The Characters Of William Shakespeare: Magic and Supernatural Beings with Charlotte Moore

The Characters Of William Shakespeare: Magic and Supernatural Beings with Charlotte Moore


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Sunday, June 27, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT
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The characters from Shakespeare's plays are a vital and vibrant part of our shared heritage. Juliet, Falstaff, Shylock, Caliban, and a host of imaginary beings created more than four centuries ago still live and breathe, on the stage, on the page, on the screen, and in our imaginations. They entertain, enthrall, frighten, shock; they pose ethical dilemmas, ask important questions, move us to laughter or to tears. In this four-part series, Charlotte Moore investigates the ingredients that make up this rich literary feast.

Each of the four Conversations will concentrate on a different group of characters - Lovers; Heroes and Villains; Fools, Clowns and Jesters; and Magic and Supernatural Beings. Charlotte will discuss her chosen characters in terms of how they are presented within each play, the sources of inspiration on which Shakespeare drew in creating them, and their "afterlife"- the way in which they have entered and influenced our collective cultural imaginations. She will consider Shakespeare's own life and times, and the conditions under which the plays were created. External factors such as politics, religion, monarchy, war, plague, censorship, and social traditions and conventions all played their part in shaping Shakespeare's work; so, too, did the physical facts of theatre construction, staging, costumes, and props. Perhaps most important of all were the demands and expectations of the audience. Shakespeare was at the forefront of a group of playwrights working to satisfy the growing theatrical appetites of a huge number of people spanning every social class, from the "groundlings" who paid a penny for a standing place in front of the stage, to Queen Elizabeth herself, who understood and appreciated this extraordinary blossoming of theatrical talent. Charlotte will analyze how all these factors combined to make Shakespeare the greatest-ever creator of characters.

The chosen characters cover as wide a range of plays as possible, spanning Shakespeare's twenty-year career. Charlotte will be discussing comedy, tragedy and history plays, from the most famous of all to the slightly less well known. Ahead of time, participants will receive short extracts from the scenes she will be discussing.

This session will focus on magic and the supernatural in Shakespeare’s works: Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream; the Ghost from Hamlet; the Weird Sisters/Witches from Macbeth; Caliban and Ariel from The Tempest.

Led by a writer and expert on English literature, Charlotte Moore, this interactive seminar will explore the iconic characters from William Shakespeare’s classic works. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of how Shakespeare’s archetypes shaped his work and earned him his place in the canon of literature.

This conversation is part of a 4-part series with Charlotte Moore. Each session is designed as a stand-alone seminar as well as part of the four-week series.

Charlotte Moore has loved poetry ever since she can remember. After reading English Literature at Oxford University, she taught in schools before becoming a writer and journalist. She has published four novels, four historical books for children, George and Sam, a memoir of family life with her autistic sons, and Hancox: A House and a Family, a social history based on her 500-year-old house in rural Sussex, England. Her most recent book is The Magic Hour: 100 Poems From The Tuesday Afternoon Poetry Club, an anthology based on the poetry discussion group she runs. She has written widely for newspapers and magazines. She is an experienced speaker at conferences and literary festivals.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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