Shakespeare is…

  • a rite of passage for high school students 
  • the most daunting item on your homeschool to-do list 
  • best left to experts 
  • something essential you forgot to cover… until now!

All of the above can be true for you!

Shakespeare is a subject that parents like to hire out. That’s why we keep the Bard on our class roster! We pick a new play every year and take a willing troop of teens on an in-depth journey through its challenges and adventures. In four weeks!

This masterclass offers online resources, class discussion with other teenagers, and a passionate expert to guide the way.

We’ve got thee covered! 😀

Class Overview

Made With You in Mind

Can we talk about the elephant in the room?

Shakespeare’s works can feel like a gallery of incomprehensible paintings.

They are famous and vaguely familiar, but like many things, we need help appreciating something we don’t know much about.

Enter the transformative power of a good guide! And we don’t mean your old high school English notes. 😉

Here are some of the principles that guide our Shakespeare study.

  • Thorough and supported reading is key. We read the whole play, scene by scene, making sure comprehension is solid every step of the way. Students gain exposure to new language and learn to use context clues to derive meaning.
  • Complex language is paired with interpretation. Our assignments invite students to dig deep to decipher metaphors, themes and other figurative language. Higher-level thinking for the win!
  • Discussion with others helps generate new insight. This class is a crowd-pleaser partly because of the class bond. Students are constantly debating the latest plot twist or a character’s blunder or daring deception. It’s “spilling the tea” for the 16th century.
  • Connections are rewarding. This class offers a flurry of online resources, including the latest celebrity performances and modern-day interpretations. We read to understand how a great story relates to us, to current events, to our world. Shakespeare is still relevant in this way!

Please join us as we continue to follow our tradition of offering the study of Shakespeare's work each year.

What We're Reading

Drum roll, please...

Hark! In this semester's pursuit, prithee, let us delve into the tapestry of

📗 The Merchant of Venice! (May 6 - May 31, 2024)

This spring we will explore the world of the Shakespearean “problem comedies” with an up-close-and-personal study of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

Students will find interesting material in this course centered on perhaps Shakespeare’s most controversial character, the Jewish moneylender Shylock, who acts as a foil to the beautiful, virtuous, and extremely intelligent Lady Portia and the beleaguered Venetian merchant Antonio. Throw in the clown, Launcelot Gobbo, a confusing courtship ritual involving the choice among three caskets, several romantic relationships, and the most famous trial in all Shakespeare, and we’ll have tons to discuss!

At Brave Writer®, we read a range of books that address a wide variety of perspectives and include time-bound references. Please be aware that you may experience strong reactions to what you read. By using literature as a teaching tool to foster understanding and growth, we have the opportunity to discuss these evolving ideologies.

We encourage you to pre-read books to determine their appropriateness for your family and to prepare to have discussions on these topics with your students as they participate in the class.

Week by Week

Week One

Class opens with an introduction to the Bard, the Elizabethan theater scene, and background of the play. Discussion and analysis this week focus on Act I. Discussion each week includes student-to-student response as well as direct feedback from our expert instructor.

Week Two

Acts II and III discussion zooms in on character relationships, famous scenes, and a consideration of how the themes in the play land when viewed under a modern lens.

Week Three

This week tackles Acts IV and Act V. Students consider the play as a whole, forming conclusions and preparing for the Week Four writing project.

Week Four

Students bring their four-week exploration to a close with a final project. A range of topics is offered, including creative writing prompts and more traditional essay analysis.

Registration Details

Join Us!

Recommended Ages:

13 - 18

Class Size:
25 students
Class Length:
4 weeks
Class Type:
  • High School

Select from the available class dates below to register for that session:

Susanne Barrett   Session Full

Word on the Street

I used to have some preconceived notions about Shakespeare— that his work was not only cryptic… but also boring. With the right introduction, I was able to discover that neither of those statements is true.

Amy, 16

This has been by far the best Shakespeare class I've ever taken, and the discussion was great!

Ry, 15

I know so so much about Shakespeare now, this has been a huge highlight of my year!!

Avril, 16

I appreciated the level of feedback and individual attention that was offered to me throughout this course.

Leon, 15

More Information

Sample class login

Want to see how our classroom works? Test drive a sample class complete with real class readings, assignments, and instructor comments!

Follow these instructions:

  1. Navigate to If you are a current student, you’ll need to log out in the upper right corner before proceeding.
  2. Log in using these credentials:
    Username: [email protected]
    Password: Brave1
  3. Next, you will land on our Family Dashboard. You'll find a Parent icon and a Student icon to represent classes where the parent or the student is the primary participant. Click on Parent to view parent participation classes. To find classes with direct student-instructor interaction, click on Student.
  4. Click on the class name of interest and start reading posts!
How Our Classes Work Download a class summary
Recommended materials for this class
No Fear Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare Made Easy)
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