Hamlet’s Ghost

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edX online courses
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Business & Management
22471 reviews

Course Description

In the first act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Ghost of the dead King of Denmark appears to his son, setting off a chain of events that culminates in the play’s notoriously bloody finale. But how would this mysterious figure have been understood in Shakespeare’s world?

Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt (John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities) guides learners through an exploration of the Ghost in Hamlet, considering both its uncanny theatrical power and the historical contexts from which it emerged. Learners will be introduced to the narrative sources of Hamlet, the religious convictions that shaped how people in Renaissance England understood the afterlife, and the ways that Shakespeare’s Ghost would have thrilled and challenged its original audience. Learners will also be invited to share their own theatrical interpretations of Hamlet and to consider how the themes of death, mourning, and memory shape Shakes...

In the first act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the Ghost of the dead King of Denmark appears to his son, setting off a chain of events that culminates in the play’s notoriously bloody finale. But how would this mysterious figure have been understood in Shakespeare’s world?

Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt (John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities) guides learners through an exploration of the Ghost in Hamlet, considering both its uncanny theatrical power and the historical contexts from which it emerged. Learners will be introduced to the narrative sources of Hamlet, the religious convictions that shaped how people in Renaissance England understood the afterlife, and the ways that Shakespeare’s Ghost would have thrilled and challenged its original audience. Learners will also be invited to share their own theatrical interpretations of Hamlet and to consider how the themes of death, mourning, and memory shape Shakespeare’s play as well as their own lives.


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Reviews 9/10 stars
4 Reviews for Hamlet’s Ghost

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Susanna Student profile image
Susanna Student profile image

Susanna Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 4 months ago
I'm a little more than half-way through the course and I love it. I started several months past the course start date, so I'm not in sync with other participants, but even so I find that reading classmates' archived comments provides a sense of participation and adds to the depth of my understanding of the material. Many participants contributed fascinating comments on the assignment questions, which adds to the richness of my course experience. Addressing the specific question of the ghost makes for a very interesting point of entry for thinking about the play and I've gained a lot of new insight already into the play and Shakespeare in general. I'm looking forward to finishing the course. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to feel mentally stimulated and inspired. I hope Harvard will put out more open courses on literature and drama.
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Llamylk Balbuena profile image
Llamylk Balbuena profile image

Llamylk Balbuena

8/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 6 months ago
I believe in your ability and I know you can contribute your knowledge for my future,And teach me this beautiful and wonderful story of the ghost hamlet...
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student

10/10 starsTaking Now
2 years, 8 months ago
I am just auditing this course. However, I have really enjoyed the lectures and the material. If you like or are interested in Shakespeare, I think you will enjoy this.
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Kristina Šekrst profile image
Kristina Šekrst profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 102 reviews
  • 102 completed
2 years, 10 months ago
I've completed this course, even though I didn't think I would. The material is engaging, but somehow there's too few of it, and a bit more would be nice. The exercises are discussion-forum based, and rely on self-report, while the final essay is peer-reviewed. However, I've learned a lot, especially about interesting cultural and religious background, and that was the reason I stuck with this course. The instructor has a nice teaching style, and it's difficult to talk about literature outside the classroom discussion, but the questions were nicely composed in order to motivate similar discussion online. It was a good course, and a nice break from technical stuff for me. :)
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.