Q&A video

This week the educators made a video to discuss some of your questions about this course.

The first question discussed the fact that women were forbidden from appearing on stage in Shakespeare’s day and how all the female roles were played by boys or men until 1660. You can read more here and in this excellent infographic.

The next question covered race and whether there were any black actors in Shakespeare’s company. This point is addressed beautifully in this powerful film from our Shakespeare Lives series. You can read more about the first black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge, here and here.

You can read about Shakespeare’s influence on other artists, and some of the novels and films mentioned by David here, and you can read about other playwrights who were popular in Shakespeare’s day here. For more on Shakespeare’s influence on popular music, this article from BBC looks at songs by artists ranging from Taylor Swift to Metallica that have been inspired by or reference his works. And you can test your knowledge with this quiz from Oxford Dictionaries.

On the question of whether we can use Shakespearean English in daily life, this article looks at how Shakespeare still influences the way we speak now, and this one looks at Talk Like Shakespeare Day and gives some tips on how you can try it for yourself. This video lesson on insults by Shakespeare is fun, and so is this excellent insult generator.

Finally, David mentioned this BBC podcast on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Check your progress

You can always use the To do icon at the top of the page to see what’s coming up or go back to previous weeks and catch up.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.


Coming up in Week 5

Next week we’ll look at Hamlet. If you want to get started straight away, go to the To do list for Week 5.

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This video is from the free online course:

Exploring English: Shakespeare

British Council