32 episodes

Each lecture in this series focuses on a single play by Shakespeare, and employs a range of different approaches to try to understand a central critical question about it. Rather than providing overarching readings or interpretations, the series aims to show the variety of different ways we might understand Shakespeare, the kinds of evidence that might be used to strengthen our critical analysis, and, above all, the enjoyable and unavoidable fact that Shakespeare's plays tend to generate our questions rather than answer them.

Approaching Shakespeare Oxford University

    • Courses
    • 4.4, 128 Ratings

Each lecture in this series focuses on a single play by Shakespeare, and employs a range of different approaches to try to understand a central critical question about it. Rather than providing overarching readings or interpretations, the series aims to show the variety of different ways we might understand Shakespeare, the kinds of evidence that might be used to strengthen our critical analysis, and, above all, the enjoyable and unavoidable fact that Shakespeare's plays tend to generate our questions rather than answer them.

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona

    The Two Gentlemen of Verona

    Professor Emma Smith gives the last of her 2017 Shakespeare lectures on his early comedy, Two Gentlemen of Verona. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 44 min
    Henry VI, Part 2

    Henry VI, Part 2

    Professor Emma Smith continues her Approaching Shakespeare series with a 2017 lecture on the early history play, Henry VI, Part 2. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 47 min
    The Merry Wives of Windsor

    The Merry Wives of Windsor

    Professor Emma Smith lectures on Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 48 min
    All's Well That Ends Well

    All's Well That Ends Well

    Professor Emma Smith lectures on Shakespeare’s comedy All's Well That Ends Well. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 48 min
    Cymbeline

    Cymbeline

    Professor Emma Smith continues her Approaching Shakespeare series with a lecture on one of Shakespeare’s later plays, Cymbeline. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 50 min
    Timon of Athens

    Timon of Athens

    Emma Smith finishes her Approaching Shakespeare series with a lecture on the play Timon of Athens. Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
128 Ratings

128 Ratings

Kayleigh Töyrä ,

Fantastic for Shax lovers old & new

Wonderfully thoughtful lectures on all of the Shax plays. Love the unusual thematic approach and the lack of chronology/order so that you can discover the plays in a new sequence. Also suitable for new Shax fans as each lecture has a synopsis. Critical theory mentioned, but doesn’t go into it too densely. Funny too!

WSG83 ,

Excellent lectures

Really opening up my thoughts on Shakespeare. Prof Smith is such a learned and creative thinker. Sound quality not fantastic, but the relentless coughs are *very* evocative of undergraduate lectures at Oxford

Digriz01 ,

Though provoking

I love these lectures. As someone who studied Shakespeare at Uni and has been going to performances for 30+ years, I still come away from them with new insights and different ways to think about things. Understand them for what they are - encouragements to think in different ways, not claims to explain what the plays are "really" doing - and you'll take a lot from them.

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