About This Chapter
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- Begin your assignment or other 11th grade English work.
- Identify the Shakespeare and Renaissance literature concepts that you're stuck on.
- Find fun videos on the topics you need to understand.
- Press play, watch and learn!
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- Struggle with understanding themes in Macbeth and Hamlet, Shakespeare's life, Christopher Marlowe's works, poems by Ben Jonson or any other Shakespeare and Renaissance literature topic
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- Learn at Your Pace: You can pause and rewatch lessons as often as you'd like, until you master the material.
- Become familiar with the biography of William Shakespeare.
- Explore the racism found in Othello.
- Discuss the themes and famous quotes of Macbeth.
- Interpret Shakespeare's sonnets.
- Take a look at the life and plays of Christopher Marlowe.
- Read the poems and plays of Ben Jonson.
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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems
In this video we'll learn about Shakespeare's sonnets, which contain some of his most famous poetry. Shakespeare addresses both a Fair Youth, speculated to be a young earl and patron, and a Dark Lady, whom he describes in frank and unromantic terms. We'll discuss the meter and rhyme scheme of the typical Shakespearean sonnet, as well as the structure of the overall work.
7. Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays
English playwright Christopher Marlowe was a contemporary of Shakespeare with a short but potent body of work to his name. Learn all about his plays - and his fascinating character - from our video lesson!
8. Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare
To a great deal of people, for a great deal of time, English playwright and poet Ben Jonson was known merely as a rival (and inferior) to William Shakespeare. But there's more to the story than that! Watch our video lesson to get the skinny on Jonson's life and work.
9. 'Alas, Poor Yorick': Quote's Meaning & Overview
In this lesson, we will study the context and meaning of a famous quote from William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.' In the quote, we see a scared young prince who's coming to terms with death and growing more courageous.
10. Antonio in Merchant of Venice: Character Traits, Analysis & Quotes
In this lesson, we'll take a look at Antonio, the title character from the tragicomedy, ''The Merchant of Venice''. While exploring one of William Shakespeare's most famous 'bromances,' we'll analyze Antonio's character, especially in terms of a fateful business agreement.
11. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside by Thomas Middleton: Summary & Themes
In this lesson you will read about the romantic and not-so-romantic love lives of the characters in Thomas Middleton's 1613 play A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. You will also learn about some important themes in the play.
12. Fairies in Shakespeare: Meaning, Overview
When it comes to Shakespeare, the fairies aren't just tiny things with wings. In this lesson, we'll discuss the important role that fairies (and fairy-like beings) play in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and 'The Tempest.'
13. Illyria in Shakespeare: Significance & Overview
Illyria is the setting of one of William Shakespeare's most popular comedies, 'Twelfth Night.' Illyria is not a typical place; it is a place where many unusual things happen. Learn more about Illyria and test your knowledge with a quiz.
14. Jocasta: Character Analysis & Quotes
Ever wonder about the woman behind the original mother of the Oedipus complex? In this lesson, find out more about Jocasta, an eloquent woman of conflict and conviction.
15. Measure for Measure by Shakespeare: Summary, Characters, Themes & Analysis
This lesson provides a plot summary of Shakespeare's ''Measure for Measure'', a lesson on its use of the deus ex machina plot device, and an explanation of two of its major themes.
16. Miranda in The Tempest: Traits & Character Analysis
Miranda is the daughter of Prospero, the protagonist in William Shakespeare's play 'The Tempest.' She is loyal to her father and does whatever he says. Learn more about Miranda in this lesson.
17. Portia in The Merchant of Venice: Character Analysis, Monologue & Quotes
Portia in 'The Merchant of Venice' is one of the strongest and wisest characters found in William Shakespeare's plays. In this tragicomedy, Portia uses her creativity and wit to save the life of her husband's best friend, Antonio.
18. Shakespeare's Queen Hippolyta: Character Traits & Analysis
In Shakespeare's play ''A Midsummer Night's Dream'', Duke Theseus is about to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Although she is a relatively minor character, we will get to know her a bit better in this lesson.
19. Shakespeare's Shylock: Character Sketch, Analysis & Monologue
In Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice,' Shylock is a stereotyped Jewish merchant who is bent on revenge. In this lesson, you'll have the chance to hear some of Shylock's monologues, which provide clues to his character and the unusual bargain he strikes with a fellow merchant.
20. Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus: Summary & Analysis
'Titus Andronicus' is one of William Shakespeare's less popular plays. It differs from many of Shakespeare's popular stories and is filled with violence and corruption. Learn more about 'Titus Andronicus' and test your knowledge with a quiz.
21. The Capulet Family: Family Tree & Overview
The Capulets and the Montagues are the two rival families of Verona in William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Capulet family tree and learn about Juliet's half of the family feud.
22. Julius Caesar Vocabulary
William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' is a tragedy about Roman history. This lesson will cover some of the important yet difficult words from the play. The diction used in 'Julius Caesar' is made complex by Shakespeare's tendency to make up words, make references, cut words short, and also wrote in a different time period from modern English.
23. Historical Context of King Lear
In this lesson, we will explore the social and political context of Shakespeare's Jacobean England circa 1606, when he penned his great tragedy ''King Lear.'' We will pay particular attention to the play's themes of kingship and monarchy.
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