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Free Online Introduction to Shakespeare Course

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The majority of this free online Shakespeare course has been generously made available by the Edgewood College English Department. For additional discussion topics, or to post your own topic, comment or question on our own free online academic discussion forum go to:
For a comprehensive link of everything you need to know about Shakespeare, his works, life and times, go to



English 330: Shakespeare

Prof. Hunter
Spring, 2005

This course is an introduction to the works of William Shakespeare--but it can only be an introduction.  We will have time to read nine of his 37 or 38 plays, and to sample a few of his sonnets.  

We will cover two of the history plays and three of the tragedies, as well as three of the comedies and one of the romances.  Along the way, we will consider the historical background and literary contexts of Shakespeare's work, as well as exploring a variety of critical approaches to it.  But the main focus of the course will be on your own responses to the plays and poems, and most of the work in class will revolve around what you have to say about the works we are reading.

In addition to reading, you will watch video productions of each play, and will participate in an online discussion forum in which you share your response to the readings with other members of the class.  For more details on the course requirements, see the course syllabus.



Course requirements and required readings, as well as a day-by-day Schedule of Assignments.
An online threaded discussion, where you will be posting your own critical responses to the plays, as well as reading and responding to the comments of others.
The site on which you will be posting your reaction papers before they are presented in class.


A sampling of the wealth of resources available on the World Wide Web


A partial list of videos available for the plays we will be reading; it is by no means exhaustive, and you are encouraged to find others and to share your reactions with the class.  Some of the videos will be available on reserve at the College library; others may be obtained from local video stores.


Office hours, phone numbers, and other such useful data.
Required reading for anyone in an English course.

This page designed and maintained by James Hunter
Dept. of English, Edgewood College, Madison, WI
Questions, comments or suggestions:
Last updated 01/18/05

If you enjoy these courses and find them useful we invite you to enroll in our credit courses and/or degree programs. This will allow you to receive full credit toward a degree and grant you online access to a professor who will both evaluate your work and assist you with any questions or difficulties you may have.


Alternately, you may submit a portfolio to have the experience and learning you have gained on these free courses evaluated for college credit.


Please keep checking back with us as courses and resources are constantly being added and updated.



Batavia University
Indra Valley Inn
Bukit Lawang, North Sumatra, Indonesia
Near the Entrance to Gunung Leuser National Park and Bohorok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center
Central Administrative Office in Harapan Baru, West Bekasi, Indonesia
We are affiliated with the Global Institute
For more information please contact us at   or +62-(61) 777 98115