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Approaching Shakespeare

By Oxford University

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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.

Customer Reviews

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!

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

Very Informative - shame about the coughing

I'm a final year BA English Lit student, and listen to these lectures while out walking. Always a different angle on the plays which is helpful.

One downside of listening on headphones is that the coughing (occurs at least once per minute) is hard to miss and becomes quite distracting, if not annoying. Crikey, there are some very unhealthy students out there!