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Shakespeare: Context and Stagecraft

Explore Shakespeare’s stagecraft through three of his most well-known plays: Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth.

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Study fascinating theatrical and social contexts that shaped Shakespeare’s plays

On this course, you’ll explore the language, themes, and contexts of three of Shakespeare’s most widely studied and frequently performed plays.

You’ll consider the different performance choices they offer and learn about the theatrical practices that influenced Shakespeare’s stagecraft.

This course will complement curriculums across the globe while offering students the chance to delve deeper into areas that schools often don’t have time to cover, such as performance, dramaturgy, and context.

The course can be taken remotely by an entire class, offering students the option to learn together during the disruption of their studies due to COVID-19.

What topics will you cover?

  • Shakespeare’s stagecraft
  • Early modern performance conditions and Shakespeare’s plays
  • Language and how it creates meaning
  • Historical and literary context of the plays
  • The afterlives of Shakespeare’s plays

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.

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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 language and themes of Shakespeare’s plays
  • Identify early modern performance practices and how they contributed to Shakespeare’s stagecraft
  • Explain the plays’ social and historical context
  • Compare different performance choices

Who is the course for?

This course is primarily designed for those studying or teaching Shakespeare as part of the school curriculum.

The course is also suitable for anyone new to Shakespeare, as well as those looking to refresh their knowledge.

Who will you learn with?

I am Professor of English and Director of the London Shakespeare Centre at King's College London and academic director, Shakespeare400. I have published widely on Shakespeare and his contemporaries.

Gemma Miller is a Lecturer in Early Modern Literature and Culture at King's College London

Who developed the course?

King's College London

King’s College London, established in 1829 and a founding college of the University of London, is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the very heart of London.

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  • Learn at your own pace
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Buy this course

$54

One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
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  • Limited access to course content for 2 weeks

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