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					Shakespeare -
 A Bard Act To Follow …
OBJECTIVES:

 To  develop an understanding of
  neologisms and archaisms, and the part
  they have played in the development of
  the English language
 To appreciate Shakespeare‟s contribution
  to the modern English language four
  hundred years after his death
 STARTER: Choose three words listed below
that you are familiar with, and include each one
     in an interesting sentence of your own:
Accommodation          Laughable
Assassination          Premeditated
Monumental             Summit
Obscene                Excellent
Lonely                 Radiance
Homicide               Frugal
Aggravate              Submerged
Majestic               Dislocate
Critical               Eventful
Countless              Hint
   Congratulations on your ideas!
However, you also need to
  congratulate William Shakespeare
  on his part in helping you to write
  them …
Because the examples featured on the
  last slide were among the 1, 685
  English words officially credited as
  being either invented or first
  introduced to the general public by
  Shakespeare.
                      So what?
   What‟s so special about inventing
    words? Anyone can do it …

Let‟s put that to the test. Writers like
  Lewis Carroll invented
  portmanteau words, which came
  from combining two different ideas,
  e.g. brillig, slithy.
Think of an idea that lacks a
  dictionary definition at the moment,
  e.g. excess water on a road after a
  storm could be called a „fluddle‟ –
  a cross between between a puddle
  and a flood.
    Be a one-minute wordsmith!
 You have one minute to create a
  new word (try not to make it sound
  too nonsensical, or no-one will
  take it seriously). Don‟t worry
  about what it means yet!
 Now, trade words with your
  neighbour – as a pair, devise a
  possible and plausible-sounding
  meaning for each!
 Is anyone willing to offer to the
  world their new addition to the
  dictionary? Will it catch on?
       Neologisms – new word forms
   That exercise proves that anybody can invent a word
    – it‟s not just the exclusive right of experts. Language
    changes all the time – can you think of new phrases
    that have entered our vocabulary in the past decade?

   EXAMPLES: bling, chav, Taliban, superbug, Google,
    cyberspace, chatroom, ASBO, friendly fire, i-Pod,
    flash-mob, globalisation, LEDC, WAP phone

 What do some of these examples suggest about why
  new words are needed?
 They reflect new inventions, technological advances,
  changing fashions, issues in the modern world …
    MYTH No. 1: Shakespeare‟s
language seems very old-fashioned.
               Actually, nothing could be further from
                the truth. Shakespeare‟s writing seems
                hard to study now because the English
                language has changed so much, but at
                the time his writing was right at the
                cutting edge of society. It‟s one thing to
                invent nearly 2, 000 new words, but
                quite another for them to catch on and
                be used in everyday conversation.
               Approximately one-tenth of the
                vocabulary in Shakespeare‟s plays
                was invented or introduced to the
                public by him; no-one either before or
                since has been that original, or that
                inventive. Every tenth word he used
                was a neologism – now that takes
                talent!
                Archaisms
 The  real difficulty that pupils often have
  with studying Shakespeare is not with
  understanding his neologisms (many of
  those are still with us today), but with the
  words or phrases that have now been
  replaced or have disappeared from the
  way we speak and write.
 These are called archaisms.
   MYTH No. 2: There‟s too much
 thee-ing and thou-ing in his plays.
    Nobody talks like that today!
 Pupils  sometimes complain that reading
  Shakespeare can be like learning a new
  language. Yet his use of „thee‟, „thou‟ and
  „thy‟ instead of „you‟ and „your‟ still lives on
  today in spoken Yorkshire dialect.
 And following his ideas doesn‟t have to be
  that hard, if you get to know a few of the
  common archaisms that writers used
  frequently in Elizabethan English:
Common Shakespearean archaisms – can you guess
   the underlined meanings in these sentences?
   You shall see anon how the murderer will proceed.
   The apparel oft maketh the man.
   Attend you here at the door of our daughter?
   If you seek aught of woe or wonder, cease your search.
   Avaunt, and quit my sight!
   Commend me to my brother.
   I would fain prove my innocence, methinks.
   Fare thee well until the field of battle tomorrow.
   I would rather, forsooth, conduct myself like a man.
   Hie you home swiftly, my lord; danger awaits.
   When the battle‟s lost and won, that will be ere the set of sun.
   Mark the villainy written on his visage.
   What say you and your office to my present suit?
Match the meaning of these archaisms:
   Anon            Clothes, garments
   Apparel         Rather, prefer to
   Attend          Pass on my regards, remember me
   Aught           Cope, get on
   Avaunt          Shortly, soon
   Commend         Wait
   Ere             Anything, nothing
   Fain            Go away, begone
   Fare            Before

   Forsooth        Face, countenance
   Hie             It seems, I believe
   Mark            You
   Methinks        Often
   Office          Indeed, truly, definitely, certainly
   Oft             Hurry, hasten
   Suit            Notice, observe
   Thee            Duty, responsibility, position, rank
   Visage          Petition, request
If thou should finish ere time runs out…

 Try using an archaism
   that you‟ve
   understood in a
   sentence of your own,
   to prove that
   Shakespeare‟s
   archaic English can
   still be put into
   practice effectively.
        PLENARY: So what have we
                learnt?
In addition to learning the terms neologism (a newly coined
   word) and archaism (an old, dated word), hopefully we‟ve
   dispelled two myths about Shakespeare‟s language. What
   were they?
 He‟s not an old-fashioned or „posh‟ writer – his plays were
   watched, enjoyed and understood by rich and poor alike.
   Shakespeare himself never had a university education – he
   was a glover‟s son from an ordinary background!
 Archaisms like „thee‟, „thou‟ and „aught‟ still live on in local
   dialect today; if you say „I haven‟t learnt aught about
   Shakespeare today‟, you‟re contradicting yourself!
 Final thought: yes, the language of his plays might seem
   difficult to understand when you read it for the first time, but
   with practice and common sense, you can begin to grasp the
   general meaning of his sentences.
 And just to prove that he wasn‟t
perfect, here are a few neologisms
  that didn‟t make the grade …
                    Shakespeare offered
   Abruption       these words to the world
                    … however, the world
   Appertainment   didn‟t want them.
   Conflux
   Protractive
                    The failure of these
   Questrist       archaic words to „catch on‟
   Tortive         proves that even a genius
   Vastidity       can‟t get it right all the
                    time. So there‟s some
                    hope for us all!
           OBJECTIVES:
 To understand how spelling, pronunciation
  and elision of Shakespeare‟s words are
  important points to be aware of
 To appreciate the vast number of phrases
  and quotes from Shakespeare that have
  endured, in order to understand his
  continued popularity in the theatre and
  everyday life even today
           Ye olde spellynge teste
                             Try these examples
   It‟s not just meanings     from the early 1600s:
    that have changed over    Tragedie
    four hundred years;
                              Merrie
    modern spellings are
    much more consistent      Lye
    than in Shakspeer‟s/      Matrimonie
    Shakesper‟s/              Daunsing
    Shackespere‟s day …
                              Sonne
    See, the Bard couldn‟t
    even sign his own name    Sinne
    the same way twice!       Necessarye would have
                               needed an extra word
                               in its mnemonic!
                 Spoken English
 As if the variations in spelling weren‟t
  enough to contend with, the way most
  words were pronounced was different too.
  It has been suggested that the closest
  resemblance to an Elizabethan English
  accent can be heard in Eastern states of
  America (appropriately named New
  England after the Pilgrim Fathers who left
  Britain in 1620 to settle there).
 Throw in the major shift in vowel sounds
  around that time, and Shakespeare‟s
  influences from Midlands and London
  dialect, and his dialogue might have
  sounded as if it was being spoken by
  Cockney Brummie Yanks!
  Elision – missing out letters
                           Which letter(s) have
Furthermore, reading         been replaced by ’?
Shakespeare today
                            e‟en     ne‟er
isn‟t helped by the
                            ‟tis     ‟twas
tendency to use the
omission apostrophe         ‟twere‟  ‟scap‟d
to cheat, by                o‟er     ‟gainst
shortening words so         ‟cause   gi‟
that they fit into a set
                            ha‟      o‟
number of syllables,
                            thou‟lt  ta‟en
usually ten per line
(iambic pentameter):
           Hyphenated compounds
This sounds like a painful disease, but actually it is yet
  another way in which Shakespeare was able to
  expand the range of possibilities in language, by
  unusual combinations of words to create new
  meanings:
 Half-world: the hemisphere currently in darkness
 Lack-lustre: something solemn or serious, lacking
  sparkle
 Pale-visaged: a person with no colour in their cheeks
  due to nervousness, fear
TASK: Use these three examples in complex sentences
  of your own.
    Pitfalls to beware – what is the point?
TASK: Make a note of the four different problems we have looked
  at so far today, and why we need to know about them to
  understand Shakespeare‟s writing.

The modern Shakespeare student has to battle
 against archaic words, outdated spellings,
 strange apostrophes and unusual compound
 words! So why bother?

 Because Shakespeare‟s legacy to the English
  language is massive.
 Without even realising it, you‟ve probably quoted
  Shakespeare many times in phrases from everyday
  speech.
 How many can you brainstorm in two minutes?
 Shakespeare AND THE BIBLE
   has been estimated that the two greatest
 It
 and furthest-reaching influences on
 commonly-used phrases in the English
 language have been:
 the plays and poems of Shakespeare
 the King James Bible of 1611 – the
 definitive English translation by Latin
 scholars
Which idioms belong to Shakespeare?
   To be or not to be                       Parting is such sweet sorrow
   If music be the food of love, play on    Neither a borrower nor a lender be
   All that glitters is not gold            The course of true love never did
                                              run smooth
   A sign of the times
                                             The blind leading the blind
   Now is the winter of discontent
                                             Friends, Romans, countrymen,
   It was Greek to me                        lend me your ears
   A rose by any other name would still     The salt of the earth
    smell as sweet
                                             A foregone conclusion
   The skin of my teeth
                                             My mind‟s eye
   The evil that men do lives on
                                             A tower of strength
   A lamb brought to the slaughter
                                             Cold comfort
   Something wicked this way comes
                                             An eye for an eye
   Jealousy – the green-eyed monster
                                             Cruel to be kind
   How sharper than a serpent‟s tooth
    it is to have a thankless child          Love is blind
   Go from strength to strength             As luck would have it
                                             Money is the root of all evil
               Answer – most of them!
   To be or not to be                    Parting is such sweet sorrow
                                          
                                         Neither a borrower nor a lender be
    If music be the food of love, play on 
   All that glitters is not gold         The course of true love never did
                                          
                                          run smooth
   A sign of the times
                                          The blind leading the blind
                                          
   Now is the winter of our discontent
                                          Friends, Romans, countrymen,
                                          
   It was Greek to me                    lend me your ears
   A rose by any other name would still The salt of the earth
    smell as sweet
                                          A foregone conclusion
                                          
   The skin of my teeth
                                          My mind‟s eye
                                          
   The evil that men do lives on
                                          A tower of strength
                                          
   A lamb brought to the slaughter
                                          Cold comfort
                                          
   Something wicked this way comes
                                          An eye for an eye
                                          
   Jealousy – the green-eyed monster
                                          Cruel to be kind
                                          
   How sharper than a serpent‟s tooth
    it is to have a thankless child       Love is blind
                                          
   Go from strength to strength          As luck would have it
                                          
                                         Money is the root of all evil
  Therefore, if you‟ve ever used these examples in black or many other
  similar idioms, you have already unknowingly quoted Shakespeare!
    PLENARY: So what have we learnt?
 Over two lessons, you‟ve found out plenty of reasons
  why reading Shakespeare can be off-putting or
  daunting at first.
 However, you‟ve also found plenty of evidence of his
  huge influence over everyday words and phrases, as
  by far the most-quoted individual writer in the world.

A point to ponder for next lesson: How often do you
  think that on average a Shakespeare play is
  performed around the world, in any language?
 ANSWER: Every thirty seconds …

Next lesson, we will aim to find out why!
             OBJECTIVE:
 To  appreciate the dramatic impact of
  Shakespeare‟s dialogue in performance
 To realise the range of human emotions
  that are demonstrated by his characters,
  and how Shakespeare‟s plays still have
  relevance today despite the unfamiliar
  language
“Sweet swan of Avon! He was not
of an age, but for all time.”
Good Friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear

to dig the dust enclosed here:

Blessed be the man that spares these stones,

and curst be he that moves my bones.




Ben Jonson, in tribute to Shakespeare after his death in
1616 – 390 years later, many people still agree with this
comment that Shakespeare‟s work is timeless. Why?
 Why are we still studying
     Shakespeare?
Shakespeare lived four hundred years ago. He couldn’t
possibly know anything about the modern lives we
lead, so his language and ideas are out of date. He’s
not relevant to us. Why should we read his plays
instead of studying modern plays that deal with life
today?
William, are your plays irrelevant?
   But I write about people. Have people
   changed all that much over four
   centuries? They still kill one another,
   fall in love, start wars, feel guilty, get
   bored, angry, jealous, drunk – children
   still quarrel with their parents,
   husbands and wives still have rows
   and leave each other – those events
   happen in any drama, any soap opera,
   just as they do in my plays.
          Performing Shakespeare
   Don‟t just take his word for it. Try reading his speeches for
    yourself. Shakespeare is meant to be performed, so reading it
    in a classroom will always be a poor substitute for the theatre.

   Understanding Shakespeare is a challenge when we read it,
    but when watching the plays being performed, it‟s much easier
    to know what is happening, because good actors uses voice,
    gesture and body language to reveal a character‟s emotions.

   Reading Shakespeare in class is like a rehearsal, a chance to
    explore the text; it‟s not quite the real thing. But the more you
    practice, the better you will become as a Shakespearean
    actor.
        Discuss – Rehearse - Perform
TASK: In groups of 3-5, look at the speech that you have been
  given. First of all, consider the mood or emotion that has been
  suggested, such as guilt or love, and the context of why the
  character feels that way.

 Highlight words or phrases that seem to strongly emphasise
  that emotion.
 Think about how an actor might deliver each speech, and what
  advice you would give them about holding their audience‟s
  attention (consider how your character might feel by thinking of
  a time you might have felt the same). Make some useful
  director‟s notes on tone, body language, gesture and facial
  expression.
 Take it in turns to perform sections of the speech. Don‟t worry
  about understanding every word or idea, so long as you can
  read fluently and with feeling.
 Practise over and over until it becomes more fluent – does the
  acting reflect the mood of the language?
 From „Love‟s Labour‟s Lost‟ - Admiration
BEROWNE: Love's feeling is more soft and sensible
  Than are the tender horns of cockl'd snails;
  Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
  For valour, is not Love a Hercules,
  Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
  Subtle as Sphinx; as sweet and musical
  As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
  And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods
  Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
  Never durst poet touch a pen to write
  Until his ink were temper'd with Love's sighs;
  O, then his lines would ravish savage ears
  And plant in tyrants mild humility.
  From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
  They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
  They are the books, the arts, the academes,
  That show, contain and nourish all the world:
  Else none at all in ought proves excellent.
          From „Macbeth‟ - Guilt
LADY MACBETH :
Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,
  then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie, my
  lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we
  fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
  account?--Yet who would have thought the old man
  to have had so much blood in him.
The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?--
  What, will these hands ne'er be clean?--No more o'
  that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar all with
  this starting.
Here's the smell of the blood still: all the
  perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
  hand. Oh, oh, oh!
From „Julius Caesar‟ – Anger, revenge
 ANTONY : O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
   That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
   Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
   That ever lived in the tide of times.
   Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
   Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,--
   Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,
   To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue--
   A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
   Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
   Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
   Blood and destruction shall be so in use
   And dreadful objects so familiar
   That mothers shall but smile when they behold
   Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
   All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
   And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
   With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
   Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
   Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
   That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
   With carrion men, groaning for burial.
   From „Hamlet‟ – doubt, uncertainty
HAMLET : To be, or not to be: that is the question:
  Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
  The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
  Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
  And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
  No more; and by a sleep to say we end
  The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
  That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
  Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
  To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
  For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
  When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
  Must give us pause: there's the respect
  That makes calamity of so long life;
  For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
  The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
  The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
  The insolence of office and the spurns
  That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
  When he himself might his quietus make
  With a bare bodkin?
          Sonnet 17 - devotion
Shall I compare thee to a summer‟s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer‟s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm‟d:
And every fair from fair sometimes declines,
By chance, or nature‟s changing course, untrimm‟d.
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
From „The Merchant of Venice‟ - Tolerance
   SHYLOCK: If it will feed nothing else,
    it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
    hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
    mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
    bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
    enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
    not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
    dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
    the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
    to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
    warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
    a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
    if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
    us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
    revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
    resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian,
    what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian
    wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
    Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
    teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
    will better the instruction.
 From „Henry V‟ – Honour, bravery
KING HENRY V: Once more unto the breach, dear friends,
  once more;
  Or close the wall up with our English dead.
  In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
  As modest stillness and humility:
  But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
  Then imitate the action of the tiger;
  Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
  Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
  Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
  Let pry through the portage of the head
  Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
  As fearfully as doth a galled rock
  O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
  Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
  Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
  Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
  To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
  Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
From „Henry V‟ – loyalty, patriotism (continued)
 Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
   Have in these parts from morn till even fought
   And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
   Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
   That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
   Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
   And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
   Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
   The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
   That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
   For there is none of you so mean and base,
   That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
   I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
   Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
   Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
   Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
   Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off
        From „Romeo and Juliet‟ – young love
JULIET appears above at a window
ROMEO: But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
   It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
   Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
   Who is already sick and pale with grief,
   That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
   Be not her maid, since she is envious;
   Her vestal livery is but sick and green
   And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
   It is my lady, O, it is my love!
   O, that she knew she were!
   She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
   Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
   I am too bold, 'tis not to me she speaks:
   Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
   Having some business, do entreat her eyes
   To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
   What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
   The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
   As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
   Would through the airy region stream so bright
   That birds would sing and think it were not night.
   See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
   O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
   That I might touch that cheek!
JULIET: Ay me!
ROMEO: She speaks:       Juliet‟s reply
   O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
   As glorious to this night, being o'er my head
   As is a winged messenger of heaven
   Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
   Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
   When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
   And sails upon the bosom of the air.
JULIET: O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
   Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
   Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
   And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
ROMEO: [Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
JULIET: 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
   Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
   What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
   Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
   Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What‟s in a name? that which we call a rose by
any other name would smell as sweet;
   So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
   Retain that dear perfection which he owes
   Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
   And for that name which is no part of thee
   Take all myself.
Performance Time!
       In Elizabethan time, a trumpet
       would sound the alarum for
       performances to start. Remember,
       disgruntled audiences could throw
       rotten fruit or riot if unsatisfied by a
       performance!
       This rarely happened at
       Shakespeare‟s plays, which were
       so popular that one in every two
       Londoners was thought to have
       seen his bloodthirsty revenge
       tragedy „Titus Andronicus‟.
       So you‟re under pressure to pass
       the „riot test‟ – perform with
       passion and feeling.
  Why is Shakespeare still regarded as
„great‟ when his language is so difficult?
   Hopefully, performing has helped you to realise
    that Shakespeare‟s language captures the
    complexity of human emotions. If Shakespeare‟s
    language seems difficult, it is because it is being
    used to say things that the average Elizabethan
    person couldn‟t express.
   When you have a gift with words like
    Shakespeare, you want to exploit it by showing
    off – that is why his language doesn‟t just use
    simple, everyday expressions. In fact, it is so
    memorable that, as we have already seen,
    many of his original lines have become everyday
    expressions!
How can Shakespeare still regarded as „great‟
  when he had so little formal education?

 Shakespeare    left school at fifteen, got
  married when he was eighteen and then
  turned up in London as an actor after
  several „lost years‟ which historians are
  uncertain about – how did he become so
  clever? Do you have to go to university to
  be a genius? Or does his limited education
  not make his achievement even more
  remarkable?
How can we call Shakespeare „great?
His plots weren‟t very original. He just
wrote or changed existing stories. Call
yourself a genius? A plagiarist, more
like!
              In defence of the Bard …
However, Shakespeare‟s originality was in his extraordinarily rich
  usage of language to create strikingly imaginative and original
  images, weaving sub-plots into the main narrative to make his
  dramas more intricate and complex than the works of simpler
  writers.
He brought historical characters to life and made audiences care
  about his characters because of their verisimilitude
  (truthfulness to life).
Furthermore, the vivid word pictures that he painted helped
  audiences suspend their disbelief; they were taken to a world
  of imagination beyond the unpromising modest sparseness of
  the bare projecting stage, the „wooden O‟. He made people
  see in their mind‟s eye what could not be realistically
  presented on the stage with its modest sets and limited
  special effects. That‟s what you did today in your
  performances!
I would have said that myself, but
I‟m far too modest. Plus I‟m dead.
These days, I just let my plays and
poems do the talking for me –
they‟ve lasted for four hundred
years, so I must have done
something right!
                 Homework Task
Write a detailed response to this question:

   Why is Shakespeare still regarded as a great writer and
    dramatist?

Include points on the following, using your knowledge from
   recent lessons:
 How he revolutionised the English language (give
   examples of his techniques and use quotes, trying to
   comment on his use of language)
 How his themes are still relevant; even if the English
   language has changed, his settings can easily be
   updated
 How his characters reflect timeless emotions which
   people still experience today -
I hope you‟ve enjoyed learning
about my work. We‟ll meet again in
a few weeks‟ time when you study
my romantic comedy „Much Ado
About Nothing‟. In the meantime,
make a good persuasive case on
my behalf, if you don‟t mind!




        Exeunt

				
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