• British Council

Exploring English: Shakespeare

Explore Shakespeare’s life, discover famous Shakespeare plays, and improve your English language skills with the British Council.

272,691 enrolled on this course

Actors on stage at William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Exploring English: Shakespeare

272,691 enrolled on this course

  • 6 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

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?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

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 designed 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. "

Who developed the course?

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

Endorsers and supporters

supported by

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust logo

Ways to learn

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$27.99 /month

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$59/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 18 Jan 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Get a taste of this course

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