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English 366D - Assignment #2: Option B, Video Review

Introduction

Due date:
Friday of week 7
Weight:
25%.
Length:
Between 1400 and 1500 words.

For the next assignment, you will be asked to submit a comparative review of two video performances of a play by Shakespeare. You are encouraged to make this a group assignment, working on it with up to three others in the class. If you are unable (or unwilling) to work with others, however, you may submit the assignment on your own.

The plays on video

The list that follow includes all plays in the course, but you should write your review on Hamlet, Macbeth, or King Lear. The MacPherson Library has a wide selection of performances of Shakespeare's plays, many of them bought specifically for this course. You will be able to borrow most of these tapes for home use. You may also be able to get some videos from your local video store.
  1. Romeo and Juliet (not to be used for the assignment)

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  2. Henry IV, Part One (not to be used for the assignment)

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  3. Hamlet (may be used for the assignment)

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  4. Macbeth (may be used for the assignment)

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  5. King Lear (may be used for the assignment)

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  6. Othello (not to be used for the assignment)

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  7. Antony and Cleopatra (not to be used for the assignment)

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Why Work in Groups?

One of the objectives of this course is to help you become "aware of the ways in which different readings and performances of the plays interpret, illuminate, or modify our understanding of the text." An ideal way of learning of differing responses to the plays, and to learn how to integrate the flexibility of readings available, is to work with your fellow students and to learn from them how they respond.

A further advantage of working in groups in this particular course will be that you will have an opportunity for more contact with your classmates, since you do not have as much opportunity to meet them as you would in a normal lecture class.

A Short Bibliography of Shakespeare and Film

  1. Buchman, Lorne Michael. Still in Movement: Shakespeare on Screen. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. PR3093/B83.
  2. Bulman, J.C., and H.R. Coursen, ed. Shakespeare on Television: An Anthology of Essays and Reviews. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1988. PR3093/S54.
  3. Donaldson, Peter S. Shakespearean Films/Shakespearean Directors. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1990. PR3093/D66.
  4. Eckert, Charles W., ed. Focus on Shakespearean Films. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1972. PR3093/E25.
  5. Kliman, Bernice W. Hamlet: Film, Television, and Audio Performance. Rutherford N.J: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1988. PR2807 K56.

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What I Will Look for in This Assignment

I will be looking to see: You will be graded on these specific points, and (as in all English courses) on your general command of written English.

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Grading

The percentages here are intended to give you a clear sense of the emphasis I will put on the various components of your work. I will not actually break the mark down mechanically by each category, but will consider the assignment as a whole, with these categories in mind.

Component Weight
  • Overall approach
  • Production and text
  • Awareness of the medium
  • Critical discussion
10
10
30
50

Members of the group may choose to submit a single review, in which case a single grade will be assigned, and all students in the group will receive it. Alternatively, members may wish to work as a group, then submit individual reviews, to be graded separately.

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This page last updated on 28 December 2002. © Michael Best, 2000.