A few days ago

college Shakespeare?

I am taking a Shakespeare course at my university. It meets twice a week for two hours at each meeting. We are assigned a play to read and we take a quiz every week on Tuesday. But here’s the deal: we take our quizzes (which are 10 minute, in class essays) before we discuss the play. So in other words, the professor expects us to read “As You Like It” and take the quiz this Tuesday, and then we’ll discuss it (actually, he talks — we all listen). Is that fair? We were not taught how to read Shakespeare, and I think that requires some teaching because you can’t just delve into one of Shakespeare’s plays if you don’t know how to “read” his plays. For many of us, this is our first real exposure to Shakespeare. I’m curious to hear from other college student’s who have taken Shakespeare before. What plays were you assigned to read? How were you graded — essays, papers, quizzes, etc.?

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A few days ago

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As someone who’s loved Shakespeare from the first time I picked up one of his plays, I may not be the right person to address this, but I think most university professors expect you’ve had some kind of exposure to his work in high school, even if it was just one of the sonnets. I also don’t think the reading list sounds overly demanding; the midterm might be a little much, but it depends on the questions and whether he’s expecting more than a paragraph for each of them. If you’re really concerned, take advantage of office hours. You might also want to consider buying different editions of the books if you’re not finding much help there: some versions have more annotations than others, or include essays that give you more insight into the background and themes of the play.