Introduction to Shakespeare


Introduction to Shakespeare

Greetings from me, The Bard, England’s greatest poet and storyteller. You thought I was just the greatest writer? I am also the rudest man in England!


• • • By the end of this lesson: All of us will use Shakespeare’s language to create devastating insults Most of us will feel more comfortable with Shakespeare's language. Some of us will

By my trowth, thou dost make the millstone seem as a feather what widst thy lard-bloated footfall

Thy vile canker blossom’d countenance curdles milk and sours beer.

In sooth, thy dank cavernous tooth-hole consumes all truth and reason!


Use the Shakespeare Insult Kit

Combine one word or phrase from each columns and add “Thou” to the beginning.

“Thou ruttish, doghearted foot licker”

Romeo and Juliet (Act 1, scene 1)

ABRAHAM : Do you bite your thumb at us, sir? SAMPSON: I do bite my thumb, sir. ABRAHAM: Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

PLENARY- What have you learned?

Shakespearean Language Lesson 2


• • By the end of today’s lesson I will have Learnt about William Shakespeare.

Learn 18 Elizabethan phrases and vocabulary words.

Thou sluggabed!

STARTER: Tudor Talk

Miss Swann: Good day unto thee childer You lot: Good day unto thee Madam

What is Miss Swann saying?

Bridle thy tongues and keep thy peace!

What is Miss Swann saying?

Wouldst thou go to the privy?/ Wouldst thou go pluck a rose?

What is Miss Swann saying?

 Tis a pretty piece of work

TASK 1: An Insulting Conversation


 Look carefully at the two lists and try to match up the words with their correct meanings. Some are easy, some have clues and some are just odd!

What do they mean?

Blunt-witted= stupid Snipe= fool

Lesson 3: Shakespeare’s Life



By the end of today’s lesson I will have:

Learnt at least three interesting facts about William Shakespeare;

Understood more about the era in which he lived.


 There were no dictionaries until 1604 ! This means that language used in that era was very fluid and could be moulded and shaped.

 Shakespeare experimented with words, phrases and imagery. He made up words and adopted new ones.

 Shakespeare had a huge focus and light up the fascination imagination with dramatic language. He truly believed in the power of words to and move the audience’s emotions.

Mind mapping Shakespeare


Research the life of William Shakespeare. Add details to the mind map or create your own.

William Shakespeare

     Most quoted, other than the Bible Teen father: married pregnant 26 year old Anne Hathaway when he was 18 Deadbeat dad: Left wife and children for London stage career Father of twins Elizabethan rapper: uses rhythm and rhyme


The Life and Times of William Shakespeare

STARTER: The Four Humours

As we go through the quiz, make a note of the answers which best describe you as a person (a), (b), (c) or (d). At the end, you will need to add up how many times you choose each letter.

Question 1 You get up late and someone is hogging the bathroom. Do you:

a) Throw a strop and start yelling and slamming doors.

b) Have a laugh. You wouldn’t let a little thing like this bother you.

c) Don’t know. You’re still in bed. You always sleep in.

d) Sigh dramatically. You always gets the worst deal in life.

You walk in late to Miss Swann’s class. Do you:

a) Slam the door with a stroppy look. It’s not your fault. It’s the bus/ the weather/ Miss Swann’s fault.

b) Laugh along with Miss Swann’s amusing jokes.

c) Sit at your desk yawning. It’s too early. You should still be in bed.

d) Sigh. It’s just another example of how hard your life is now you have to put up with this lesson.

At break time are you:

a) Having an argument with someone who tried pushing in front of you in the queue.

b) Having a laugh with your mates. You are very funny and amusing.

c) Yawning in a corner somewhere. You were up late last night and mornings don’t suit you.

d) Spending it crying. You have fallen out with your best mate and are upset.

Which animal best sums up your personality?

a) Tiger b) Hyena c) Slug d) Lovebird


  Now add up how many (a), (b), (c) and (d) scores you have.

Which do you have the most of?

The Results!

    a - You have a fiery character. You have an imbalance of choler (yellow bile) and are temperemental. You are of the fire element.

b - You are a jolly character. You have a blood imbalance. You are of the air element.

c - You are a sluggish and slow person. You have an imbalance of phlegm. You are of the water element.

d - You are a melancholic, sad and lovesick person. You have an imbalance of melancholy (black bile). You are of the earth element.

The Humours in Shakespearean Society

    People believed that the humours were natural bodily fluids that corresponded to the four elements (air, earth, fire and water) and had various qualities (cold, dry, wet and moist).

They also believed that if your humours were in balance you would be healthy,. If not you would be ill.

Doctors would bleed their patients to restore the balance.

When a piece of drama involved characters with extreme emotions or an imbalance of the humours- it was considered a humourous piece.

Shakespeare’s Childhood Home-Stratford

London 1600

    Open gutters, raw sewage, and rotting garbage was the case in most major cities of the time.

Conditions caused the outbreak of the Bubonic plague (black death) Bubonic was ramant from 1563 to 1603.

1592 the plague hit London hard and the theatres were closed down. During this time is when Shakespeare wrote most of his poetry.



To gain a greater sense:  of Shakespeare's times,   what his theatre was like, how the plays were performed and how the playhouse influenced how the plays were written.

Shakespeare’s Globe- an introduction

  Watch the Alan Davies clip who explains what life was like for the audience watching Shakespeare's plays at the Globe in Elizabethan times.

Keywords: audience , intention , public , London , tragedy , comedy , romance , actor ares-globe-an-introduction/8383.html

Global empire In the second half of his career, Shakespeare also became something of an own theatre, the

impresario Globe

. or theatrical manager. In 1599 his troop (the Lord Chamberlain’s Men) built their In 1613 the theatre There were already

What else can you find out about the Globe?

himself had shares) prospered nevertheless.



Wealthier theatre goers sat here

Tiring house

Where the costumes were kept


Housed the musicians; parts of the play might also be staged here

Only partly roofed

Actors and groundlings got wet in the rain


Most of the action took place here


The groundlings stood here to watch the play

Circular layout

Audience surrounded the stage


Home of fiends and villains, accessed by a trapdoor

   Take a virtual tour of:

the Globe

What was it like for the audience watching

Shakespeare's plays?

Watch the extract at the end of Shakespeare in Love


Using the keywords write a statement about what you have learnt this lesson: audience , intention , public , London , tragedy , comedy , romance , actor



In Shakespeare’s time the theatre was just as popular as the cinema is today. And just like cinema-goers today, Shakespeare’s audiences expected to be treated to a wealth of

special effects


Fiends and villains would vanish under the stage to ‘


’ in a puff of


. The tiring house roof was known as ‘

the Heavens

’. Gods could descend on




, and fairies could fly above the stage on





Pigs’ bladders filled with animal


would be burst at strategic moments during

fights Costumes




death scenes

were often expensive and .


The Theatre     Theatres were a considerable source of concern for the authorities due to the fact that those who attended the theatre were not of favorable stature.

Called the groundlings - stood in the dirt of the main floor.

They were immoral, a source of contagion, and used profanity.

Were also seen as extremely antagonistic. (Which the actors encouraged.)

The Globe Theatre:

Open ceiling

Three stories high

No artificial lighting

Plays were shown during daylight hours only

Spectators  Wealthy people got to sit on benches  The poor (called “groundlings”) had to stand and watch from the courtyard  There was much more audience participation than today

Actors  Only men and boys  Young boys whose voices had not changed played the women’s roles  It would have been indecent for a woman to appear on stage


Learning Objective

  Excerpt from the travel journal of Thomas Platter, 1599

The actors are dressed in a very expensive and splendid fashion, since it is the custom in England when notable lords or knights die they bequeath and leave their servants almost the finest of their clothes which, because it is not fitting for them to wear such clothes, they offer [them] for purchase to the actors for a small sum of money.


    A company's costumes were among its most valued assets; individual costumes often cost more than the outright purchase of a play. Philip Henslowe once purchased a "black velvet cloak with sleeves embroidered all with silver and gold," for £20 10s 6d, more than a third of the price Shakespeare paid for New Place, the finest house in Stratford. Actors were known to wear their stage finery in the streets, and were criticized for emulating their betters. In 1579, one person complained: The very hyrelings. . . under gentlemen's noses in sutes of silke. . . look askance over the shoulder at every man, of whom the Sunday before they begged an almes. Even Philip Henslowe disapproved of actors wearing their costumes off stage* -- though this was probably more to ensure that his investment in the costume was not threatened.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

What are your ideas/ expectations?

Midsummer's Day is a time associated with witches, magic, fairies and dancing.

Rose leaves, rose leaves, Rose leaves I strew.

He that will love me Come after me now.

 Shakespeare uses names to give hints to the audience about their personality…


Oberon’s jester; a mischievous fairy who likes to play tricks on people.


King of the fairies. He is a powerful man who is used to being obeyed.


The beautiful queen of the fairies. She is strong and independent, but is tricked into loving Bottom with the love potion.


A young man of Athens. He is romantic, and starts off in love with Hermia. They run away together.


A young man of Athens, also in love with Hermia, and ready to fight to be with her.


A beautiful young woman. She is in love with Lysander and is willing to disobey her father and run away with him.


Hermia’s good friend. She lacks confidence about her looks and doesn’t think she can compare to Hermia.


He is overconfident and often makes mistakes, seeming foolish. He becomes a real fool when puck gives him an ass’ head.

Puck, Oberon, Titania, Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, Bottom.

Choose one of the characters for your presentation. Do some further research at home about the character which you can present to the class alongside your own ideas.

LEARNING OBJECTIVE  To explore how language creates effect.

STARTER  Write down as many adjectives and adverbs as you can that describe a feeling.

 Would Shakespeare have used words like these?


 To look at the ways in which A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been adapted on stage.

  Here you can use colour or type of fabric. Some costumes (Oberon and Titania for example) could also look grander by using more fabric or bolder colours.



 To research Shakespeare’s work.


  Write 3 things that you have learnt so far. Write 3 things that you found interesting.

 Write 3 things you would tell someone who didn’t know about Shakespeare.

 STARTER: Lesson 3

   Thames River polluted with raw sewage Trees used up for fuel Poverty

  Shakespeare is credited with making up 1000-3000 words, depending who you listen to!

He also used old words that no one had heard for a while. This helped to make the English language a lot more interesting than it was before.

                                     air-drawn imaginary allycholly melancholy, sad blunt-witted stupid bottom a ball of thread burn daylight to waste time buzzer a tell tale by small and small little by little canstick candlestick head-lugged dragged by the head ich-eke in addition sleeve-hand wrist band sluggabed someone who lies in bed for too long in the mornings sluggardise to make lazy snapper-up someone who snaps things up snipe a fool snipt taffeta fellow someone who wanders around in slashed silk clothes wistly longingly wist-snapper someone who tries to be witty (funny) and fails

A Midsummer Night’s Dream O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom! You thief of love! what, have you come by night And stolen my love's heart from him?

Double Double Toil and Trouble

  Witchcraft - What is it? Witchcraft is the term for using magical powers and the supernatural to control people, events and happenings. Most human societies have believed in witchcraft.

In Shakespeare’s time, people believed that witches could…

• • • • • • could control the weather had the power of flight could vanish into thin air were able to change their physical form could see into the future could bring disease and illnesses to crops, animals or people


      could sink ships had the ability to make people go mad Would become your enemy if you refused them food usually 'worked' at night had contact with the devil and their familiars (animals) were able to cast spells (for 'good' and 'bad') by chanting and making potions

How could we present the witches on stage ?

Macbeth or Macdeath? A cursed play Shakespeare is said to have used the spells of real witches in his text, purportedly angering the witches and causing them to curse the play. Thus, to say the name of the play inside a theatre is believed to doom the production to failure, and perhaps cause physical injury or death to cast members. A large mythology has built up surrounding this superstition, with countless stories of accidents, misfortunes and even deaths, all mysteriously taking place during runs of Macbeth (or by actors who had uttered the name)

Second Witch Fillet of a fenny snake, In the cauldron boil and bake; Eye of newt and toe of frog, Wool of bat and tongue of dog, Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg and howlet's wing, For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

a snake that lives in the fens (a swampy district of eastern England).

a small lizard owlet (a baby owl).

The witches then chanted together.

"Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble!"

TASK: Now write your own spell.

 Begin with deciding what the spell is for (to blow up school? To make you taller? To win a million pounds?)  Then produce a list of truly horrible ingredients.  Next, come up with a chant like ‘Double double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble’ to finish off each verse off your spell.  Write up your spell neatly, with illustrations.

R and J

“When It Hurts So Bad” by Lauryn Hill

I loved real, real hard once But the love wasn't returned Found out the man I'd die for He wasn't even concerned 

Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2.1.248 251

We cannot fight for love, as men may do.

We should be wooed and were not made to woo.

I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell To die upon the hand I love so well.

Romeo and Juliet, Act V. Scene III


Learning Objectives

By the end of today’s lesson:

All of us will have developed knowledge of Romeo and Juliet. • Most of us will be confident with the characters, themes and plots in this play.

Some of us will be confident with Shakespeare’s use of language.


Can you change HATE into LOVE in 4 moves?


Things I love family and friends coffee cake elephants bright colours reading Elvis sandwiches sunny holidays storms and rainbows


Things I hate misty motorway driving arguments my computer crashing queuing rudeness


What is love?

SYNONYMS: devotion, rapture, adoration, passion, affection, idolise, infatuation… DEFINITION: Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.

What is hate?

SYNONYMS: detest, abhor, loathe, despise, hold in contempt… DEFINITION: and hostility. Hate is a feeling of great dislike

‘O she doth teach the torches to shine bright’

Romeo’s first reaction to seeing Juliet

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Focusing on imagery

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night. Did my heart love till now? forswear Oh, she shows the torches how to burn bright! She stands out against the darkness like a jeweled earring hanging against the cheek of an African. Her beauty is too good for this world; she’s too beautiful to die and be buried. She outshines the other women like a white dove in the middle of a flock of crows. When this dance is over, I’ll see where she stands, and then I’ll touch her hand with my rough and ugly one. Did my heart ever love anyone before this moment? My eyes were liars, then, because I never saw true beauty before tonight.


Write your own love poem using your own imagery.

It seems she sparkles Like a can of pepsi in a school bag

Oh, he doth teach Tinie Tempah to sing


The Seven Ages of Man

Jacques: All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.

At first, the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school.

And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow.

Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the canon's mouth.

And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part.

The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

(As You Like It, 2. 7. 139-167)


 To examine the


Translate Modern English into Shakespeare’s language Honestly I think your face has the look of a worn out horse.