If you are on the waiting list, you can stay. I
will email add codes in waitlist order. Those on
the waitlist or those wishing to add should
indicate so on the roll sheet. Please include an
As we go over the syllabus, consider whether
you will stay in the class. If you want out,
please let me know, so I can offer your seat to
Adding the Class
Introduction to Class
The Green Sheet
Introduction to Shakespearean Comedy
Introduction to The Comedy of Errors
The Green Sheet:
What you will find here
The Class Website
How to sign up for an
How to post your
From the Folger Shakespeare
Library Collection by William
Shakespeare and Barbara Mowat
A Comedy of Errors
Three large Blue Books for exams.
A Gmail account that you will be
willing to share via Wordpress,
Kaizena, and Google Drive
Texts and Required Materials:
Regular attendance and active participation in class discussions.
Keeping up-to-date on the assignments and reading.
Memorization of one piece (Sonnet or Soliloquy)
Two formal papers.
A series of posts to the class website
1. Before you submit your essay, please save your file as your last name and
the number 2, like this: Smith 2. That will help me keep your essays
2. Submit your essay through Kaizena, a Google Drive add-on, at
https://kaizena.com/palmoreessaysubmissiongmail. Or simply use the link
on our class website home page. This system allows me to respond to your
essay with both voice and written comments and to insert helpful links.
3. Sign in to your Google Account and allow Kaizena access to your Google
4. Click on the “Ask Dr. Kim Palmore for feedback” link.
5. Choose your document from your Google Drive. You will be directed to a
new page to choose a delivery box from a drop down menu.
6. Add your essay to the appropriate ELIT 17 box (Essay #1 or #2). Then,
click the “Ask for feedback” button again.
7. Once I have graded your paper, you may view it by going to the
conversations between us on the Kaizena page.
8. Click on the highlighted sections of the paper to find both audio and
written comments concerning your essay or links to materials that will
help you improve your writing.
9. There is a tutorial available on the website.
All out of class essays are to be submitted to me electronically
before the due date.
Success in this course depends on regular attendance and active
participation. Participation points will be part of our daily
activities. If you are not in class, you cannot earn these points. You
should save absences for emergencies, work conflicts, weddings,
jury duty, or any other issues that might arise in your life.
It is your responsibility to talk to me your absences or other
conflicts. Work done in class cannot be made up. Also, please
arrive on time, as you will not be able to make up work completed
before you arrive, including quizzes.
I may decide to include pop quizzes from time to time to ensure you
are completing all readings in a timely fashion. There are no make up
opportunities for quizzes.
We will have three exams during the quarter. They will likely be
identification, short answer, and essay style. I will offer one make up
opportunity only for students with undeniable inability to take the test:
doctor’s note, court date, or other documented excuse.
I do not accept late work. If you miss a due date, you may submit
your essay as a revision. You may revise only one essay. Turning your
essay in as a revision will keep you from getting feedback on your
Conduct, Courtesy, and Electronic Devices:
In this class, we will regularly engage in the discussion of topics
that may stir passionate debates. Please speak freely and candidly;
however, while your thoughts and ideas are important to me and
to the dynamics of the class, you must also respect others and their
opinions. Courtesy will allow each person to have the opportunity
to express his or her ideas in a comfortable environment.
Courtesy includes but is not limited to politely listening to others
when they contribute to class discussions, not slamming the
classroom door, and maintaining a positive learning environment
for your fellow classmates. To help maintain a positive learning
environment, please focus on the work assigned, and do not text-
message in class. If you must use your phone for personal reasons,
please excuse yourself from class.
Plagiarism includes quoting or
paraphrasing material without
documentation and copying from other
students or professionals. Intentional
plagiarism is a grave offense; the
resulting response will be distasteful.
Depending upon the severity, instances
of plagiarism may result in a failing
grade for the paper or the course and
possible administrative action. All
assignments will be scanned and
scrutinized for academic dishonesty.
Please refer to your handbook for more
information regarding plagiarism.
The syllabus is a tentative schedule.
It may be revised during the quarter.
Use it to determine how to prepare for class.
before the next
Our class website is http://palmoreelit17.wordpress.com. In order to do the
homework, you must establish an account. To make your own FREE Word Press
account, go to wordpress.com. The system will walk you through the steps to
signup for a username or to set up your own user-friendly Word Press blog.
Alternatively, you can sign into our website through Facebook or Twitter.
If you prefer not to use your own name, you may use a pseudonym. Just make
sure you sign in with YOUR Word Press username before you post on our class
page so you get credit for your work. Please email me your username once you
have established which account you shall use for the quarter.
If you cannot establish your website and username, please come to my office
hours as soon as possible, and I will help you with the process. Much of our
work will take place online, so establishing this connection is mandatory.
On the Website: palmoreelit17.wordpress.com
Some Reading Assignments
The Green Sheet
The Syllabus (The Daily Plan)
Your Daily Homework
Assignment (which is where
you post your homework.)
There is writing homework due the
evening before each meeting. This is
both to help you think about your
reading and to help you produce ideas
for your essays.
In order to earn an A on your
homework, you must do the following:
Complete all of the posts.
Post them on time.
Be thoughtful in your
On the front page of the class website, you will
find the homework post after each class. (text
me if you don’t see it)
Below that post on the right, are the words
“Leave a comment.”
Click there and a comment box will open. Copy
and paste your homework into the comment
Click “Post Comment.”
Dedicate a document
to your homework.
Save all of your work
by date and post #.
That way you will
know exactly how
much homework you
have done for the
How do I know what I think until I see what I say?
Each text we study will provide material for response writing called a
QHQ (Question-Hypothesis-Question). The QHQ requires students to
have second thoughts, that is, to think again about questions that
arise during their reading and to write about questions that are
meaningful to them.
Begin your QHQ by formulating some question you have about some
aspect of the reading. The first question in the QHQ may be one
sentence or longer, but its function is to frame your QHQ writing. A
student might start with a question like, “Why is mistaken identity
funny?” or “Did Elizabethans believe in magic?” or “Who is Circe?” A
student might even write, “Why am I having so much trouble
understanding this story?”
After you pose your initial question, focus on a close reading of the
text in search of a hypothesis. This hypothesis section comprises the
body of your text. The student who asked about mistaken identity
might refer to those passages in the text, comparing and contrasting
them to other instances of mistaken identity with which he or she is
familiar. The student who asked about Circe might search both the
text and outside references to learn about who Circe is and why she is
included in the play. The student who struggled to understand the
text might explore those passages whose meanings were obscure or
difficult to understand, connecting them to other plays, novels, and/or
cultural texts. Use textual evidence to demonstrate why you believe
you have found an answer.
After carefully exploring your initial question
(250-400 words), put forward another question,
one that has sprung from your hypothesis. This
will be the final sentence of your QHQ and will
provide a base for further reflection into the text.
The QHQ is designed to help you formulate your response to the texts we
study into clearly defined questions and hypotheses that can be used as a
basis for both class discussion and longer papers. The QHQ can be relatively
informal but should demonstrate a thoughtful approach to the material.
While your responses need to be organized and coherent, because you will
sharing them in class, the ideas they present may be preliminary and
Remember, a QHQ is not a summary or a report—it is an original,
thoughtful response to what you have read. All QHQs should be posted on
the website the by 5 pm the evening before the class for which they are
due. This will give both me and other students time to ponder your ideas
and think about appropriate responses. Moreover, this sharing of material
should provide plenty of fodder for essays. Even though you have posted
your QHQ, you should bring a copy of it to class in order to share your
thoughts and insights and to stimulate class discussion.
Include Textual Evidence
in your QHQ! Cite it,
Scene, Act, and Line!
Is this class
Is this class
Will I be the
• (Some claim 37, but we will count Two Noble Kinsman, which is often
discounted. There are two lost plays, which we will not include.)
• Sonnets 1 to 126 are addressed to or concern a young man
• Sonnets 127-152 are addressed to or concern a dark lady
• Sonnets 153-154 are free adaptations of two classical Greek poems
Lover's Complaint (1609)
Passionate Pilgrim (1598)
Phoenix and the Turtle (1601)
Rape of Lucrece (1594)
Venus and Adonis (1593
1. All's Well That Ends Well
2. As You Like It
3. The Comedy of Errors
4. Love's Labor's Lost
5. Measure for Measure
6. The Merchant of Venice
7. The Merry Wives of Windsor
8. A Midsummer Night's Dream
9. Much Ado About Nothing
10.The Taming of the Shrew
12.The Two Gentlemen of Verona
13.The Two Noble Kinsmen
14.Henry IV, Part 1
15.Henry IV, Part 2
17.Henry VI, Part 1
18.Henry VI, Part 2
19.Henry VI, Part 3
24.Antony and Cleopatra
31.Romeo and Juliet
32.Timon of Athens
34.Troilus and Cressida
35.Timon of Athens
37.The Winter's Tale
Shakespeare wrote most of his comedies early in his
career. The plays he penned in his youth generally
deal with young people rebelling against the
established social order, while his later tragedies
and romances often focus on the theme of children
betraying or refusing to obey their parents. If you
remember, we are reading two comedies in this
class: The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night.
As you read Shakespeare, you will notice that there are several traits
that are common to all of The Bard's comedic works. But remember,
the term "comedy" didn't quite have the same meaning to
Elizabethan audiences as it does today. While humor abounds in his
comedies, "comedy” usually suggested a light-hearted play with a
The main kind of comedies Shakespeare wrote are often labelled
romantic comedies, which often end in marriage.
True to the time period, these plays are light-hearted, but they do
exhibit some dark and disturbing elements.
In his comedy, Shakespeare often used a series of mix-ups where
disorder is rife and life is turned upside down.
All of his comedies look at the foolishness of human beings.
Love/ Overcoming Obstacles
Complexity/ Plot Twists
Merging Real and Mythical
Comedy through language: Shakespeare communicated his
comedy through language and his comedy plays are peppered
with clever word play, metaphors, and insults.
Use of puns: Shakespeare was a master of wordplay, and his
comedies are filled with puns and witty language games.
Sometimes silly, sometimes bawdy, yet always clever, his
plays on words are a distinguishing feature of all his works.
Other verbal comedy:
Wit, Irony, Parody, Bombast, Malapropism, Slapstick
Slapstick can often include Physical comedy, one of the older
forms of humor in human culture. Watching another person fall
down, get dirty, receive a slap, trip over obstacles, get a pie in the
face, or perform a stunt makes us laugh.
Love: The theme of love is prevalent in Shakespeare comedy.
Young lovers struggle to overcome obstacles that are typically
brought about by the elders in the play, often parents or guardians
of the lovers.
Complex plots: The plotline of a Shakespeare comedy generally
contains more twists and turns than his tragedies and histories.
The plots are convoluted, but they do follow similar patterns. For
example, the climax of the play generally occurs in the third act
and the final scene is generally a celebration, such as a declaration
of love, marriage, or reunion.
Clever plot twists: Shakespearean comedy always involves
multiple plot lines, cleverly intertwined to keep the audience
guessing both what is happening and what will happen. These
unexpected twists are always resolved in a happy ending.
Mistaken Identity: Whether it takes the form of mixed-up twins
(as in The Comedy of Errors) or a clever disguise, mistaken identity
was one of Shakespeare's favorite and most-used plot devices.
Gender mix-ups were also popular. Shakespeare quite often had
characters masquerading as the opposite sex (as in Twelfth Night),
leading to misunderstandings and other comical moments.
Remember, during Shakespeare's lifetime, men frequently played
all the roles in a play, which added another dimension to the
comedy. Males played females posing as males!
Stock characters: Shakespeare, like many classical writers, relied
heavily on stock characters for his plays. You'll notice several that
regularly appear: the young couple, the clever servant, the fool, or
the drunk, for example. These stock characters were instantly
recognizable stereotypes to Elizabethan audiences just as they will
be to you.
The mythical and real merge: Frequently, the comedy contains elements
of the improbable, supernatural, or the miraculous: unbelievable
coincidences, improbable scenes of recognition/lack of recognition,
willful disregard of the social order (nobles marrying commoners,
beggars changed to lords), enchanted settings, supernatural beings
(fairies, witches, Gods and Goddesses), and instantaneous conversions
(the wicked repent), The happy ending may depend on the supernatural
or divine intervention, or it may merely involve an improbable turns of
Happy endings: All Shakespearean comedies end happily. Most often,
this happy ending involves marriage or pending marriage.
In the best of the later comedies, there is a philosophical
aspect involving graver themes and issues like identity, the importance
of love, the power of language, the importance of communication, the
disjunction between appearance and reality, the power of dreams and
illusions, or the transforming power of poetry and art.
The Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s earliest plays and his
first Comedy (first performed in 1592-1593 ), is a tangle of
absurd coincidences and comical misunderstandings. Some
critics categorize this play as a farce, a low form of comedy
whose intention is to provoke simple mirth in the form of roars
of laughter (and not smiles);
Comedy of Errors Cartoon
it uses exaggerated physical
action, character and absurd
situation, with improbable
events, a complex plot, with
events rapidly succeeding one
another, pushing character and
dialogue into the background.
The Comedy of Errors opens in the palace of the Duke of Ephesus. He is
listening to a Syracusan merchant, who has come Ephesus not knowing that
Syracusans are forbidden to enter the city. His only alternative to death is
paying an astronomical fine of a thousand marks, which the prisoner cannot
likely raise in a foreign land. In despair, he exclaims his woes will end “with
the evening sun!” This remark prompts the Duke to ask about the
Syracusan's life since he is so eager to give it up.
The upcoming film clip of Egeon’s
explanation to the Duke is taken from
the Drury Lane-Oakbrook 2008
production of The Boys from Syracuse,
which is based on Shakespeare’s The
Comedy of Errors. Here, Egeon tells the
story of his lost sons and their
Establish Gmail account
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Read the Folger introduction from xiii to
Read The Comedy of Errors Acts 1,2,
Post #1 Choose one
1. Find examples of the different kinds of comedy we discussed in class
today. Explain why the scenes or elements are or aren’t funny.
2. Wooing scenes are prominent in Shakespearian plays. Find the wooing
scene between Antipholus of Syracuse and Luciana. Explicate the
meaning and explain how successful it is.
3. Compare and contrast one set of the twins. Are they more alike or
4. Discuss Pinch and his role in the story.