Harvard Free Online Course on Shylock’s Bond

Harvard University is offering free online course on Shylock’s Bond. An exploration of the magnetic and ambivalent character of Shylock in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

This course introduces learners to Jewish history both in Venice and in England, to the ways in which Shakespeare’s own audience might have responded to the play and its genre, and to the history of the play’s production through the twenty-first century. The course start will start on June 26, 2017.

Course At A Glance. 

Length: 3 weeks
Effort: 6- 8 hours pw
Subject: Literature
Institution: Harvard University and edx
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes, Add a Verified Certificate for $49
Session: Course Starts on June 26, 2017

Providers’ Details

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. Harvard faculty are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

About This Course

Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt (John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities) guides learners through an exploration of Shakespeare’s unforgettable character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and his historical origins.

In the first act of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, the Jewish moneylender Shylock proposes a “merry sport” to the merchant Antonio: he will lend Antonio the money he needs if Antonio agrees to let Shylock take a pound of his flesh should he default. Shylock calls this contract a “merry bond,” and Shakespeare’s First Folio calls the play a comedy. But what does Shylock want from the bond, and how merry does the play ultimately prove?

Why Take This Course?

This course introduces learners to Jewish history both in Venice and in England, to the ways in which Shakespeare’s own audience might have responded to the play and its genre, and to the history of the play’s production through the twenty-first century.

Learners will also be invited to share their own theatrical interpretations of The Merchant of Venice and to ask how the meaning of a work of art may change in different times, contexts, and cultures.

Learning Outcomes

  • Appreciate Shakespearean dramaturgy and language
  • Identify historical contexts that illuminate Shakespeare’s artistic choices
  • Explore the implications of different theatrical and performance interpretations

Instructors

Stephen Greenblatt

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University

Requirements

None

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Create an edX account to SignUp
  • Choose “Register Now” to get started.
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