Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts By: Folger Education

"Shall we go draw our numbers, and set on?"

~by Julia Perlowski (title quote from Henry IV, part 2) In my high school honors English class, my well-meaning teacher decided to have us read Macbeth.  I was thrilled.  I had been in classes where teachers played records of famous Shakespearean monologues read by famous people with thick British accents.   Who can forget “Oh, pardon… Continue Reading »


Sneaking Shakespeare

~by Gregg Long These days, Shakespeare has a rather furtive presence in my classroom. Like designer jeans smuggled behind the Berlin Wall, we pull out our copies of Hamlet or the sonnets on the side, with an eye cocked towards the door. Not out of any guilt on our part: you can use The Bard… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare’s Soliloquies: The Original Cutaways?

~by Josh Cabat It is a trope with which we have become extremely familiar, from endless reality shows higher quality fare like Modern Family and The Office. A scene is played out, only to be interrupted by what in the business is known as a cutaway. Here, the character breaks the fourth wall, addresses the… Continue Reading »


Fighting With Truth

~by Gina Voskov My first experience with Shakespeare was in 4th grade. I was asked to play the part of Celia in As You Like It for a Shakespeare festival. I can safely say that at the time I had no idea what I was doing or who Shakespeare was or why I had been… Continue Reading »


Teaching Shakespeare FAQs

Teaching Shakespeare can seem daunting, especially if you’re teaching Shakespeare for the first time or if your students are encountering Shakespeare for the first time. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions. Our experience is that with a little preparation, studying Shakespeare can be fun and rewarding for all students… Continue Reading »


Turns of Phrase: The King James Bible

As we announced this spring, the Folger Shakespeare Library has partnered with Oxford University and the Harry Ransom Center to launch Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible. The project is chockfull of resources that educators may find useful (as well as relatable to studying Shakespeare), including information on the language… Continue Reading »


In the beginning…of the King James Bible

Just as William Shakespeare’s life and work attract myths and speculation, the King James Bible has been privy to a number of legends and half-truths in its 400-year history. And like the works of Shakespeare, the King James Bible has had a profound influence on English-speaking peoples across the globe. The creation and influence of… Continue Reading »


Macbeth at the Movies

Having a sneak peek behind the scenes of a theatrical production is always exciting. The special features on the DVD of the 2008 Folger/Two River production of Macbeth – designed especially with students and teachers in mind – reveal some of the thought processes and deliberations that went on before rehearsals began. Some features also… Continue Reading »


A Teacher Prepares

School begins soon, my vacation shortened by the intense summer I spent at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute. As these drowsy days transform to hectic autumn, I wonder how I will use the TSI experience in my classroom. Over the past few years, I have relied on Shakespeare Set Free to teach Romeo… Continue Reading »


Litmus Test for Romeo and Juliet

My litmus test for a good production of Romeo and Juliet is whether or not the beauty of the balcony scene can help me forget—for the moment—Act 5.