In the first act of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet , the Ghost of the dead King of Denmark appears to his son, setting off a chain of events that culminates in the play’s notoriously bloody finale. But how would this mysterious figure have been understood in Shakespeare’s time? Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt guides learners through an exploration of the Ghost’s uncanny theatrical power and the historical contexts from which the character emerged. You will be introduced to the narrative sources of Hamlet, the religious convictions that shaped how Renaissance England understood the afterlife, and how the Ghost would have thrilled and challenged its original audience. By focusing on the Ghost, you will see how the play grapples with issues like death, mourning, remembrance, and the power of theatre. Through short video lectures, readings from the play as well as later works by Coleridge and Joyce, and conversations with experts, you will develop critical tools with which to “unlock” the play’s possible meanings. If you’re reading Hamlet for the first time, this course is a great introduction. If you’re reading it for the hundredth time, it is the perfect chance to revisit and refresh your “take” on Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy.
An excellent online course offered by edX: how it works
edX courses consist of weekly learning sequences. Each learning sequence is composed of short videos interspersed with interactive learning exercises, where students can immediately practise the concepts from the videos. The courses often include tutorial videos that are similar to small on-campus discussion groups, an online textbook, and an online discussion forum where students can post and review questions and comments to each other and teaching assistants. Where applicable, online laboratories are incorporated into the course.
edX offers certificates of successful completion and some courses are credit-eligible. Whether or not a college or university offers credit for an online course is within the sole discretion of the school. edX offers a variety of ways to take courses, including verified courses where students have the option to audit the course (no cost) or to work toward an edX Verified Certificate (fees vary by course). edX also offers XSeries Certificates for completion of a bundled set of two to seven verified courses in a single subject (cost varies depending on the courses).
An edX learning programme under Other Experiences