Much Ado About Shakespeare

Ref: C2339917

If you find Shakespeare daunting, and wonder what all the fuss is about, or if you are a devotee who wants to share and deepen your enjoyment of his work this course is for you. An opportunity to explore a well-known play, Macbeth through reading, watching and discussion. So is Macbeth relevant today? It is the story of the achievement of despotism by means not fair, but decidedly foul. It shows how an honourable loyal and loving man is tempted through ambition for power. And as one wicked action leads to another, he becomes an inhuman monster. Spurred to act by his great love for his wife, he ends bereft of emotion on her death. The play explores again and again the idea of equivocation: being economic with the truth, speaking literal truth to mislead the hearer, secrets and lies. What is it that so corrupts a man? Does he have a choice or is it all determined by fate? And is any of it worth it in the end?

Course aim

We will study Shakespeare's Macbeth and complete it in one term. It’s themes of ambition, temptation, equivocation and the damage these can do to love, friendship, loyalty, peace of mind and family life are relevant itoday as in Shakespeare's time.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • For this course you need only an enthusiasm for Shakespeare and his theatre

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

  • Approach Shakespeare’s works without fear
  • Identify the themes of Macbeth and explore their relevance throughout time.
  • Discuss the richness of Shakespeare’s language and ideas
  • Explore the opportunities and problems of staging Macbeth

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • You will be expected to carry out a range of activities in your own time
  • Ideally students should see a performance of Macbeth. Both the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company have current productions, broadcast to cinemas, and the National touring to Sheffield in the autumn.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • 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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Students may wish to obtain their own copy of the play for private reading. Students are encouraged to review the information on-line on both the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company web-sites

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

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

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information

Download full course information sheet

Much Ado About Shakespeare


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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