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Not too easy. Not too difficult.
It is an amazing class that changes your view of Shakespeare for the better. Shakespeare's writing is sometimes avoided by students as it is somewhat challenging to read and understand. This class provides not only a window of enlightenment into the meaning of his writing, but an in depth look at characters, themes and symbols in plays such as Hamlet, Richard the III, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. We did not just scrape the surface of the plays, but went deeper and found the subtle nuances, small but clever references and lovely metaphors that truly make a Shakespeare play beautiful. After taking this class, I am seriously minoring or double majoring in English to further my newly sparked interest in Shakespeare.
After reading the assigned play that was to be studied for the next two weeks, Professor Rose would go over the themes, important characters and messages that the play establishes. His presentations were always very insightful but the highlight for me was the fact that he did not put all the information on the slides. For much of the lecture, he was the one who provided the knowledge that is key to pass the course. This makes you take the initiative on taking notes and paying close attention to the content which, once you do, is very invigorating. It is not dreary to listen to him talk about Shakespeare. Do not go into this class thinking that listening to Professor Rose talk about an Elizabethan playwright will be boring. In fact, it is quite the opposite. He is extremely passionate about what he has to share and does so in an upbeat attitude that is somewhat infectious. I found myself not wanting leave after lecture because his enjoyment of teaching Shakespeare simply made me want to learn more. I could sit in that small theatre, listening to him teach his class for more than the one and a half hours we were given each lecture.
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To succeed in this class, you must be ready to learn and be open to accepting new ideas about Shakespeare. Do not go into class with a strong assumption about his plays. Give the class a chance to change your opinion or strengthen it even more. Take good notes, pay attention during lecture, and participate in section and you should pass this class with flying colors. Also, read the plays. That is an integral part of understanding them and your first step towards success in this class. Reading the plays gives you more insight when listening in lecture and allows you to remember important and specific themes that will appear on the final.