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> Literature

Shakespeare's Richard the Third and the Third Reich   

C  In-Person Class:  This class will be taught in person, in the classroom at the Vineyard Church.
    Enrollment:  Pandemic protocols may limit the enrollment for this class.
    Registrants will be informed in advance, and a waitlist will be available.

In the post-Third Reich era, many productions of Shakespeare’s Richard the Third have drawn analogies between Richard and Adolf Hitler to make the play relevant to modern audiences. One of the most blatant hitlerizations of Richard is Sir Ian McKellen’s portrayal of him in the 1990 National Theatre production, and in the 1995 film based on the play. Both productions take place in 1930s England, with Hitlerian overtones amid a Fascist take-over of the British throne and government by Richard. After reading and discussing key scenes in Shakespeare’s text (copies of the play will be provided, via email), we will view and discuss the film version adapted by and starring McKellen.

Peggy Russo holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. In 2015, she retired from Pennsylvania State University’s Department of English and returned to Ann Arbor, where she serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. She is the co-editor (with Paul Finkelman) of Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown. (Ohio University Press, 2005), and has published journal articles on Shakespeare in relation to popular culture. She has also authored book chapters on films based on the acts of John Brown, on the battle of Gettysburg, and on the tales of Uncle Remus.



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