The panel discusses the two scenes of the final act of Hamlet, with attention to the text’s focus on death, the mirroring of Hamlet with Fortinbras and Laertes, Horatio’s constant companionship, Ophelia’s burial, and the ultimate defeat of Claudius.
The panel discusses seven scenes, with attention to Ophelia’s innocence and madness, Laertes’ hot-blooded response to the death of his father, Claudius’ failure to demonstrate the wisdom and prudence of a good king, and Hamlet’s apparent inscrutability.
The panel reads Act III of Hamlet with attention to Hamlet’s feigned (or semi-feigned) madness, his suicidal or existentially fatalistic attitude, and the instability and even fatal measure of his interactions with Ophelia, Polonius, and Queen Gertrude.
The panel begins with a brief exercise in parsing Shakespearean prose, followed by a reading of Act II’s scenes, with attention to Polonius’ ambitious scheming, and Hamlet’s feigned (or genuine?) madness with his friends, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
The panel reads the first act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, providing an overview of the action and the textual history, with selected readings from within the five scenes paying particular attention to puns, irony, and the mirroring of characters.
The panel concludes with an examination of Lucrece’s central role as a Shakespearean protagonist, addressing her attitude towards the conflict between Roman shame and the natural law, and how her speech is situated across historical contexts.
The panel reads the second third of Shakespeare’s Lucrece, with particular attention to the paradoxical presentation of light and darkness, and to the dual nature of guilt and shame in the poem, as situated within a putatively historical Roman context.
In the first of a three-part series on Shakespeare’s Lucrece, the panel explores the Roman history and sources for the poem, before reading and examining its metaphors with a focus on Sextus Tarquinius’ internal debate and final, abhorrent resolution.
For St. Valentine’s Day, the panel reads what is likely to have been Shakespeare’s first officially published work: his genre-defying Tragi-Comi-Ovidian poem “Venus and Adonis”, dedicated to his patron, Henry Wriothesley, third Earl of Southampton.
The panel reads a selection of sonnets by William Shakespeare, and considers their Symposium-like comparisons and contrasts of the different kinds and representations of love, in terms ranging from eloquent to earthy, and from concrete to abstract.