United Kingdom, Cambridge

Shakespeare and the Renaissance Summer Programme

when 4 August 2019 - 17 August 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks

This programme offers a rich collection of courses, lectures, readings and acting workshops. You can explore the power, beauty, and meaning of Shakespeare's plays with leading academics; discover connections with the wider world of Elizabethan culture; and explore aspects of performance.

The academic programme
• Four courses (two per week)
• Series of plenary lectures: Transformation
• Evening talks
• Contact hours: up to 52 hours

Programme description
Expert Course Directors and lecturers combine the Cambridge tradition of close attention to the text with an alertness to questions of performance which is so vital in approaching Shakespeare. They will engage the experience and the response of participants, whose enthusiasm, openness and curiosity give the programme its unique atmosphere. Some courses will focus on specific plays, some will address recurring themes and others will be actor-led workshops centering on performance.

"The intellectual excitement these courses generate is a joy to share."
Dr Fred Parker, Programme Director, Shakespeare and the Renaissance Summer Programme


You choose one morning and one afternoon course per week, each has five sessions. The maximum class size is 25 participants. You can write one essay per course for evaluation.

Week 1 (4 – 10 August)
9.15am – 10.45am
Ra1 - Elizabeth I: the Age of Gloriana?
Ra2 - Love, comedy, and the imagination: As You Like It and Twelfth Night
Ra3 - What happens in Hamlet
Ra4 - The Winter's Tale in performance

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Sa1 - Romeo and Juliet in performance
Sa2 - Icons and iconoclasm: the visual arts in Shakespeare's England
Sa3 - Shakespeare in context
Sa4 - The seductive beauty of English Renaissance poetry

Week 2 (11 – 17 August)
9.15am – 10.45am
Rb1 - Shakespeare and his fellows: Michel de Montaigne
Rb2 - Shakespeare and Marlowe
Rb3 - Coriolanus
Rb4 - Magic, fairies and gods: A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest

2.00pm – 3.30pm
Sb1 - Romeo and Juliet in performance
Sb2 - King Lear
Sb3 - Shakespeare and his fellows: John Marston
Sb4 - Henry IV, Part I: a masterpiece of historical drama, and its sources

Plenary lectures
This year's speakers will be exploring the theme of transformation both within Shakespeare's works and their performance, and in the Renaissance world in which he wrote, a time of new horizons, of dramatic change in government, monarchy and religion, and of ground-breaking cultural and technological achievement.

Evening talks
Eminent speakers will present a variety of general interest talks. These are shared with students on our other programmes.

Course leader

Dr Fred Parker

Target group

We welcome applications from all adult learners including university students, professionals and those with other experience who have an interest in the subject, regardless of educational background.

Credits info

The University of Cambridge does not use a credit system for the awarding of its internal degrees, and cannot award credit directly for its International Summer Programmes. Students wishing to obtain credit as a result of our evaluation should consult their own institutions in advance about the acceptability of the Summer Programmes evaluation for credit purposes.

Fee info

GBP 0: See official website