Shakespeare: The Word and the Action, by Peter Saccio; a Teaching Company lecture
For accessible, serious, high-quality, adult-level educational materials (DVD, tape, mp3 downloads) it's hard to beat The Teaching Company. Tonight we finished the last lecture of Shakespeare: The Word and the Action, a course which easily ranks as one of my favorites.
Here are the titles of the 16 lectures:
- Shakespeare's Wavelengths
- The Multiple Actions of A Midsummer Night's Dream
- The Form of Shakespeare's Sonnets
- Love in Shakespeare's Sonnets
- Love and Artifice in Love's Labor's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing
- As You Like It
- The Battles of Henry VI
- Richard III and the Renaissance
- History and Family in Henry IV
- Action in Hamlet
- Coriolanus—The Hero Alone
- Change in Antony and Cleopatra
- The Plot of Cymbeline
- Nature and Art in The Winter's Tale
- Three Kinds of Tempest
- History and Henry VIII
I find it easy to be intimidated by Shakespeare; despite the efforts of my high school teachers, the glories of the Bard didn't begin to open to me until a few months after my 50th birthday, when I saw Kenneth Branagh's version of Henry V.
Saccio's lectures aren't this inspiring, I will admit. But most of the plays he teaches I have never seen nor read, and every single lecture left both of us eager to experience the play, which is no small accomplishment. I highly recommend this course.