Coinciding with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the University of Warwick (located just 16 miles from Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon) has teamed up with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to run a free 10-week online course starting on April 18th. The course explores not only the great writer’s work, but his world too - you might even say it’s such stuff as dreams are made on.
Sir Jonathan Bate will introduce a new play each week, examining it in relation to cultural themes and treasures from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s archives. In fact this course offers unprecedented access to the famous vaults of the Trust where thousands of rare artefacts are kept.
Here’s a quick run through of what each week covers:
Week 1: An Introduction to Shakespeare and his World
Week 2: Shakespeare and Stratford - The Merry Wives of Windsor
Week 3: The Birth of Theatre - A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Week 4: The World at War - Henry V
Week 5: Money and the City - The Merchant of Venice
Week 6: Witches and Doctors - Macbeth
Week 7: The Clash of Civilisations - Othello
Week 8: The Roman Example - Antony & Cleopatra
Week 9: O Brave New World - The Tempest
Week 10: The Cult of Shakespeare
You can find the free course Shakespeare and his World on FutureLearn. The last time this course ran it attracted over 40,000 learners around the world so it might be time to brush up on your Shakespearean lingo. The course starts today.
Jess Weeks is a copywriter at FutureLearn. Her favourite Shakespearean insult is ‘you egg’ because it’s both simple and strange.