Most likely written with a collaborator, Pericles: Prince of Tyre is a dramatic hodegepodge, a mash-up of myth and fairy tales that has the distinction of being one of the few complete dramatic failures in the canon. In this episode, Joel examines the dramatic question of whether Pericles can - or should - ever be staged.
Endlessly bewildering, Antony and Cleopatra is, much like Cleopatra herself, a thing of "infinite variety". It leaps around in genre, as if Shakespeare couldn't quite make up his mind. In this episode of Shakespeare Unbard, Joel takes a look at this complex play.
Growing up in the theatre, you learn pretty quickly that it's bad luck to say the name of The Scottish Play while in a theatre, a superstition even agnostics take seriously. None of this has affected the success of this play, which remains one of Shakespeare's most famed, most popular, and most often performed. It's not hard to guess why. There's witches, ghosts, murder, a prophecy, famous speeches, and lots and lots of blood. In Episode 30, Joel discusses this complex and fascinating play.
Any discussion of Timon of Athens has to come with a pair of caveats: first, it was most likely written with someone else and, second, the earliest known production happened more than fifty years after Shakespeare's death. Both facts seem equally important when considering this a play that wants to be either a tragedy or a satire and ends up being neither. In Episode 29, Joel examines this timely, yet problematic play.