Shakespeare Matters

Learn about Shakespeare’s plays and their influence through a focus on emotions such as love, hate, and jealousy.

Length: 5 weeks
Effort: 2 to 3 hours per week 
Level: Introductory

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Shakespeare’s work has influenced the way we think about our relationships and ourselves. His plays are still as relevant today as when they were written almost 400 years ago.

In this introductory course, you will learn how Shakespeare uses emotion in his plays, how his characters experience and manipulate emotions, and how the emotional resonance of the plays makes them powerfully relevant to the modern world.

As you follow and engage with the emotional journeys of characters in tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy, and history; you will discover patterns of plot, action, and speech that will help you appreciate, understand, and discuss Shakespeare’s plays.

Each week of the course will focus on a different emotion. You’ll cover the range of emotions found in Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and King Henry V.

This course includes interactive activities, and interviews with a range of people engaged creatively and professionally with Shakespeare’s plays. You’ll be encouraged to interpret Shakespeare in your own way - to find ‘your Shakespeare.’

You will learn how to read a Shakespeare play and gain the tools you need to interpret its language. You will also have the opportunity to experience what it’s like to direct scenes from the plays. And you’ll learn about the various kinds of Shakespearean drama, and the dramatic and poetic techniques Shakespeare uses to investigate the human condition.

What you'll learn

  • Why Shakespeare still matters, all through a focus on emotions
  • Ideas and techniques that will help you understand as well as enjoy Shakespeare’s plays
  • How to understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s language and its power

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