English Literature

From Beowulf to Carol Ann Duffy, via Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, the Brontes, and others.

English Literature

Shakespeare: Much Ado About Nothing

In this course, Professor John Lennard explores Shakespeare’s most urban comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. As we move through the course, we think about a number of issues, including: the setting of the play and its impact on the action;...

5 lectures

0:48:10

Prof. John Lennard

Independent Scholar

English Literature

Shakespeare: Measure for Measure

In this course, Professor John Roe (University of York) explores Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, a play in which a Duke’s decision to put his power in the hands of the fascinating character of Angelo goes catastrophically wrong. It’s a miracle...

10 lectures

1:35:21

Prof. John Roe

York University

English Literature

The Poetry of John Keats

In this course, Professor Jon Mee (University of York) explores the life and poetry of the great Romantic poet, John Keats. We begin by looking at Keats’ background, including his family, early education, and his career, before exploring Keats’...

7 lectures

0:39:56

Prof. Jon Mee

York University

English Literature

Dickens: Hard Times

In this course, Professor John Bowen (University of York) explores the concepts of philosophy and performance in Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. In particular, we consider the presentation of reason and rationality in the novel (as represented by Mr...

5 lectures

0:53:40

Prof. John Bowen

York University

English Literature

Pat Barker: Regeneration

In this course, we explore Pat Barker’s ‘Regeneration’. Set in 1917 in Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, the novel follows psychiatrist William Rivers as he treats shell-shocked soldiers, including the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred...

15 lectures

2:19:48

Prof. John McRae

Nottingham University

English Literature

Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire

In this course, we explore Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’. The first module provides some historical and literary context for the play; we introduce Tennessee Williams himself, and think about what kind...

12 lectures

1:56:26

Prof. John McRae

Nottingham University

English Literature

Middleton: The Revenger's Tragedy

In this course, we explore The Revenger’s Tragedy, a play which was written in the early years of the seventeenth century, but whose author is unknown. In the first two modules, we think generally about the Early Modern stage, before...

5 lectures

0:53:13

Prof. John Lennard

Independent Scholar

English Literature

Webster: The White Devil

In this course, we explore John Webster’s ‘The White Devil’, beginning by thinking about John Webster himself, before moving on to consider the play itself – its setting in Italy, and the presentation of the various male and female characters...

5 lectures

0:46:47

Prof. John Lennard

Independent Scholar

English Literature

The Poetry of Thomas Hardy

In this course, we explore the poetry of Thomas Hardy. Having introduced Hardy in the first module, we then go through eighteen of his poems in turn, reading each aloud, and providing in-depth, line-by-line commentary and analysis. The final...

18 lectures

2:24:59

Prof. John McRae

Nottingham University

English Literature

Larkin: The Whitsun Weddings

In this course, we explore Philip Larkin’s 1964 collection of poetry, ‘The Whitsun Weddings’. Having introduced Larkin and his poetry in the first module, we then go through each poem in turn, reading it aloud and providing an in-depth,...

34 lectures

3:21:46

Prof. John McRae

Nottingham University

English Literature

The Poetry of John Donne

In this course, we explore the poetry of John Donne, thinking in particular about poetic language and style, the issues that preoccupied him throughout his life and career, and the extent to which we can understand John Donne the man...

5 lectures

0:54:46

Dr Anna Beer

Oxford University

English Literature

The Poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In this course, we think about the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, focusing in particular in the literary and historical background of this poems of the 1790s. In the first half of the course, we think about Coleridge’s religious views...

6 lectures

0:45:48

Prof. Seamus Perry

Oxford University