Ch 12: British Plays: Examples & Analysis

About This Chapter

This chapter will introduce you to one of the world's most influential British playwrights - William Shakespeare. Meet the man and his works in this chapter on British plays.

British Plays: Examples & Analysis - Chapter Summary

Explore the life and writings of the great William Shakespeare. See how despite his world fame, there is also great mystery surrounding this famous Londoner. Learn how racism, cross-dressing, witches and madness permeate some of the most famous plays in history.

Our instructors with introduce you to six of Shakespeare's works, summarize the stories and help you analyze each of the dramas. In addition to presenting an overview of the mysterious life of William Shakespeare, this chapter's lessons review the following plays:

  • Julius Caesar
  • Twelfth Night
  • Hamlet
  • Othello
  • King Lear
  • Macbeth

Our engaging and entertaining videos make analyzing Shakespeare fun! Subject experts are available via email to answer any questions you may have along the way. Study at your own pace and review anything you like - the embedded video tags and lesson transcripts make it easy. When you're ready, take the optional quizzes or chapter exam to see how much you have learned.

7 Lessons in Chapter 12: British Plays: Examples & Analysis
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

1. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

This video provides a crash course introduction to William Shakespeare's life, plays, and poetry. From 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' to 'The Tempest', we'll give you a timeline of his works and quick descriptions of what you need to know to identify them.

Julius Caesar: Shakespeare's Play vs. History

2. Julius Caesar: Shakespeare's Play vs. History

In this lesson, we'll examine Shakespeare's take on the life of Julius Caesar, which spawned such famous quotes as 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!' and 'Et tu, Brute!' We'll also take a look at Brutus and Cassius, the conspirators who plotted Caesar's demise, as well as Mark Antony and Octavius, who remained loyal.

Twelfth Night: Themes, Quotes and Cross-Dressing Characters

3. Twelfth Night: Themes, Quotes and Cross-Dressing Characters

In this lesson, we'll outline the interplay between love and deception in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. We'll go over plot, characters, and figure out what Shakespeare's cross-dressing heroine Viola means in the context of love.

Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy

4. Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy

To be or not to be? In this lesson, that really is the question. Watch this video to learn all about Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. We'll explore its plot, characters and the meaning of that famous phrase.

Othello: Racism and Shakespeare

5. Othello: Racism and Shakespeare

In this video, we'll give an overview of the plot of Shakespeare's 'Othello.' We'll discuss the motivations of his wicked ensign, Iago, and address the racial issues brought to light by Shakespeare's writing.

Shakespeare's King Lear: My Three Daughters

6. Shakespeare's King Lear: My Three Daughters

In this video, we'll discuss the importance of blindness, both literal and metaphorical, in Shakespeare's King Lear. We'll give an overview of the plot, characters, and explore the familial relationships central to the famous tragedy.

Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play

7. Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play

In this lesson, we'll follow how ambition shapes the events of Shakespeare's Scottish play, 'Macbeth'. We'll explore the plot, characters and supernatural elements that are characteristic of this play.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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