Exploring English: Shakespeare

Improve your English language skills by looking at the life and works of William Shakespeare and his enduring popularity.

  • Duration 6 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $54 Find out more

Explore the English language through Shakespeare’s plays

This course will look at the life and works of William Shakespeare and take you from his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon to the Globe Theatre in London, from where he secured his central place in English literature.

We will look at five of Shakespeare’s plays with the help of actors and experts from around the world. They will explain and explore the universal themes Shakespeare addressed in his work.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Hamlet
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • The Tempest
  • Macbeth

Our video tutor will guide you through the course and look at some of the words and expressions that Shakespeare introduced to the English language.

Short quizzes will check your understanding and you’ll be asked to share your ideas and opinions on the topics Shakespeare raises.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the life and works of William Shakespeare.
  • Investigate five of Shakespeare’s plays and look at the universal themes Shakespeare addressed in his work.
  • Reflect on words and expressions that Shakespeare introduced to the English language.

Who is the course for?

This course is for people who are learning English and interested in the language and legacy of William Shakespeare.
The material is designed for non-native English speakers who have studied English to around intermediate level (approximately B1 on the CEFR).

What do people say about this course?

It was a fantastic course to do. I learnt new things that I wanted to know. It also helped me in understanding Shakespeare a lot and also in my studies.

Monika Ranjeet

Who will you learn with?

Neil McLaren

Neil McLaren

I live and work in Bratislava and have been teaching for twenty years. I’m also the Social Community Manager in charge of the British Council’s global social media channels for learners

Genevieve  White

Genevieve White

I've taught English in Hungary, Romania, China and the UK. At the moment I teach in Shetland and I also write English language teaching materials.

Who developed the course?

British Council

The British Council is on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries connecting the best of UK culture with a global audience and providing high-quality English language courses.

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