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With Pericles, Shakespeare goes off in a very different direction from the tragedies that immediately precede it in his oeuvre; it is the first of his romances (a.k.a. tragicomedies), the dream-like, somewhat fantastical plays he wrote toward the end of his life, the most famous of which is The Tempest, of which this play has echoes. It is believed that Shakespeare wrote only the last three acts of this play, and there is certainly a spike in the quality of the writing at the beginning of Act III; but the play nevertheless achieves a thematic unity and works together as a whole, even if the writing (and the level of dramatic interest) is uneven. And it has a certain charm. As a result of the textual issues, the play tends to work better in performance than on the printed page. This play will serve to introduce us to the fairy-tale quality of Shakespeare’s romances. How do they differ from his earlier work? How are they a continuation of them? What fairy-tale elements do you notice? What is Gower’s role? How does the language change once Shakespeare takes over the writing? Does the play survive the many-hands approach? What are the deeper themes of the play?

Pickle Barrel - Yonge and Eglinton

Waaaaaayyy at the back - Private Room · Toronto, ON

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Welcome to Toronto's Shakespeare meet-up! Each month we discuss a different Shakespeare play; people are invited to share their ideas and perspectives. We also have a drink, and those who choose to can have a meal as well! As summer draws closer, we focus on the Shakespeare plays being produced at Stratford in the upcoming season.

The club looks at a broad mix of plays -- well-known and little-known; tragedies, comedies, histories, and late romances; popular ones and more obscure ones -- all in a totally irrational and unpredictable mix. We may also do the poems at some point in the future, if people are interested.

And we do the occasional movie, too.

We look forward to meeting you!

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