MOOC course review-Shakespeare In Community

Summary of the content of the lecture and my opinion.

In this lecture, many different people such as actors, teachers or students appear and freely talk about Shakespeare and share their knowledge with us.

The introduction lecture was about what people think about the Shakespear the playwright . There was no doubt that Shakespeare is the greatest playwright in the literature history. Shakespeare had perfect understanding about the human nature, so each of his characters perfectly reflects our lives.  Shakespeare could catch almost every aspect of human lives including grief, love, loss of loved ones and so on. I learned that Shakespeare is a historical playwright not only because his plays are well-structured and interesting, but he totally understood the lives or ordinary people.

The thing that caught my attention during the introduction was that everyone in the video seemed to be in love with Shakespeare. They looked so happy when they discussed about Shakespeare and had their own solid views about his plays. I was impressed about their passion for literature.

It was very impressive when one of the people in the lecture said that ‘ There is no answer to the question “Why study shakespeare?”. However, we can try to find the answer of it by studying Shakespeare.” From his short words, I realized how difficult and sophisticated Shakespeare’s plays are. Even person who studies literature for a long time cannot hastily judge the value of Shakespeare’s pieces; instead, he decides to study about them more. Before I try to find the answer of something, I should try to explore as much as I can about the question.

The next lecture that I chose to study is ‘Romeo and Juliet’. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is  a very famous play, which I had read and watched the play for several times. For I was so familiar with it, I thought that I understand the play to some degree. However, I realized that I was totally wrong as I studied the lecture. First of all, there were so many different perspectives looking at the single piece. The actress who plays Juliet says the play touched her even more when she read the lines after she was in love, while the actor plays Romeo recalled his childhood experience and talked about how the play is about people caring for each other. The actor also said that the play is not just about Romeo and Juliet but uniting the two  families. I realized that deep understanding about the play is essential for actors to perfectly play the given role. Furthermore, some people focused on the age of Romeo and Juliet. Even though their love seems to be mature, they are actually around 13~14 years old. The words when they swear their love to each other are romantic and pure, just like their ages. I realized that I was focusing only on the story, and neglectd the details such as the character’s ages. Finally, the language is a very important part of Romeo and Juliet. One of the famous characteristics of Shakespearer plays is the texture of words. Almost evey single line has the rhythm, so it is important to read out the lines of Shakespeare. Even though his original plays are hard to understand for me, I want to try to read them, and feel the unique rhythm and texture of the words.

Comment on the level of the language used by the professor.

I could follow what the people talking in the video in general, but sometimes I could not catch what exactly they want to say. Some of them was my English problem because I could  not understand the term or sentence they spoke, or the vocabularies were unfamiliar to me. However, the bigger problem was that the topic is Shakespeare; the language of Shakespeare is hard to understand even to English native speakers. Therefore, it was sometimes hard for me to follow the lecture when the phrases from Shakespeare plays were mentioned.

Comment on the ease or difficulty of navigation. 

Finding the course related to my passion, and signing up for it was not difficult. However, I was a bit confused at the beginning because this course was a bit different from the other courses; there was no lectures updated weekly. Apart from that, I think the categories in this courses are well organized.

Would you recommend the site and course to my friends?

I would like to recommend this course to my friends. It would be perfect if the friends are big fan of Shakespeare, but even though the friends are not interested in Shakespeare, I am sure that this course will offer them a great opportunity to explore the field of English literature. It will give them the idea about Shakespeare not only as a playwright who writes fun plays but also as a human being who greatly catches human natures of people.

If you had time, would you like to continue studying the full course?

I definitely would like to continue studying the full course if I had time. It is such a shame that I am only studying a part of it because I have got the final exam coming. However, when I am free, I want to start this course by reading the pieces studied in this course. I want to re-read ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. There were also two pieces that I have not read before; ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and ‘The Tempest’. I want to read them as well. If I continue this course after reading them, I will go through the different opinions about each of the pieces and compar them with mine. Since this course gives me a new perspective of studying pieces which is different from the way I learned in schools, I am sure that this course is worth spending time with.


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