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Explore illusion and reality in Shakespeare’s plays in a course offered through Siegal Lifelong Learning Program

Barbara Burgess-Van Aken, CWRU teaching fellow in the Department of English, will offer a remote course titled “Illusion vs. Reality in Shakespeare’s Plays” through the Siegal Lifelong Learning Program in June.

The course will be held on Tuesdays from June 9 to June 30, from noon to 2 p.m. 

About the course

A theme that Shakespeare often explores in his plays is illusion vs. reality. What makes it hard to distinguish between the two? What happens when characters perceive illusions as real? How do characters create illusions? What does it take for a character to see through an illusion? By examining these questions in the context of four Shakespeare plays—each a different genre—we can begin to appreciate why the Bard is perennially relevant and why theater directors and filmmakers continually restage his works. 

The course will cover The Tempest, King Lear, Henry V and The Taming of the Shrew.

To facilitate navigation of the text during discussions, participants are asked to use the Folger Shakespeare Library’s editions of each play, published by Simon and Schuster.

Get pricing and registration information.