PTS 12/076: Keep Your Snake In Its Cage, Boy …

The more I admire Juliet, the more protective I get about her …

BH watching you

PTS read-through:  Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc. ii

‘He jests at scars that never felt a wound.’ (II.ii.1) [a]

This is one of the reasons why I avoid teaching R&J at GCSE.

Continue reading “PTS 12/076: Keep Your Snake In Its Cage, Boy …”

PTS 12/075: Veni, Vidi, Basiavi

I came, I saw, I kissed …

High Five Business people
… palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

PTS read-through:  Romeo and Juliet:  Act I sc v

And so we reach that eighteen-line sequence …

These famous passages become a little daunting, because hey, what can you say that hasn’t already been said in the past four-hundred years?  Yet, as an educator, you have to step up to the plate: after all, this is what I encourage, almost demand, my students to do, isn’t it?  We give them something which is one of the foundations upon which our literature and culture is built, and entice them with the promise of better marks for originality.

So here are some personal views on Romeo and Juliet’s meeting, and then I look for something else to say on pieces of this short scene that receive somewhat less attention.

Continue reading “PTS 12/075: Veni, Vidi, Basiavi”

PTS 12/073: A Truth Universally Acknowledged

with apologies to Jane Austen …

BH netherfield ball

… that, perhaps, a single GIRL in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband?

PTS read through:  Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc ii

Hmmm, what to make of this scene?

Continue reading “PTS 12/073: A Truth Universally Acknowledged”

Cultural Capital 07: Tragedy

We loved a fall from grace as much then as we do now …

BH travolta tragedy
For Christ’s sake, can’t you see I’m busy, Ophelia? Get thee to a nunnery!

[this article first appeared in the in-house magazine I edit for our sixth-form English students]

Tragedy!  When the  feeling’s gone and you can’t go on …

It’s not that long ago that I appalled a class by stating that whilst the death of a pet dog might be ‘quite sad’, it definitely wasn’t ‘tragic’. ^

I definitely spend too much time in the late 16th century!

Continue reading “Cultural Capital 07: Tragedy”

Happy Birthday, Juliet …

Shakespeare gifted her eternal life …

BH olivia-hussey-romeo-and-juliet-gif-7.gif
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! (I.v)

At some stage I might put together a Shakespeare calendar – dates (like many things in Shakespeare)are often sketchy and hard to pin down.  Look at what he does to the History plays!

As far as birthdays go, we know that Cleopatra, and Cassius, kill themselves on their birthdays.  But as far as I can tell, we can only wish one girl ‘happy birthday’ with any certainty …

Continue reading “Happy Birthday, Juliet …”

To scheme, or not to scheme …

Should I oppose the slings and arrows of teaching the same thing year in, year out?

Julius Caesar SOW

… THAT is the question occupying my thoughts at the moment.

No, this isn’t a Machiavellian masterplan for world domination (although see below, perhaps it’s just part of one).

What you see above is the bare bones of a 12-week (forty-eight lesson!) Scheme of Work on Julius Caesar that I’ve been toying with producing over the summer.  I’m hoping for advice – not just on the skeleton of the scheme (although that would be highly appreciated), but on whether or not to bother …

Continue reading “To scheme, or not to scheme …”

PTS 12/072: A Game of Two Halves …

Maybe Prince Escalus should have gone to VAR … ?

BH mob-football-in-england
The keeper (left) tried to make himself look big, whilst under pressure from a swarthy Croatian defender, Harry Kane tried to nudge the ball home

Ponytail Shakespeare read-through: Romeo and Juliet, Act I, scene i

Regular readers will understand my complex relationship with the notion of ‘England’.

The catchy simplicity of Three Lions (It’s Coming Home) turned from pleasantly nostalgic ‘earworm‘ – I well remember the song’s release for Euro ’96 – to a cankerous ‘worm ‘i the bud‘ [a] long before Wednesday’s almost inevitable defeat to Croatia.  The entire nation, it seemed, had been reduced to a vocabulary of just three words – a mantra which was unchallengeable, a self-evident truth destroyed in just 120 minutes (if only Brexit could fall as quickly.) As I watched people (including several students) spill out of The Sun – opposite where I was drinking – in a numbed state of shock after the match, I was glad I wouldn’t hear it for a while.  Having ‘sat like Patience’ I was now, almost, ‘smiling at grief’.  To no avail:  by 11am the next day – no lie – I was hearing “World Cup 2022:  It’s Coming Home” in the corridors of ‘C’ Block … sigh.

Has this anything to do with Romeo and Juliet?  Of course.

Continue reading “PTS 12/072: A Game of Two Halves …”