Shakespeare: Comedies, Tragedies, Histories & Sonnets
Dr Marco Liviero
Course Introduction - It All Begins With a Book
“When we read Shakespeare we read ourselves.” Marco describes how he fell in love with Shakespeare and what Shakespeare can teach us about ourselves.
We look at comedy as a genre, its classical structure and how Shakespeare alters that structure.
Comedies: A Midsummer Night's Dream - The Dangerous Illusion of Love
We delve into the role of magic and the supernatural in comedy and consider the dangerous illusion of love.
Comedies: Twelfth Night - Love Seriously
The many types of love and how they don't fit naturally into comedy, but do illustrate life and humanity.
Comedies: The Tempest - The Sense of an Ending
''As you from crimes would pardon'd be, Let your indulgence set me free.''
Marco considers how tragedies are defined and how Shakespeare challenges expectations in his tragedies.
Tragedies: Hamlet - The Everyman
Why Hamlet's tale is universal and reflects our own confusion at the nature of our existence.
Tragedies: King Lear - An Old Man's Tale
We look at how Lear's story tells us the truth, simply and mercilessly, about the confusing nature of human existence.
Tragedies: Macbeth - A Tragedy of Love
We explore the nature of desire and temptation and consider whether this is Shakespeare's most nihilistic tragedy.
Marco considers how Shakespeare deals with truth, power and why we need a crown as well as how we should judge the past.
Histories: Henry V - Harry the Man; Henry the King
Why Henry V goes beyond idealistic propaganda and how history can be manipulated. We consider the nature of power.
Histories: Richard III - Falling in Love with Evil
Marco considers how evil can be seductive and how Richard III and Henry V are more similar than they appear.
Sonnets: Introduction - To Hear With Eyes
We consider the form of the sonnet and how Shakespeare makes the form his own.
Sonnets: Romeo & Juliet's Sonnet of Love
Why this is the perfect love sonnet where two voices merge in complete harmony in a world of conflict.
Sonnets: Sonnet II
''This were to be new made when thou art old, And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.''
Sonnets: Sonnet XX
''But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure, Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.''
Sonnets: Sonnet XXIII
''O, learn to read what silent love hath writ: To hear with eyes belongs to love's fine wit.''
Sonnets: Sonnet XXIX
''For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.''
Sonnets: Sonnet CXXX
''And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare As any she belied with false compare.''
Sonnets: Talking in Bed
We look at Philip Larkin's sonnet 'Talking in Bed' and consider how it compares with Shakespeare's sonnets.
''If all the world’s a stage, Shakespeare’s voices become our own.''
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Online Shakespeare Discussion Forum
Course members can:
Ask Marco questions directly using the "Ask Marco" section in our community. Marco will provide a video response to your questions.
Share ideas and join the discussion about Shakespeare with fellow lovers of Shakespeare's work.
Feedback For Our Courses
"Keystone Inspires shows that even a pandemic can produce something good. For those of us who’ve spent so much time in front of a screen, here at last is an idea that stimulates the brain instead of satiating it. For the first time in my life it brings the challenge and excitement of a conversation at High Table to your dining table in your home. Keystone Inspires proves that learning about something new can be fun — and after all, it’s what they’ve been doing with young people for years."Dr Martin Stephen (Former High Master of St Paul's School)
"I absolutely loved it! I am so excited to have an excuse to revisit Shakespeare."Charlotte
"I’ve just begun the first lecture as I am saving this Shakespearean course as an Autumn treat and I’m bowled over by Dr. Marco’s introduction already. Thank you."Anne Smyth
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