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Shakespeare's Comic Plays

An interactive journey through Shakespeare's comedies including "The Tempest," "Much Ado about Nothing," and "The Comedy of Errors."
Paul H. The Shakespearean Student
48 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 1 learner
  There are no upcoming classes.
year olds
learners per class

Charged upfront
Meets 1x per week
Over 8 weeks
55 minutes per class

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Class Experience

Students will learn some of the literary elements of Shakespeare's play such as metaphors, similes, personification, verbal irony, etc. We'll also discuss the structure of the plots of his comedies and romances. Finally, I will compare and contrast different artistic interpretations of the comedies such as films, book adaptations,TV series, and even Rom-coms to show Shakespeare's timeless appeal. 
I have undergone Trauma-Informed practices training, so I am happy to talk to students in breakout rooms if the material brings up any kind of distress related to past trauma.
There will be a handout for the students to fill out that gives a brief summary of my talking points, vocabulary, and famous characters from the comedies.
Each class concludes with a short quiz which will help me gauge the learner's understanding of the material. The final class will be an open-note quiz that covers everything we've talked about. The assessments are mainly designed to recap what we've learned in a fun way, since they take the form of game shows, matching games, and sometimes parodies of popular mobile games.
55 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
In Week 5, we discuss the most controversial of Shakespeare's plays- Merchant of Venice, (which depicts anti-Semitism), and Measure For Measure, (which is about a judge who tries to seduce a nun and threatens to ruin her reputation if she doesn't agree to his advances). This will be done through close readings of the text, such as Shylock's famous "Hath Not A Jew Eyes?" speech in "Merchant of Vencice. I will also provide pictures and videos of the historical locations in the plays to provide historical context for the plays. Finally, the students and I will engage in open discussions about what Shakespeare was saying about these kinds of characters and how the real villain is not Shylock or Antonio, but the forces in society that shape their character flaws.

I will be very careful to make it clear that sexism and anti-Semitism is wrong, that Shakespeare was not trying to condone prejudice or sexism and make every opportunity to be sensitive to different cultures and genders. My goal for this week is to illuminate how Shakespeare's heroes, (and anti-heroes like Shylock), struggle against unjust societies that allow systemic oppression of their culture, religion, and or/ gender, and hopefully inspire students to think critically about how sexism and prejudice still manifest themselves today. That said, I acknowledge that these topics are painful for students, they are welcome to sit this particular class out. They will not be penalized for not attending.
We will refer to Shakespeare's comedies, specifically focusing in detail on:
"A Midsummer Night's Dream"
"Much Ado About Nothing,"
"The Merchant Of Venice"
"The Tempest"


Paul H. The Shakespearean Student
Lives in the United States
Teacher, lecturer, actor, astronomer, and technology specialist
48 total reviews
82 completed classes

About Me

I specialize in Shakespeare and Astronomy, having worked in theater for over 10 years, and for two years as a professional astronomy assistant. I teach courses in Shakespeare Appreciation and Shakespearean acting, as well as basic astronomy for... 
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