ASBURY, NJ, United States | Member Since 2011
This is my third Great Course and second by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver. Vandiver is simply wonderful; her lectures are not only full of information and insight but also ingeniously organized to increase understanding. I wish she had been one of my professors in college because she is THAT compelling. If you are familiar with myth but are looking for more about the history and context of the myths then this course is perfect for you. I also highly recommend that if you enjoy these lectures that you listen to Professor Vandiver's lectures on Greek Tragedy as well.
When reading greek myths it is important to remember that there were no orthodoxies in the ancient Greek religious system. The worship and stories of Gods and Heroes varied from place to place throughout the Hellenic world. What is so fabulous about Robert Graves is he does not just recount the most excepted version of the myth but rather depicts them all. He also points out if he feels a version of a myth was created or altered by a tragedian or poet. However, Graves collection of the greek myths are not for the beginner; a general working knowledge of the gods, heroes, the timeline and family lineage is a must. I truly recommend this book to any lover of the greeks and their mythology.
These lectures are excellent source of knowledge about the nature religion and how religion can become hysteria. However, while Professor Ruiz is wonderfully knowledgeable he can at times be difficult to understand because of his accent. It took me a little bit time to get used to his pronunciation and speech pattern. But once I was accustom it was smooth sailing.
Professor Elizabeth Vandiver provides a clear and succinct portrayal of Greek Tragedy. The lectures discuss how tragedy was developed, the three extant tragic playwrights, as well as the ways in which Greek Tragedy was staged. For as a professional theatre artist myself, I think many people look at Greek Tragedy as simply literature but in truth it was meant to be preformed. Professor Vandiver's facts are well researched and when she does give her own scholarly opinion she informs the listener. She also is very clear that the evidence on which our knowledge of this period are based is very scant, therefore the listeners should also be cautious of taking opinions as fact. However, I would warn a listeners that if you do not have a basic knowledge of Greek Mythology and/or Greek Theatre you may have a hard time following parts of the lecture. This course does assume that you come to the table with some knowledge.
This book is no mere biography of Cleopatra's life. The author paints a vivid portrait of the end of the Hellenistic Period. For to understand Cleopatra's life you need to understand the places she went, the people she knew, and the times she inhabited; Cleopatra was as much a product of her times as the times were a product of her life. Stacy Shift interweaves fact with narrative flawlessly and engages the reader with such rich language that at moments I forgot I was reading non-fiction. Robin Miles narration is both relaxing yet filled with passion. This was my second time listening to the book and I will most likely be listening a third time in the near future! It is simply that fabulous!
This fabulous course gives an excellent history of the American musical with the focus placed firmly where it should be... on the music. Professor Messenger's voice is relaxing and knowledge is impressive. He paints the picture of history with both facts and narrative but also gives the audience a taste of the music he is describing through his on piano renditions, recordings from the period, and reconstructed recordings where no original recording exists. As a theatre artist and musical theatre professional, I found this course to be both edifying and enjoyable, which are the two things that any great piece of theatre should be. For this course is more then just a lesson on musical theatre it is a piece of theatre itself.
This book was so much more then just a history of gay men and women during WWII. It was a testament to where LGBT rights have been and where they are going. I was fascinated to discover that the roots of so much LGBT culture developed from the strange liberation that war time afforded some gays and lesbians. And the narrator read the book as if it were a narrative; never once did I feel like facts where just being thrown at me. I always felt engaged. If you are looking for a great new history book to read I highly recommend this one!
I picked up this play because I am currently directing Antigone by Jean Anouilh (but a different translation). I wanted to get an idea of how this story was changed from the original by Sophocles. And I was so delighted to find the adaptation fresh, new and alive. The LA Theatre Works' actors do such a stellar job that while I was listening to the play I found myself closing my eyes to imagine the how the actors where moving on stage. If you are a lover of myths, classics, and/or theatre then you MUST listen to this play.
While the story is interesting, the novel is not quite as well crafted as Weir's three other fiction novels (which are amazing and are must reads). My biggest issue with the book is that I don't know how the two characters and two stories fit together. I feel that the stories would work much better as two separate novels. I feel that the tale of the princes in the tower is a weak through line to connect these two women. It is not that this book is "bad" but when you compare it to Weir's other books it does fall a little flat.
While the book was beautifully written with vivid language and distinct characters where the hell was the plot???? There was no plot and by the end there was no resolution for any of the characters. However Samuel West did an amazing job as the narrator. He is the only reason i finished the book!
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