Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays/othello

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 »


But by Reflection…

~by Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself, But by reflection, by some other things. (Julius Caesar, I.2) A few days ago, I had the opportunity to meet with several 10th graders who were studying Othello. The classroom teacher let me loose, so after a very brief discussion (which consisted of… Continue Reading »


Experience, O, thou disprovest report! (Part 2)

~by Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger On Tuesday I shared a Folger-favorite activity where students create the theatre-going experience of an Elizabethan crowd to see why Shakespeare’s plays had to be so arresting. To continue the experience of bringing words to life, I encourage students to be up, moving around, playing with the language and the motions…. Continue Reading »


Discussing OTHELLO

Today’s student matinee of Othello had a great crowd of high schoolers from several different schools. Though there was some uncomfortable twittering during some dramatic moments, for the most part they were engaged with the performance. Afterwards, the actors returned for a talk-back with the students who asked some pretty interesting questions about the characters, especially… Continue Reading »


"Have you heard the argument? Is there no offence in 't?"

~Hamlet Folger Theatre hosts student matinees for their innovative productions each season. School groups attend in droves to see fresh life breathed into Shakespeare’s texts, or a creative new concept or setting which sets the production apart from others. Occasionally, however, an audience member at one of these performances will take offense to an interpretation, a… Continue Reading »


Dear Will: Are my discourses dull?

We are about halfway through the fall semester of the High School Fellowship Program. Every year we bring students from public and private schools from DC, MD, and VA to study three Shakespeare plays from three perspectives: scholar, performer, and audience member. The students all bring unique ideas to the table and challenge themselves and… Continue Reading »


Which Imitates What?

Yesterday was our Theatre’s first rehearsal for Othello, where the non-Production staff of the Folger gets to learn what the upcoming production’s concept, design, and themes will look like. We can often see more of ourselves in our history than in a reflection of our present. This will not be a “modern-setting” Shakespeare where the men… Continue Reading »