English 4926: Honours Seminar: Shakespeare and Politics
Fall and Winter 2004-05

Instructor: Dr. C. Cornell
Office: Holy Cross House 218b
Email: cornell@stu.ca
Office Hours: MW 3:30-4:30 pm

This seminar with offer the opportunity to read and discuss the plays in the context of early modern discussions of politics and political life, particularly in light of ideas contested between the ancients and the moderns.

Course Objectives:
1. To learn to read Shakespeare carefully;
2. To study Shakespeare as a dramatist and a political philosopher;
3. To consider the Roman view of the world and politics and its influence on Shakespeare's thought;
4. To consider carefully the political virtues of magnanimity, courage, and prudence.

Bevington, David, ed. The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 5th ed., Pearson Longman
Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. David West, Penguin Classics

Quizzes and Writing Assignments 15%
Presentations 10 + 10%
Essays 10 + 10 + 15%
Participation 10%
Final Examination 20%

The Christmas grade will be based on your first term writing assignments, first presentation, and first essay.

Course Policies:
1. Essays and assignments are due at the start of class.

2. Assignments and quizzes will not be accepted after the due date, since this material will be discussed in class.

See the attachments for policies on attendance and extensions.

First Term Schedule:

W. 15 Introduction
W. 22 Virgil, Aeneid
W. 29 Virgil, Aeneid
W. 6 Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
W. 13 Aristotle, Ethics; Shakespeare, Coriolanus
W. 20 Shakespeare, Coriolanus
W. 27 Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
W. 3 Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
W. 10 Plutarch, Parallel Lives; Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra
W. 17 Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra
W. 24 Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus
W. 1 Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism - from the Latin plagiarius: one who abducts the child or slave of another, a kidnapper; a seducer; also ... a literary thief. (OED)

Plagiarism is defined in the St. Thomas University Calendar as "[p]resenting the ideas, words, or other intellectual property of another as one's own in written assignments, or helping a student to do this" (245). Self-plagiarism is also possible if you use your own words or ideas from one assignment in a second assignment without permission of both professors.

A plagiarist, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is a thief of the words and/or ideas of another. A plagiarist is responsible both for stealing appropriate credit from another and for misrepresenting him or herself.

According to the St. Thomas University Calendar, the range of penalties for plagiarism may include one or more of the following:

(a) a redoing of the assigned work
(b) a failing grade in the specific examination or assignment
(c) a failing final grade in the course
(d) suspension from university
(e) expulsion from the university

See pages 245-46 of the 2004-5 Calendar for a complete description of the disciplinary procedures which apply to academic misconduct including plagiarism.

Whether you are using direct quotations, paraphrasing, or borrowing ideas, you must provide appropriate citations in order to avoid plagiarism. Different disciplines will have different preferred formats (for example, parenthetical citations within the body of your work, endnotes, or footnotes).
For this course, use MLA style.

Guidelines on Attendance

In keeping with the Mission Statement of St. Thomas University, I believe that one of the ways to help you "experience the joy of intellectual accomplishment" is to set reasonable and fair goals. I believe that this expectation of intellectual responsibility and the application of a policy on attendance not only ensures that you have a greater chance of academic success, but also sets the standard for what the workplace demands of you.

The St. Thomas University Calendar (p. 238) states that "regular attendance is expected of all students at all classes," and that "the responsibility for meeting this obligation rests with the student." Further, it states that: "it is the responsibility of students to notify their instructors when they expect to be, or have been, absent from class for any justifiable reason." Students are advised to "consult the written course outline provided by the instructor at the beginning of each course for the specific details of the attendance requirements in the course." Finally, "it is the prerogative of the instructor to determine when a student's scholastic standing in any course is being affected adversely by repeated absences". In some cases "a student may be required to withdraw from a course for repeated absences" (p. 239).

Therefore, in this course the following policy on attendance will apply:

1. Attendance will be taken at every class. You have a responsibility not only to yourself, but also to your classmates, to be present and to participate actively. This is particularly essential in a seminar situation.

2. It is expected that any one of you may be forced to miss a class or two each year because of illness or personal problems, so you should weigh carefully any absences for other reasons.

3. Extended absences for justifiable reasons should be reported to the Registrar's Office, who will notify all of your instructors.

4. In cases of extended absences, you are asked to provide a medical certificate, if applicable, that indicates clearly the dates on which you were incapacitated.

5. It is your responsibility to consult with both me and other classmates to obtain missed material, preferably before the next class. It is not my responsibility to review missed material during class time.

6. Permission to make up for missed assignments and tests is at my discretion.

7. Penalties for missed classes are at my discretion. The following penalties may be imposed:

a. you may be penalized a proportion of the total course grade for every class missed without reasonable excuse;

b. you may be given a failing grade for the course, if more than three classes are missed without reasonable excuse;

c. permission to take the final examination may be withheld;

d. I may require that you withdraw from the course, following the procedure set out in Section B of the Calendar.

Policy on Extensions for Assignments

In keeping with the same objectives as itemized at the beginning of the policy on attendance (see above), I believe in setting reasonable and fair goals for deadlines, and working closely with you to see that these goals are met. Therefore the following policy will apply to deadlines for written work:

1. The granting of an extension is always at my discretion.

2. An extension shall not be granted to you without a formal written request. This request must normally be submitted before, not on, the due date of the assignment. Phone calls to my home the night before an assignment is due will not be accepted!

3. The written request shall include a full explanation of the circumstances that have led to the request for the extension. A medical certificate should be provided in cases of extended illness. The request should indicate clearly the date(s) on which you were incapacitated or otherwise prevented from fulfilling the course requirement.

4. The written request shall conclude with a new deadline, proposed by you, for handing in the assignment. You should note that the last possible date for the acceptance of the assignment is three weeks after the original deadline. After that, you will receive zero for the assignment.

5. Once the letter has been reviewed and accepted, I will sign it to acknowledge agreement to the revised contract. A copy shall be provided to you and the original shall be kept on file.

6. If an assignment comes in after the deadline without a formal written request for an extension, I may impose one or a combination of the following penalties, or a penalty of my own choosing:

a. I may refuse to accept the paper;

b. the paper may lose one refined letter grade per late day (i.e., B- to C+).

Format and Citation Information
(based on MLA guidelines)

Basic Format:

Type (or print off) your paper. Double-space the entire paper including the Works Cited page. Your margins should be 1" on all sides. You should average 250 words per page (10 or 12 point font). Your title page should not be numbered but should include your title (not underlined or in quotations), your name, the professor's name, the course number, and the date. All pages other than the title page should be numbered including the Works Cited page(s).


Incorporate short quotations into the text. All quotes must be integrated into a complete sentence. Quotations which will be four lines or more of your paper should be presented as block quotations. Block quotations should be indented 10 spaces from the left margin and not indented from the right. Do not put block quotations in quotation marks but do continue to double-space. In short quotations use a slash to indicate the end of a line of poetry. In block quotations retain the original lines of poetry.


Citations should be parenthetical (not footnotes or endnotes). If you refer to more than one work, include the author's last name along with the page number unless it is perfectly clear from the context which work you are quoting. Often the page number alone is sufficient. In the case of poetry, line numbers are usually cited instead of page numbers or act, scene, and line numbers in the case of drama (see the examples below). At the end of the essay include a page headed Works Cited. In alphabetical order give the full publication information for each book or article (double-spaced). Indent the second and subsequent lines of each entry by five spaces (see the example below).

Book Example

Shakespeare, William. Henry V. Ed. Gary Taylor. The Oxford Shakespeare.

Oxford: Oxford UP, 1984.

Article Example

Lewis, C. S. "Haggard Rides Again." Time and Tide 41 (1960): 1044-5.

Note that book and play titles are underlined or in italics, while article titles are in quotation marks.

Punctuation with Quotations:

For short quotations, the parenthetical references should be after the quotation marks and before end punctuation. Do not
use end punctuation before the quotation mark.


The Hostess claims, "[t]he King has killed his heart" (2.1.84).


The Hostess claims, "[t]he King has killed his heart." (2.1.84).

For block quotations, the parenthetical reference is after the end punctuation.

Statement of Mutual Academic Expectations of Instructors and Students

In the interest of promoting an optimal learning environment, the St. Thomas University Senate has adopted this statement of the mutual academic expectations of students and instructors. The statement articulates what we agree to be the essential elements of a strong academic culture. It thereby provides both instructors and students with an ideal of what each should be able to expect from the other in their shared quest for a successful educational experience. This document is intended to serve as a statement of principles only. For specific regulations, consult Section Five of the Calendar.


In a sound academic culture, both instructors and students approach their roles in a professional manner. They are familiar with and respect the policies and regulations of their courses and of the university as a whole, and strive to uphold the ideals of the Mission Statement and to realize the Goals of a Liberal Education.

Instructors are both academically competent and reasonably current in their subject matter, and are committed to applying themselves to their teaching tasks to the best of their ability.

Students show the same commitment and responsibility to their studies as they would to their employment. The normal expectation is that students do at least two hours of work outside the classroom for each hour of class time. Students are committed to applying themselves to their learning tasks to the best of their ability.

Assignments and Evaluation

As professionals both instructors and students take seriously their mutual responsibilities regarding assignments and evaluation.

Instructors ensure that the value of each assignment, test, or examination is clearly established in the course outline and do not alter those values without the consent of the class. They strive to ensure that they grade students in accordance with clearly stated criteria and in accordance with prevailing standards. They return student work in a timely fashion and provide adequate comments to enable students to understand the reason for the grade. Finally, instructors show flexibility in the application of deadlines when students have legitimate reasons for special consideration.

Students accept the primacy of scheduled test or examination over travel plans or work schedules. They respect deadlines for submission of assignments, keep backup copies, and take care to deliver assignments only to appropriate places. Students make use of the instructor's comments in order to improve their performance in the future.

Conduct in the Classroom

St. Thomas University is dedicated to free and reasoned discussion, to critical debate, and to the exploration of diverse and competing ideas.

Students can expect to be encouraged to participate actively in classes, to enter into intellectual debate, and to have their contributions treated respectfully by their instructors. Instructors can expect students to attend class regularly and to come prepared to contribute effectively to the work of the class.

Students can expect their instructors to terminate verbal and other behaviour in the classroom that is not respectful of others. Instructors can expect students to cooperate in the maintenance of a climate that is free from personal intimidation, insult, and harassment.

(From the 2004-2005 Academic Calendar of St Thomas University, pages 10-11)

Writing Assignments

Short writing assignments will be assigned regularly. The purpose of these assignments is to help you prepare for class and to give you the opportunity to consider specific passages and questions more closely. There will be approximately 20 assignments over the year. The final grade for the assignments will be based on 15 of the assignments. If you do more than 15, the lower grades will be dropped.

The grade for these assignments will be based primarily on the thoughtfulness and completeness of your answer. Grammar and spelling will be taken into consideration. Answers should be in proper sentences and paragraphs. Assignments should be typed and double-spaced. A title page is optional, but if you do not include one your name, the course, and the date should appear at the top of the first page.

Assignments must be submitted by the assigned day and time. Late assignments will not be accepted.

Marking Scheme

The assignments and quizzes will be graded in the following way:

5 Excellent–outstanding
4 Very Good
3 Satisfactory to Good
2 Poor
1 Unacceptable
0 Not done