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Toil Without Trouble: an Introduction to Shakespeare's World

A Shakespeare Primer for Young Scholars

In this six-week online course you will learn what it is that makes Shakespeare's plays so enduring and loved. By understanding the world of Shakespeare you will be able to tackle his plays with confidence and panache. By learning the cultural, social and historical context of Shakespeare's wold you will be in a position to understand his plays in a way that makes sense to you.

Each week you will be set homework in the form of locating sources, researching, note-taking and summarising so that by the end of the course you will have collated notes to help you when you study individual plays. You will also create a bibliography of sources that will be invaluable in your future studies of The Bard.

You will learn:

  1. How reading a play is different to reading a novel
  2. Shakespeare and the Canon
  3. Imagery in Shakespeare
  4. Words Shakespeare invented (and common cliches)
  5. Language in Elizabethan England
  6. Shakespeare's most famous speeches
  7. Politics in Shakespeare's plays
  8. Examples of modern uses of Shakespeare (intertextuality)
  9. The social context of Shakespeare's world
  10. Explore Shakespeare's relevance today
  11. Key recurring themes across Shakespeare's plays
  12. The supernatural in Shakespeare

There's more but you get the idea.

Online workshops will be held weekly on Wednesdays at 5.00pm and repeated on Saturday mornings at 10.00am. The workshops will also be recorded and uploaded to our course, along with all support materials, so that you can watch or rewatch and study at your leisure.

There will also be a lively Facebook community where everyone can share their ideas. I will be available most days in the group, sharing quotes, tips and tidbits.

Dates: Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 - Saturday, 15th November, 2017

Cost: $95


Your Instructor


Mel and Sam Hammond
Mel and Sam Hammond

Mel and Sam are a dynamic mother-daughter duo, with experience in writing and theatre. In another life, Mel is a Senior English teacher and author of adult and childrens' novels. Sam studied Theatre at the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries and has won Queensland Theatre's Young Playwrights Award, along with DUX, CIVA and Pathmaker Awards at her school. Together, they run Writing Excellence Programs for Young Scholars at Writer on the Road.


Class Curriculum


  Week 1
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  Week 3
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  Week 6
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!