Much Ado about Shakespeare: Why Three Great Comedies Still Matter Today

Bard College

Joseph Luzzi (PhD, Yale) is the Asher B. Edelman Professor of Literature and Faculty Member in Italian Studies at Bard College, and he taught previously at the University of Pennsylvania. His work has appeared in The New York Times, TLS, The London Times, the Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, and on National Public Radio. Dr. Luzzi’s awards include a Yale College Teaching Prize, Dante Society of America Essay Prize, and Wallace Fellowship at Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. He is the author of five books and recently created The Virtual Book Club: an international community of readers dedicated to exploring major literary works past and present.



Though Shakespeare is best known for such remarkable tragedies as Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, he is also one of the greatest playwrights in the history of comedy. In this brand-new presentation, we will explore how three of Shakespeare’s most brilliant comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It, continue to enchant audiences worldwide with their brilliant psychological insights, profound meditations on human nature, and spellbinding lyricism. Join us for what promises to be a fascinating look into Shakespeare’s comic universe and its ongoing relevance to our modern world.




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Definitely worth the time

Although I could not watch this video because of the professor’s constant head bobbing, which made me a little dizzy, I found it very easy to follow by sound alone. He is expressive, bringing his own enthusiasm and enjoyment into his voice, and that makes him fun to listen to. I have been a lifelong Shakespeare fan–my parents started bringing us to plays when I was 7, and I brought my own kids very early on as well. But I never really studied the plays (beyond high school, which was just painful!) and so I am happy to find lectures that can enhance my knowledge and enjoyment. Thanks!

4 weeks ago
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