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William Shakespeare – Tasks

Which alternative is correct about Shakespeare?

Based on this resource: William Shakespeare - An Introduction

Comprehension

  1. We know
    a.
    a lot b. some facts c. nothing ….about him.
  2. He was born in
    a.
    London b. Stratford-upon-Avon c. Verona
  3. He was
    a.
    married b. a bachelor c. divorced
  4. His plays at the turn of the 16th century were seen by
    a.
    Queen Elizabeth I b. Queen Elizabeth II c. King Henry VIII
  5. His theatre was called
    a.
    The Swan b. The King’s Theatre c. The Globe
  6. He wrote
    a.
    novels b. essays c. plays and sonnets
  7. On his tombstone he
    a.
    encourages people to open his grave b. curses people who want to open his grave c. asks people to remember him
  8. In his Last Will he leaves to his wife
    a.
    his bed b. his cottage c. his plays
  9. Shakespeare in Love is
    a.
    a tragedy b. a thriller c. a romantic comedy
  10. Shakespeare in Love is
    a.
    an autobiography b. historically correct c. fictionally based on historical events
Key

b, b, a, a, c, c, b, a, c, c

Research

  1. See if you can find any online video clips of 'Sakespeare in Love' or clips from Shakespeare plays. Suggested search terms: Shakespeare, play, Shakespeare in Love, Othello, Macbeth
  2. Little is actually known about Shakespeare. What we do know is that he wrote his name in at least six different ways. Find out in which ways he wrote it.
  3. This was the era when written English found its form. A lot of words and expressions were also created. Shakespeare alone has been credited with 2000 new words and many expressions. Here are some samples:
    • A foregone conclusion
    • A sorry sight
    • All corners of the world
    • All that glisters is not gold
    • Cold comfort
    • The dogs of war
    • Fair play
    • Love is blind

      Can you find more words and expressions?

Writing

Watch the trailer from Shakespeare in Love and write a brief summary where you focus on what kind of genre this film represents and what seems to be the theme and the plot. The main characters involved are William Shakespeare, Thomas Kent alias the young Viola, Christopher Marlowe (Shakespeare's rival and friend), Lord Wessex (Viola's prospective husband), the Nurse and Queen Elizabeth I.

Find Out

Cobbe painting of Shakespeare.art.
Cobbe painting of Shakespeare

Watch the film Shakespeare in Love and compare it to the play Romeo and Juliet. To which extent do you think that Shakespeare in Love is based on the plots in Romeo and Juliet? Give examples.

Project

Get to know more about William Shakespeare, his works and contemporary England. Make a brief oral presentation to be carried out in class.

Use various net sources to search for information.These sites may come in handy:

Remember to list your sources and adapt the facts you present into your own words. Provide illustrations.

Choose from this list of what to focus on:

  1. William Shakespeare’s biography
  2. William Shakespeare’s works
  3. Choose a Shakespearian play or sonnet and present it
  4. Theatre in England in the late 1500s
  5. Christopher Marlowe's life and works
  6. Shakespeare’s influence on drama
  7. Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, in the past and now
  8. London in the late 1500s
  9. Elizabeth I
  10. James I (James VI of Scotland)
  11. Guy Fawkes and Guy Fawkes’ Day
  12. Shakespeare’s Theatre, The Globe, in the past and present.

Learning content

The Renaissance

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