Shakespeare's Women

Ref: C2224374

An exploration of some of the extraordinary and powerful female characters Shakespeare invented for boys and men to act: companions, lovers, mothers, daughters, viragos at war, victims of jealousy, agents of destruction and angels of redemption! We speculate about Shakespeare’s life, including political and religious factors as well as his marital and other relationships, in so far as light may be cast on the way he presents his female roles, and consider how the all-male world of the theatre companies affected their construction and presentation. We shall discuss some of the non-dramatic poetry to see if these too shed illumination, and proceed to study some roles fairly briefly, others in more depth, covering the most significant from the Comedies, Histories, Tragedies and Romances, discussing Shakespeare’s “empowerment” of his women. How much justification is there for the suggestion that Shakespeare’s women, at least, are the deadlier of the species?

Course aim

Shakespeare “invented the human as we continue to know it” (Professor Harold Bloom).This course aims to examine some of the female roles Shakespeare invented for boys and men to act.

Who is the course for?

- This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

What topics will this course cover

- 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 will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

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

How will I know I'm making progress?

- A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion - You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

- A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Reading and information sources

- No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What could the course lead to?

- Progress to another WEA course - Progress to a course with another provider - Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course outline

Shakespeare's Women Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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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