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Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh - Misanthropos - Timon of Athens - Part II

Prof. Ladan Niayesh
Literary Advisor

Focusing specifically on the play "Timon of Athens"; let's settle the debate once and for all: is it a tragedy or a problem play?

The answer to your question depends on your definition of “tragedy”. In the first Folio of 1623 (that is the first edition of Shakespeare’s complete works), "Timon of Athens" is grouped with the tragedies. The other two categories in the volume are comedies and histories, and obviously Timon could not belong to either of those other options. It is a tragedy insofar as its action is based on human suffering and a catharsis (purging of emotions), with the fate of the central figure inspiring pity and fear (the two expected Aristotelian tragic emotions) in the audience. But the action fails to fully qualify as a standard tragic action in five stages neatly following the rise and fall of a hero, complete with a final catastrophe involving an onstage death in the early modern English tradition. Here, the hero’s fall occurs much earlier than at the end, and he dies offstage, in a kind of ellipsis. The defiant, fighting dimension of heroism, meanwhile, is transferred to another character, Alcibiades, who embodies the nemesis of Athens here and who closes the play in Timon’s absence, making the denouement problematic. So all in all, we have a play and its eponymous character resisting and rejecting tragic heroism and a proper denouement, making this a problem play, or a ‘problem tragedy’ if you prefer.

It is now established that Shakespeare collaborated with Thomas Middleton to write "Timon of Athens"; how does this play differ from Shakespeare's solo body of work either in structure, tone, lyrical pace, etc.

Read more: Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh - Misanthropos - Timon of Athens - Part II

Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh - Misanthropos - Timon of Athens - Part III

Prof. Ladan Niayesh
Literary Advisor

What would you say is the overreaching difference between this adaptation and Shakespeare's original play? And how would you evaluate this evolution of script?

The first obvious difference is the change of medium. Shakespeare & Co wrote their play texts – or “scripts”, as you have spontaneously called them – at a time when cinema was not an option. Even if the circular form of an early modern stage offers more changes of perspectives than a frontal opera stage, we come nowhere near the multifocal options of a modern camera, its movements, the cuts, the angles, etc. The cinematic medium by essence invites successive takes and multiplicity of perspective, so the revised text might as well follow and adjust to that, with multiple hands and voices contributing tonal changes: some more philosophical and others more poetic, some ancient Greek, others early modern and others original and atemporal. Yet the ensemble keeps its thematic unity, orchestrated and led by the conductor that Maximianno is by training and background. Overall, I think this version works more in a dialogic, or even symphonic, way across periods and genres, which is a great way of revisiting multiple legacies, not just transposing them in awe and reverence, but writing back to them and continuing the conversations they started.

Do you think using texts and sonnets from Shakespeare's vast body of work is an effective way of adapting and evolving his plays into something even more modern and empowering?

Read more: Interviews - Prof. Ladan Niayesh - Misanthropos - Timon of Athens - Part III

Shakespeare After All - The Later Plays - Lecture 2 - Troilus and Cressida - Harvard University

EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS
Master Classes - Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays - Lecture 2: Troilus and Cressida - 2007
by Prof. Marjorie Garber
Harvard University - Department of English



Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: Troilus and Cressida
Lecture 3: Measure for Measure
Lecture 4: Othello
Lecture 5: King Lear
Lecture 6: Macbeth
Lecture 7: Antony and Cleopatra
Lecture 8: Coriolanus
Lecture 9: Pericles
Lecture 10: Cymbeline
Lecture 11: The Winter’s Tale
Lecture 12: The Tempest
Lecture 13: Plenary - Review session

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Read more: Shakespeare After All - The Later Plays - Lecture 2 - Troilus and Cressida - Harvard University

Shakespeare After All - The Later Plays - Prof. Marjorie Garber - Lecture 1 - Harvard University

EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS
Master Classes - Shakespeare After All: The Later Plays - Lecture 1: Introduction - 2007
by Prof. Marjorie Garber
Harvard University - Department of English



Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: Troilus and Cressida
Lecture 3: Measure for Measure
Lecture 4: Othello
Lecture 5: King Lear
Lecture 6: Macbeth
Lecture 7: Antony and Cleopatra
Lecture 8: Coriolanus
Lecture 9: Pericles
Lecture 10: Cymbeline
Lecture 11: The Winter’s Tale
Lecture 12: The Tempest
Lecture 13: Plenary - Review session

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Read more: Shakespeare After All - The Later Plays - Prof. Marjorie Garber - Lecture 1 - Harvard University

Shakespeare's Life and Work - Part 1 - Biographical Interpretation - Harvard University

EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS
Shakespeare's Life and Work - HarvardX's Shakespeare’s XSeries Program - 4K Video



Learn how to read William Shakespeare's plays through his biography, Elizabethan and Jacobean history, and modern performance.

About this course
Instructor: Prof. Stephen Greenblatt
Cogan University • Professor of the Humanities • Harvard University

How do we read Shakespeare? Do his plays belong to the past, or the present? To a famed dramatic genius or to readers and audiences around the globe? What do his plays really mean?

Moving between the world in which Shakespeare lived and the present day, this course will introduce different kinds of literary analysis that you can use when reading Shakespeare. With short videos filmed on location in England and readings covering topics like Shakespeare's contemporaries and the politics of modern performance, you will learn a range of critical tool that you can use to unlock the meaning and relevance of Shakespeare’s plays.

Join us as we visit Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was born in 1564; London, the lively city where he began as an actor; and the Globe Theater, where his first plays were performed. This journey through Shakespeare’s life will transport you to another era and will give you a new perspective on his timeless work.

What you'll learn
• The cultural significance of Shakespeare's plays and their performance;
• How Shakespeare’s work was considered in his own time and in the present, in his own country and • around the world;
• Different approaches to textual interpretation;
• How to consider authorial intention, historical context, and present relevance;
• How to analyze Shakespeare's plays on the page and in performance;
• Foundational knowledge on Shakespeare that can be applied to his specific works.

HarvardX online courses bring Harvard’s extensive catalogue of expertise and research to learners around the globe. Launched in parallel with edX (a non-profit learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT), HarvardX independently represents Harvard’s academic diversity, showcasing the University’s highest quality offerings to serious learners everywhere.

Will learning data science skills get you that promotion or next job? How does rhetoric from powerful speakers influence what you believe and how you act? What investments can society make to ensure that we don’t fail the next generation of children?

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Read more: Shakespeare's Life and Work - Part 1 - Biographical Interpretation - Harvard University

THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH - Denzel Washington - Frances McDormand - OFFICIAL TRAILER - 4K

From writer/director Joel Coen and starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, and Harry Melling.

The Tragedy of Macbeth

DIRECTOR: Joel Coen

RELEASE DATE: In Theaters December 25. Streaming on Apple TV+ January 14.

CAST:
Denzel Washington - Lord Macbeth
Frances McDormand - Lady Macbeth
Kathryn Hunter - Witches / Old Man
Bertie Carvel - Banquo
Lucas Barker - Fleance
Brendan Gleeson - King Duncan
Corey Hawkins - Macduff
Moses Ingram - Lady Macduff
Harry Melling - Malcolm
Stephen Root - Porter

ABOUT A24:
The studio behind MOONLIGHT, LADY BIRD, EX MACHINA, THE WITCH, EIGHTH GRADE, HEREDITARY, MINARI, UNCUT GEMS & more. https://a24films.com



This recording is for educational purposes only and is covered under Public Domain doctrine.

Read the unabridged plays online: [ LINK ]

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Read more: THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH - Denzel Washington - Frances McDormand - OFFICIAL TRAILER - 4K

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