Shakespeare OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Bachelor Level Class on Shakespeare

Published Feb 07, 2009

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Explore 'Hamlet,' 'Othello,' 'King Lear' and many other works by legendary poet and playwright William Shakespeare in this free online OpenCourseWare from MIT. 'Shakespeare' is an undergraduate-level course for students studying English, Literature or Theater.

Shakespeare: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Shakespeare: Course Description

Students who take MIT's 'Shakespeare' OpenCourseWare will have the opportunity to read and analyze a variety of plays from Shakespeare's diverse oeuvre. Works covered in the course include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Hamlet, Henry IV & V, King Lear and The Tempest. Students are also encouraged to watch recent film adaptations of several of the plays, including Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing and Laurence Olivier's Henry V. By comparing the original plays to the recent films, students explore the lasting influence that Shakespeare's writings have had on modern theater and film. For students who are interested in taking this course with a friend, rehearsal guidelines are provided for performing a scene from one of Shakespeare's plays. The course is led by MIT Professors Diana Henderson, Peter Donaldson and Shankar Raman.

Course readings and assignments guidelines are available for download on the class website, in addition to sample exam questions and Shakespeare-related links. To learn more, visit the Shakespearean history and plays course page.

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