Shakespeare is the leading playwright - and probably the leading writer - in Western civilization. His works are one of the greatest achievements of the human mind and spirit. And yet, for far too many of us, they remain a closed book. Why?
Professor Saccio is well suited in these 16 lectures to bring you back into Shakespeare's world and tune you into what he calls Shakespeare's wavelength. As you hear him effortlessly deliver heretofore impenetrable language with the proper meter, emphasis, intonation, and emotion, you'll experience the pleasure that comes with true mastery. Professor Saccio also prepares you to read or watch the plays by orienting you to Shakespeare's use of multiple plots, lines of action, and the sometimes outmoded forms of human behavior (such as courtship in Elizabethan England) that arise in his plays.
Shakespeare was acutely aware of the importance of history - and not just of events but of ideas. You'll see how his tragedies and histories are meditations on the changing world around him and of the eternal issues of character and human nature. You'll journey into a world where actions and ideas intersect and raise profound and unexpected questions, such as how Richard III could be both a classic villain and a Renaissance figure, and whether a man such as Coriolanus can be a hero without a cause or a country.
To read Shakespeare is to take a daunting journey into a perpetually undiscovered country that reinvents itself with every visit. But with these lectures, it will become a familiar pleasure.
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