Macbeth revision VI: quotation auto-test

May 22nd, 2009

Our penultimate Macbeth revision podcast is a little different. Here are ten quotations from the play; you can pause your computer or MP3 player after each, and guess who spoke the words, and the context, and then listen to the answers and a commentary on the quotation. These commentaries examine the quotations as key moments in the play, linking them to the rest of the text, and again trying to prompt fresh reflection on the themes and characters.

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Louise C. Callaghan: an interview and reading

May 20th, 2009

For Podcast 9, we're delighted to present an extended interview with the poet Louise C. Callaghan, who discusses her poetry, and reads several poems. Included is 'The Binder's Notes', the poem for which Louise was shortlisted at the recent Strokestown International Poetry Festival, and which you can read here on their website.  Louise also reads poems such as 'The Palatine Daughter Marries a Catholic', 'Fragments', 'The Trader's Magneto Dynamo Company' and 'The Trick Is', and discusses the origins of her writing, and the methods she uses to encourage children to write.

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Macbeth revision V: the Witches and the supernatural

May 17th, 2009

Our 5th Macbeth revision podcast, leading up to the Leaving Certificate, examines the influence of the 'weird sisters' and the supernatural on the events of the play, particularly on Macbeth's own thoughts and actions. It concentrates on the witches' influence in the early part of the play.

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Macbeth revision IV: Malcolm the hero?

May 11th, 2009

Podcast no 7 : Our fourth Macbeth revision podcast in a series leading up to the Leaving Certificate looks primarily at the latter part of the play. It leads on from last week's session, which examined the nature of order and law in the early part of the play. This week, we consider the end of the story, looking particularly at Malcolm and Macduff in the long scene set in England, the English King Edward, and our feelings as an audience as we watch Macbeth vanquished by the forces of decency.

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Macbeth revision III: King Macbeth

May 4th, 2009

Our third Macbeth revision podcast prior to the Leaving Certificate is 'King Macbeth: law and order in Scotland', and looks at the nature of monarchy in the world of Shakespeare's text, examining the idea of the natural order, and looking at Duncan's rule at the start of the play. Some historical background is also discussed.

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Geoffrey Chaucer: an interview with Terry Dolan

April 30th, 2009

Our fifth podcast is an interview with Professor Terry Dolan about the life, times and works of the great Middle English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, especially his masterpiece, The Canterbury Tales. Professor Dolan talks about the nature of English society at the time, and discusses pilgrims such as the Knight, the Prioress and the Wife of Bath.

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Macbeth revision II: the real Lady Macbeth

April 26th, 2009

Our second revision podcast on Macbeth examines the role of Lady Macbeth, who is too often reduced to a simplistic black and white character, but who should be considered as a real woman, complex and sometimes fragile. This podcast looks at the nine scenes in which she appears.

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Macbeth revision 1: the crucial moment

April 19th, 2009

The first of our weekly revision podcasts on the play Macbeth opens with an analysis of the crucial soliloquy beginning Act I scene vii, 'If it were done...' These revision podcasts are designed to freshen up thinking in the weeks leading up to the Leaving Certificate in early June.

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Richard Yates: his life and works, discussed by John Fanagan

March 18th, 2009

Our second podcast is an interview with former Head of Department, John Fanagan, who has been discovering the works of the American novelist Richard Yates (1926-92). Somewhat neglected since his death, this has changed thanks to the success of the recent film of his novel Revolutionary Road.  John discusses Yates's 'disaster area' of a private life, and several novels and short stories.

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Farewell Future Wives: an interview with Ronan Swift

March 12th, 2009

Our first podcast features an interview with Department member Ronan Swift about his first album of songs, Farewell Future Wives, which was released in February 2009. It covers his approach to writing songs, the relationship between music and words, and more, and concludes with his track 'Dancing'.

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