12 May 2020
Shakespeare, Shakespeare, Shakespeare. Everyone knows the name. I came to uni not really sure what to expect in terms of how much Shakespeare I’d be doing, but it turns out that my course at ARU offers a nice bit of flexibility.
It is a given that in any English literature course that you’ll come across Shakespeare, be it GCSE, A Level, an undergraduate degree or higher. Here at ARU, I’ve only come across Shakespeare three times in the space of three years. But that was mostly my choice.
I’ve studied Antony and Cleopatra, Macbeth (not one I like; my Drama GCSE piece was enough to put me off it for life), and The Tempest. The great thing about uni? Your tutors love it when you disagree with them or can go into detail about things you didn’t like about a text! Trust me, my Renaissance Magic tutor (that's a module from my final year) quickly learned my true feelings about Macbeth.
Another good thing about ARU is, once you complete Year 1, you can choose your modules, with only one or two compulsory ones per year.
Shakespeare could pop up anywhere of course, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your feelings toward the Bard. As mentioned, he popped up in my Renaissance Magic module. A friend of mine looked at Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night on her Spectacle and Representation in Renaissance Drama module. He appeared in our first-year History of English Literature module, too. And… that’s really it.
Of course Shakespeare will be mentioned in a degree about English literature, but you wouldn't want to study nothing else. It's good to have options.
The main word I would throw out there about studying Shakespeare at ARU? Variation. Or, as Antony and Cleopatra would have it, 'infinite variety'.