Shakespearean Comedy

Ref: C3126675

If you enjoy reading Shakespeare, or seeing it performed, then this course offers an in-depth study of ‘As You Like It’ with its twists and turns of plot and character and occasional profundities. We will also look at other Shakespearean comedies and some of the work of his contemporaries, Ben Jonson, for example, by way of comparison. If students are interested we hope to book tickets to see the play performed at Stratford. This is entirely optional and not included in the course fee.

Course aim

This course is for anyone who enjoys Shakespearean comedy and wants to get to grips with the text and characters. Our focus will be "As You Like It", a complicated but enjoyable 'pastoral' comedy.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is unashamedly for lovers of Shakespeare and Shakespearean comedy in particular. Those people who enjoy reading the plays or attending performances at Stratford will be in seventh heaven.

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

  • outline the main characters and plot of "As You Like It"
  • discuss the central themes of "As You Like It"
  • comment with some knowledge on other Shakespearean comedies
  • comment with some knowledge on other playwrights' comedies of the time

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
  • The tutor hopes to book tickets for the production of "As You Like It" on Friday 1 March at Stratford. The trip is optional and the cost additional to the course fee.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • We will use the Penguin edition of "As You Like It" edited by H.J.Oliver which can be purchased very cheaply. Failing this any standard edition will do, Arden editions published by Methuen, for example, or a 'collected works'.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A quick read through of the text of "As You Like It" before the course would be good.

What can I do next?

  • 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
  • It is hoped to run other Shakespeare courses but this will be discussed in class with the students. Other poetry options are under consideration.

Download full course information sheet

Shakespearean Comedy


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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