For Tuesday: Troilus and Cressida, Acts 3 and 4

Answer TWO of the following:
Q1: In Act 4, Scene 4, why does Troilus keep advising Cressida to “be true”? How does she respond to this, and how does he clarify his meaning? If he consistent in what he means by this phrase?
Q2: After their night together, Cressida says to Trolius, “Prithee, tarry. You men will never tarry. O foolish Cressid!” (4.2.20-21). Does she regret giving into him and revealing her affections? Does she have cause to doubt his love? Is his language of love less than hers?
Q3: In Act 3, scene 3, Ulysses is trying to rouse Achilles into action and ultimately, get him to return to the Trojan War (which he is sitting out). One of the things he tells him is, “no man is the lord of anything—/Though in and of him there be must consisting—/Till he communicate his part to others;/Nor doth he of himself know them for aught/Till he behold them formed in the applause/Where they’re extended” (3.3.120-124). What do you think he means by this? Do you think he believes this, or is …

For Thursday: Troilus and Cressida, Act Two

NOTE: Just read Act Two for Thursday, since it’s a slightly harder play, and we have time to go slower. We’ll read 3-4 for Tuesday, but feel free to read ahead if you want. The questions below only cover Act Two.
Answer TWO of the following:
Q1: The act ends with Agamemnon saying, “Light boats sail swift, though greater hulks draw deep” (107). This echoes an earlier speech by Nestor in Act 1, scene 3 (around page 143-144 in the Folger) using the same boat and ocean metaphors. What does he mean by this? How might this metaphor also echo a similar metaphor (and message) in The Sonnets?
Q2: In the Iliad, Hector is Helen’s protector and advocates keeping her in Troy. In Shakespeare, however, he argues that “she is not worth what she doth cost/The keeping” (179). What is his argument for giving her back, and how might it echo Ulysses’ famous (and long) speech in Act 1, scene 3? What makes him insist, despite the pleas of Trolius and even Paris, that she has to be returned?
Q3: What kind of c…

Helpful Links for the Romeo and Juliet Group(s)

Links to modern productions from MIT’s Global Shakespeares site:
Link to the trailer for a recent R&J adaptation, written by Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey fame):
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s page for Romeo and Juliet, including clips and links for numerous performance, including the recent 2010 production:
Link to every filmed version of the play from IMDb:
Link to an Interesting 1997 NYT article about recent stagings of the play and performance practices:
Be sure to check the Shakespeare section of our library (4th floor) for many critical sources on the play. 

Helpful Links for Othello Group(s)

Links to modern productions from MIT’s Global Shakespeare site:
Complete version of Branagh’s 1995 Othello (in which he plays Iago as well):
Link to every filmed production on the IMDb:
Brief Article on Casting Race in Othello:
Great live performance of Othello at the Globe Theatre, 2007 (in our library): PN1997 .O9009
Trailer for O, a 2001 film based loosely on Othello, set in an American high school:

We also have various books on Othello in our library, including critical essays on the play—check the 4th floor stacks. 

Helpful Links for Twelfth Night Group(s)

Links to modern productions from MIT’s Global Shakespeare site:
Links to every filmed production on the IMDb:
Link to a production of Twelfth Night directed by Branagh:
Link to a scene from the 2012 Shakespeare’s Globe All-Male production of Twelfth Night, featuring Stephen Fry as Malvolio (there are other clips on You Tube as well, and this performance is available on DVD):
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s page on Twelfth Night, with clips, links, and photos from various productions, including a recent 2012 production (not the one above):
We also have various books on Twelfth Night in our library, including critical essays on the play—check the 4th floor stacks. 

For Thursday: Wells, William Shakespeare, Chs. 6, 7, and 8

Answer TWO of the following:
Q1: Othello is one of several tragedies that Shakespeare wrote in the wake of numerous comedies (Twelfth Night, etc.). According to Wells, what themes and ideas unite Othello to some of his fellow protagonists: Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth? How might we read Othello (either the man or the play) in the light of his theatrical experimentation with tragedy in this period?
Q2: Wells writes that “It is unfashionable, indeed it is often regarded as unscholarly, to look for reflections of an artist’s life in his work” (88). Why do you think this is? What is the danger of doing so? In general, does Wells encourage or discourage us from doing this with Shakespeare? How might the turn of the century, the change of monarch, and his advancing age (turning 40) all play a role in the kind of dramas he was producing in the early 1600’s?
Q3: Writing of Timon of Athens, Wells remarks that “the surviving text is incomplete; editors do something to tidy it up, and theatre di…

The Groups
“A”: Sharayah Alkire; Cody Baggerly; Hannah Barnhart; Kate Carlin “B”: Bryce Clark; Amber Deela; Madison Gaines; Ashley Gregory “C”: Cynthia Hammonds; Maci Hanson; Kara Hodo; Taylor Johnson “D”: Lauren Jolly; Preston Mann; Miranda Mullins; Abigail Nance; Rachel Wilson “E”: Michael Oliver; Ashli Page; Destiny Paisley; Dana Perkins “F”: Mitchell Potts; Avery Stevens; Austin Ward; Chandler Wilson
Choose a single scene from one of the plays in class (or another, if enough of your group has read it recently—Shrew, Macbeth, etc.), or part of a scene if the scene is particularly long. Your group will then discuss how to stage this scene for actors who have never performed Shakespeare before and don’t understand the language. Imagine you are presenting a workshop before this group of assembled actors as a kind of ‘Shakespeare 101’ for the play. Ideally, you should take them through several aspects of the scene to give them context, clarity, and comprehension (and …