was received in Elizabethan England versus how work may be viewed through a contemporary lens.
6. Analyze Shakespeare’s plays as texts and as live or recorded performances.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

*** This is a no cost textbook or resource class. ***

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.


What our Academic Catalog says you’ll do in this course…

In this course, students will read sonnets, comedies, tragedies and historical plays for evaluation and critical insight. Students explore the cultural and historic context of Shakespeare’s work by examining the events and stories that inspired their creation. Students explore the ways these works have been adapted over time and examine their relevance in contemporary culture.

What you’ll ACTUALLY do in this course…

  • Learn how to woo your next boo using the smoothest pick-up lines ever written; also known as love sonnets, you’ll be way beyond comparing people to summer days - guaranteed to get you a date (or at least a smile?)
  • Find out just how many of our modern phrases actually originated from good ol’ Bill Shakes himself - this won’t be any wild goose chase, but rather a foregone conclusion that your vocabulary will increase alongside your wit
  • Finally have some understanding of why the BBC, and any number of major movie production companies, insist upon putting out shows about Queen Lizzie the First (i.e., Queen Elizabeth I - ruler during Shake’s time) - talk about family drama!
  • Discover the lasting relevance of Bill’s plays - we are living through an era worthy of Othello, when folks are still trying to “tame shrews”, and Tempests are ripping through our lands wreaking havoc - perhaps if we all read a few more plays we’d have some answers to these global issues?
  • And finally - elocution. That’s right folks - you’ll be memorizing a monologue or sonnet and recording yourself in performance - a party trick that should last in your short-term memory long enough to really impress the fam and friends at holidaygatherings!

More Specifics:

Learning Activities:

  1. Weekly online discussion forums that will build the framework of shared understanding and contextualization of Shakespeare’s works
  2. Required readings via linked plays, sonnets, and the like.
  3. Exercises involving a range of responses and analytic techniques.
  4. A critical analysis/exposition of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew
  5. A recorded performance of a Shakespearian sonnet or monologue.

Evaluation Criteria

Basis for Evaluation:

  1. Adequate progress toward the Course Objectives as demonstrated by ongoing participation in our weekly Discussion Forums. (60% of your grade)
  2. Consistent completion of reflective writing activities that exhibit engagement with the required readings. (25% of your grade)
  3. Drafting of a critical analysis of Shakespeare’s work. (15% of your grade)

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

My Teaching/Learning Philosophy:

I believe that education is not limited to a set of skills and lessons learned within the four walls of a learning institution. Each of us brings with us to the classroom a lifetime of experiences that have informed who we are, why we are here now, and where we are heading. We have as much to learn from one another as we do from the readings, activities, and writings we will discover during this semester. I look forward to learning with you.

Often we discover our own voice only in concert with others. For this reason, you will be encouraged to take risks in this class; to try out tentative ideas and to recognize that at times we learn best when we are the least certain of what we think we know. I will do my best to ensure that this classroom is free of bias and is a comfortable and affirming space for exploring new ideas.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.