The Venetian Shakespeare | Newberry

The Venetian Shakespeare

Led by Robert Sprott. 5 sessions, 5:45 - 7:45 pm.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Thursdays, May 31 - June 28

5:45 - 7:45 pm

This seminar is full. Call (312) 255-3700 to be on the waitlist.

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (April 17 at 10 am – May 4 at 4 pm): $210
Regular Registration Price (May 4 at 4 pm – first day of class): $231

Members, seniors, and students get a 10% discount.

This seminar is full. Please call (312) 255-3700 to be added to the wait list.

Excuse our dust!

The Newberry is undergoing an extensive first floor renovation in 2018. This project will be ongoing during the Summer 2018 seminar term. The Adult Education Seminars Program still has use of the basement classrooms, but please check this link frequently for the latest conditions - which exterior doors are open or closed, where to find an accessible entrance, which restrooms are available, etc.

Because of the renovation, the Newberry Bookstore will be closed during the Summer 2018 term. As such, seminar participants will be responsible for acquiring all required texts for their seminars on their own. We apologize sincerely for the inconvenience, and appreciate your understanding. We have put together a list of helpful resources that should make it easy to find the books you need.

Seminar Description

Two of Shakespeare’s most interesting plays, The Merchant of Venice and Othello, offer a Venetian venue and two of his most fascinating characters: Shylock the Jew and Othello the Moor. We will read both plays, paying special attention to the role of Venice itself as a kind of anticipation of our own world and using the anthropology of René Girard as a lens that provides a deeper insight into what happens in that world (or any world) to those marked as outsiders. Five sessions.

Robert Sprott holds an MA in anthropology and theology and a PhD in linguistics. A Catholic priest and a Franciscan, he is currently working for the Diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay in northern Canada.

Materials List


  • William Shakespeare, Othello. Any edition.
  • William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. Any edition.

First Reading:

  • There is no reading assignment for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.