As for the idea of a classroom of unruly schoolboys being stilled and thrilled to hear such stuff read aloud — as they must have once been by Tennyson — forget it. Poets don’t write for schoolboys any more. They seem to write mainly for each other.
In the recently published J. Roger Kurtz ed., Trauma and Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018, chapter 8, ‘Trauma in Non-Western Contexts’ was written by Dr Irene Visser. This can be accessed online through the university’s subscription to Cambridge Core.
Students revising the Classical background of ‘Literature from 1550’ should avoid the siren song of the plot of BBC’s most recent series Troy: Fall of a City which doesn’t claim to follow Homer closely. The series does demonstrate the perennial fascination of Ancient Greece and its literature.
Plagiarism software more commonly used to check student essays for overly assiduous borrowings has uncovered a long-forgotten, handwritten document from 1576 as the possible source for more than 20 monologues and passages from Shakespeare’s plays.
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is often regarded as the most controversial play The Bard has ever written. This is not peculiar: the tale of Italian merchant Antonio who signs a contract with the Jewish Shylock is riddled with antisemitic motives and questions the morality of the law. The Groningen University Theatre Society (GUTS) brings The Merchant of Venice to the Groningen stage in an authentic and completely English rendition.