2022 Summer Program


Class #74

Brush Up On Your Shakespeare

John Angelos

August 14 - August 20, 2022

instructor imageThis song from the musical Kiss Me Kate implores us to “brush up” on the Bard and “to start quoting him now.”

In this class, you will not only quote but also read and discuss three of Shakespeare’s works. Play-goers, performers, teachers, students, critics and scholars galore have been quoting, analyzing, debating, praising and condemning him for over 400 years.

Whatever your past experience with the plays, this is an opportunity to revive an old interest or to develop a new one in the world’s greatest playwright. The class will examine three of his most controversial dramas: Hamlet, Macbeth and The Tempest, looking at plots, characters and themes. The class will discuss the extent to which the plays adhere to or diverge from traditional definitions of tragedy and comedy and how they resemble but go beyond other dramas of their time.

Ultimately, we read these plays because they invite consideration of important moral conundrums. Hamlet does revenge his father’s murder; Macbeth does fulfill the witches’ prophecy; Prospero does avoid death and regain his kingship. But at what cost, for the cost of human actions is central to each of these plays. How, then, do we respond to each of these characters? That should generate some lively discussion.

Bring a copy of each play with you. Annotated paperbacks are readily available and provide helpful historical and literary background material.

John Angelos has a bachelor of science degree in English and drama from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He taught English for 28 years, the last 23 at Whitefish Bay High School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, where he taught poetry and modern literature. Since retiring from full-time teaching, he has taught classes about poetry, modern literature and drama in Milwaukee at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education, the Milwaukee Shakespeare Company and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. His special areas of interest are modernist writers, particularly James Joyce and the women writers of the period, and the American Civil War.

John will contact students prior to class.

Level: All levels

Pricing (per person):
$1180 Dorm Room Package*
$1280 Two-Person Room Package*
$1920 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$675 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 7 meals


NEW IN 2022! In order to register online, you will need to sign into a Clearing User Account. Complete user account info and "How To's" can be found on our Clearing User Account Page.