Shakespeare: On the Page and in Performance | WellesleyX on edX | Course About Video


ACTOR 1: What old or newer
torture must I receive, whose every word deserves– YU JIN KO: Shakespeare wrote for a
popular theater and was immensely successful. His plays drew huge audiences from all
social classes to an overcrowded theater notorious for unruliness
and riveted their attention. Shakespeare’s popularity in the theater
continues today on stages across the globe and on film. But Shakespeare is also rightly regarded
as one of the greatest writers in world literary tradition. This course will try to understand
Shakespeare’s greatness and his popularity. And we’ll start from a simple premise,
that the fullest appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays can only be achieved
when we combine literary analysis with the analysis
of the plays as theater. Hence, as we delve deeply into the texts
of classic plays, from Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream to
Othello and King Lear, we will also explore them in performance from
Shakespeare’s own theater to the modern screen. At the same time, actors will
occasionally join our effort and demonstrate ways of bringing the
text alive as living theater. ACTOR 2: Who, all as hot, turns deadly
point to point, and, with a martial scorn, with one hand beats cold death
aside with the other sends– ACTOR 3: Uh, breath, breath. “With the other–” YU JIN KO: Taking this multi-pronged
approach, I believe, will bring us most directly in touch with the
qualities that make Shakespeare so extraordinary. The astonishing power their language,
their capacity to integrate the most profane humor with the most sublime of
visions, their uncanny ability to illuminate so much of our lives. I hope you will join
us on this journey.

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