Shakespeare’s Hamlet: text, performance, and culture

Academics from the Shakespeare Institute introduce aspects of the most famous play ever written - its origins, texts, and history.

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About the course

This course introduces the many ways in which Hamlet can be enjoyed and understood. Six weekly videos discuss the play’s fortunes in print, and its own representations of writing and theatre; its place in the Elizabethan theatrical repertory; its representation of melancholia and interiority; its fortunes on the modern stage; its appeal to actors; and its philosophy.


A basic ability to read and understand Hamlet is a must for all students. Otherwise, a curiosity about this play and why it has remained such an important and iconic element in Western culture for four centuries is the sole prerequisite for the course.