Shakespeare's Dysfunctional Families | Newberry

Shakespeare's Dysfunctional Families

Friday, April 21, 2017

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

Dr. Susie Phillips, Northwestern University
Full, waitlist available
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

Defiant daughters and wayward sons, domineering dads and absent mothers-the typical Shakespearean family is anything but functional, characterized by all manner of problematic and contentious relationships. In the comedies, family disputes are eventually resolved and estranged relatives reconcile with one another, with the help of a little theatrical magic, but in the tragedies, dysfunctional family relationships have dire consequences: filial duty leads to murder and suicide, and overzealous fathers and husbands suffocate (literally and metaphorically) their wives and daughters. This seminar explores contentious family dynamics in Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and The Tempest. We will explore the ways in which familial conflicts intersect with the larger social and political contests within the plays, considering how family dynamics reflect, shape, and conflict with the plays’ gender and racial politics, their explorations of governance and loyalty, and their representations of the role of the theater.

Cost and Registration Information 

Newberry Teachers’ Consortium members may register for this seminar through their designated membership contact as space permits. Non-member educators may register for this seminar by purchasing an individual membership at the time of registration. Registration for all NTC seminars opens Wednesday, September 7, 2016. For more information about NTC membership, please contact Charlotte Ross, Teacher Programs Manager, at

The seminar will be followed by a catered lunch. Registrants should RSVP for lunch to assist Teacher Programs staff in reducing waste.

A link to the assigned pre-readings for this seminar will be distributed to participants via email.

If you believe you are registered for this seminar but have not received an email confirmation or reminder, please contact Teacher Programs staff.