Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts By: Caitlin Griffin

So quick bright things come to confusion.

Opening weekend has come and gone for Julian Fellowes’s new version of Romeo and Juliet in cinemas, and the numbers were not good. I wouldn’t bring this up again so soon, but for a quote from Fellowes which appeared in an article from BBC News last week: “When people say we should have filmed the original,… Continue Reading »

Ay, there's the point… over there.

Yesterday I stumbled upon this video from Australia’s ABC in 2011 about Shakespeare and his hip relevance to today’s audience. Excited, I started the video, and felt my face twist into a confused squint. A lot of their statements are great! Shakespeare was a great writer. His plays have survived for centuries. His language can… Continue Reading »

Censoring Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s plays are considered by many to be the pinnacle of high art – lovely language with high philosophy and idealized characters. But not everyone is ideal, and many words and turns of phrases are… well… not exactly dinner-table talk.  Shakespeare was writing to be entertaining, and his Elizabethan audience was just as entertained by… Continue Reading »

Tragedies… for Kids!

Earlier this week we were approached by a performing group who was going to use Romeo and Juliet for the first time with their young audience. They were concerned with how to tell the end of the story without being too disturbing or too blase – getting the lesson across without traumatizing their audience. We’ve been… Continue Reading »

Extra Credit: Romeo and Juliet on Film

As you’re probably well aware, there are bazillions of versions of Romeo and Juliet on film. From the silent era through the present day, the pair has inspired countless adaptations from the faithful to the fun-house.  Below I’m listing a few of my favorites, but please share your favorites in the comments! When I was growing… Continue Reading »

Extra Credit: Romeo and Juliet

After spending so much time in the original texts of Romeo and Juliet this month to compare them to the Fellowes’s adaptation (billed in ads as “Shakespeare’s,” hence the frustration), I went home to my very large shelf of Shakespearean adaptations to remind myself of some great examples of how that text has been explored in different ways…. Continue Reading »

Shall I Compare Thee to a Quarto?

It seems we’re not alone in our disappointment with Julian Fellowes’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (sans Shakespeare’s words). While the language still sounds lofty, they’re not Shakespeare’s word choices – and that’s a big deal. Terry Guerin suggested in the comments that one of the quotes was perhaps based on First or Second Quarto language… Continue Reading »

Plays of Preference

I was speaking with Folger Theatre’s resident Dramaturg, Michele Osherow, this morning as she prepared for an on-camera interview. While catching up, I mentioned that my husband would be working on a performance of Measure for Measure during his first year of graduate school – one of my least favorite plays. Michele replied that Measure for Measure is… Continue Reading »

Wherefore art thou NOT Shakespeare?

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTGWNHa1wIQ&w=400&h=225] Well, that’s a disappoinment. A closer watch of the trailer for the upcoming Romeo and Juliet adapted by Julian Fellowes reveals that the play has not only been adapted as a screenplay (which is all well and good), but has also had its language adapted. Sneakily, too, it took awhile for the differences from the lines used… Continue Reading »

Summer Reading

We’ve told you plenty about our new favorite books: How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare and A Horse with Wings, both of which were featured presentations by the authors during our Conference on Teaching Shakespeare in the Elementary Classroom this week. Now that you’re in “summer-mode,” though, maybe you’d prefer a little something more to explore your… Continue Reading »

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