Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Shakespeare Goes to High School (the Movie!)

As the movie industry continues to reinvent itself, Shakespeare has been a mainstay amidst developing trends.  King John was one of the first silent films, and Taming of the Shrew one of the first to receive a soundtrack. Shakespeare’s characters have even found themselves reinvented as high school students in teen movies! Similarly, as technology has… Continue Reading »


We Need a Little Shakespeare

So ’tis the season to be jolly and maybe think about Shakespeare.  Here are a few tidbits for your holiday pleasure. LETTERS TO SANTA WRITTEN BY SHAKESPEARE CHARACTERS At the end of act 2, scene 7, Shakespeare gave us a lovely song, “Blow, blow, thou winter wind” with the great line “”Heigh Ho, the Holly.”… Continue Reading »


Why isn't Titus Andronicus Taught More Often?

First, I’ll admit that Titus Andronicus isn’t the greatest Shakespeare play, and I know about the dispute concerning Shakespeare’s complete authorship of the play. But it was his first Tragedy and he did write at least some of it–enough to have it included in collected works of his plays.  And in recent years scholars and directors have… Continue Reading »


Columbus Day

Teachers often ask me how to justify teaching a Shakespeare play in an American Literature class. My answer is simple: Teach The Tempest. Many scholars believe that The Tempest was inspired by the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture off the coast of Bermuda in 1609 on its way to Jamestown. The account of that incident written in a… Continue Reading »


Start me up…

One of the most difficult parts of teaching a Shakespeare play is simply getting started. For generations, we began by teaching all the biographical facts about Shakespeare that exist–when he was born, when he married, how many children he had, the missing years, etc. Then we discussed Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, what London was like at… Continue Reading »


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