Professor Kiernan Ryan
By Rebecca Markwick, on 11 May 2021
I chat with Kiernan all about Shakespeare’s ongoing draw, why tragedy is therapeutic, and how skillfully the Bard creates empathy with both characters and the audience
This week I have the delightful job of chatting to my old Shakespeare professor, Emeritus Professor Kiernan Ryan, all about the therapeutic effects of his sonnets, speeches, and plays. How Shakespeare has remained relevant four centuries after first being performed, and what there is to be gained and lost in watching, listening, and reading his work.
We discuss rhetoric, the draw of tragedies, how Shakespeare mirrors both the audience and the characters themselves, the importance of empathy, and how gender fluid many of the comedies are.
The Shakespeare works most mentioned and quoted from are:
The Merchant of Venice
Much Ado About Nothing