We have a free course, a four-week MOOC: Shakespeare’s Language: Revealing Meanings and Exploring Myths

It begins in supervised mode (i.e. there are mentors available) on Monday 5th September.

You will learn about Shakespeare’s linguistic backdrop, the kinds of words and structures that were available to him, and see how he exploited them. You will discover what Shakespeare’s words meant to Elizabethan audiences, how they constructed particular characters, or particular types of character – male or female. Along the way, we will debunk a few myths – such as, did he really coin thousands of words?

We have been addressing such issues as part of the Encyclopedia of Shakespeare Language project, and we have been doing this with computers. That is a key aspect of this course – you will learn how to use a computer to interrogate our resources and do such research yourselves. And don’t worry: if you can buy a plane or train ticket online, you have sufficient computing skills to do the course!

The course is led by Jonathan Culpeper, and colleagues Sean Murphy, Andrew Hardie and Mathew Gillings.