|"The Play's the Thing"
|Doubt thou the stars are fire ...
An Ophelia Gallery
a web page of all things Ophelia
(shhh...don't SAY it!)
|All high school students LOVE Shakespeare, right? If you think that's true, try enthusiastically telling them that you'll be studying Shakespeare and his work for a month and see what happens--I predict a response similar to the groundlings' reactions to bad acting. But, this doesn't have to be true; there are a lot of ways to make Shakespeare both FUN and INTERESTING.|
|Second, find some references to Shakespeare's works in modern television shows (South Park does the death scene of Hamlet) and movies (Renaissance Man). Also, make sure students know that some modern movies they already like -- O, 10 Things I Hate About You, and She's the Man -- are just modern adaptations of Othello, Taming of the Shrew, and Twelfth Night.|
|Finally, remember that, even though Shakespeare has been dead for almost 400 years, we don't have to continue teaching his work the stale, old way it's been taught for the last 400 years. His work is still relevant to today's teens (I mean, hello, incest, insanity, love, greed, jealousy, murder, magic, what's not to like?), we just need to get them engaged. Don't be afraid to have fun and get creative!|
|Third, incorporate fun, offbeat exercises:
* Engage in a Shakespearean Insult war--the
object is to get your opponent to laugh.
* Play Hamlet Death Bingo--create a bingo
card to predict which characters will be
killed first .
* Learn about the curse that has surrounded
Macbeth since its first performance.
* Take the online quiz "What is Your
|No Fear Shakespeare from Sparknotes
(original text side-by-side with modern text)
|First and foremost, let's stop assigning roles to students and having them read aloud. Shakespeare's plays were meant to be viewed, not read, so roll in the VCR/DVD player and let them watch and listen to people who actually KNOW what the lines mean. Instruct students not to get distracted by the language, but focus on clues like body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Before you know it, they'll be laughing at the jokes.|
(a one-man show of Macbeth featuring the voices of characters from The Simpsons)
|"The Regina Monologues"
from The Simpsons Season 15, episode
317-1504 (Originally aired 11/23/03)
|Thy Father is a Gorbellied Codpiece: Create Over 1,000 of Your Own Shakespearean Insults
by Barry Craft
|The Elizabethan Insult and Curses of an Elizabethan Nature, or How to Cuss Like an Elizabethan Sailor|