William Shakespeare, The Globe Theatre and Some Trivia

shakespeare is still a mystery

Shakespeare is still a mystery.  You could read Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare if you want to investigate the great question marks about Shakespeare’s life and times.  Watch this short videoclip.  What was Shakespeare’s “impact” on the English language?

See what a famous British actor, Stephen Fry, says about Shakespeare.  What are some of your curiosities about William Shakespeare? About the Elizabethan Times?

My love is my decay!

A Waste of Shame.  The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets : this is the film we are going to watch together.  Some parts will have to be skipped, since you are underage, so L not allowed to see them in class.

http://youtu.be/jX7A4gYSLmw

A Waste of Shame

Introduction to Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Mark Rylance gives his thoughts on the Shakespeare authorship controversy and how he came to believe that the man from Stratford was not the real author.

More from former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Mark Rylance about the Shakespeare authorship controversy, including his response to the claim that those people who don’t believe the man from Stratford wrote the plays are “crackpots”.

Trivia about Shakespeare

Look at these two websites.  What are the “facts” that puzzled you the most?

http://absoluteshakespeare.com/trivia/facts/facts.htm

http://www.shmoop.com/william-shakespeare/trivia.html

shakespeare_trivia_anthology

The Globe

A short documentary about the Globe Theater, its history and present – made for a high school assignment.

If you want to learn more about Elizabethan theatre a good website to start from is the following:

http://www.theatrehistory.com/british/bellinger001.html

If you want to go on a virtual tour of the Globe, just get ready and click here

Ever wondered how Shakespeare’s plays were pronounced at the time?  Watch this this interesting short informative video to find out .

Last but not least, if you want to understand the relevance of Shakespeare’s language in nowadays English, you should learn something about the history of the language you are learning and reading it at this very moment! 🙂

Macbeth

macbeth-title1Warning: Macbeth is supposed to upset people.  It shows life at its most brutal and cynical, in order to ask life’s toughest question.

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Revise what we studied and did in class by going to this website: watch the videos first, then read the revision parts and do the tests.  Fun guaranteed.  This is proof that learning can be fun-tastic!

A really interesting website where you can have fun and at the same time learn (in a more creative way) lots about Shakespeare’s play.  See by yourself if I am not right!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/shakespeare/60secondshakespeare/

The Characters

At the play’s outset, Macbeth is a noble, loyal warrior who shuns the idea of betraying his good king. Time is a critical theme in Macbeth, and within a short period, Macbeth becomes a schemer, a murderer, a king, and a tyrant. While at the play’s beginning he has a passionate marriage and feels ambitious about his future, in the end he feels life is only “a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.”

Themes

Macbeth is considered by many scholars to be Shakespeare’s darkest play in its examination of evil and how briskly morality is sacrificed in the quest for power. Ambition obliterates the line between wrong and right. Significantly, it is also one of Shakespeare’s most topical plays, as its exploration of the role of the monarchy paid homage to England’s new king, King James I, the first ruler of both England and Scotland. Macbeth—set in Scotland— was likely intended as a tribute to King James’s heritage. King James believed in witches, and witches open Macbeth and drive the action. King James believed in the healing power of the monarchy. It was an accepted belief in Shakespeare’s time that English monarchs ruled by divine right; they sat on the throne because God had chosen them to rule, and attempting to usurp them was doomed to fail. This is a central argument of Macbeth: Though Macbeth tries to interfere with destiny, his illegitimate reign is as brief as it is bloody.

Guilt, madness, violence, and the supernatural all receive attention from Shakespeare in this short play, while he also explores gender roles, leadership, loyalty, and concepts of time.

Top 10 Questions

At its core, Macbeth is an answer to a question asked in Macbeth’s day, in Shakespeare’s, and in ours: How does evil overtake a human being?

 

Othello

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othello

If the video above is not your cup of tea, well try with the following one.  It may be what you were looking for!


Just amazed at what some students manage to do.  I found this video made by a student and it is evidence that you must know a literary work inside out to create what he did.

Visit this blog run by an American teacher of English literature.  You can read some of his students’ comments on Iago.

I keep telling you how contemporary Shakespeare’s works are, how helpful it is to study the works of the great Bard, the Ur-author (my invented word, my coinage to refer to Shakespeare as the “original” – ur means original in German – writer, the playwright and poet who inspired most writers that followed him up to the present time!).  Look at the two videos.  One is a funny rendering of the tragey, the other is a very moving reading at the White House by an actor of oustanding calibre.  Is it possible to understand the puns and antics of the rap song if you do not have a good grasp of the play?  Is it possible to understand the purport of the actor’s choice of literary work to be read in front of Barack Obama at the White House? Why do you think he chose this very passage?  The tragedy develops among different themes the issue of race and it is this very topic that somehow kindles some stereotypical ideas present in the rap performance. What are they?  What is the initial pun (play on words) at the very opening of the sketch?

Romeo and Juliet

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