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Ch 11: Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature

About This Chapter

Watch Shakespeare and Renaissance literature video lessons and receive an overview of Shakespearean tragedies, sonnets and other important works of Renaissance literature.

Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

This chapter opens with an overview of the biography and works of Shakespeare. Lessons examine Hamlet and the play's most famous quotations and scenes. You can also explore Shakespeare's views on race in his tragedy, Othello. The other Shakespearean plays covered in this chapter are King Lear and Macbeth. Later lessons interpret and close read Shakespeare's sonnets. The chapter closes with an introduction to the plays of Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson. This chapter is designed to teach you about:

  • The life and major works of Shakespeare
  • Major themes and quotes from Shakespeare's famous tragedies
  • Interpreting Shakespeare's main sonnets
  • Christopher Marlowe's biography and plays
  • Ben Jonson's poems and plays

Video Objective
Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works Understand Shakespeare's biographical history and major works.
Hamlet: Beyond the Soliloquy Explore the tragic play of Hamlet and its important scenes.
Othello: Racism and Shakespeare Examine the role of racism in the tragedy Othello.
Shakespeare's King Lear: My Three Daughters Analyze the three daughters and these characters' roles in the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear.
Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play Comprehend the main themes and quotations from Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems Close read and analyze the major poems from Shakespeare's sonnets.
Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays Study the life and plays of Renaissance writer Christopher Marlowe.
Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare Learn about Ben Jonson's major poems and plays as well as his relation to Shakespeare.

9 Lessons in Chapter 11: Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature
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.

Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy

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.

Othello: Racism and Shakespeare

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.

Shakespeare's King Lear: My Three Daughters

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.

Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play

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.

Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems

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.

Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays

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!

Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare

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.

Shakespeare's Tragedy Plays: Elements & Structure

9. Shakespeare's Tragedy Plays: Elements & Structure

William Shakespeare is one of the most popular writers of all time. Many of the plays written by Shakespeare are known as tragedies. Learn more about Shakespeare's writings, including their elements and structure, and test your knowledge with a quiz.

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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