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Shakespeare’s Pandemics

English Taster Lecture

Speaker: Dr Daniel Swift, Associate Professor in English

Date: Wednesday 3rd November 2021, 4:30-5:30pm

William Shakespeare’s career was shaped by the plague in London. One particularly severe outbreak killed perhaps fifteen per cent of the population of the city, and even during the milder plague years the playhouses were closed and Londoners lived in terror. 

Perhaps because of this fear, the plague does not appear often in Shakespeare’s plays, but when it does it has a particular force. 

What can Shakespeare’s plays – and the writings of his contemporaries – teach us about how to understand the experience of living through a pandemic, and what happens when pandemics end?

This taster will also include an introductory overview of studying at NCH, and there will be ample time for Q&A with Faculty and Student Ambassadors. 

Here’s what previous participants have said about our English Taster Lectures:

“I loved the exploration of the topic and the diverse range of views. It’s opened my mind to new concepts and left me feeling very motivated, so thank you!”

“This event was informative, interesting, and worthwhile. I would highly recommend it to those with a passion for the subject, as well as those who are still unsure which university course would be right for them.”

“I enjoyed the interactive portions of the lecture and found the material really engaging. I also felt like I learnt something which I can apply to my A-Levels.”

“Extremely helpful in figuring out what the course will be like. Ambassadors were very helpful, and questions were answered so quickly.”

“The points made were fascinating, and I had no trouble understanding any of the content; some of the other university taster lectures I’ve attended have had a tendency to over-complicate analysis.”

“The English Taster was interactive and extremely informative. I learnt a lot about NCH and the courses they offer, so very helpful.

“The lecturer explored different points of view and introduced contextual information that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. He was clearly passionate about this subject, and all of the other staff (as well as the students) also seemed enthusiastic to help and answer questions :)”

“A wonderful and welcoming experience!”