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7. Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays about love: Romeo & Juliet, of course, and Love’s Labour’s Lost. With Romeo & Juliet, we look in detail at the scene where Romeo and Juliet first kiss, noting how the traditional religious elements of love are repurposed and given new meanings. In Love’s Labour’s Lost, we look at the long speech of Biron, in which he tries to formulate an answer to the question: “What is love?”. His answer gives rise to one of the key ideas about love in Shakespeare’s thought; the idea of love as harmony and of lack of love as chaos. We’ll return to both ideas in future modules.
This course explores the theme of love from the earliest English literature to the present day – from authors that you have likely heard of, such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Byron and Keats, to authors that are perhaps less well-known. This is a course that celebrates love in all it forms and between all kinds of people.
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2018, August 15). Love Through the Ages - Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/love-through-the-ages/shakespeare-romeo-juliet-and-love-s-labour-s-lost
McRae, J. "Love Through the Ages – Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/love-through-the-ages/shakespeare-romeo-juliet-and-love-s-labour-s-lost