Shakespeare the Poet


Course Description

All Winter 2021 courses will take place on Zoom. Readings will be available online and by in-person retrieval.

Shakespeare the player. Shakespeare the playwright. Shakespeare the poet. The strands of his prodigious output are difficult to tease apart. In this short course, we will look at the narrative poems, which constitute only a small segment of his works but show us facets of Shakespeare beyond the many shining passages in the plays and the stirring beauty of the sonnets.

What made Shakespeare turn to stand-alone poems? Why and how did he draw inspiration from stories of the ancient world? How do these poems reflect both ancient and Renaissance concerns about the natures of desire, love, and power? What role did the politics of 16th-century patronage play? We will examine Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece, A Lover’s Complaint, and The Phoenix and the Turtle. For context, we will briefly survey what is known of Shakespeare’s life and times, including an element we can certainly relate to today—the regular outbreaks of the Plague, which closed the playhouses and transformed daily life.

Book to purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop):

    • Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson (9780061673696)

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday 19 January 2021

Course Length: 6 weeks, Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Discussion Team: Kathleen Dunn, Kathe Lieber, Patricia Sikender

Degree Credit: Half-credit

Course Fee: 

$120.00 (standard tuition)

$80.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$145.00 (standard tuition)

$105.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW to TMI

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
or email us at