Free Course: A Survey of Shakespeare’s Plays

This is a course on Shake­speare’s career, giv­en at Bran­deis Uni­ver­si­ty in the spring of 2010, by William Flesch.  It cov­ers sev­er­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive plays from all four gen­res: com­e­dy, tragedy, his­to­ry, and romance. We con­sid­er both the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences among those gen­res, and how his more and more rad­i­cal exper­i­men­ta­tions in genre reflect his devel­op­ing thought, about the­ater, about time, about life, over the course of his career. In terms of texts, any com­plete Shake­speare will suf­fice, includ­ing this free ver­sion online from MIT. The Nor­ton Shake­speare, edit­ed by Stephen Green­blatt, is also rec­om­mend­ed.

1. Intro­duc­tion on Shake­speare’s think­ing about time, espe­cial­ly in Son­net 73, and then Richard II: Audio

2. Richard II, part 2: Audio

3. Richard II, part 3: Audio

4. Richard II, con­clud­ed; Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream: Audio

5. Mid­sum­mer Night’s Dream con­clud­ed: Audio

6. Mer­chant of Venice: Audio

7. Ham­let, part 1: The idea of revenge: Audio

8. Ham­let, part 2: Intro­spec­tion vs. dra­ma: Audio

9. Ham­let, con­clud­ed: The cir­cum­stances of revenge and moral luck: Audio

10.  King Lear, part 1: Audio

11. King Lear, part 2: Audio

12. King Lear, con­clud­ed: Audio

13. Mac­beth, part 1: Audio

14. Mac­beth, con­clud­ed: Audio

15.  Antony and Cleopa­tra, part 1: Audio

16.  Antony and Cleopa­tra, part 2:  Audio

17.  Antony and Cleopa­tra, part 3: Antony: Audio

18.  Antony and Cleopa­tra, con­clud­ed: Audio

19: The Win­ter’s Tale, part 1: Things Dying: Audio

20.  The Win­ter’s Tale,  and the course, con­clud­ed: Things New Born Audio

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.