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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Who Wrote Shakespeare by University of London

207 ratings
101 reviews

About the Course

This free course from the University of London explores critical thinking, and the interpretation of texts, through the Shakespeare authorship question. Using doubt about Shakespeare’s authorship as our playground, we will explore the key concept of authorship attribution, while developing skills in literary analysis, interpretation, and argument. Through forensic exploration of key texts, you will learn why Shakespeare’s authorship is questioned, and what evidence is cited on both sides of the debate. For those of you interested in exploring the works of Shakespeare from a new angle, or just wanting to hone your analytical thinking skills, this course offers an introduction to a fascinating area of interest. Those of you already interested in the Shakespeare authorship question will be encouraged to question your own assumptions in fruitful ways. Whether undertaken as a standalone course, or as preparation for the University of London BA in English, this course will be food for thought....

Top reviews

May 18, 2020

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!

Feb 20, 2018

Great Course with many interesting and innovative concepts. Thanks to all the folks who must have worked hard and long to put this course on the internet. Dr Quincy

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76 - 99 of 99 Reviews for Introduction to Who Wrote Shakespeare

By Gerald J

Mar 7, 2021

I enjoyed this course and feel i learned a lot. i particularly appreciated the even-handed way the material was presented with no attempt to 'push' any particular alternative authorship candidate. The transcripts aren't great, but that is no real problem if you actually listen and pay attention to the lecture.

By Molly W

Mar 14, 2018

I've been researching this topic privately for a decade. It was immensely useful for me to take this basics course which reinforced my understanding of the fundamental facts of the case, and helped me to root my own inquiry in the conversation at large.

By Laura R

Nov 23, 2021

V​ery comprehensive course, easy to follow and to understand. Sometimes it felt like a reaching to prove the non-stradfordian understanding, but, nonetheless, their evidence was well presented. A nice course to make you reflect.

By Ivy A D S

Aug 18, 2019

What I learnt most was the art of approaching any topic of study with an open mind rather than with presets. It helps open up a world of possibilities and endless discoveries for me the perpetual learner.

By Luisa S

Sep 14, 2020

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 Hiromi K

Feb 25, 2021

Great fun! It was my first experience leaning with coursera. I'm really happy I could take such a remarkable course while I was in Japan!

By Carol P

Dec 29, 2020

Very informative, patiently explained, for anyone who loves details about Shakespeare's works and Shakspere's personal history,

By Eliška B

Nov 1, 2020

Amazing course. Mind opening. Dr Ros Barber is very good speaker and she makes the topic interesting.

By Linda

Dec 12, 2021

Very interesting subject! A defying level! It triggers to more investigation and study!

By Tara A O

May 19, 2021

I absolutely loved this, Ros Barber: *new idol* 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼


Sep 4, 2020

i have no money. can you give certificate without money?


Dec 16, 2020

Helpful & interesting course

By Doria A

Nov 21, 2021

S​imply excellent.

By Ishika S

Jul 9, 2021

It was amazing

By ساره ي ا

Jan 10, 2021


By Jim O

Jan 14, 2021

Intense course. Not for the mildly curious. Roz Barber's knowledge of the subject matter is truly encyclopedic. The quizzes at the end of each chapter are tough (maybe a little too tough) , so pay attention and think.

By Matias V

May 22, 2021

Great course! Although I was a little shocked that there was not a single woman being interviewed in the module conclussions. Are there no female scholars in this matter?

By Guillermo C F

Sep 7, 2020

Interesting course to learn more about Shakespeare's authorship.

By Abin G S

Aug 12, 2020

Good course. Hoping for more.

By john c

Jun 9, 2021

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

Mar 1, 2021

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:

To add insult to injury, the Coursera website won't let me unenroll.

By Ali H

Feb 5, 2021

the explanation is not clear at all. I had to do my own research and do twice the work load to finish this course.

By 8A A A M

Dec 12, 2021

good but in the quiz's when showing the answers its important to show the multiple choice answers too