R102 | King Lear on the Page and the Stage


11:30am - 1:00pm


9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 10/29

10/15 session rescheduled for 11/5

Six sessions

This course is offered online via the free, easy-to-use Zoom program.

10/15 session rescheduled for 11/5

King Lear is one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays.  Its multiple plot lines address the obligations of family, friendship and governance. The effects of madness, ageing and lust for power are displayed through powerful verbal and physical violence.  Through it all, Shakespeare lets us see the humanity in some truly despicable characters as well as the foibles of the most admirable ones.

Each week will focus on one act, looking closely at the text as well as exploring how the page may come alive on the stage.  Additional information, including background on Shakespeare’s life, London and its theaters during his lifetime, and the play’s publication, production and critical history will be offered to provide a broader context for the work. Varied background sources range from Shakespeare Quarterly to Thug Notes to Modern Farmer. An important feature of the course will also be the reading aloud of selected scenes by volunteer participants from the class.

Recommended Reading: King Lear by William Shakespeare, Folger Shakespeare Library paperback edition if possible.  Simon and Schuster, 2004. 

Additional material will be available online.

Ann Berman holds a Master of Arts in Shakespeare Studies from King’s College, London.  She spent 30 years as a teacher and administrator at the Dover-Sherborn Public Schools and 8 years as a course facilitator at Lifelong Learning at Regis College in Weston, MA.

Additional Course Materials:

King Lear resources and references 9-23.docx

Lear's Wife Merwin.docx

Lear with Sheep Modern Farmer.docx

King Lear with Sheep Shakes. Quarterly.docx

King Lear critical quotes.docx

Tyrant by Greenblatt copy.pdf

Intro to Playtext King Leir by Griffin[1].pdf

King Lear resources and references 11-4.docx


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