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Approaching Shakespeare

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Each lecture in this series focuses on a single play by Shakespeare, and employs a range of different approaches to try to understand a central critical question about it. Rather than providing overarching readings or interpretations, the series aims to show the variety of different ways we might understand Shakespeare, the kinds of evidence that might be used to strengthen our critical analysis, and, above all, the enjoyable and unavoidable fact that Shakespeare's plays tend to generate our questions rather than answer them.

Each lecture in this series focuses on a single play by Shakespeare, and employs a range of different approaches to try to understand a central critical question about it. Rather than providing overarching readings or interpretations, the series aims to show the variety of different ways we might understand Shakespeare, the kinds of evidence that might be used to strengthen our critical analysis, and, above all, the enjoyable and unavoidable fact that Shakespeare's plays tend to generate our questions rather than answer them.
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Location:

United States

Description:

Each lecture in this series focuses on a single play by Shakespeare, and employs a range of different approaches to try to understand a central critical question about it. Rather than providing overarching readings or interpretations, the series aims to show the variety of different ways we might understand Shakespeare, the kinds of evidence that might be used to strengthen our critical analysis, and, above all, the enjoyable and unavoidable fact that Shakespeare's plays tend to generate our questions rather than answer them.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

12/15/2017
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Professor Emma Smith gives the last of her 2017 Shakespeare lectures on his early comedy, Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Duration:00:44:45

Henry VI, Part 2

11/9/2017
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Professor Emma Smith continues her Approaching Shakespeare series with a 2017 lecture on the early history play, Henry VI, Part 2.

Duration:00:47:49

The Merry Wives of Windsor

10/25/2017
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Professor Emma Smith lectures on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Duration:00:48:29

All's Well That Ends Well

10/25/2017
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Professor Emma Smith lectures on Shakespeare’s comedy All's Well That Ends Well.

Duration:00:48:20

Cymbeline

10/25/2017
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Professor Emma Smith continues her Approaching Shakespeare series with a lecture on one of Shakespeare’s later plays, Cymbeline.

Duration:00:50:29

Timon of Athens

6/23/2015
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Emma Smith finishes her Approaching Shakespeare series with a lecture on the play Timon of Athens.

Duration:00:54:59

Love's Labour's Lost

5/27/2015
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Emma Smith continues her Approaching Shakespeare series with a lecture on the play Love's Labour's Lost.

Duration:00:48:06

Julius Caesar

5/18/2015
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This lecture on Julius Caesar discusses structure, tone, and politics by focusing on the cameo scene with Cinna the Poet.

Duration:00:49:33

Romeo and Juliet

5/5/2015
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This lecture on Romeo and Juliet tackles the issue of the spoiler-chorus, in an already-too-familiar play. This podcast is suitable for school and college students.

Duration:00:44:15

Coriolanus

5/5/2015
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This lecture takes up a detail from Shakespeare’s late Roman tragedy Coriolanus to ask about the representation of character, the use of sources and the genre of tragedy. This podcast is suitable for school and college students.

Duration:00:52:32

The Merchant of Venice

11/20/2012
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This lecture on The Merchant of Venice discusses the ways the play's personal relationships are shaped by models of financial transaction, using the casket scenes as a central example.

Duration:00:43:33

Taming of the Shrew

11/9/2012
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Emma Smith uses evidence of early reception and from more recent productions to discuss the question of whether Katherine is tamed at the end of the play.

Duration:00:43:56

A Midsummer Night's Dream

11/5/2012
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This lecture on A Midsummer Night's Dream uses modern and early modern understandings of dreams to uncover a play less concerned with marriage and more with sexual desire.

Duration:00:40:45

Much Ado About Nothing

10/30/2012
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Emma Smith asks why the characters are so quick to believe the self-proclaimed villain Don John, drawing on gender and performance criticism to think about male bonding, the genre of comedy, and the impulses of modern performance.

Duration:00:41:58

Hamlet

10/23/2012
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The fact that father and son share the same name in Hamlet is used to investigate the play's nostalgia, drawing on biographical criticism and the religious and political history of early modern England.

Duration:00:46:08

As You Like It

10/23/2012
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Asking 'what happens in As You Like It', this lecture considers the play's dramatic structure and its ambiguous use of pastoral, drawing on performance history, genre theory, and eco-critical approaches.

Duration:00:49:06

King Lear

2/22/2012
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Showing how generations of critics - and Shakespeare himself - have rewritten the ending of King Lear, this sixteenth Approaching Shakespeare lecture engages with the question of tragedy and why it gives pleasure.

Duration:00:47:24

King John

2/10/2012
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At the heart of King John is the death of his rival Arthur: this fifteenth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series looks at the ways history and legitimacy are complicated in this plotline.

Duration:00:45:11

Pericles, Prince of Tyre

2/1/2012
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Pericles has been on the margins of the Shakespearean canon: this fourteenth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series shows some of its self-conscious artistry and contemporary popularity. This podcast has been re-recorded due to technical problems with the original recording. There is no accompanying eBook for this lecture as Pericles is not included in the First Folio.

Duration:00:40:42

Richard III

1/25/2012
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In this thirteenth lecture in the Approaching Shakespeare series the focus is on the inevitability of the ending of Richard III: does the play endorse Richmond's final victory?

Duration:00:45:09