Joseph Pearce, author of three books on Shakespeare and editor of six of the Ignatius Critical Editions of Shakespeare’s plays, teaches the inaugural course on Shakespeare for the Magnus Fellowship. Join Professor Pearce for this eight-week course as he leads us on a journey into Shakespeare and his times, exploring the deepest dimension of four of his greatest plays: Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and King Lear.




Required Texts:
Romeo & Juliet (Ignatius Critical Edition), ISBN: 978-1-58617-439-2
The Merchant of Venice (Ignatius Critical Edition), ISBN: 978-1-58617-320-3
Hamlet (Ignatius Critical Edition), ISBN: 978-1-58617-261-9
King Lear (Ignatius Critical Edition), ISBN: 978-1-58617-137-7

Recommended Reading:
Joseph Pearce, The Quest for Shakespeare: The Bard of Avond and the Church of Rome (Ignatius) ISBN: 978-1-58617-224-4
Joseph Pearce, Through Shakespeare’s Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (Ignatius) ISBN: 978-1-58617-413-2
Joseph Pearce, Shakespeare on Love: Seeing the Catholic Presence in Romeo and Juliet (Ignatius) ISBN: 978-1-58617-684-6

Course Content

About Instructor

Joseph Pearce

A native of England, Joseph Pearce is Director of Book Publishing at the Augustine Institute, and editor of the St. Austin Review (, editor of Faith & Culture (, series editor of the Ignatius Critical Editions (, senior instructor with Homeschool Connections (, and senior contributor at the Imaginative Conservative. His personal website is The internationally acclaimed author of many books, which include bestsellers such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc, Joseph Pearce is a world-recognized biographer of modern Christian literary figures. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Croatian and Polish. Pearce has hosted two 13-part television series about Shakespeare on EWTN, and has also written and presented documentaries on EWTN on the Catholicism of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. He has participated and lectured at a wide variety of international and literary events at major colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Europe, Africa and South America.

1 Course

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • Course Certificate


  1. Don’t forget to click the COMPLETE LESSON button below the video! This will enable you to move onto the next lesson.
    Also, the recording will be up in a few days if you want to re-watch the class. It will be located exactly where today’s video was.

  2. Greetings Students!

    As you all know, your class is soon to begin. I have a few notes for you in preparation.

    FIRST CLASS: To access your first live class on September 14th, all you need to do is to be logged into your account and go to the home page of the course. Then click on the first lesson: Week 1. At 5:30 Pacific Time, the video screen will become available. You do NOT need to do any additional signing in or downloading of software. It is possible that your computer will ask you permission to access your audio and camera. You need to give permission.

    At the conclusion of the lesson you need to click Complete Lesson. This button is right below the video screen. This will allow you to move onto the next lesson the following week.

    I will be available before, during, and after the lesson if you run into any problems.


    1. It is important that you have a good internet connection. We want to ensure you can hear and participate fully and this is greatly improved with a good connection on your end.

    2. Please have headphones ready. While not always necessary, some computers create an echo and this problem is solved with headphones.

    3. All classes are going to be RECORDED. Following the lesson each week, the recorded class will be posted. You will be able to go back and re-watch each lesson if you like. This is also for the students that can not join us live.

  3. Mr. Pearce,
    I just finished reading “Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton” and “Catholic Literary Giants: A field Guide to the Catholic Literary Landscape.” It is exciting to get to learn from you directly.

  4. Dear Jane,
    In private correspondence you are most welcome to address me as Joseph. During class, I feel that decorum suggests more formality. Mr. Pearce or Professor Pearce would work.
    God bless,

    1. Dear Jane,
      Personally, I am happy to be called Joseph but, within class, decorum probably dictates that I be addressed as Mr. Pearce.
      I’m looking forward to seeing you in class on Monday,
      God bless,