• British Council

Exploring English: Shakespeare

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

259,620 enrolled on this course

Exploring English: Shakespeare
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $59Find 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.

Download video: standard or HD

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?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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?

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

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.

Supporters

supported by

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust logo

Learner reviews

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends
  • Join this course

    Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

    Free
    $0

    Join free and you will get:

    • Access to this course for 8 weeks

    Upgrade
    $59

    Upgrade this course and you will get:

    • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
    • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

    Unlimited (New!)
    $279.99 for one year

    Buy Unlimited and you will get:

    • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
    • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
    • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
    • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
    Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.