Introducing Romeo and Juliet

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What is this lesson is about?

Ben Johnson, one of England’s best known Renaissance poets, describes William Shakespeare as “a poet for all time.” 

And it’s true that Shakespeare's works have survived through the generations. Over 400 years later, they are still widely read and performed. 

But, was Shakespeare more than just a poet? In this course, I’ll be showing you how he was. Much more. He was, what I call, a dramatist of the Renaissance. 

Through his works, Shakespeare brought the themes and questions of this formative period alive. Pressing questions of individuality and how it can function within a community. Questions that are just as relevant today as they were almost half a millennium ago. Perhaps even more so.

In this lesson we’ll look at the still-beloved play Romeo and Juliet. We’ll examine how this early play of Shakespeare brings to life the issues of individualism and agency that were so relevant then and today. 

We’ll learn:
• How the individual emerged from the collective during the Renaissance
• Why the Romeo and Juliet’s society was so toxic
• How Juliet showed Romeo how to become an individual
• How Juliet went from being subjugated to a subject in her own right

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