Skip to 0 minutes and 14 seconds My name’s professor Jonathan Bate. I’m a Shakespeare scholar, and this is a MOOC called “Shakespeare and His World.” This MOOC is unique and exciting because it’s a collaboration between Warwick University and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. What we’re doing is approaching Shakespeare, his times and his works through the collections of the very house where he lived. This is a MOOC for anybody who’s interested in Shakespeare, whether it’s your first stab at him or whether you know the plays inside out, there will be something in the course for you. Each week, we focus on one particular Shakespeare play and a theme from his life and his times. We’ve been given unprecedented access. You’ll come with me down into the vaults.
Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds We’ll be handling an object– a coin, maybe, a map, a sword– something that brings alive his world. And it’s this dialogue between the material culture of Shakespeare’s time and the texture of his plays that makes the MOOC so exciting. Shakespeare’s a huge subject, so this is a big course. It’s 10 weeks. But within each week, the material is divided up into six sections, so you can take your time over it. And there’s going to be all sorts of supporting materials available online to help you through it. So this is a fantastically flexible way to learn about Shakespeare, and it’s very much up to you how far you go.
Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds By the end of this course, you’ll have developed an intimate knowledge of eight of his most superb plays– some that are familiar– Macbeth, Henry V– others less familiar, like Merry Wives of Windsor and The Tempest. But you’ll also understand those plays in their historical context. This is the MOOC where you’ll learn how Shakespeare emerged out of his own time and why his plays have endured for all time.