Shakespeare's Life, World and Works 5: How to Read Shakespeare


William Shakespeare, who lived in England from 1564 to 1616, is one of the world’s most popular and most captivating authors. Even four hundred years after his death, his plays still attract audiences around the globe. Why is that? In this course, you’ll learn who Shakespeare was, what kinds of plays he wrote, and what makes his body of work perhaps the greatest work of art ever created. In Episode Five, Professor Smith shares student-tested strategies for approaching Shakespeare’s plays as a first-time reader or audience member. You’ll learn how to engage with the structure, imagery, and poetic verse of Shakespeare’s language and with the particular way that Shakespeare constructs his characters and plots. You’ll also learn why performance is key to discovering the meanings of Shakespeare’s plays--and why there are always new meanings to be discovered.

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Zachary Davis

Zachary Davis is the host of Ministry of Ideas and Writ Large and the Editor-in-Chief of Radiant.

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