a podcast in which joel fishbane explores each of Shakespeare's plays, offering tidbits, trivia, and revisionist interpretations of all those plays they made you read in school.
the two noble kinsmen
There's a pleasing symmetry to the fact that the Bard opened his career with "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and closed it , so far as we know, with "The Two Noble Kinsmen". In this last episode of "Shakespeare Unbard", Joel discusses Shakespeare's last known work and leaves you with some parting thoughts.
Just as King Lear isn't about King Lear and Julius Caesar isn't about Julius Caesar, Henry VIII isn't about Henry VIII. Its central figures are Wolsey and Katharine, each of whom emerge as the protagonists in what amounts to an uneven historical epic.
Beloved among Shakespeare fans, The Tempest holds a regal place in the canon, mostly because of the popular belief that Prospero is a stand-in for the Bard himself. In Episode 36, Joel discusses the last play Shakespeare wrote by himself.
Mixing history, comedy, and tragedy, Cymbeline is a grab-bag, the equivalent of a Shakespearian mix-tape. There's no way around it: Cymbeline is Shakespeare's craziest play, a wild theatrical experiment that mashes so many different genres, plots, and styles that it's astonishing the thing makes any sense.
the winter's tale
"A sad tale's best for winter" asserts Mamillius, the doomed prince of Bohemia, and rarely has a Shakespearian character summarized his own story so well. His words are proved true as we watch The Winter's Tale, a bittersweet bit of theatre that is one of the most unique Shakespeare ever devised.
There's no record of the Coriolanus being performed before 1682 and even after that the play remained unpopular. It's only recently that the play finally appears to be achieving some of the recognition it deserves. In this episode, Joel discusses this complex play that should be more popular than it is.
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The Bard unbound
A fun and engaging look at the work of William Shakespeare. For both the devout fan and the casual fan.