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Reading Tragedy as Comedy:
A Catholic Perspective of Shakespeare's
King Lear and Hamlet

The lamentations of Job, the exile of Israel in the desert, the Passion and Crucifixion. As Catholics, can we read tragedy?

Should we even believe that tragedy is capable of existing in a world where death is not the final word?

Over the course of four online sessions, students will read through William Shakespeare's King Lear and Hamlet, studying both works as drama and coming to understand their place in the history of poetry and the performing arts.

Briefly tracing the history of western drama from the Greeks to the Medieval mystery plays, up to Shakespeare's own Elizabethan era.

Students will also study and attempt to understand both as experiences of catharsis which we, as mankind, are called to undergo. Brief excerpts from Aristotle's Poetics and essays by Dr. Louise Cowan and other leading literary scholars will also help students answer the question:

Can there be such a thing as Catholic tragedy?

Class Concluded

Mr. Andrew Kays graduated from Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in 2022 with a BA in Literature and an Apostolic Catechetical diploma. He previously studied and directed a production of King Lear under Dr. Anthony Esolen, and wrote his undergraduate thesis on the importance of poetry in the modern era.



WHO:               11th & 12th grade students

WHEN:             Mondays, October 9, 16, 23, 30, 2023

HOW:                Via Zoom

TIME:                4:00pm PST;  6:00pm CST;  7:00pm EST

COST:                $40 per student;  $30 returning students

MATERIALS:    Any unabridged version is acceptable.

                           The Signet classic editions are inexpensive and

                           available on Amazon, as a recommendation.

                           King Lear, Hamlet

Once you have registered, you may return here to complete your Enrollment Form.

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