On Wednesday, April 16th, 6pm, Professor Annalisa Castaldo be giving a free talk on Shakespeare and Violence. The talk is part of the year long celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, a collaboration between the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater. The talk is at the main library branch (19th and the Parkway) in the downstairs auditorium. Don’t miss it!
What do Shakespeare’s plays and Grand Theft Auto have in common? Both enraged their communities because of the level of violence they contain. We consider Shakespeare high art, but the plays include heads on sticks, hands being cut off, eyes being gouged out, and even cannibalism. This talk will consider some of the most extreme acts of violence (both staged and reported) in Shakespeare, in order to consider whether portraying violence can have an artistic purpose, and the effect on the audience of seeing such violence.