Course syllabus

Tom Bishop                                                                                                       Class time:    Tuesday 9-12

Arts 1 629                                                                                                          Location: Arts 1 Room 213

ext 87841 w                                                                                                      (all classes here unless otherwise indicated)




English 711:  Shakespeare from Stage to Page


Required texts:


                  Shakespeare, William                Hamlet (Oxford, ed. Hibbard)

                                                                             Romeo and Juliet (Oxford, ed. Levenson)


                  Munday, Anthony et al.              Sir Thomas More (Revels, ed. Gabrieli & Melchiori)

                                                                             “The Book of Sir Thomas More” (Copy reconstructed MS; handout)


                  Blayney, Peter                                The First Folio of Shakespeare (see below)



Recommended supplementary texts:


W.W. Greg                                 The Book of Sir Thomas More (Malone Society, 1911), online at:

Jowett, John                              Shakespeare and Text (Oxford, 2007)

Stern, Tiffany                            Making Shakespeare (Routledge, 2004)

Gurr, Andrew,                           The Shakespearean Stage (4th edn., Cambridge, 2009)



Article readings and extracts from other texts are available on Canvas unless otherwise indicated. Students must ensure they have a regular working email address that they check regularly over which they can receive notices. Readings on Canvas can be downloaded and printed out for brining to class. I would greatly prefer use of hardcopy to attempts to read from the online versions in class.



Week One:              Introduction: script/text/book


Overview of class: materials, topics and procedures.


Please read in advance:        H.R. Woudhuysen, “Shakespeare’s Writing: from manuscript to print”

from The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare



Week Two:              Writer


Readings:                                   Jowett, from Shakespeare and Text, pp. 12-16

                                                      Riggs, from The World of Christopher Marlowe

                                                      Peter Stallybrass/ Roger Chartier, “Hamlet’s Tables and the Technologies of Writing”

                                                      Beau Chesne, from A booke conteyning divers sortes of hands (1571)

                                                      Fugger, from Handwriting Manual  (Nuremberg, 1553)

                                                      Allot, from England’s Parnassus (available both as scanned file and whole book online)


Texts:                                          Hamlet (1.5.92-115; 2.2.86-220; 5.2.1-62)

                                                      Romeo and Juliet (1.2.38-101)

                                                      Sir Thomas More  Act 2 scene 3


Visit:                                            Online Handwriting Tutorial:


Person:                                       Ralph Crane



Week Three:           Collaborator


Readings:                                   Bentley, “Collaboration” from The Profession of Dramatist …

Hirschfeld, “Early Modern Collaboration...”

Jowett, from Shakespeare and Text pp. 17-26

Henslowe, extracts from his “Diary” (see also online below)


Texts:                                          Sir Thomas More esp Act Two, sc 1 + pp. 209-212; Act Three, sc 1 + pp. 213-220.






Person:                                       Anthony Munday



Week Four:             Player


Readings:                                   Tiffany Stern and Simon Palfrey, from Shakespeare in Parts

                                                      Extracts from Henslowe’s “Diary” (as in Week 3)

                                                      Wiles, David, from Shakespeare’s Clown

                                                      The part of “Orlando” from Greene, Orlando Furioso (and see also online below)

Kemp, “Singing Simpkin” from Baskervill, The Elizabethan Jig

                                                      Anon, Seven Deadly Sins II  “plott” (online)


Texts:                                          Hamlet  2.2 293-605; 3.2 1-278;

                                                      Romeo and Juliet  focus on the role of Peter throughout

                                                      Sir Thomas More  Act Three, sc 2 + pp. 220-221.





Person:                                       William Kemp





Week Five:              Censor


Readings:                                  Censorship : a world encyclopedia. Ed. Derek Jones. London : Fitzroy Dearborn 2001. Entry on “William Shakespeare” by Richard Dutton

                                                      Clare, from Elizabethan and Jacobean Dramatic Censorship

                                                      Finkelpearl, “The Comedians’ Liberty”


Texts:                                          Sir Thomas More Act 1 sc 1; Act Four scenes 1-4 plus pp. 221-225.

                                                      Hamlet 2.2. 293-368


Person:                                       Edmund Tilney




Week Six:                                  NO CLASS: INSTRUCTOR OUT OF TOWN


Visit Pop-Up Globe performances over this week and the Break. PopUp Globe performances form a major reference point leading on from our work on acting space and acting style.





Week Seven:          Reviser


Readings:                                   Rasmussen, “The Revision of Scripts” from Cox and Kastan, A New History

                                                      Stern, “Repatching the Play” from From Script to Stage in early modern England

                                                      Ioppolo, from Revising Shakespeare pp. 44-59


Texts:                                          Hamlet scenes TBA

                                                      Sir Thomas More Act 5.


Person:                                       Ben Jonson






Week Eight:            Publisher


Readings:                                   Blayney, “The Publication of Playbooks” from Cox and Kastan, A New History

                                                      Marta Straznicky, “What is a Stationer?” from Straznicky (ed.) Shakespeare’s Stationers


Guest:                                         Dr. Sophie Tomlinson on editing the text of The Family of Love


Texts:                                          Romeo and Juliet Q1 vs Q2

                                                      Hamlet Q1 vs Q2 vs F1


Person:                                       Edward Blount




Week Nine:             Printer


Class will be held in the Special Collections Department of the Auckland University Library, for some practical exposure to earlier print books, including their anatomy and construction.


Readings:                                   Gaskell, from A New Intro to Bibliography pp. 78-84; 108-141 (online)

                                                        (supplementary: Gaskell, 5-12; 40-56 read in library)

                                                      Blayney, The First Folio of Shakespeare (Folger Library) (copies complete on Reading List)




Person:                                       Isaac Jaggard



Week Ten:               Field Trip to Orewa for practical printing instruction and experiment


We will travel to Orewa to see the private hand-printing press of master printer Tara McLeod for some direct experience of the mechanics of composition, imposition and printing.



Week Eleven:         Library Day at Auckland Public Library


Inspection and discussion of early materials held in the Special Collections Department of the Auckland Public Library (N.B. NOT the same as two weeks earlier).



Week Twelve:        Class Research presentations


In this week, students will make brief presentations (10-15 mins) on their research projects in progress, including providing an essay plan and an annotated bibliography of research materials.



Tuesday  June 13: Final paper due – 5000-6000 words (40% of grade).



Assessment breakdown:                       

1. Attendance/ participation                                                       5%

  1. Presentation + report 1 (person)                                          20%                           
  2. Presentation + report 2 (criticism)                                        20%
  3. Research presentation (incl plan and bibliography)                 15%
  4. Final research paper                                                            40%




Notes on assessment: 

1)              Students will be responsible for regular attendance and giving evidence of close reading of assigned materials through discussion and commentary and of visiting and getting acquainted with assigned resource websites. 

2)              Students will choose or be assigned one of the “persons” listed in Weeks 2- 10 to research and present to the class, including submitting a written report of their presentation at the conclusion of the session (1,500 words approx).

3)              Students will choose or be assigned one of the critical readings to read, summarise, and present to the class, including submitting a written report of their presentation at the conclusion of the session (1,500 words approx).

4)              In our last scheduled seminar (week 12), students will present short reports on their research in progress for discussion, questions and response feedback. Reports will include an essay plan, abstract and a working bibliography of materials being or to be consulted.

5)              The major piece of assessment for the course will be a seminar research paper of 6000-7,000 words, for which a topic will be developed in consultation with me, preferably before the Semester Break. You are expected to be actively working on this project as your principal assignment in this class throughout the later part of the semester, as there is no assigned reading during those weeks. The Due Date for this research will be Tuesday June 13th.



General course policies:


Written work and extensions:  Written work, both individual and group, must be submitted on time or will be penalized proportionally to its lateness. Please make a note of this.


Extensions:  These are always possible, but only in advance for proper cause. If you have a problem, SEE ME.


Excuses: Excuses for late work will only be accepted in cases of documented medical or family emergency, of which I must be notified as soon as is practicable.


Work completion: Students must complete all assigned work in order to merit a passing grade in the course. Failure to submit required work by the end of the course will result in a grade of D.


Attendance:  Regular attendance is expected. Necessary absences should be cleared in advance, or formally excused afterwards by doctor’s note or other documentation. Consistent derelictions will affect the final grade. Repeated unexcused absences may result in a grade even further reduced, possibly even an F for the course.


Plagiarism:  Plagiarism is the dishonest misappropriation of other people’s words, work or ideas as your own.  In a formal academic context, it is an academic office.  It is especially important in the case of Websites information to document your sources. Proven defaulters will face failure in part or all of the course and will be reported to the University. If you are in any doubt, ASK ME.


Copies of assignments: In addition to submitting hard copies of assignments by the designated dates, students must provide the convenor with electronic copies of their work. These will be used to facilitate the external assessment process and, in keeping with university policy, may be reviewed against electronic source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


Course summary:

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