Plays

Eventually, I plan to include materials for both modern and classic dramas in this section. For the present, I will focus on a few Shakespeare plays that are widely read in American schools.

Open or download my handout Reading Shakespeare: A Primer Shakespeare’s plays, particularly Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet, are perhaps the most widely read (and widely taught) texts in English. However, for contemporary readers, especially young readers, they present a number of difficulties. I wrote a handout called Reading Shakespeare: A Primer to give students advice on how to make sense of Shakespeare’s plays.
Open the Shakespeare page on Wikipedia As Shakespeare’s language is particularly troublesome, here are some other useful Shakespeare-related links with information on the unfamiliar vocabulary found in his plays (the image link on the left will take you to Shakespeare’s Wikipedia page):
A General Glossary to Shakespeare’s Works: Tufts University
Shakespeare Dictionary: a useful list that also features an amusing Shakespearean insults generator
William Shakespeare Elizabethan Dictionary
Shakespeare’s Vocabulary: as of this writing has extremely annoying flashing ads, but it may be useful
Language of Shakespeare: a list of links, if the above links don’t answer your question
Romeo and Juliet is one of the most widely read of Shakespeare’s plays, having haunted (or in some cases delighted) many generations of students. The Folger editions of Shakespeare’s works (Amazon link on the left) seem to be generally well edited, with a wealth of useful information, and as such they are used by a lot of American schools. I have written a few materials to help students process Romeo and Juliet:
Themes and Motifs in Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet Act I Review Exercise
Answers to Romeo and Juliet Act I Review Exercise.

This page is still under construction—more play-related materials coming soon.

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