English (ENGL) 324

Shakespeare I (Revision 5)

ENGL 324 Course website

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: ENGL 211 and ENGL 212 or equivalent first year English courses, or successful completion of ENGL 325, or professor approval.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

English Studies Home Page

ENGL 324 is not available for challenge.

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ENGL 324 is an introduction to the age of Shakespeare and his plays.  It will begin with an introduction to the following topics: a brief biography of Shakespeare; a crash course in the origins of Western theatre and the evolution of Shakespearean drama; an introduction to Shakespeare’s political and cultural milieu; a survey of certain mysteries and critical questions about Shakespeare; and an overview of Shakespeare’s English.  You will then be introduced to seven of Shakespeare’s earlier plays.  In the units for each of these plays, you will participate in close readings and thematic investigations.  In addition to thinking about these plays as literature, we will pay close attention to original staging techniques and we will perform analyses of the plays in production throughout history and into the present (as live theatre, TV, and cinema). The seven plays that you will study are Titus Andronicus, Richard II, Henry IV, Part One, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, and Twelfth Night.


To receive credit for ENGL 324, you must submit all assignments and write the final examination, and you must achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final examination and a composite course grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Final Exam Total
10% 30% 30% 30% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators that can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Shakespeare: Early Plays and Poems. 3rd ed. Vol 1. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2016. Print.

Audiovisual Materials

Titus. Dir. Julie Taymor. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 1999. DVD.

NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage. Dir. Sam Mendes. BOND360, 2014. DVD.

Other materials

The course materials also include an online Course Information, Study Guide, and AU Student Manual.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, May 5, 2016.

View previous syllabus

Updated May 11 2016 by Student & Academic Services