About this subject

Since their original performances in his lifetime, Shakespeare’s plays have undergone a vast array of revivals and reinterpretations. This programme explores some of the varied reception of Shakespeare’s plays, combining close textual and literary analysis with an examination of how they were received and performed, from Early Modern England to the 21st century.

The programme will look at the history of performance of Shakespeare’s plays, from the suppression and resurrection of theatre in the 17th century, to the modern reconstruction of the Globe and debates over ‘original practices’. You will explore the adaptation of his works through varied media and discuss the changing nature of Shakespeare on film in the 20th and 21st century. The programme will also examine how Shakespeare’s plays can be understood in relation to modern social and political concerns, including race, gender, and identity.

Plays studied in this programme include Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Learning outcomes

After studying this subject you will:

  • Be able to read and respond critically to selected Shakespeare plays.
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of the reception of Shakespeare’s work in different historical periods.
  • Be able to assess critically the adaptation of Shakespeare into diverse media, including film.
  • Possess a precise and professional technical vocabulary for discussing representations of race, gender, and identity in Shakespeare’s plays.

Who is this subject suitable for?

This subject would suit students of the Humanities, especially those with a background in English Literature, Theatre, Dramatic Arts, History, or Film Studies. Previous experience of studying Shakespeare is not required.

Dates and availability

Applications closed for 2022.

Expand your programme

You can expand your programme by taking more than one subject.

We recommend combining this subject with:

Shakespeare in Context

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Find out more about the admissions criteria, programme fees, and how to apply.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, please do get in touch here.