Shakespeare’s plays always wrestle with the nature of the good life, especially with the intriguing dynamics of the masks we wear. Among its many themes, Hamlet’s focus on how to live ironically stands out. Without any final dogmatism, Hamlet lays out the nuances and vicissitudes of living ironically, a topic of practical importance since the lives of key ironists, Socrates and Jesus. In short, Hamlet is very much about your life.
In this course, we’ll work our way through every scene of Hamlet and let them make their case and raise their puzzles. It’s highly recommended that students watch at least two video versions of the play before starting the course, especially two that take different stands on Hamlet’s own ironic psychology (see suggestions in reading list).
Week 1: Oct. 18 – Act 1; excerpt from Jonathan Lear, “Lear on the Ironic Life” (pp. 15-18)
Week 2: Oct. 25 – Act 2
Week 3: Nov. 1 – Act 3
Week 4: Nov. 8 – Act 4
Week 5: Nov. 15 – Act 5
Week 6: Nov. 22 – Reflections
When: Weekly on Mondays, from October 18 - November 22, 2021
Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm CST
Doug Jones (MA philosophy USC / MFA creative writing UI) teaches literature and history at The Cambridge School, San Diego, CA.
Theopolis Institute admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies or scholarship programs.
*This requirement was added in July 2016. For those who entered the Certificate Program earlier than that date, the oral examination is voluntary.
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