Shakespeare For All

Shakespeare For All

The bard’s life, poems & plays

  • Overview
  • Instructor
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you
34 h 35 min
81 Episodes

Celebrate the life, poetry, and plays of William Shakespeare in this new audio series brought to you by world-class scholars from Harvard, Oxford, and the Shakespeare Institute; and award-winning actors such as Keith Hamilton Cobb, Kelly Hunter MBE, and Amanda Harris

What You'll Learn

  • The story of Shakespeare’s life and the key historical, religious, and cultural developments that shaped his world and work

  • The strategies that will help you understand and enjoy Shakespeare’s poems and plays from your very first reading

  • How to explore and reflect on the key questions raised by Shakespeare’s works

see more
  • Dr. Maria Devlin McNair
    Dr. Maria Devlin McNair
    Shakespeare scholar and PhD, Harvard University
  • Professors Interviewed
    Professors Interviewed
    Michael Dobson, Stephen Foley, Stephen Greenblatt, Farah Karim-Cooper
Shakespeare’s Life, World and Works
6 Episodes

Teaser: Shakespeare For All


1. Why Read Shakespeare?


Learn what makes Shakespeare’s writing pleasurable, unique, and newly relevant for every generation, and discover how Shakespeare invites us not only to watch but actually to take part in his plays.

2. Shakespeare’s World


Take a tour through Shakespeare’s era in history and the profound political, religious, and cultural changes that shaped his work, including the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the opening of the first-ever public theaters in London.

3. Shakespeare’s Life


Next, find out more about Shakespeare himself, including why people have debated whether William Shakespeare really wrote the plays, and how his early education prepared him to become the world’s greatest playwright.

4. Shakespeare’s Works


Follow the trajectory of Shakespeare’s career--the kinds of plays he wrote and how he developed as a dramatist over two decades of writing--and learn why your edition of Shakespeare is not the same as the text Shakespeare originally wrote.

5. How to Read Shakespeare


Discover student-tested strategies for understanding and enjoying Shakespeare’s plays from your very first reading, with insights into Shakespeare’s poetic language, his construction of character and plot, and the reason why there are always new meanings to discover in his work.

Recommended for you

Got questions? We've got the answers
  • What is Himalaya?
    Himalaya is an audio platform that delivers the inspiration and knowledge you need to achieve your most ambitious goals. In just 10 minutes a day, you’ll learn the secrets of happiness, success, and more from some of the world's highest achievers and thought leaders. From our powerful life stories to high-impact courses, you'll find what you need to get inspired and get ahead.
  • Is there a free version that I can try out?
    By default, you’ll have 7 days after signing up before you are charged. You may also be given some promo codes with a longer free trial period. During the free trial period (7 days or longer), you will have full access to all paid content in Himalaya Learning.
  • How can I redeem a promo code?
    You can edit your promo code on the checkout page. Go to and select "Start 7-day free trial". You need to register your account or log in to your account before you go to the checkout page. Click “Have a promo code to apply?” and replace the default promo code with the code you have.
  • Why do you need my credit card?
    In order to verify your identity, we require credit card validation upfront. We'll never charge your card until the free trial period is over. And unless you'd like to cancel, no further action will be needed on your part to begin recurring monthly payments as an official Himalaya listener! If you ever have any questions about payments or charges, please don’t hesitate to contact us at We’ll help you solve your problem as fast as we can.
  • How do I cancel my free trial?
    1. On desktop: Go to; click your username on the upper right corner, and select “Membership” from the drop-down list; Click your active membership, then click on "Next Billing Date >" and "Cancel Subscription" 2. On Android mobile: In the app, go to "account" and choose the “member details” page, then choose to unsubscribe; 3. On iOS mobile: If you initially subscribe on the web, you cannot cancel it on the iOS mobile app. You need to follow the instructions for cancellation on desktop; if you subscribe via the iOS mobile, you can also turn off the automatic renewal via the iTunes/Apple ID settings.
  • How do I cancel my subscription?
    Subscribed from the Website?
    You can click here to unsubscribe. If you cancel the subscription during the trial period, it will not automatically renew; if you cancel the subscription after successful renewal, the next deduction cycle will not automatically renew.
    Subscribed from IOS or Android apps?
    You can cancel the subscription through Apple or Google Play settings. If you cancel the subscription 48 hours before the expiration of the trial period, the subscription will not be automatically renewed; if you cancel the subscription after successful renewal, the next deduction cycle will not be automatically renewed. You can find detailed information on how to unsubscribe from the link below:Cancel a subscription from Apple  Cancel a subscription from Google Play

Himalaya Premium

Inspirational stories
Through our engaging, true-life stories, you can learn from the world’s most extraordinary people.
High-impact courses
Knowledge really is power, and our courses give you the insights you need to get ahead.
Emotional Boosts
Sometimes, all we need is the right encouragement at the right time—at Himalaya, we’ve got you covered.