Lend Me Your Ears
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In this sixth and final episode of Lend Me Your Ears, host Isaac Butler talks to the Public Shakespeare Initiative’s Michael Sexton, Villanova professor John-Paul Spiro, Brooklyn College professor Roy Tsao, and theater critic Helen Shaw about the themes of populism, political authenticity, and the body in Shakespeare’s final tragedy, Coriolanus. The actors in this episode are Geordie Broadwater as Coriolanus, Sean Williams as Menenius, Daryl Lathon as Sicinius, David Rosenberg as Brutus,...
Othello isn’t just a play about race, toxic masculinity, and the nature of identity—it’s a play that has influenced our own views on race throughout the centuries. But what did race mean in early 17th-century London? In this fifth episode of Lend Me Your Ears, host Isaac Butler talks to Queen Mary University of London professor Jerry Brotton, Barnard College professor Kim Hall, and Ayanna Thompson, director of the Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Arizona State...
4: Measure for Measure
Five hundred years before #MeToo, Shakespeare wrote his darkest comedy, a story of religion, sexual coercion, and the nature of justice. In this fourth episode of Lend Me Your Ears, host Isaac Butler talks to theater critic Helen Shaw, Villanova University professor John Paul Spiro, and UCLA professor Claire McEachern about Measure for Measure, its troubling situations and conflicts, and why it’s still difficult to reckon with today. The actors in this episode are Geordie Broadwater as...
3: King Lear
If a nation can be thought of as a family, what happens when the family running the nation falls apart? At the exact moment that King James I wanted to unite England and Scotland, Shakespeare answered this question with his masterpiece of tyranny, madness, and betrayal: King Lear. In this third episode of Lend Me Your Ears, host Isaac Butler talks to theater critic Helen Shaw, Yale English professor David Kastan, and University of Roehampton professor Clare McManus about the themes of...
2: Richard II
Richard II is God’s anointed representative on Earth, but by the end of the play that bears his name, he’s dead and his cousin sits on his throne. This is the story of how Shakespeare used English history to ask still-relevant questions about legitimacy, and about how a performance of Richard II played a role in the last aristocratic rebellion against the English crown. In this second episode of Lend Me Your Ears, host Isaac Butler talks to University of Richmond professor Kristin Bezio,...
1.5: Reading Julius Caesar in Modern Context
Slate Plus members get a bonus episode of Lend Me Your Ears every month. Here, we offer a preview of the Julius Caesar extra, in which Isaac Butler, The Handmaid's Tale screenwriter Dorothy Fortenberry, and Vanity Fair film critic K. Austin Collins chat about the themes of elitism and the power of persuasion in the play. To listen to the full episode—plus receive benefits like ad-free Slate podcasts and discounts to Slate Live events—sign up for Slate Plus at slate.com/shakespeare. Lend Me...
1: Julius Caesar
Lend Me Your Ears is a six-part podcast miniseries exploring how Shakespeare’s works have shaped our modern views on politics. Each month, host Isaac Butler will dig into a different Shakespeare play to explore how Shakespeare was responding to his current events, and how they map onto our own. In this first episode, Lend Me Your Ears is looking at one of Shakespeare’s most accessible works: Julius Caesar. Why was the Bard so fascinated with the fall of the Roman Republic? Why do we tend to...