In this video the educators discuss some of the questions you asked this week on the course.
After discussing how the five plays were chosen for this course, Genny and Neil looked at why so many of Shakespeare’s plays were set in Italy. You can read more about that in this article from the British Library, including some beautiful online examples of paintings and texts from the time. You can read about the locations of all Shakespeare’s plays and see them on Google maps here.
Next Genny answered Helena Valtysdottir’s question about the character motivations in Much Ado About Nothing, and you can read and practise some excellent character analyses in this resource from the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Neil then spoke about the evidence that Shakespeare was the actual author of his plays, despite many popular theories to the contrary, and talked about some of the plays he collaborated with others on. If you’re interested in learning more, a good place to start is this video from TED-Ed which looks at recent linguistic studies using stylometry. Another excellent resource is this free ebook from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare Bites back. You can read more about his collaborations here. You can also read an article about the recent Oxford edition of Henry VI Parts One, Two and Three which now credits Christopher Marlowe as co-author.
Finally, Genny and Neil discussed how and why Shakespeare is still relevant today. If you’d like to explore that further, the British Council’s Living Shakespeare essay series gives international writers, musicians, artists, actors and politicians the chance to share their thoughts.
Check your progress
You can always use the To do icon at the top of the page to see what’s coming up or go back to previous weeks and catch up.
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Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.
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Coming up in Week 5
Next week we’ll look at Hamlet. If you want to get started straight away, go to the To do list for Week 5.
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