I wish I could find a direct link to this, but it appears to strictly be an iTunes thing. Stanford has begun releasing several lecture series as podcasts within iTunes. What that means, if you’re new to the terminology, is that you can “sign up” for regularly scheduled downloads of audio content for your ipod. (Normally I’d say “mp3 player” in general, but iTunes only works with iPods). Highly recommended technology if you have not yet experienced it. It’s really an outstanding way to fill your player with something beyond the same music you’ve been listening to for years. You can get news, sports, talk shows, novels, old time radio…you name it.
Among the cool finds on the Stanford feed is “Sex, Lies and Theatre : Shakespeare for Today” by Ron Rebholz. He does an hour on the “real world” that Shakespeare lived in, and how Shakespeare chose to represent it. Great stuff. I just mentioned recently over on Shakespeare High that I’d rather populate my iPod with people talking about Shakespeare, rather than performing it, and now I’ve got my wish. I hope that ends up being a series.
The podcast in question is about an hour, covering everything from the history of the throne, battles of Catholic/Protestant, and effects of the plague as well as the role of marriage and feelings about sexuality during Shakespeare’s time. There’s also 15 minutes of questions at the end. Be sure to stick around through to the end if for nothing else than to hear the author’s opinion on Taming of the Shrew. 🙂 This, in turn, ends up being a fairly deep discussion about the strength of Shakespeare’s female characters and goes on to cover Juliet, Ophelia, and many others.
He’s also asked to give his opinion on the numerous books that came out on Shakespeare this past year – Greenblatt and Bloom to name two — and to recommend his own favorite text.
And lastly, though I could not hear the question, there’s a funny bit where I can only assume that somebody asked him to comment on the similarities between Prince Hal and President Bush, with the expected results.