SOAS University of London

Centre for English Studies, School of Arts

Global Shakespeare

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year

Shakespeare enjoys a remarkable cultural afterlife all over the world in various languages and cultures. This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to read, interpret, and analyse the “Global Shakespeare” across these different literary traditions and cultures.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, students will have

  • gained a critical understanding of Shakespeare’s works and his global legacy across various cultures;
  • acquired the background knowledge and critical skills necessary to analyse the “Global Shakespeares” in the respective political, social, literary, and cultural context of their production;
  • acquired familiarity with the most significant critical approaches to Shakespeare’s plays, authorship, and to “global Shakespeare” as concept and practice (including postcolonial readings).


Total of 22 weeks of teaching with a one hour lecture and a one hour tutorial session per week.

Scope and syllabus

The course will introduce students to the critical studies, translations, and adaptations of Shakespeare around the globe. Texts, films, and performances will be discussed in class. Selected theoretical and critical texts will also be introduced to support and guide these discussions.

The objective of the course is to give students a critical overview, through primary and secondary texts, of the different ways Shakespeare was and continues to be popular and relevant to readers, critics, audience, and performers across cultures. The course will also provide students interested in comparative literature and theatre with the necessary foundation for further research.

Method of assessment

  • One three-hour written examination (worth 60%)
  • Three essays of 1,500 - 2,000 words (worth 10% each)
  • Preparation and participation in classroom discussion (worth 10%).

Suggested reading

We use the Folger digital editions of Shakespeare’s plays, which are available online here. You will be required to buy or borrow a small selection of the adaptations and to attend film screenings where relevant. A detailed module reading list will be circulated in Week 1 of Term 1.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules