Dr. Moran’s Bio:
Dr. Andrew Moran is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Dallas, where he teaches classes in the four-semester Literary Tradition sequence and in the Braniff Graduate School. He has published widely on Shakespeare in various journals, and has upcoming publications on Dante, Ben Jonson, and Evelyn Waugh. His degrees are from the College of William and Mary and the University of Dallas, and he has previously taught at Ave Maria University and Hillsdale College.
Dr. Moran visited Oakcrest and the Upper School English classes on Thursday, January 5th where he dispelled the Oxfordian theory which argues that Shakespeare did not author his plays and instead promotes a grand conspiracy theory that the Earl of Oxford really wrote the plays. The theory has been rejuvanated in the recently released Hollywood film, Anonymous.
Opposing this argument, Dr. Moran discussed the likely possibility that Shakespere was Catholic and pointed to the legal document, a will, found hidden in the roof of his father’s house and a more recent document, a ledger with a signature which could be Shakespeare’s found at the English College in Rome.
William Hamilton's painting of Prospero, Ariel and a sleeping Miranda from Shakespeare's "The Tempest"
Dr. Moran then had the students dramtically read the first scene of Shakespeare’s last play, a comedy, The Tempest which although opens as a seeming tragedy with a shipwreck ends with a reconicliaiton of forgiveness, mercy, and marriage. As Shakespeare’s last play it is probably his most profound addressing his own art as a poet directly. After helping the students to closely analyze the langauge and meaning of the first scene, he addressed the importance of paying attention to details and patterns in literature.
"Miranda" by John William Waterhouse
In addition, Dr. Moran connected Shakespeare to the great tradition of classics showing how Shakespeare learned his craft from previous poets such as Virgil, while at the same time he also addresses issues of the time such as the Protestant Reformation (Revolution).
At the end of his lecture, Dr. Moran invited the students to attend his summer college class for high school students in Rome, Shakespeare in Rome, where students study three Italian plays in the Italian setting, Taming of the Shrew studied in Padua, Merchant of Venice studied in Venice and Julius Caesar studied in Rome.
Dr. Moran also spent time with the English teachers, and discussed with them the importance and best practices for teaching Shakespeare to high school students. A special THANK YOU to Mrs. Lisa Kenna and the English Department for arranging Dr. Moran’s visit!