Summer 2024 - ENGL 111W D100

Literary Classics in English (3)

Class Number: 2712

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Mon, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 9, 2024
    Fri, 8:30–11:30 a.m.



Examines literary “classics”, variously defined, apprehending them both on their own terms and within larger critical conversations. May incorporate the comparative study of work in related artistic fields and engage relevant media trends. Includes attention to writing skills. Students with credit for ENGL 101W may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


"Introduction to Political Drama"

This course will focus on three of Shakespeare’s most interesting political plays. We will pair these three plays with an early modern political classic: Machiavelli’s The Prince.

After a foray into some of Machiavelli's ideas, we will turn to these three outstanding and entertaining -- but bloody -- plays. The plays dissect the details of political success, first in ancient Rome and then in the late medieval and early modern court world. A key concern in the course will be the idea of the replacement of the aristocratic warrior by the politically astute but scheming modern political agent. 

Students will be required to buy the Royal Shakespeare company’s affordable paperback versions of the plays, edited by Jonathan Bate. Students must use the David Wootton (Hackett Publishers) edition of the Machiavelli. Repeat: no substituttions for the Wootton edition of Machiavelli's The Prince.

Please acquire all of these texts yourself, through Chapters or Amazon, or your favourite vendor. I have chosen the RSC editions for their excellence and their affordability. Apparently their kindle editions are very good. 

The plays are listed here in the order in which we'll read them:

Titus Andronicus

Richard III

Richard II


Comprehend political drama -- in this case Shakespearean drama -- through close reading. Read early modern texts and develop a grounding in early modern political thought. Enjoy these deep, rich plays. Improve your writing, and learn how to structure and revise a short essay. 


  • Attendance/participation 10%
  • Essay one (5 pages with revision) 30%
  • Essay two 30%
  • Final Exam 30%



Machiavelli, The Prince. Edited by David Wootton. Hackett publishing company. 
ISBN: 978-0872203167

Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus and Timon of Athens. Edited Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen. Red Globe Press. 
ISBN: 978-0230300941

Shakespeare, Richard III. Edited Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen. Palgrave.
ISBN: 978-0230221116

Shakespeare, Richard II. Edited Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen. Red Globe Press.
ISBN: 978-0230272200


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university.


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.