31 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

    • Education
    • 4.5 • 162 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

4.5 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

Capital Allowance ,

Listened again and again!

I first heard Emma deliver lectures 20 years ago, so when I came across these, I had to listen to them! They are so good, I’m now re-listening to them yet again, three years later. Emma really is THE authority on Shakespeare (and her recent book is worth a read, if you enjoy these.)

Audavian ,

A fantastic resource

By asking a small, apparently trivial, question about each play, Emma Smith provides a different approach and gradually opens up the whole play. I have found these lectures fascinating, both for plays I know relatively well and (as she provides a plot summary at the start) for new plays too. She doesn’t only share her great knowledge but also asks questions for the audience to think about and suggests further avenues of investigation. I’ve returned to re-listen to these lectures several times over the last few years.

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!

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