Everything you wanted to know about Shakespeare but were afraid to ask

Ref: C2341744

Sadly many people are put off Shakespeare at school. This course will, we hope rekindle enthusiasm for our greatest writer. We will consider him as a professional playwright writing for a unique theatrical environment. Amongst many other topics we will consider how the plays might have been acted and pronounced, the economics of Shakespeare's theatre, the rise of 'Bardolatary', where Shakespeare got his plots from and the controversy over whether a man from Stratford actually wrote the plays ascribed to William Shakespeare.

Course aim

To introduce Shakespeare in a lively and non academic way to people who may have been put off the Bard at school and to explore some of the more quirky aspects of the man and his theatre.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Discuss Shakespeare's theatre and understand the effects this had on performance practice.
  • Explain the controversy surrounding the 'authorship question'.
  • Investigate the rise of 'Bardolatary'
  • Explore some of Shakespeare's qualities as a poet and playwright.
  • Identify at least three ways in which musicians have been inspired 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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support 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

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

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

Download full course information sheet

Everything you wanted to know about Shakespeare but were afraid to ask

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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