May 25th 2016

Shakespeare on the Page and in Performance: Tragic Love (edX)

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Explore Shakespeare's mature plays of tragic love, Othello and King Lear, and learn what makes them so powerful and enduring. This literature and theater course will study two of the most sublime and gut-wrenching plays in the English language: Othello and King Lear. We will try to understand the reasons for their centrality to literary history as well as their continuing power to mesmerize audiences in theatres and cinemas across the world.

As we explore the genius of the plays on the page, we will also study the lives of the plays in performance, from Shakespeare's own theatre to the stages and screens across the globe today. To help us further, actors will occasionally join our effort to demonstrate ways of bringing the text alive as living theatre.

What you'll learn:

- A new appreciation for Shakespeare's greatness and popularity, on the page and in performance across the globe.

- How to combine literary and historical analysis with theatrical approaches to bring Shakespeare most fully alive.

- New ways of understanding Shakespeare’s continuing relevance to us today as we explore recurring themes in plays that trace the arc of Shakespeare's career.

- Analyze Shakespeare’s plays Othello and King Lear.