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3. The Blackfriars Theatre
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore the importance of the theatre that the Tempest was written for and first performed in: the Blackfriars Theatre. Unlike the Globe Theatre, the large, open-air theatre that was located on the South Bank, Blackfriars was smaller, indoors, and located in a more upmarket area of London. The intimate setting allowed for more subtle lighting effects and a greater use of music, drawing on the masque that had become popular in James' court.
In this course, Dr Charles Moseley (Cambridge) explores Shakespeare's last play, 'The Tempest'. The first modules concentrate on historical context, looking in particular at the influence of the accession of King James to the throne, and the importance of the Blackfriars Theatre. After that, we explore the growing popularity of romance and tragicomedy in Jacobean England, before thinking about how the original Jacobean audience would have understood the play. In the second half of the course, we explore two of the great themes of 'The Tempest' - power and education - before thinking about the structuring of the play as a whole, and its potential Christian subtexts.
Dr Charles Moseley is a Fellow and Tutor of Hughes Hall and has taught Classics and English Literature in the University of Cambridge for many years. He is General Editor (Literature Insights) of the unique and innovative academic e-book project - Humanities-Ebooks.co.uk.
The author of an extensive list of academic and other publications, Charles has lectured at universities, schools and societies in many countries around the world on topics as diverse as Shakespeare, the history of travel literature, the Norsemen, Medieval art and his own travels in the Arctic. Recent published essays range from Elizabethan painting to nineteenth century printing technology and the topographical drawings of Alfred Wainwright.
For many years Charles was Programme Director of the University's popular and respected International Summer Schools in English Literature and Shakespeare. He has planned and led study tours for parties of visiting scholars and teachers in several places, including Vienna, Prague and Florence. Charles and his wife recently led a seminar study group in Florence on Renaissance art and philosophy.
Charles is currently very much in demand as a lecturer and speaker, on both academic and non-academic subjects and has recently lectured on cruise vessels in the Arctic, Baltic and Antarctic.
Cite this Lecture
Moseley, C. (2018, August 15). Shakespeare: The Tempest - The Blackfriars Theatre [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-the-tempest/the-blackfriars-theatre
Moseley, C. "Shakespeare: The Tempest – The Blackfriars Theatre." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/shakespeare-the-tempest/the-blackfriars-theatre