Shakespeare and his World

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10/10 stars
based on  6 reviews
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Cost FREE , Add a Verified Certificate for £39
Start Date TBA

Course Details

Cost

FREE,
Add a Verified Certificate for £39

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

FutureLearn online courses
At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Our aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with high quality educators, and with each other. We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, with plenty of opportunities to discuss what you’ve studied, in order to make fresh discoveries and form new ideas....
At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses from some of the world’s leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Our aim is to connect learners from all over the globe with high quality educators, and with each other. We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, with plenty of opportunities to discuss what you’ve studied, in order to make fresh discoveries and form new ideas. Courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life, rather than your life around learning. We are a private company wholly owned by The Open University, with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. Our partners include over 20 of the best UK and international universities, as well as institutions with a huge archive of cultural and educational material, including the British Council, the British Library, and the British Museum.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
69 reviews

Course Description

William Shakespeare is one of the most famous authors of all time. 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of his death, his words have inspired and moved people from around the globe for centuries.

How much do we know about Shakespeare’s cultural background and influences and why his works have endured? To get a real sense of how the Bard’s world would have actually looked and felt, renowned Shakespearean academic Professor Jonathan Bate will be exploring the acclaimed collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Professor Bate is also the Lead Educator, with Dr Paula Byrne, on the new Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing FutureLearn course from Warwick.

Each week, Professor Bate will examine a particular play and a cultural theme alongside a selection of treasures from the Trust’s archives in Stratford-upon-Avon. Weekly learning material will be broken down into six video segments, each examining a variety of artefac...

William Shakespeare is one of the most famous authors of all time. 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of his death, his words have inspired and moved people from around the globe for centuries.

How much do we know about Shakespeare’s cultural background and influences and why his works have endured? To get a real sense of how the Bard’s world would have actually looked and felt, renowned Shakespearean academic Professor Jonathan Bate will be exploring the acclaimed collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Professor Bate is also the Lead Educator, with Dr Paula Byrne, on the new Literature and Mental Health: Reading for Wellbeing FutureLearn course from Warwick.

Each week, Professor Bate will examine a particular play and a cultural theme alongside a selection of treasures from the Trust’s archives in Stratford-upon-Avon. Weekly learning material will be broken down into six video segments, each examining a variety of artefacts and play extracts. The course will open with an introduction to Shakespeare and his living and working environment, moving onto broader cultural themes and issues examined in his plays and ending with an exploration of his legacy.

This course is the result of an exciting new collaboration between the University of Warwick and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the world’s leading charity in promoting the works, life and times of William Shakespeare. The course will provide unprecedented access to the Trust’s fascinating historical collections of museum, library and archive items. You will have the chance to look inside the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust vaults where thousands of artefacts are kept. The course will also take you into some of the key locations associated with Shakespeare which are looked after by the Trust, including the house where he was born and grew up.

This is a great opportunity to engage with a topic that has captivated people for centuries, learn from a world expert in the field and enjoy exclusive access to behind-the-scenes historical material.


Success and Feedback from the course

Over 55,000 learners from across the world have previously joined Jonathan Bate and the teams from the University of Warwick and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to explore Shakespeare, his plays, and the world in which he lived. Below are some examples of the impact the course had:

“This has been an enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable course. Thanks to everyone involved in bringing it to new learners, and special thanks to Jonathan for bringing alive the course materials - your passion and knowledge of your subject was infectious. I’d like to do it all over again.” Natalie Gillett

“Thank you, thank you, thank you! I loved this course because not only did I learn so much about Shakespeare, but also because I enjoyed learning, reading, investigating and getting to know so much people around the world with the same interest, with so much knowledge and passion about the Bard. I admire each of the people who make this course possible, I thank them to make it possible for people around the globe. It was a wonderful experience. THANK YOU!” Paula Mascheroni

“This has been a marvellous course, I am so sorry that it has to end. I have learned an enormous amount and can look at Shakespeare’s plays with a much more inquiring mind than before. It is not enough just to read theme, you need to research the background too. Thank you Professor Bate and Jennifer for making the course so alive and interesting.” Caroline Graham

This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in Shakespeare; you might be a high school student or a university student, or a regular play-goer who wishes to learn more about Shakespeare. No prior knowledge of Shakespeare life, theatre and world is assumed: that is what you will learn from the course. The only pre-requisite is a willingness to read and watch the plays.

Reviews 10/10 stars
6 Reviews for Shakespeare and his World

Ratings details

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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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Gary profile image
Gary profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
11 months, 3 weeks ago
A truly wonderful course taught by a highly engaging teacher. One of my favorite MOOCs. A brilliantly taught course on the context and background that informed Shakespeare's works. EDIT:Though one of the five best MOOCs I have taken, I can no longer recommend FutureLearn courses due to their forum moderators..
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
1 year, 11 months ago
The course materials are brilliant, and beautifully presented in videos. Subtitles are easily accessible. There were dozens over the course of the ten weeks. Professor Jonathan Bate was magnificent: the framing of the plays, his commentary, and the links provided were outstanding. Mentor Jennifer Reid was tremendously helpful throughout. The FutureLearn platform is excellent: it provides a single discussion area for each segment of the course, so that one doesn't have to wade through hundreds of individual posts as is the case on other courses. It's easy to keep track of replies, to follow whoever you wish, and to navigate.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 2 completed
2 years, 3 months ago
I found this a very interesting and engaging course. The use of historical artefacts as a 'way in' to each week's topic was very effective, and the course videos were very good. The course covers several of the plays, and you need either a good knowledge of these or sufficient time to study them to get the most out of the course.
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Laura MacNeil profile image
Laura MacNeil profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
3 years, 3 months ago
I increased my knowledge of Shakespeare's life and times and also discovered some plays I had not yet read and more about their background and contexts. I particularly enjoyed the historical items that were introduced each week and the partnership with Shakespeare's Birthplace trust as this enhanced the learning experience. A thoroughly enjoyable course!
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Teresa Fenn profile image
Teresa Fenn profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
3 years, 5 months ago
Not having done any Shakespeare since school, I was worried that this course would be too much on critically reviewing the plays. Instead, the course puts the plays into historical context, and illustrates and enlightens the writing of Shakespeare through historical objects and the politics and science of the time. The course was excellent, with Prof Bate providing really engaging videos and weekly updates that answered questions that had arisen in the forums. This was one of the most interesting aspects and was something I hadn't seen in MOOCs before. It took quite a lot of time to read the plays (one per week) but I found the whole course to be worth putting in the effort. A really good course overall.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 11 months ago
Three months ago I took the best decision I could. To take this MOOC on William Shakespeare by Professor Bate. Every part of the course has exceeded my expectations. Very high level in the classes, videos, in the colleagues but also easy to follow if you are not a native English speaker. I do recommend this course not only for well trained literature teachers but also for non experts. It was 10 weeks of pleasure and we have been highlighted by an impressive leader in understanding William Shakespeare plays and world.
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  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
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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.