Topics in Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Major Plays

Description: Lecture, four hours; discussion, one hour (when scheduled). Enforced requisites: courses 10A, 10B. Introduction to or advancement of student knowledge of Shakespeare's works through broad or specific topics set by instructor. May be repeated for credit with topic or instructor change. P/NP or letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 3.5
Easiness 2.5/ 5
Clarity 2.0/ 5
Workload 4.0/ 5
Helpfulness 2.5/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2022 - Like many of the reviews say, I too have mixed feelings about Professor Little. His lectures offer unique and interesting perspectives about Shakespeare that I really enjoyed. Discussions were fun and workload was super manageable. The only assignments are one short-essay response midterm exam, one final essay, and an optional final exam. At the beginning of the course, he told us he would "reward" us if we participated regularly and made discussion engaging. It turns out the reward was making the final exam optional and adding a few points to our final grade as a "boost". We read about one play per week, which I could finish each reading in one sitting within about 3 hours. For how easy and engaging the class was, I was surprised to get a B. He graded the essays/exams very harshly in my opinion. His instructions were confusing and vague and it felt like there was no way to please him, and a lot of my classmates felt the same. His standards for the essays are very high and contradictory, he will tell you to "stretch" and "go deeper" than lecture, but then he will pick apart your argumentation and punish you for making interpretations that he doesn't agree with. Sometimes his feedback was very helpful and constructive but other times it just felt way too harsh. He absolutely plays favorites and I think he definitely graded the students accordingly. He is the kind of professor that wants you to write to ~his~ liking, so you have to figure out what ~he~ wants you to say and think. If you want to get an A: participate a lot in discussions, be a sycophant (flatter him and laugh at his jokes), and go to his office hours to discuss your essay prompt (he will shoot down all your ideas, but it will help you figure out a topic he will enjoy). Ultimately, I found this to be an easy and enjoyable class, but I was frustrated by his harsh and arbitrary grading style.
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
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