Global Shakespeare

ENGL 259/3.0


A study of the dissemination of Shakespeare’s plays across a range of cultures and sites from the early seventeenth century to the present, with a focus on the development of Shakespeare as a “global” author. Selected plays will be studied in historical context and in geographically diverse adaptations in theatrical, print, and electronic media.


1.    Written report of 500 – 700 words (production analysis) on a selected performance of a Shakespeare play (15%)

2.    Online discussion forum (x3—one for each play studied)  (15%)

3.    Term essay of 1,200 – 1,500 words on an adaptation of a Shakespeare play  (30%)

4.    Final exam (40%)

**Subject to change**


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1)    describe the international nature of the literary and theatrical culture in which Shakespeare wrote and explain the relationship between his plays and that culture.

2)    summarize the performance history of selected plays in a range of geographic locales.

3)    define the theoretical and methodological issues related to the study of Shakespeare and ‘global’ culture.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1)    explain the relationship between the spread of English as a global language and the development of Shakespeare as a global author.

2)    interpret Shakespeare’s plays as products of an international literary culture.

3)    explain the relationship between a wide range of productions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays and their cultural and political contexts. 

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1)    analyze individual performances of Shakespeare’s plays in terms of their relationship to the play as it exists in its early modern text(s).

2)    relate individual performances of Shakespeare’s plays to the history of reception of a given play.

3)    assess the shifting economies and ideologies of cultural production and transmission that are operative at the time a given play is performed.

4)  demonstrate advanced research and writing skills in textual and cultural analysis.

Time Commitment

 To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 9 - 10 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


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About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

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Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

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