Shakespeare 400: Death, Remembrance, and Resurrection

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FreedomProject Media is proud to present this four-part lecture series by Dr. Duke Pesta entitled, Shakespeare 400: Death, Remembrance, and Resurrection.

Shakespeare died 400 years ago (1616).  Many people associate Shakespeare with love poems and witty romantic comedies.  And while no one wrote better about passion than Shakespeare, he reserved his most profound insights for such subjects as death, mortality, and the question of what awaits us beyond the grave.


Part I: Shakespeare's Bio & Career

  • The first lecture sheds light on Shakespeare’s biography, describing Elizabethan understandings of death and dying, Shakespeare’s personal encounters with mortality, and culminating in an account of his death, burial, and epitaph.
  • Runtime: 50 minutes


Part II: The Memento Mori

  • The second lecture discusses the concept of “Memento Mori” (Remember to Die) in the plays and poems of Shakespeare. In a culture where lifespans were short, plagues abundant, and medical knowledge primitive, Shakespeare and his world sought to comprehend death by personifying it, undercutting its terrors by making it familiar and ubiquitous. 
  • Runtime: 51 minutes


Part III: The Death of Kings & Peasants

  • The third lecture examines the deaths of kings and peasants in Shakespeare’s theater, considering reflections on mortality offered by his most famous characters—from such royal figures as Lear and Hamlet, to the humblest grave diggers and rank and file soldiers.
  • Runtime: 50 minutes


Part IV: Immortal Verse & Life After Death

  • The fourth lecture highlights the many ways that Shakespeare’s drama seeks to move beyond death and decay, striving for transcendence through artistic invention and faith in the promises of Christian resurrection.
  • Runtime: 51 minutes