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.
As long as producers insist on pretending Lear is the main character, they will be performing the wrong play. It's Kent, along with Edgar and Edmund, who deserve our attention. In Episode 28, Joel gives his unique perspective to one of Shakespeare's best plays.
Interpreters of All's Well That End Well often play it as a romantic comedy, but this is an impossible task. The main character blackmails a man into marrying her, pursues him across Europe, commits sexual assault on him, fakes her death, humiliates him, and then blackmails him again into accepting her. In Episode 27, Joel looks at this complicated and often charmless play.
Robust and endlessly versatile, Othello has rightly remained one of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies. We spend the entire play knowing more than the Moor of Venice and are forced to watch him slowly come undone. Watching Othello is like watching a car wreck: we see it coming and can do nothing but sit and wait for the crash to occur. In this episode of Shakespeare Unbard, Joel discusses one of Shakespeare's strongest plays.