University of Chicago's Basic
Program of Liberal Arts Education
for Adults + Graham School
Zoë Eisenman
Shakespeare’s Henriad

A country divided, the legitimacy of leadership questioned, a wrong-headed foreign war, rulers who think God is on their side and a son’s attempt to rise to his father’s expectations—these are some of the themes that resonate in the four plays of Shakespeare’s “Henriad.” Shakespeare uses England’s medieval kings to explore the inner workings of human nature and of political life in a way that is timeless even though it is history. For this course students will read Richard II, Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 and Henry V.