Brightest Heaven of Invention

Learning From The bard's Insights


This tutorial introduces the student to the writings of Shakespeare through commentary and historical background as well as in class reading. The tutorial requires the student's preparation of the text assigned for each class to assure his comprehension as well as ability to participate in dramatic reading. The memorization of selected portions from each play will be assigned. 

The tutorial covers 3 plays a semester and is conducted in a "reader's theater" format. Students are assigned parts to read and as we read through, I guide them in a discussion of each play. No grade will be assigned for the course by ETS, but a written evaluation of the students performance will be provided at the end of each semester. 

Students should also view the film versions given below. They are all available through, but you will definitely want to keep the fast forward button readily available during most of them. You will be greatly helped during the watching if you turn on the English subtitles.

This tutorial is available for free download to all ETS students and is free for live participation to GBT IV students. Shakespeare is highly recommended to GBT IV students because he is the first major great books author we can read without translation. Closely studying how a truly great author masterfully uses the English language will be a great lesson and inspiration to your own articulation. 

Given the extensive use of reader's theater and the recitations that must be delivered, a headset and webcam are required for this course. 

For excellent background on Shakespeare please see How to Read and Understand Shakespeare and William Shakespeare: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.

Course Description
This tutorial guides the student through an extensive analysis of Shakespeare's plays through in class reading and discussion. The class focuses on Shakespeare's plays' immense cultural importance as well as their inherent delight and humor both for his own day and our own. The course also gives the student a better understanding and appreciation of Shakespearean language and literary forms.

All class editions are from the Signet Classics Series. To purchase simply click on the title of the book and your browser will be forwarded to the Amazon bookstore. Please use the recommended texts given below as they have many helpful notes and reading from different texts creates much confusion during reading Theater as different texts often assign parts to different characters.  Complete Audio Shakespeare

Students should familiarize themselves with four humors.

First semester

Second Semester