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#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


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