Free Harvard Online Shakespeare Course - The Merchant of Venice
Once again, my wonderful connection, Jenny, from HarvardX Communications reached out to me with a great course idea for high school homeschoolers. This is a new course that could be a good fit for high school students interested in Shakespeare.
Course launch date: June 26 on edX.org.
Course length: 3 weeks.
The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most powerful, strange, uncomfortable plays. It is a play about a piece of paper with a promise, a dangerous promise, that if money isn't repaid, the lender can get a pound of flesh. And yet it is a comedy.
Shylock’s Bond explores Shakespeare’s unforgettable character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice and his historical origins. The course introduces learners to:
- Jewish history both in Venice and in England
- The ways in which Shakespeare’s own audience might have responded to the play and its genre
- The history of the play’s production through the twenty-first century
This free, 3-week, self-paced course is the part of the ShakespeareX series (see the first course, Hamlet’s Ghost), and is ideal for:
- Homeschool students looking for a Shakespeare course or a high level English supplement
- AP English students looking to dig deeper into the play’s content
- Teachers looking for professional development and teaching resources connected to Shakespeare. (Teachers represent about one-third of our MOOC participants based on a recent Harvard/MIT report.)
- Appreciate Shakespearean dramaturgy and language
- Identify historical contexts that illuminate Shakespeare’s artistic choices
- Explore the implications of different theatrical and performance interpretations