Macbeth: Dr Gary Day

"Regarded as the most dark and dangerous of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Macbeth certainly comes closer than any of them to conjuring up a sense of palpable evil. It has an atmosphere all of its own. We will examine the special character of the play but we will also look at it in its historical context, in particular the growth of Absolutism. One of the sources of the play, George Buchanan’s History of Scotland, put forward a very different version of kingship from that found in James’ Basilikon Doron and the contrast between them is one of the animating forces of the play. We will also consider the relevance of the play today and why it is still approached with trepidation. Feel free to bring a lucky charm…just in case. "

Tutor: Dr Gary Day

"Gary Day was a principal lecturer in English at De Montfort. He gave the centenary lecture on F.R. Leavis at Cambridge and for many years was on the committee of the British Society of Eighteenth Century Studies. He is the author of five books, including one on Leavis, and his latest, The Story of Drama: Tragedy, Comedy and Sacrifice from the Greeks to the Present, was described in the Times Literary Supplement as ‘an ambitious book, richly informative, consistently readable and conscientiously argued’. He has edited various collections of essays on topics ranging from Victorian literature and culture to D H Lawrence. Gary was also for many years a columnist and reviewer for the Times Higher. His essay John Bunyan: Class and Englishness will be published in the The Oxford Handbook of John Bunyan next year."