About This Chapter
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
- King Lear
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the TASC Reading: Prep and Practice course
- Analyzing & Interpreting Literature
- Literary Elements
- Informational Text & Analysis
- Analyzing Informational Texts Practice
- Analyzing Important U.S. Documents
- Word Choice & Tone in Writing
- Rhetorical Devices in Literature
- Argumentative Writing
- American Literature: Examples & Analysis
- Analyzing Dramatic Literature
- American Drama: Examples & Analysis
- TASC Reading Flashcards