Shakespeare & Elizabethan England

This page lists general resources related to teaching about Shakespeare and the Elizabethans. For resources for specific plays, try the Shakespeare Main Page.

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Shakespeare on Film eNotes Lesson Plan
Lesson plans for film versions of Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet. eNotes lesson plans have been written, tested, and approved by working classroom teachers. The main components of each plan are the following:
  • An in-depth introductory lecture
  • Discussion questions
  • Vocabulary lists
  • Chapter-by-chapter study questions
  • A multiple-choice test
  • Essay questions

60-Second Shakespeare
On this page, quick summaries of several plays in tabloid style from the BBC. Follow links to learn how your students can produce something similar.

100 Famous Bardisms
A list of 100 famous quotations from Shakespeare.

Absolute Shakespeare
An extensive site, including texts of plays and poems, biography, famous quotes, art, film adaptations, study guides, criticism, and the Globe Theatre.

Active Shakespeare
In "SonnetQuiz," add the final word to the heroic couplet. In "Shakespeare Matchmaker," choose the two characters from the same play. Students are encouraged to keep trying with the promise of a listing in the Hall of Fame.

All's Well that Ends Well
Text of the play in multiple formats, including EPUB, Kindle, and plain text.

New 11/19Background: William Shakespeare
This video (3:54) from Knowmia provides biographical information. It's intended as an introduction to A Midsummer' Night's Dream, but it will work well with any play.

Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project
This site offers a variety of entries to the Bard: audio, video, an arcade game, and a wonderful interactive folio resource.

Cleveland Press Shakespeare Photographs
This searchable site has Cleveland Press photos from Shakespearean performances, 1870-1982.

A Close Reading of Shakespeare on Your Feet
After introductory discussion and viewing a video (link included), students combine close reading with acting by "physicalizing" the text. This lesson uses the Nurses's speech from Romeo and Juliet and Petruchio's greeting to Kate from The Taming of the Shrew, and it can be adapted for other scenes, as well.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Online texts of the plays (not the poetry) from MIT.

Elizabeth I
This music video provides an overview to Elizabeth's life. Downloadable, it runs 2:28 and has captions.

English Class in Performance
If you want your students to get up and perform Shakespeare, here are some abridged scripts: The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest.

Everyday Expressions from Shakespeare
From "a fool's paradise" to "woe is me" -- lines that linger.

Famous Death Lines
In this pre-reading activity, students are introduced to the drama and language of Shakespeare by delivering the famous last words of his characters. Lines have been taken from 14 different Shakespearean plays.

The Folger Shakespeare Library
Lesson plans, primary sources, and Shakespeare for kids: a terrific resource!

Frontline: the Shakespeare Mystery
Who really wrote Shakespeare's plays and poems: the man from Stratford or Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford? This site explores both possibilities. Can be used with or without the Frontline video.

Historical Costumes Game
This interactive site invites users to dress a man or woman in Victorian or Tudor costume.

Horrible Histories William Shakespeare Song
In this 3:01 video from YouTube, a singer dressed as Shakespeare introduces students to many phrases first written by the Bard.

Illustrated Shakespeare
Links to fine art related to various plays.

In Search of Shakespeare
This site was designed to support the PBS series, but it includes a variety of materials, including lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Insults by Shakespeare
An introduction to Shakespeare's language, with examples from Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. This animated video from TEDEducation runs 6:24.

An Introduction to Shakespeare's Life and Times
Click to select the version best for you, then go to an extensive collection of links covering Shakespeare's life, the Elizabethan theatre, society, history and politics, new ideas of the time, dramatic styles, and some plays. Click on the site map for a specific index. A great site for research.

Lesson Plan Archives
Introductory, general, and play-specific lessons from the Folger Library.

The Living Words: Examining the Evolution of Language by Documenting Unique Words in One's Own Culture
"Students share thoughts about the cultural nuances inherent in different languages. They then document words and phrases unique to their own generation, region and culture. Learning is synthesized by updating a 16th century English text into contemporary American-English."

Masters of Chiasmus: William Shakespeare
Examples of chiasmus from a variety of plays.

M. C. Bard: Hip Hop and Shakespeare
In this lesson, students will compare lyrics from hip hop songs with monologues from Shakespeare’s plays, and perform both for the class.

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet
Possibly the best, most comprehensive, Shakespeare site on the Web, with links to e-texts, background information, and much more.

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