"Crabb'd age and youth": 'Hamlet' and 'Lear'

Course Dates: 20/04/21 - 18/05/21
Time: 10:15 - 12:15
Location: Online
Tutors: 
Hamlet (1600) and King Lear (1606) are arguably the greatest of Shakespeare’s tragedies. Yet their tragic heroes could scarcely be more different. Hamlet has all the enquiring restlessness of youth, Lear the stubbornness of embittered old age. What unites them is Shakespeare’s profound psychological insight and the dazzling poetry of a man at the very height of his poetic power.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £60.00

This course has now started

Course Code: HLT25

Full Tue, day, 20 Apr - 18 May '21

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Call us to check if you can still join the course 020 7492 2652 (depart num)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Hamlet’s obsessive questioning of the meaning of life itself is the epitome of youthful angst: “What a piece of work is a man…Yet to me what is this quintessence of dust?”. His is the restless energy of a young man embarking on his life but unable to make sense of a world that seems to have no purpose in the face of corruption and death.

Grey haired Lear, on the other hand, has known the pleasures of a long and fruitful life as king of his country and patriarch of his family. It is when he tries to take leave of them that he is propelled towards chaos, madness and death.

We’ll be studying the characters, the poetry and the ideas of both plays in detail.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

We’ll be considering some of the key themes and currents in Elizabethan tragedy, such as madness, revenge and generational conflict, and the astonishing flowering of poetic ideas and imagery that characterise the period.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

-Relate what we have read to other similar works of literature
-Feel confident to read more widely in this area.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

For those who enjoy reading and discussing literature and are interested in sharing ideas and listening to the views of others.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Short lecture, whole group and small group work, reading in class. You will be asked to read the selected texts in the weeks before the class.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Students will need to buy or borrow a copy of each play.
Required edition tbc.
Online materials will also be provided.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please see other drama text to performance courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/history, culture and writing/drama.

Julian Birkett

Julian Birkett is a teacher and writer specialising in modern literature. He previously worked in the Arts department at the BBC as a producer of series such as The Late Show, Modern Poets in their Own Words, The Victorians and The Culture Show. He has taught in London and at the University of Mumbai.He aims to create a friendly but thoughtful atmosphere in his City Lit classes and to provide a stimulating variety of activities from tutor input to discussion to group work and video clips.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.