Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Discussion-questions

King Lear: A Government Official's Perspective

In our most recent blog post, we featured a unit plan from our Shakespeare in American Life website about patriarchy in King Lear (onstage right now at Folger Theatre) and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Today, we return to Shakespeare in American Life for a look at some fascinating comments about King Lear by Janet… Continue Reading »

Teacher Tuesday: Picking a Play

We know that Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays – though not all of them are taught in our classrooms. We love teaching the recognizable and easily-found Hamlet, Midsummer, Othello, and Macbeth, but there are so many to choose from if you have the time and the inclination to dig deeper. In this week’s Teacher to Teacher videos,… Continue Reading »

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 »

"With every minute you do change a mind,"

Every year the schools participating in our local outreach programs, Shakespeare Steps Out  and Shakespeare for a New Generation, have to select one of Shakespeare’s plays to perform at their respective Festivals. There are always the big populars: Midsummer, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet – but sometimes the teachers are looking for something a little different, or something they… 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 »

Owning Shakespeare's Words

One of the things we regularly like to see is students taking command of Shakespeare’s language as they say it. Showing us what the words mean to them, and making the character saying these words their own. That doesn’t always mean seeing a whole play exactly as Shakespeare wrote it. We’ve seen ownership take many… Continue Reading »

Each New Voice

This afternoon we sat in on the design presentations for Folger Theatre‘s upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. From a practical point of view, we need to see how the Theatre space will be changed so that we can adjust for our programs which take place onstage; but from the perspective of a fan of Shakespeare,… 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 »

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 »

Page 1 of 41234