Wherefore be a fool when it comes to Shakespeare? The Cooper Union is offering nine free courses on the Bard and his plays, from February to May. Pick and choose which sessions to attend based on your favorites, or go to all and treat it like a semester of college. Esteemed author, scholar, and dean of faculty William Germano covers theatrical context, tragedy, history, and comedy in courses with titles like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Theater of Sleep” and “Othello: The Theater of Race” — with emphasis on how these works are as relevant today as they were in 1600. Broody Hamlet and gallant Henry V share intellectual real estate with lesser-known plays like Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus. Each talk is an hour long, and it is recommended that you read the plays before class. It may require more work, but you can be certain that the next few months won’t be the winter of your discontent.

Mondays, 6 p.m. Starts: Feb. 2. Continues through May 11, 2015