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Shakespeare can be confusing, but with Professor Rebekah Hendershot's clear and detailed explanations, understanding the famous playwright is easy. She first sets the stage by providing a glimpse into Shakespeare’s life and times, then goes over the plays and sonnets you will see in school. These works include everything from Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth, to King Lear, Othello, and A Midsummer's Night Dream. Each lesson begins with an overview of the background, setting, major characters, and plot sequence. Rebekah also dissects major passages from each play and provides helpful essay jumping-off points. Professor Hendershot uses her Master's of Professional Writing from USC as well as her extensive editing experience to make sure this Shakespeare course is equal parts engaging and preparative.

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I. Introduction

  Introduction to William Shakespeare 22:20
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:18 
   Lesson Overview 1:02 
   Who Was William Shakespeare? 1:38 
    Playwright 1:40 
    Poet 1:44 
    Businessman 1:52 
    Wordsmith 2:00 
   What Do We Know About Shakespeare? 2:06 
    Birth 2:08 
    Father 2:34 
    Education 2:56 
    Marriage 4:10 
    Children 4:51 
    The Lost Period 5:52 
    Work in London 6:36 
    Globe Theater 8:14 
    Real Estate Investments 8:28 
    Writing Style 8:52 
   Early Plays 9:30 
    Comedies 9:36 
    Histories 9:54 
    Others Written in Early Period 10:26 
   Big Plays 10:36 
   Problem Plays 11:02 
   What Else Do We Know About Shakespeare? 11:30 
    Wrote Poetry 11:32 
    Fewer plays after 1607 11:42 
    Died 12:28 
   What Don't We Know About Shakespeare? 14:02 
    Few Personal Records 14:46 
    No Portraits During Lifetime 14:52 
    Little Unpaid Writing 15:40 
    Limited Education 15:54 
    Religion 16:16 
    Sexuality 16:54 
    Authorship 17:32 
   Why Does Shakespeare Matter? 18:12 
    Invented Modern English 18:16 
    Most Quoted 19:08 
    Changed Storytelling 19:26 
    Most Human Human Being 19:40 
   Am I Ever Going to Use This in the Real World? 20:16 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 21:10 
  How This Course Will Work 4:18
   Intro 0:00 
   Lesson Overview 0:10 
   What Does This Course Do? 0:30 
   What Does This Course Not Do? 0:54 
   What’s in Each Lesson? 1:56 
    Background of the work 2:04 
    Content of the work 2:12 
    Tips and tricks 2:20 
   How to Use These Videos 3:28 

II. Plays

  Romeo and Juliet 26:51
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:10 
   Lesson Overview 0:44 
   Background 1:30 
   Setting 2:34 
   Characters 3:30 
    Romeo 3:31 
    Montague 3:44 
    Benvolio 3:56 
    Prince Escalus 4:04 
    Count Paris 4:12 
    Mercutio 4:26 
    Juliet 4:44 
    Capulet 4:58 
    Tybalt 5:04 
    Rosaline 5:24 
    Nurse 5:42 
    Friar Laurence 6:06 
   Plot 6:24 
    The brawl 6:26 
    The barty 7:32 
    The balcony scene 9:14 
    Marriage arrangements 10:34 
    Lots and lots of fighting 11:08 
    Lots and lots of angst 12:34 
    The plot thickens 13:30 
    The tomb 15:06 
   Themes 17:06 
   Major Passages 20:02 
   Jumping-off Points 21:40 
    Love 21:42 
    Fate 22:08 
    Blame 22:16 
    Light and Darkness 22:44 
    Tragedy or Dark Comedy? 23:00 
    Source of Family Feuds 23:28 
    Remakes 24:06 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 25:28 
  Hamlet 39:28
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:10 
   Lesson Overview 0:40 
   Background 1:20 
   Setting 2:54 
   Major Characters 4:02 
    Hamlet 4:10 
    Claudius 4:34 
    Gertrude 4:54 
    Polonius 5:14 
    Laertes 5:38 
    Ophelia 5:48 
    Horatio 6:14 
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern 6:28 
    The Ghost 6:44 
    Fortinbras 7:14 
    Gravediggers 7:18 
   Plot 7:32 
    A death, a wedding, and a coronation 7:34 
    Appearance of the ghost 8:36 
    The mad prince 9:54 
    Laertes leaves for Paris and Ophelia gets advice 10:30 
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern 11:08 
    Hamlet and Ophelia 11:38 
    The Mouse-Trap 12:08 
    Reaction 15:44 
    Ophelia's madness 16:52 
    Laertes returns and Ophelia dies 17:40 
    Hamlet returns; Yorick and Ophelia's grave 18:40 
    The duel 20:22 
    Everybody dies (except Horatio) 20:56 
   Themes 22:10 
   Major Passages 26:18 
    Act I, scene 2, 129-158 26:34 
    Act I, scene 4, 67 27:12 
    Act II, scene 2, 297-298 28:04 
    Act III, scene 1, 58-90 28:52 
    Act V, scene 1, 122 29:46 
    Act V, scene 1, 185-195 31:18 
   Jumping-off Points 31:58 
    Uncertainty in the play 32:00 
    Examine comedy 32:38 
    Hinge points in the play 33:46 
    The role of women 34:30 
    Suicide 35:28 
    Examine theatricality 36:32 
    Soliloquies 37:10 
    The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 38:10 
  Macbeth 24:00
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:10 
   Public Service Announcement 0:44 
   Lesson Overview 1:18 
   Background 1:54 
   Setting 4:20 
   Major Characters 4:52 
    Macbeth 4:58 
    Lady Macbeth 5:20 
    Duncan 5:28 
    Malcom and Donalblain 5:30 
    Banquo 5:32 
    Fleance 5:38 
    Macduff 6:04 
    Lady Macduff 6:16 
    Witches 6:22 
    Siward 6:25 
    Hecate 6:27 
    Ross, Lennox, Angus, Menteith, Caithness 6:39 
   Plot 6:45 
    Macbeth's and Manquo's victories 6:46 
    The witches' prophecy 6:59 
    Prophecy fulfilled 7:59 
    Lady Macbeth's encouragement 8:05 
    The murder of Duncan 8:29 
    Malcom and Donalblain flee 8:41 
    Banquo killed, Fleance excapes 9:05 
    The feast 9:23 
    Witches redux 9:59 
    Move against Macduff 11:05 
    Lady Macbeth's madness and suicide 12:29 
    Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane 12:41 
    Macbeth vs. Macduff 12:59 
    Prophecies fulfilled 13:31 
    Macbeth dies, Malcolm becomes king 13:43 
   Themes 13:47 
   Major Passages 17:19 
    Act I, scene 5, 36-52 17:25 
    Act I, scene 7, 1-28 18:09 
    Act II, scene 2, 55-61 18:21 
    Act V, scene 1, 30-34 18:55 
    Act V, scene 5, 16-27 19:19 
   Jumping-off Points 19:55 
    How does the idea of prophecy play out? 19:57 
    How are the five kings in the play alike and different? 20:11 
    Who is the hero of the play? 20:39 
    Is Macbeth villainous or tragic? Or both? 20:59 
    Is this play misogynistic? 21:11 
    What role does blood play in the story? 21:23 
    Key events offstage 21:39 
    Is Macbeth a moral play? 22:39 
    The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 23:03 
  King Lear 30:59
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:38 
   Background 1:08 
   Setting 2:26 
   Major Characters 3:04 
    Lear 3:05 
    Goneril 3:12 
    Regan 3:16 
    Cordelia 3:24 
    Earl of Kent 3:32 
    Fool 3:44 
    Dukes of Albany and Cornwall 3:48 
    Oswald 3:50 
    Earl of Gloucester 3:58 
    Edgar/Poor Tom 4:06 
    Edmund 4:12 
   Plot 4:26 
    Gloucester and his bastard 4:40 
    Lear's contest; kingdom divided; Cordelia disinherited 5:00 
    Lear's visit and Goneril's complaints 6:36 
    Kent becomes Caius 7:00 
    Message to Gloucester and off to Regan's castle 7:24 
   Plot, cont. 7:36 
    Edmund tricks Gloucester 7:42 
    Kent vs. Oswald 8:42 
    Edgar's disguise 9:12 
    Lear Betrayed 9:42 
    The storm 10:06 
    Edmund rises with Cornwall 11:42 
    Kent and Gloucester make plans 12:14 
   Plot, cont. 12:24 
    Gloucester captured and tried 12:30 
    Lear's madness and the Fool vanishes 13:22 
    Gloucester reunited with Edgar 14:10 
    Albany splits from Goneril and Cornwall dies 14:34 
    Kent arrives in Dover; Lear won't see Cordelia 15:10 
   Plot, cont. 15:28 
    Regan schemes against Goneril 15:34 
    Gloucester's miracle 15:52 
    Edgar kills Oswald 16:34 
    Mad Lead pardons Gloucester's sins and flees 16:58 
    Edgar gives Albany a letter, theres a fight and more scheming 17:32 
   Plot, cont. 17:56 
    Battle; Lear and Cordelia captured 17:58 
    Edgar saves Gloucester 18:18 
    Lear and Cordelia sent away; Edmund lies 18:26 
    Edgar vs. Edmund; treachery revealed 19:02 
    Goneril and Regan die 19:20 
    Lear weeps over Cordelia; Edmund dies; Lear dies 19:58 
    Kent dying; Edgar ascends 20:16 
   Themes 20:22 
    Major Passages 22:40 
    Act I, scene 2, 1-22 23:28 
    Act IV, scene 1, 37-38 24:04 
    Act V, scene 3, 256-260 24:42 
   Jumping-off Points 25:44 
    What is nature's role in the play? 25:45 
    How do your perceptions of the major characters change throughout the play? 26:30 
    Relationship between Cordelia and Lear; Edgar and Gloucester; Goneril and Regan and Edmund 26:40 
    What purpose does the Fool serve? Why does he vanish? 27:26 
    What role does age play in the story? 28:10 
    Dissolution of authority 29:12 
    Why did Shakespeare change the ending? 29:26 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 29:58 
  Othello 24:32
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:30 
   Background 1:04 
   Setting 2:58 
   Major Characters 3:54 
    Othello 4:02 
    Desdemona 4:04 
    Michael Cassio 4:28 
    Iago 4:46 
    Brabantio 5:04 
    Emilia 5:10 
    Bianca 5:20 
    Roderigo 5:26 
    Duke of Venice 5:32 
    Gratiano 5:34 
    Lodovico 5:40 
    Montano 5:46 
    Clown 5:52 
   Plot 5:58 
    Roderigo and Iago; Othello's secret marriage; Iago's plot 6:00 
    Othello's trail 7:04 
    The army goes to Cyprus 7:48 
    The feast of Cyprus 8:06 
    Iago sends Cassio to Desdemona 9:16 
   Plot, cont. 9:30 
    Cassio asks Desdemona for help 9:36 
    Iago suggests to Othello that Desdemona is unfaithful 9:42 
    Othello's self-doubt 10:28 
    Handkerchief stolen 11:04 
    Iago goads Othello even more 11:06 
    Iago gets Cassio to laugh and Biana gets Othello to believe 12:20 
   Plot, cont. 12:48 
    Othello rages at Desdemona 12:56 
    Othello goes for a walk 13:56 
    Roderigo and Iago attack Cassio; Iago kills Roderigo 14:50 
    Othello kills his wife 15:18 
    Iago is revealed; Emilia dies 15:54 
    Othello kills himself 16:16 
   Themes 16:18 
   Major Passages 18:14 
    Act I, scene 1, 57-65 18:26 
    Act I, scene 3, 179-188 19:08 
    Act III, scene 3, 267-279 20:00 
    Act V, scene 2, 341-354 20:40 
   Jumping-off Points 22:00 
    How does race play out in this play? 22:12 
    Examine the role of sex in this play 22:40 
    How does Emilia change? 22:54 
    How does Iago play with the audience's sympathies? 23:00 
    Male characters' dual roles as military men and lovers 23:10 
    Physical and emotional isolation 23:24 
    How is this Iago's story? How is it Othello's? 23:38 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 23:50 
  A Midsummer Night's Dream 30:12
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:54 
   Background 1:48 
   Setting 3:50 
   Characters 5:44 
    Theseus 5:50 
    Hippolyta 5:56 
    Hermia 6:02 
    Lysander 6:10 
    Helena 6:22 
    Demetrius 6:52 
    Egeus 7:04 
    Bottom 7:16 
    Quince, Flute, Starveling, Snout, Snug 7:32 
    Oberon 7:56 
    Titania 8:08 
    Puck 8:20 
    Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Moth, Mustardseed 8:46 
   Plot 9:02 
    A wedding or an execution 9:04 
    The lovers run away 10:12 
    Helena and Demetrius run after them 10:18 
    Everybody gets lost in the woods 10:48 
    Titania and Oberon fight 11:00 
    Flower juice 11:42 
    Oberon feels sorry for Helena 13:20 
    Stupid actors in the forest 13:24 
    Puck helps 15:32 
   Plot, cont. 15:44 
    Lysander falls in love with Helena 15:52 
    Everyone runs around in circles 17:40 
    Demetrius falls in love with Helena 17:46 
    Duels, tears, and more running around 18:16 
   Plot, cont. 18:32 
    The actors rehearse 18:38 
    Puck, Bottom, and the donkey head 18:44 
    Titania in love 19:20 
    Oberon gets the child 19:28 
    Lovers go back to normal 19:36 
    Discovery 19:54 
    A group wedding 20:24 
    And it was all a dream! 20:36 
   Themes 20:54 
    Love 20:58 
    Shape-shifting 21:08 
    Dreams 21:56 
    Authority 22:26 
    Gender roles 22:48 
   Major Passages 23:24 
    Act I, scene 1, 132-134 23:28 
    Act I, scene 1, 227-235 23:50 
    Act III, scene 2, 115 24:22 
    Act IV, scene, 199-209 24:52 
    Act V, epilogue, 1-8 25:18 
   Jumping-off Points 26:30 
    Development of dreams 26:34 
    Love 26:48 
    Rules and tradition 26:58 
    Changes 27:12 
    Sex and coarse jokes 27:22 
    Puck and Bottom 27:45 
    Honesty 28:22 
    Play within a play 28:36 
    Humor 29:02 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 29:24 
  Much Ado About Nothing 30:34
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:44 
   Background 1:18 
   Setting 2:44 
   Major Characters 3:32 
    Don Pedro 3:34 
    Benedick 3:48 
    Claudio 4:20 
    Don John 4:34 
    Borachio and Conrade 5:06 
    Leonato 5:20 
   Major Characters (Cont.) 5:30 
    Hero 5:32 
    Beatrice 6:00 
    Antonio 6:26 
    Ursula and Margaret 6:32 
    Friar Francis 6:42 
    Dogberry 6:46 
   Plot 6:58 
    Visitors on the way home from the wars 7:04 
    The guests arrive 7:36 
    The ball 8:42 
    A plot against the lovers 10:26 
    Eavesdropping in the garden 11:16 
    Beatrice and Benedick in love-ish 13:18 
    An accusation and promised proof 13:28 
    The polite watchmen 13:42 
    The wedding 14:28 
    An interrogation 16:28 
    Two challenges to a duel 16:48 
    The watchmen reveal all 16:50 
    Claudio's grief 16:58 
    Leonato's terms 17:08 
    The Bs attempt to flirt 17:40 
    The wedding day 18:18 
   Themes 19:36 
   Major Passages 22:32 
    Act II, scene 3, 204-208 22:33 
    Act IV, scene 1, 217-221 23:54 
    Act IV, scene 2, 67-78 24:24 
   Jumping-off Points 26:28 
    Beatrice and Benedick 26:34 
    Tragedy or Dark Comedy? 26:54 
    Deception 27:26 
    Language and puns 27:42 
    Honor 28:22 
    Words and wit 28:56 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 29:40 
  The Merchant of Venice 30:55
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:54 
   Background 1:24 
   Setting 2:54 
   Characters 5:16 
    Antonio 5:16 
    Bassanio 5:24 
    Gratiano 5:44 
    Lorenzo 5:48 
    Portia 5:58 
    Nerissa 6:14 
    Shylock 6:36 
    Jessica 7:02 
    Duke of Venice 7:06 
    Launcelot Gobbo and Old Gobbo 7:16 
   Plot 7:28 
    Antonio and Bassanio 7:30 
    Portia and Nerissa 8:38 
    Shylock 10:02 
    The Prince of Morocco 11:24 
    Gobbo's new job 12:14 
    Jessica and Lorenzo 12:58 
    The Prince of Morocco fails 13:42 
    Shylock's daughter and ducats 14:04 
    The prince of Arragon fails 14:54 
    Antonio' s fortune lost? 15:20 
    Bassanio wins Portia's hand 15:42 
    Antonio in prison 16:32 
    I'll have my bond 16:46 
    Portia and Nerissa: Road trip! 17:00 
    Antonio and Shylock go to trial 17:32 
    Balthazar 17:34 
    The quality of mercy is not strained 18:14 
    A loophole in the contract 18:34 
    Shylock loses everything 19:18 
    Fun with rings, happy ending 20:30 
   Themes 20:48 
    Major Passages 24:14 
    Act IV, scene 1, 89-99 24:42 
    Act IV, scene 1, 179-197 24:52 
   Jumping-off Points 25:58 
    The portrayal of Shylock 26:06 
    How would you portray Shylock? 27:02 
    Justice and mercy 27:40 
    Is this play a comedy or not? 27:54 
    The relationship between Antonio and Bassanio 28:14 
    The roles of Venice and Belmont 28:40 
    The relationship between Jessica and Shylock 29:06 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 30:04 
  Twelfth Night 19:08
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:10 
   Lesson Overview 0:42 
   Background 1:24 
   Setting 3:08 
   Characters 3:40 
    Viola/Cesario 3:38 
    Sebastian 4:04 
    Orsino 4:10 
    Olivia 4:24 
    Malvolio 4:52 
    Maria 5:08 
    Antonio 5:16 
    Sir Toby Belch 5:34 
    Sir Andrew Aguecheek 5:36 
    Feste 6:00 
   Plot 6:11 
    Orsino in love 6:28 
    The shipwreck 6:32 
    A visit to Olivia 7:26 
    A prank on Malvolio 8:12 
    Viola and Orsino 8:18 
    Olivia tries to woo Cesario 9:10 
    Antonio and Sebastian appear in town 9:18 
    Malvolio tries to woo Olivia 9:32 
    Sir Andrew picks fight with Viola 9:52 
    Antonio rescues Sebastian, is arrested 10:12 
    Sebastian is challenges, courted, married 11:04 
    The clown mocks Malvolio 11:30 
    Marriage and beating revealed 11:48 
    Twins are reunited 11:56 
    Orsino falls for Viola 12:22 
    Prank on Malvolio is revealed 12:28 
    Laughing and singing 12:34 
   Themes 12:36 
   Major Passages 14:33 
    Act I, scene 1, 1-15 14:34 
    Act I, scene 5, 237-245 14:54 
    Act II, scene 4, 91-101 15:28 
    Act V, scene 1, 258-266 15:48 
   Jumping-off Points 16:28 
    Gender roles 16:22 
    The Twelfth Night Holiday 16:44 
    Comical characters 16:58 
    Malvolio 17:18 
    The ending 17:34 
    Compare Orsino and Olivia 17:48 
    Mistaken identity 18:14 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 18:30 
  Julius Caesar 23:55
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:38 
   Background 1:18 
   Setting 3:29 
   Major Characters 4:41 
    Julis Caesar 4:47 
    Calpurnia 4:53 
    Octavius, Mark Antony, Lepidus 5:07 
    Cicero, Publius, Popilius Lena 5:33 
    Brutus 5:37 
    Cassius 6:03 
    Portia 6:17 
    Casca, Tredonius, Ligarius, Decius Brutus, Metellus, Cimber, Cinna 6:23 
    Cinna 6:25 
    Soothsayer 6:33 
    Flavius and Marullus 6:47 
   Plot 6:53 
    The two tribunes 6:55 
    Caesar's triumph 7:11 
    Brutus and Cassius 7:59 
    The conspiracy 8:43 
   Plot, cont. 8:51 
    The assassination 8:55 
    The funeral 10:09 
    Brutus and Cassius fall out 11:43 
   Plot, cont. 12:03 
    Conspirators go to war 12:04 
    A tribute to Brutus 12:29 
   Themes 13:07 
   Major Passages 15:37 
    Act III, scene 2, 82-96 15:41 
    Act IV, scene 2, 269-276 15:51 
   Jumping-off Points 17:51 
    The use of fate and prophecy 17:55 
    How can the text be applied to different moments in history? 19:05 
    Deviations from the oringinal 19:18 
    The role of reputation in the play 20:09 
    Is Brutus truly the hero? 21:03 
    Friendship in the play 21:41 
    Who is the protagonist? 22:25 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 22:56 
  Henry V 29:12
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:10 
   Lesson Overview 0:54 
   Background 1:38 
   Setting 2:56 
   Major Characters 3:26 
    Henry V 3:30 
    Cambridge, Scrope, Grey 3:40 
    Chorus 3:46 
    Dukes of Exeter 4:12 
    Charles VI 4:18 
    Dauphin 4:28 
    Catherine 4:30 
    King Fluellen 4:48 
    Pistol, Bardolph, Nim 5:36 
    Michael Williams, John Bates, Alexander Court 5:42 
    Hostess 5:46 
    Sir John Falstaff 6:10 
   Plot 6:22 
    The chorus 7:10 
    The plan to invade France 7:16 
    The plot against the prince 8:36 
    In France 9:20 
    Charles' offer 10:04 
    Henry's speech and its dubious reception 10:24 
    Harfleur surrenders 11:26 
    Catherine's English lessons 11:38 
    French taunting 12:00 
   Plot, cont. 12:22 
    Hanging a friend 12:26 
    A French ultimatum 13:04 
    Henry in disguise 13:18 
    Agincourt 14:44 
   Plot, cont. 17:14 
    Victory at Agincourt 17:20 
    Aftermath 18:32 
   Themes 19:44 
   Major Passages 22:14 
    Act I, scene 1, 1 ff 22:46 
    Act III, scene 1, 6-27 23:02 
    Act IV, scene 1, 242-266 23:50 
    Act IV, scene 3, 20-39 24:24 
   Jumping-off Points 25:12 
    How does the play deal with relationships between men? 25:22 
    What kind of king is Henry? 26:00 
    Examine Henry's use of language in the play 26:32 
    Does this play glorify war and conquest? 26:54 
    Marriage, families, and parenting 27:20 
    How does this play deal with diversity among the English forces? 27:46 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 28:09 
  Richard III 23:42
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:40 
   Background 1:16 
   Setting 2:04 
   Major Characters 2:58 
    Richard III 3:04 
    Edward, Prince of Wales and Richard, Duke of York 3:14 
    Lady Anne 3:42 
    Lord Buckingham 3:48 
    Edward IV 3:54 
    Clarence 4:04 
    Queen Elizabeth 4:28 
    Dorset, Rivers and Gray 4:40 
    Duchess of York 4:48 
    Margaret 4:54 
    Young Elizabeth 5:20 
    Tyrell 5:34 
    Richmon 5:46 
    Hastings 5:54 
   Plot 6:06 
    Richard's jealousy 6:14 
    Clarence in the Tower of London 8:16 
    Marriage to the Lady Anne 8:24 
    Queen Margaret warns the court about Richard 9:00 
    Clarence is killed, Edward is blamed 9:18 
    The Princes in the Tower 9:38 
    Richard's next marriage 11:10 
   Plot, cont. 12:12 
    Richard's paranoia grows 12:18 
    The Earl of Richmond invades 12:24 
    Richard's nightmare 12:36 
    The Battle of Bosworth Field 13:06 
    Richmond becomes King Hengry VII, marries Elizabeth 13:14 
   Themes 13:20 
   Major Passages 16:14 
    Act I, scene 1, 1-40 16:20 
    Act I, scene 3, 220-230 16:58 
    Act IV, scene 4, 118-123 17:30 
    Act V, scene 5, 134-145 18:48 
   Jumping-off Points 19:46 
    Is Richard a hero or a villain? 19:56 
    Examine the use of language in the play? 20:28 
    What form does evil take in the play? 20:46 
    How does Shakespeare portray the relationship between monarchs and those they rule? 21:24 
    Portrayal of Richard against history 21:56 
    The roles of men and women in the play, who has power? 22:06 
    Examine the concept of loyalty in the play? 22:16 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 22:47 
  The Winter's Tale 20:46
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:40 
   Background 1:12 
   Setting 2:01 
   Major Characters 3:09 
    Leontes 3:10 
    Hermione 3:17 
    Polixenes 3:37 
    Camillo 3:51 
    Paulina 3:59 
    Antigonus 4:13 
    Perdita 4:27 
    Dion and Cleomenes 4:35 
    Manilius 5:07 
    Florizel 5:15 
    Shepherd 5:21 
    Clown 5:29 
    Autolycus 5:33 
   Plot 5:43 
    Polixenes visits Leontes 5:45 
    Leontes suspects Hermione 6:21 
    Hermione on trial 7:13 
    Antigonus and the baby 8:17 
    Prince Florizel finds the coutryside interesting 9:45 
    Polixenes and Camillo go in disguise 9:55 
    The sheep-shearing 10:07 
    An escape 11:15 
    At the Sicilian court 11:31 
    At Paulina's house 12:21 
   Themes 13:33 
   Major Passages 15:09 
    Act II, scene 1 15:33 
    Act II, scene 3 15:51 
    Act IV, scene 4 16:11 
    Act v, scene 3 16:31 
   Jumping-off Points 17:01 
    Contrast Leontes and Florizel 17:03 
    Two stories at once 17:23 
    Traditional fairytales 17:33 
    Influence of women in the play 17:59 
    Jealousy 18:25 
    Autolycus 18:51 
    Comedy? Tragedy? Romance? 19:13 
    Innocence and guilt 19:27 
    Hermione's return 19:55 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 20:13 
  The Tempest 19:38
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:08 
   Lesson Overview 0:44 
   Background 1:16 
   Setting 2:24 
   Major Characters 2:46 
    Prospero 2:47 
    Miranda 2:56 
    Ariel 3:02 
    Caliban 3:06 
    Antonio 3:20 
    Gonzalo 3:28 
    Alonso 3:54 
    Sebastian 3:56 
    Ferdinand 4:04 
    Trinculo 4:12 
    Stephano 4:16 
   Plot 4:26 
    The tempest and the shipwreck 4:42 
    The island 4:46 
    Elsewhere 6:42 
    The lovers get to know each other 7:38 
    Ariel messes with the murderous drunks 7:58 
    Prospero's banquet 8:02 
    Pretty clothes and supernatural dogs 8:54 
    A lost son and a lost daughter 9:30 
    All is revealed 9:40 
    Loose ends 9:56 
   Themes 10:54 
   Major Passages 13:14 
    Act II, scene 2, 366-368 13:22 
    Act III, scene 1, 77-86 13:42 
    Act IV, scene 1, 148-158 13:58 
    Epilogue 14:40 
   Jumping-Off Points 15:32 
    Is Prospero Shakespeare? 15:38 
    Analyze the character of Caliban 15:43 
    Prospero's and Miranda's relationship 16:37 
    Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban 17:04 
    Examine the use of noise in the play 17:50 
    Governing the island 18:22 
   The Secret of Understanding Shakespeare 18:34 

III. Sonnets

  The Sonnets 21:09
   Intro 0:00 
   First Things First 0:10 
   Lesson Overview 0:40 
   What is a Sonnet? 1:26 
    A 14-line lyric poem, usually about love 1:32 
    Structure calls for four quatrains and a couplet 1:36 
    Rhyme scheme 1:50 
    Written in iambic pentameter 2:04 
   What is a Sonnet?, cont. 2:46 
    First quatrain establishes theme 2:48 
    Second quatrain develops theme 2:50 
    Third quatrain rounds off theme 2:56 
    Final rhyming couplet concludes with twist or surprise 3:04 
   What Do We Know? 3:10 
    Poems probably written in the 1590s 3:12 
    Theaters closed in 1592 due to plague 3:14 
    Some poetry written on commission 3:46 
    Probably circulated in manuscript form 4:06 
    Published in 1609 without Shakespeare's permission 4:14 
   What Don't We Know? 4:58 
    Who commissioned the sonnets 5:04 
    How Thomas Thorpe for his hands on them 5:12 
    Who W.H. was 5:18 
    Who the characters were 5:48 
   Why Do the Sonnets Matter? 5:54 
    Some of the finest poetry ever written 6:00 
    Created new sonnet form 6:12 
    Writing by Shakespeare that isn't a play 6:32 
    Great for quoting 6:52 
   What It Means: Sonnet 18 6:58 
   What It Means: Sonnet 20 9:00 
   Sonnet Characters: The Fair Youth 11:06 
    Attractive young man, identity unknown 11:20 
    Some sonnets encourage him to procreate 11:26 
    Romantic or platonic love? 11:32 
    Affair with Dark Lady? 11:50 
    Possibly Henry Wriothesley 12:02 
    Was Shakespeare gay? 12:22 
   Sonnet Characters: The Dark Lady 13:58 
    Attractive young woman, identity unknown 14:00 
    Dark features 14:20 
    Object of sexual love 14:30 
    Married? 14:56 
    Mystery 15:08 
   Sonnet Characters: The Rival Poet 15:20 
    A competitor 15:26 
    Possibly George Chapman or Christopher Marlowe 15:28 
    Possibly fictitious 16:02 
   What It Means: Sonnet 130 16:26 
   How to Read a Shakespearean Sonnet 19:06 
    Break it up 19:08 
    Read line-by-line 19:28 
    Look for allusions 19:36 
    Read the sonnet aloud 19:56 
    Read it before and after assignments 20:32 
    Pay attention to the last couplet 20:48