You don’t read Shakespeare. Shakespeare reads YOU.

BH reading shakespeare

Whilst it sounds trite, I’m increasingly beginning to believe this.

Part of this comes from the Pony Tail Shakespeare project, I’m sure. With a gap of 400+ years now between the works and our readings, we’re constantly confronted with attitudes which are at a variance with ours.  Example?  This month it’s The Taming of the Shrew, with some ‘interesting’ ideas about marriage, domestic violence, and ‘men vs. women’.

Mostly, though, it comes from being a teacher of Shakespeare …

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Though his actions were not visible …

VARIOUS
Mary Shakespeare glued young William to the wall until she had properly read his school report …

Though his actions were not visible, yet

Report should render him hourly to your ear

As truly as he moves (Pisanio, Cymbeline)

When next you hear about – or indeed deride, yourself – the fabulous, wholly unjustified level of holidays enjoyed by teachers, spare a thought in particular for this poor English teacher …

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More Golden Dogberries …

bh-golden-dogberry-smallIf there’s any small consolation to spending your half-term marking, it’s the occasional gem in your books.  Hence my decision to award ‘Golden Dogberries‘ for ‘extraordinary’ student responses …

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A Kingship Paradigm

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Fig 1:  A Paradigm for Kingship or Leadership

Abstract for the busy:  this paradigm crystallises or articulates my recent thinking about kingship/leadership as it applies in Shakespeare’s plays and, I increasingly suspect, beyond.  It gained critical mass after teaching Richard III at Key Stage 5 (Age 16-17) in Autumn 2016, where I found myself returning again and again to questions of Legitimacy, Authority and Dynasty, in plotting not just Richard’s journey and motives, but Richmond’s and, in fact, Queen Elizabeth’s. 

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Beat the Teacher (part 1)

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I know this; and thus I challenge it. (Henry V)

How do you get a bunch of giddy Year 8s to do some ‘proper’ contextual research for HW, rather than just ripping stuff off Wikipedia, printing it without actually reading it?

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The School Shakespeare Timetable

O, is it all forgot?

All school-days’ friendship, childhood innocence?

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Image copyright: King Edward VI school

What does the Shakespeare curriculum look like in the UK in 2017?

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‘Weak with toil, yet strong in appetite’

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Ron Cook in the BBC’s 1983 production.  Underrated.

‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.’

What do Sundays look like for an English teacher and Shakespeare obsessive?

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