Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays/hamlet

Owning and Personalizing Shakespeare

This video was making the rounds a couple of weeks ago, and I finally had a chance to see it. Impressionist/Comedian Jim Meskin performs Clarence’s speech from Richard III (I.iv) as well-known celebrities and characters: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8PGBnNmPgk] What I especially appreciate about his performance is that Meskin chose which voices to use based on the content of… Continue Reading »


Weeds, Weeds, Weeds

As I’ve just spent several hours in my garden doing quite an onerous task, I had this thought: Shakespeare may have avoided spending lots of time back home with Ann and the kids to avoid something that all suburban homeowners know only too well–weeding. But he cleverly included lots of references to weeds throughout his  sonnets… Continue Reading »


Shakespeare and comics?

~by Conor McCreery I’m pretty sure I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking: FINALLY! Finally someone has put together a medium and a creative genius that work together even better than chocolate and peanut butter.  No, I’m not kidding. Shakespeare was always meant to be seen. His plays have a special mix of magic and… Continue Reading »


More Than Papier-Mâché Characters

~by Anthony Del Col The best Shakespeare production I’ve ever seen was also the worst. A friend of mine was doing a community theatre production of Titus Andronicus years ago and it was quite bad (with the exception of my friend, who may be reading this… oops!).  Bad acting, directing, sets, costumes and props (a… Continue Reading »


Ghostly Shakespeare

Shakespeare wrote some pretty scary stuff. Besides the chilling Witches in Macbeth, he wrote in several roles for ghosts. We’re familiar with the Ghost of Hamlet’s father, which appears and re-appears to spur Hamlet onto revenge (and may have been played by Shakespeare himself when the play was produced by his company). There is also… Continue Reading »


Teaching Shakespeare and ELL/ESL Students

Teaching Shakespeare to students whose native language is not English can be a real challenge for teachers.  Last year we received a number of requests for resources to help teachers introduce Shakespeare to ELL/ESL students.  In response to those requests, we created new web pages on our Teach and Learn site.   Teachers with experience teaching ELL/ESL… Continue Reading »


Hamlet on Film (part 2)

As I mentioned yesterday, not every filmic presentation of HAMLET is wholly the play by Shakespeare, just like the play and novel adaptations are not!  The first is The Lion King.  While not so clear at first (and certainly with much happier music), the plot of the prince usurped by his evil uncle is a… Continue Reading »


Hamlet on Film (part 1)

Films offer directors and actors a chance to take their ideas either to a totally unrealistic setting and space, or to make the piece entirely real.  Both Michael Almereyda and Franco Zeffirelli accomplish the later with their heavily realistic films in the modern day and in a medieval castle.  Their actors are able to speak… Continue Reading »


Hamlet and English Language Learners

This is Hamlet month at the Folger.  Our production of Hamlet begins previews on April 21st, and it promises to be an exciting one.  In addition, Folger Education debuted its new webpages for teaching Hamlet to non-native speakers of English, or ELL/ESL students, this week.  Our Shakespeare for ELL and ESL Students introduces teachers to the… Continue Reading »


Extra Credit Reading: Hamlet

To continue “Hamlet” month, I bring you books.  Fiction based on Shakespeare is a major item “within the book and volume of my brain.” I did this back in January for Macbeth,  and do plan on more!  Hamlet itself is based on the tale of Amleth, which you can tell almost immediately is the basis… Continue Reading »