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The Winter’s Tale, Or the Alternate Lear: A Conversational Talk

  • St. John’s College 1160 Camino De Cruz Blanca Santa Fe, NM, 87505 United States (map)

The Winter’s Tale, Or the Alternate Lear: A Conversational Talk with Natalie Elliot

As with most of Shakespeare’s tragedies, at the end of King Lear we are left at a loss—at a loss for words, with a loss of hope, at a loss for ideas about what could come next. With the Winter’s Tale, however (which seems to have been written as Shakespeare revised Lear), we get an alternative kind of ending and a new genre. This genre—neither tragic nor comic—leaves us in a state of wonder.

In this conversational talk, we will explore the comic renewal of acts four and five and ask, what does Shakespeare mean to accomplish with the ending of The Winter’s Tale? To get the most out of this talk, participants are encouraged to read or reread The Winter’s Tale with a focus on the final two acts.

Natalie Elliot is a faculty member at St. John’s College, where she teaches cross-disciplinary courses in classics, history of science, mathematics, English literature, philosophy, and music. Natalie’s research focuses on early modern literary works that explore the cultural and philosophical significance of scientific discovery and technological change. Her past research has uncovered Francis Bacon’s mythological teaching on life-extension and explored the conflicts between classical tragedy and scientific progress. At present, she is at work on a book that explains Shakespeare’s poetic engagement with early modern science. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Texas, where she specialized in political theory and focused on the study of politics through literature. In addition to her appointment at St. John’s College, Natalie has held research and teaching positions at The Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, Indiana University’s Hutton Honors College, and Southern Methodist University.

$10 at the door
Students are free

St. John's College
Peterson Student Building
Second Floor, Senior Common Room



Earlier Event: January 25
Rodney Cottier, LAMDA, master classes
Later Event: March 6
The Greatness of King Lear