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> Literature

Shakespeare: For What It’s Worth   

   This class will be taught IN PERSON, in the classroom at the Red Cross building.
   The current American Red Cross pandemic protocols limit the enrollment for this class. A
 waitlist is available.

Enrollment for this class is limited to 9 attendees.

In his play Troilus and Cressida, which is about the Trojan War, Shakespeare’s characters wrestle with some very modern problems. Why are we fighting this war? Is it worth it? What does “worth” mean anyway? Are there absolute values, or is everything contingent? Which is better, consistency or expediency? How is winning different from losing? Do serious questions like these have useful answers, or are they just platitudes? Shakespeare did not know what “postmodern” meant, but the issues raised in this play have a remarkably contemporary feel to them. We might be surprised at how easily our 21st century attitudes find a resonance in this text. Prior to the class, registrants should first read most of Book One of the Iliad for context, then read Shakespeare’s play. Professor Ingram will provide abundant background, but the bulk of the session will be dedicated to discussion.

Online Texts: For Book One of the Iliad, see,
and for Troilus and Cressida,
An email containing these text links will be sent out well before class begins.

William Ingram is Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan. He is known for his work on early modern drama and performance. In his treatment of William Shakespeare, Professor Ingram often focuses on the issues of value and worth that resonate with similar issues we face today.


  • Shakespeare: For What It’s Worth
    Dates: 5/9/2022 - 5/9/2022

  • ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THIS CLASS IS CLOSED. If you are trying to register the day before this class starts or the day of the class, please email or call the office so we can register you over the phone and send you the Zoom Link. Thank you!
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