All the Worlds a Stage

Ref: C2224533

If you found Shakespeare uninspiring at school, this course will open your eyes to the beauty, humour and delight of Shakespearean language in a completely new way. Extracts from his best-loved plays and poetry will show why Shakespeare has become a cultural icon all over the world. We will read and hear Shakespeare speaking to us across the centuries, exploring his sonnets and themed extracts from Hamlet, King Lear, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest. A highlight after the course will be an optional visit to the Globe Theatre on Bankside, where we will hear the voices of some of our greatest Shakespearean actors.

Course aim

To introduce a selection of Shakespeare's plays and poetry in the context of different themes, with an aim to enable participants to understand Shakespeare in his time and today.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • No prior knowledge of Shakespeare is required but will be very welcome. Participants should be open to exploring extracts of texts and willing to discover what Shakespeare means to them.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • 1 - Read and understand a wide range of Shakespeare's poetry and drama
  • 2 - Analyse Shakespearean poetry in the context of his time and our own
  • 3 - Appreciate the range of themes addressed by Shakespeare
  • 4 - Read, understand and evaluate independently further work by Shakespeare

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • Through conversation with students and suggestions of further exploration they might do independently.

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • Any copies of Shakespeare's plays and poetry will be useful in following the textual extracts, although they will be projected on a screen

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No prior reading is required. Participants may wish to explore or re-acquaint themselves with Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Participants may wish to explore other Shakespearean plays and poetry. They will be encouraged to attend either live productions or screenings. An optional guided trip to the Globe theatre will be offered after the end of the course.

Download full Course information sheet

All the Worlds a Stage


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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