When I tell my class of teens we’ll be studying Shakespeare this year there are usually groans all round, he’s boring, dead, old, irrelevant.
So “before” we start the dreaded bard we do something else first, sometimes I say it’s an oral lesson, a bit of philosophy or even practising the conditional; it depends on the class.
We discuss the questions below:
Would you marry someone who was a different nationality or religion from you? What if your family hated them?
How would you feel if one of your parents died and the other one remarried? – after a month?
What would you do if you thought someone had murdered someone you loved? – Would you take the law into your own hands? Would you forgive them?
Do you believe in prophecies? If someone told you that you would win the excellent prize this year, what would you do?
How could you be sure something is true?
Is justice more important than forgiveness? Is it possible to have both?
If the person you fall in love with turns out to be someone else, with a different name and life, can you still love them?
And then later, when we look at some of Shakespeare’s work the penny drops and one of the students calls out “but we’ve already talked about this!” These are the golden moments that are one of the reasons I love my job so much 😊