Shakespeare's contributions to stage and language are unequaled, audiences left breathless for the past four centuries, his artistry as evident in moments of insensate rage as it is in moments of heartbreaking tenderness. But beyond his astonishing feats of language and dramatic impact, Shakespeare also left us a legacy in the explorations of suffering and transgression offered in the six great mature tragedies-Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus-that make up the astonishing body of work he produced from 1600 to 1608. This series of 24 exciting lectures from an award-winning teacher takes you deep within each play to observe Shakespeare's protagonists struggling to make choices in the face of competing social, moral, and psychological pressures and "clawing [from] their pain and horror," as Professor Kinney puts it, " [to] a kind of insight." Whether you're a veteran lover of Shakespeare, someone new to his work, or an old lover returning after too long away, you'll find this course a delight, as Professor Kinney offers insights that give you a nuanced understanding of each play's meaning. It's a gift that will increase the dramatic impact of every Shakespearean tragedy you see on the stage or screen, or visualize as you read them, as well as enhance your ability to form insights on your own with each reading or performance.
by William R. Cook
by John R. Hale
by Andrew R. Wilson
by Cynthia R. Chapman
"Professor Kinney covers Shakespeare's four major tragedies--HAMLET, MACBETH, KING LEAR, AND OTHELLO, as well as CORIOLANUS and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. She does not give grand interpretations that might obscure the plays, but offers close readings and commentary. The approach is astute, if not groundbreaking. Kinney's speech is energetic and articulate, her accent a bit difficult to pin down but essentially British. She can fall into a staccato choppiness, accentuating an occasional tendency to stridency and overemphasis, but the strengths of her delivery outweigh the occasional flaws. Her readings of passages--she often lets the plays speak for themselves--pass over into acting. Overall, this production is a helpful and sometimes impassioned introduction to these great plays. W.M. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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