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October, 2013

  1. #11. Playing with Shakespeare

    October 22, 2013 by MrsWinnacott

    One of the cool things about Shakespeare is that his work is constantly being reinvented. As we saw with the movie trailers back in Blog Post #7, reinterpretations of Shakespeare’s plays take many forms. People have enjoyed his work so much that they do not only serious renditions of his work, but they also have fun with it too. This is a chance for you to look at some of the light-hearted ways in which Shakespeare has been adapted.


    It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand all the references that are being made to his works in these videos- they are there to give you an idea of all the different ways that we recreate his stories, characters and language for our own pleasure and entertainment.

    1. The Real Housewives of Shakespeare– uses some of Shakespeare’s most famous female characters and sets them in a “Real Housewives” style docudrama.
    2. Tyrants and Tiaras– satirises three of Shakespeare’s most famous “tyrants” (King Lear, Richard III and Macbeth) by pitting them against each other in the “Mr Big Tyrant Pants Pageant”, “Toddlers and Tiaras” style.
    3. Blackadder vs Shakespeare– Blackadder’s take on the influence of Shakespeare.
    4. Hip Hop Othello in Prison– see how hip hop has been used to reinvent the story of Othello, and how prisoners in America reacted to its performance.


    Hungry for more Shakespearean adaptions? If you would like some more extension videos, check out these other modern responses to Shakespeare’s works:

    1. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars– yes, this is an actual book that retells the story of Star Wars in Shakespearean language, available from Think Geek!
    2. The Ghost of Richard III– Richard gives his version of events, and refutes what Shakespeare had to say about him!
    3. Richard III’s song– further defence from Richard III about why Shakespeare got it wrong
    4. Macbeth in Lego– you don’t have to watch the whole thing to get the idea, but this is a surprisingly accurate summary of the entire play in 11 minutes!
    5. The Simpsons Do Macbeth– another reinvention of some of the themes and basic storyline of Macbeth. Again, you don’t have to watch all of it to get the point.



    You will find these videos available for download on the Student Drive by following the path T:\Year 9\English\Mrs Winnacott\Shakespeare\Modern takes on Shakespeare

  2. #10. The Play’s The Thing

    October 22, 2013 by MrsWinnacott

    This week is all about performing. For a bit of fun, your task is to watch a series of videos focusing on the performance of Shakespeare. Performing Shakespeare is not always easy, but the videos should give you a bit of an idea of what people find so fun and exciting about performing Shakespeare!

    1. What People Think We Do
    2. Stuff People at a Shakespeare Festival Say


    If you have not already seen it yet, also watch the following Rowan Atkinson video:


    If you would like a bit of extension, watch the following videos on Shakespeare’s “original pronunciation”- it explains why words that Shakespeare wrote would have rhymed in his time, but don’t rhyme today, and shows this in practice.

    1. Performing Shakespeare in its Original Pronunciation
    2. Performing “A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream” in Original Pronunciation


    You will find these videos available for download on the Student Drive by following the path T:\Year 9\English\Mrs Winnacott\Shakespeare\Performing Shakespeare.

  3. #9. Pieces for Performance

    October 14, 2013 by MrsWinnacott

    You may be wondering which scenes you can choose from to perform for your assignment.

    The piece you chose will depend on your understanding or interest in a particular play or scene, and whether you wish to work on your own or with someone else. Choose ONE piece from the following:

    For Individuals: 


    For Pairs


    For Groups of Three


    Your task in preparation for your assignment is to watch the following videos, to help you decide which piece you would like to perform.

    Don’t forget that you can find all the videos that you need on the Student T Drive. The videos for your performance pieces can be found in the folder entitled”Week 3- The Plays”.

  4. #8. Your Assessment Task

    October 14, 2013 by MrsWinnacott

    There are two parts to you assessment in this unit (and if you’ve done your homework thoroughly you should have already completed part 1 – woot!)

    1.      Research Task – Questions on Blog:

      • Shakespeare’s life (12 questions/Worth 20 marks.)
      • The Globe Theatre (10 questions/Worth 15 marks.)

    2.      Oral Presentation – Shakespearean performance:

      • The second and more creative part of your assessment for this unit will be to get your Shakespeare on and perform one of the pieces provided, either on your own, with a partner, or in a group of three. You will present this to the class and be filmed.
      • You will need to know your selected piece off by heart (no notes!)


    Additional details:

    Research Task:

    • Both parts a and b must be completed carefully, thoughtfully and with detail. All work must be presented neatly, clearly and using correct spelling, grammar and expression. Please note that any work that is not completed as stated above will need to be resubmitted.


    Oral Presentation – Shakespearean performance:

    • You will have a range of performance pieces to choose from. You only need to choose ONE.
    • Firstly, yes, you do need to know it off by heart.
    • Secondly, yes, you must perform in front of the class.
    • Thirdly, if you want to get the most out of this assessment, you need to be open minded and willing to explore the piece that you are performing- do your best to understand what you are saying and why.
    • Lastly, take care with your performance. Take your time, perform with feeling and take Shakespeare’s advice,


    Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” 

    (Hamlet- Act 3, Scene 3)

  5. #7. Shakespeare’s Influence on the Modern World

    October 8, 2013 by MrsWinnacott

    This week we are looking at the influence that Shakespeare has had on the modern world.

    Shakespeare’s works have been HUGELY influential since they were first created in the 1500s and 1600s- not only do people still love watching and performing his plays and poems, but they keep reinventing his ideas, characters and storylines, they use the words that he created, and they use his language for inspiration.

    Let’s start by looking at some works of Shakespeare that you can relate to- modern interpretations of Shakespeare’s works.

    There are a series of videos that you need to watch from modern films:


    All of these are modern takes on some of Shakespeare’s most influential and loved plays. You can see that not all versions are serious- many are very playful- and not all use Shakespeare’s language. They should give you an idea of the rich storylines, comedy, drama and tragedy of Shakespeare’s plays, and how easily they can be modernised and reinterpreted.

    *** Don’t forget that you can find links to all the videos you need to watch on the Symbaloo page, as well as on the Student Drive, so that you can download them and watch them without the internet. ***

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