Tuesdays, July 6–August 10, 6:45–9:15 p.m. ET

Instructor: Colleen Kennedy

Shall I compare thee to…? In this 6-week course, we will read and discuss the 154 poems collectively published as Shakespeare’s Sonnets in 1609. Together, we will:

  • Consider how the sonnets have been read as autobiographical and learn more about the historical personages that have been put forth as the Youth and the Dark Lady.
  • Learn about the history of the sonnet, from its medieval Italian roots to 21st century experimentation with the form.
  • Look at examples from Shakespeare’s contemporaries to understand variations on mode, form, theme, and genre.
  • Try our hand at creative writing exercises—from erasure poetry to composing an “exquisite corpse” sonnet to generating our own original sonnets.
  • Discuss the appearance of sonnets within Shakespeare’s plays, such as Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and As You Like It. 
  • Grapple with desire, time, death, and immortality.


Shakespeare’s Sonnets with Colleen Kennedy

Jul 6–Aug 10

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