Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Examples Galore!

A picture is worth a thousand words… on Tuesday, I wrote about the wealth of possibilities that lie in students working on illumination projects using Shakespeare’s text. But better to show than tell! Below are a few examples of some of the work that students have done in Folger’s High School Fellowship Program. And to kick off our upcoming month about Hamlet, all of the projects were created using that particular play by Folger fellows of 2008.

A Psychological Portrait of Hamlet
In this power point presentation, Rafael combined text and images to form an impressionistic portrait of the character Hamlet. His research entailed reading various psychological interpretations of the character, including Freudian analysis. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’ s theories about the five stages of grief also influenced his concept about the motivations for Hamlet’s behavior in the play.

See Rafael’s powerpoint: Hamlet Powerpoint

Hamlet: “To be or not to be” The Graphic Novel
Choosing Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy as his test subject, Jeffrey sought to discover the best ways in which Shakespeare could be conveyed through the format of a comic book. He hoped this combination might spark interest in Shakespeare in kids and teens who might be put off by Shakespeare’s language.

Read Jeffrey’s comic: Hamlet Comic

“To Be Or Not To Be”: The Ultimate Nihilist Question
As part of her exploration of nihilism in Hamlet, Renee created a college. She wanted to use an image of Hamlet with the skull because she felt this illustrated Hamlet questioning death. She used the “To be or not to be” soliloquy from 3.2 because, for her, it sumed up the ultimate nihilist question: is life worth living? And she felt it gave the typical nihilistic answer, which is: no, it is not. Renee made Hamlet and the skull black and white so that it would stand out the most. She also felt that using black and white was good way of reiterating the two extremities of his question, to live or to die. Says Renee, “Collage is one of my favorite types of art to make, so I was thrilled to able to incorporate it into my project.”

See Renee’s collage:

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