What is the course about?
This course will look at Shakespeare’s female characters across a range of plays including As You Like It (Rosalind), Hamlet (Gertrude and Ophelia), Macbeth (Lady Macbeth and the witches), and Antony and Cleopatra (Cleopatra). Considering the plays in both their historical context and in performance, we will explore representations of love, marriage, widowhood, madness and female power.
Sophie has taught Literature and Interdisciplinary Arts for over twenty years, working with the Open University, Leeds University, and a range of adult learning institutions before joining City Lit. Previously she freelanced as a theatre and opera director in community theatre and at English National Opera.
What will we cover?
We will look at the following: As You Like It: Rosalind and Performing Gender; Hamlet: Gertrude and Shakespeare’s Widows; Hamlet: Ophelia and Madness; Macbeth: Lady Macbeth, the witches, and female agency; Antony and Cleopatra: Sexuality and Power.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Understand and define some of the ways in which Shakespeare’s language creates character and drama in these plays.
Understand and define some of the ways in which historical context and performance can inform our reading of the female characters in these plays.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is open to all. You do not need to have prior knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays to participate.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through class discussion, video of performance extracts, and visual slides.
It is recommended that you read or watch each play before the relevant class for maximum enjoyment, starting with As You Like It. Subsequent plays will be Hamlet, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Key extracts for discussion will be provided so you do not need to bring any texts with you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for other Shakespeare/drama courses under Literature/Plays and Players/History, Culture and Writing on our website: www.citylit.ac.uk.