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Shakespeare lived over 400 years ago, but his works are as alive today as they were then. Who was this man and where did he come from? How did he become such a famous playwright? What about the rumors that Shakespeare didn’t really write the plays that are attributed to him? In this student inspired class, we will look at the time and culture that surrounded Shakespeare’s life. We will see how the culture he lived in inspired and shaped him. We’ll dig into the known facts about his life and investigate what life was like for a person of his position. The class will also look at the political climate of the time and how Shakespeare’s plays provided an opportunity to comment on the intrigues of court and politics. We’ll also look at and evaluate some of the theories that Shakespeare was not actually the writer of the plays. Of course, we’ll spend time with his work and pick scenes, insults and characters to analyze, practice and present. Student input and interest will provide a framework for some of the works we study.