ONLINE SEMINAR
July 9 | Shakespeare’s King Lear

At the heart of King Lear we are taken inside a rather common experience: an elderly man loses his power, his wealth, his family and his mind. Lear begins to lose these things early in the play, so that his story is not a typical tragedy but rather a new, modern kind of epic. The hero’s adventure is not a grand quest across foreign lands. It is instead an exploration of an interior underworld, of the losses of aging and mental illness, carried out among scenes of horrific violence and absurd humour.

When: Six weekly sessions on Thursdays, starting July 9 at 8 p.m. Eastern

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$350 plus 13% HST (approx. US$247 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We will be using Zoom online meeting software; you will receive instructions on how to download Zoom free after registration. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable. Select your registration below; please use the Toronto Pursuits credit option only if you are a registered participant of Toronto Pursuits 2020 who wants to put your deposit or previous payment toward an online seminar.

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Description

LEADER

Rosemary Gould is the mother of three naturally very grateful teenagers. She has a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Virginia and is communications director of a small nonprofit. King Lear is her favourite tragedy and the only one that seems to offer a kind of crazy wisdom for her own life. She has been leading seminars on lyric poetry for many years.

BOOK

King Lear, by William Shakespeare (Folger Shakespeare Library)
(Simon & Schuster, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1501118111

We encourage you to use this edition, but it is not required.

At the heart of King Lear we are taken inside a rather common experience: an elderly man loses his power, his wealth, his family and his mind. Lear begins to lose these things early in the play, so that his story is not a typical tragedy but rather a new, modern kind of epic. The hero’s adventure is not a grand quest across foreign lands. It is instead an exploration of an interior underworld, of the losses of aging and mental illness, carried out among scenes of horrific violence and absurd humour.

Descent into this underworld has proven irresistible to actors, writers and artists across the centuries. Especially after the altered, non-tragic ending created in the 1680s gave way to Shakespeare’s original plot, King Lear has been an incomparably rich opportunity to examine with an unflinching eye “the nature of human suffering and kinship on a cosmic scale.” From performances by colonial troupes in Jamaica to the Talawa Theatre’s 2016 production, from Kurosawa’s Ran to Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres to a brand-new Indian novel, We That Are Young, Lear’s universally compelling story continues to be reinvented and retold.

At the centre of so many of these retellings is the extraordinary poetry in Lear’s speeches, which makes his journey real for us. In our seminar we will study the language of these dramatic monologues and “mad” conversations that have become some of the most influential poetic works in English—poetry where “the mystery of things” is realized.

 

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

 

Additional information

Choose registration type

Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit

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