QotW (#72): 08 April 2019

subtitled: ‘Sir’s rule number 1‘ …

nightwatchman

‘Who’s there?’

‘Nay, answer me.  Stand and unfold yourself.’ [a]

Bernardo and Francisco have a point.  The entire path of the scene is determined by who is on stage.  Think of the ways the conversation could go if instead of Bernardo, another unknown Dane approaches Francisco’s guard-post, or one of Fortinbras’ troops.

From Hamlet to real life, and the idea of decorum – behaving or speaking appropriately to the circumstances and audience.

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SPOILing Macbeth

spoiler-alert-they-all-die-at-the-end-shakespeare

For my nephew, ‘Brian‘, as part of my ongoing mission to help him get a 4 in his Shakespeare exam.

At this stage, by the way, I still have no idea when his exam is, or whether he has yet read or seen the play.

I’m not sure if he knows, himself … Continue reading “SPOILing Macbeth”

KISSing Macbeth

lego witches
image: Klyph Ra’h Ben Sun

Can you do anything to help Brian?  He’s got a Macbeth exam coming up,‘ said my Dearest Partner of Greatness.

Brian is not his real name.  He’s a nephew.  Being a typically feckless Y10 lad, none of us have any idea whether he has read the play, or seen it, or what type of test / exam he has coming up, or when it might be.  We doubt Brian knows himself.

So what’s to do, for someone with a target of 4 (for overseas visitors, the highest target at GCSE is 9, and 4 tends to be the grade employers ask for as a minimum) and a complete disinterest in English?

Time to work my magic, and on my birthday, too!  Time, in fact, for a mindmap – it’s almost a present being asked to do one, because I LOVE a nice mindmap.

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Model Answer: GCSE Macbeth (I.i)

 

macbeth_witches_by_melodypam-d333guu-e1514319273212
you SHOULD be women …

“Don’t tell them, SHOW them.”

 

Last week, as an interesting experiment (interesting to me as much as to anyone else), I set my two KS4 classes the same question, to see how they fared with a little competition.

 

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QotW (#67): 11 February 2019

“this it is, when men are ruled by women” – or at least by their groins …

Claudius & Gertrude

Although I’m never going to end up on stage, I often compare teaching to acting.

Non-teachers, think for a second: up to six performances a day, with audiences who require subtly different characterisations from you.  (My timetable goes from Y12 to Y7 without interval on a Friday afternoon, for instance).  That plus the teacher persona you can only shrug off when you’re safely indoors (because even walking down the street you end up intervening when you see pupils in uniform mucking about).  To say nothing of the range of people you have to be – in five minute chunks – at Parents’ Evenings …

No wonder I’m perpetually exhausted.

But if I were asked to play a Shakespearean role, what would be my top three choices?

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QotW (ep.65): 28 January 2019

sussex-barn-owl
image:  Hugh Ribbans

This weekend just gone marked the 40th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.  As the ‘Upstart Crow‘ (or magpie) himself, I’m sure Shakespeare would have approved …

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PTS 13/081: The Curse of Kings

… is that the job is, frankly, shit. And that you have to be a shit to do it successfully.

big mac
Excuse me?  I ordered a kingdom like I saw in the advert …

PTS read-through:  King John, Act IV.

If you’re not ‘born great’, if you want to achieve greatness, you have to put in the hours, right?  Just think of the graft involved: wheeling and dealing; equivocating; making and breaking alliances; sucking up; marrying well (not, alas, for love); adding colours to the chameleon; changing shapes with Proteus; and generally setting the murderous Machiavel to school.

And for what?

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