Ros Barber did a wonderful job, opening my eyes to all kinds of possibilities! The experts she brought in were very knowledgeable as well as entertaining! Thanks to Coursera for making this a reality!
A very well done, interesting and thought-provoking course that not only teaches the basics of the "non-Stratfordian" approach to the study of Shakespeare, but also encourages critical thinking.
by Guillermo C F•
Interesting course to learn more about Shakespeare's authorship.
by Abin G S•
Good course. Hoping for more.
by john c•
I was just curious about the question, Who Wrote Shakespeare, not being attached to any view as to whether or not Shakespeare, as we are told about, was the sole author of the plays. The course seems to me to be mostly a somewhat gleeful and sometimes seemingly sarcastic debunking of lots of evidence cited in support of Shakespeare as the author. Given, it is just an introduction, but I would have liked some space given to debunking some of the suggested alternatives to Shakespeare to give the programme more balance, as the constant, negative, many times equally questionable, proofs that the facts are wrong, meant that the course, instead of presenting an uplifting, reasoned proposition for an open-minded learner, turned into a repetitive diatribe against the Stratfordians. The final statements, that I wholly concur with, about celebrating the continuing new understandings and new knowledge emerging from having a questioning approach was sadly missing from the majority of the course. The only celebratory statement came from Mark Rylance video when he talked about the delight he finds in the exploration of authorship and the backgrounds rather than just a destruction of another groups ideas. That the imagination is best stirred by celebratory, eclectic understandings and explorations, whether it be from a well-based truth, a questionable suggestion or an oft-repeated myth, rather than from an argument based on negativity, discredited ideas and academics reputations. In summary the course is an introduction to and addresses a very interesting issue but the fact that it seems to be almost totally driven by a minutely reasoned, monochromatic unrelenting naysaying philosophy, addressed principally to aggressive Stratfordians or people with a predilection to cognitive dissonance, rather than a open-hearted, open-minded, joyful exploration of the many possibilities that exist. Personally, although giving lots of information and offering many disputed facts, for me the whole has not been enjoyable or uplifting and certainly did not feel like I was in a playground - more like a boxing ring. Close reading and critical thinking can be fun, enlightening and both intellectually and spiritually enhancing, as can uncertainty but I nearly drowned in the deluge of negativity only being rescued by the optimism of Mark Rylance.
by Phil G•
This course is laughable. Some critical thinking would be good, but there's not much in evidence here. It's absurdly one-sided. I recommend taking a look at this for a more serious discussion of the issue: http://bloggingshakespeare.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Shakespeare_Bites_Back_Book.pdf.
To add insult to injury, the Coursera website won't let me unenroll.
by Ali H•
the explanation is not clear at all. I had to do my own research and do twice the work load to finish this course.