Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeare/history

The Power of Language

Shakespeare’s England was not overseen by a democratic government. Monarchs ruled for life, and successors were chosen based on royal bloodlines or who won which war. Despite this, Shakespeare knew that the public’s perception of a monarch went a long way towards the success of their reign. He gave his characters the power of language… Continue Reading »



Celebrating Queen Elizabeth II

The Anglophiles among you may have spent the morning watching (or streaming) the live coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration. The reigning monarch of Britain has spent 60 years on the throne, and is still beloved and revered by her subjects. Shakespeare’s own Queen Elizabeth (the first of that name), was one of… Continue Reading »


Experiencing Shakespeare: An Electronic Field Trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library

“Speak the speech, I pray you, … trippingly on the tongue,”  Hamlet’s advice to the players. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOZQoeMRMhc&w=560&h=315] When teachers assign their students to perform a scene from a play by William Shakespeare, what should their students do to get ready?  How can teachers best support their students in preparing their scenes?  Steer them away from “translated”… Continue Reading »


SHAKESPEARE IS: A New Public Radio Series and Education Site

~by Robert Miller A new six-part public radio series, Shakespeare Is, will be broadcast nationwide in 2013. The series is being produced by two-time Peabody Award winner, Steve Rowland, (The Miles Davis Radio Project and Leonard Bernstein: An American Life) in conjunction with consulting producer David Chambers of the Yale School of Drama..  The series… Continue Reading »


"Faith, here's an Equivocator,"

Very often, it is not necessary to teach the history behind Shakespeare’s plays to enjoy them in the classroom. It is merely enough to speak the words, explore the text, and get to know the characters. If possible, however, the influence of monarchs on Shakespeare’s plays can be just as interesting. How is Macbeth a dramatization of the… Continue Reading »


How Blogs Chang Everything

~by Carol Kelly What makes a good blog entry? An interesting subject? Controversial subject matter? A radical viewpoint? Or is it just witnessing the powerful influence a blog can exert? In preparing a blog entry in response to How Shakespeare Changed Everything, by Stephen Marche I found a series of fascinating blog entries in response… Continue Reading »


Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.

We’re noticing something around the internet lately: educators are using contemporary music to enhance lesson plans. This may not be up-to-the-minute news. A lot of us remember at least this scene from Renaissance Man starring Danny DeVito where the class of military privates presents the summary of Hamlet as a rap. Or the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s interpretation… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and Current Events: War

One quote we hear from students over and over again is “Shakespeare doesn’t relate to my life.” In a sense, they could be right: Shakespeare wrote his plays 400 years ago, often about subject matter even older than that! However, the topics he explored inside of the action are what keep us coming back. Quoted out… Continue Reading »


Henry VIII: All is True?

After an incredible summer with the Teaching Shakespeare Institute, the Folger has been overtaken by Tudor-mania! The current exhibition, Vivat Rex!, commemorates the 500th anniversary of Henry’s ascension to the throne of England, and the Theatre is rehearsing Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, also known as All is True. With all the pop-culture fervor for the polygamist king, it… Continue Reading »