Shakespeare and his World

10/10 stars
based on  5 reviews
Free

This course is provided by FutureLearn FutureLearn

Ratings Summary  Details

Average Content rating
10/10 stars
based on  5 reviews
Average Instructor rating
9/10 stars
based on  4 reviews
Average Provider rating
8/10 stars
based on  48 reviews

5 Reviews for Shakespeare and his World

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Student rates this course 10/10 stars Completed
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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Student rates this course 10/10 stars Completed
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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Student rates this course 10/10 stars Completed
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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Student rates this course 10/10 stars Completed
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 rates this course 10/10 stars Completed
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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Course Description

Instructors:  Jonathan Bate
School:  The University of Warwick

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