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21 August 2014
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Teachers' Notes - plays, themes and characters

Teachers' area

To accompany the website, ICT Advanced Skills Teacher Paul Sibson has written a set of Teacher's Notes.

Here's a list of key themes in major Shakespeare plays to help in exploring Shakespeare's work in the classroom.
 

Some key themes from famous Shakespeare plays

Ask the students to think about
  • How these themes could be explored as modern day plays?
  • How these themes could be condensed into just 60 seconds?

  • Hamlet

    Hesitation
    Corruption
    Revenge
    Deception
    Ambition
    Loyalty
    Serendipity
    Madness

    As You Like It

    Love is life's greatest joy and greatest healer.
    Love is a many-splintered thing.
    Fortune and Nature often work at odds.
    Nature heals.
    All is not what it seems.

    Henry V

    A noble cause with noble warriors can win the day against overwhelming odds.
    Foreign war quells domestic strife.
    A just cause can transform disunity into unity.

    Julius Caesar

    Idealism
    Ambition
    Deceit
    Recognize and heed warnings.

    King Lear

    Suffering can transform a contemptible human being into a good person.
    All things are not as they appear.
    Greed and lust
    Fate. Power

    Twelfth Night

    Love
    Disguise

    Macbeth

    Ambition
    Lust for power
    Appearance vs. reality
    Temptation
    Guilt haunts the evildoer.

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Love ultimately triumphs in the end.
    Appearance vs reality
    Father does not always know best
    Dream the impossible dream.

    Much Ado about Nothing

    The road to marriage is often lined with pitfalls and impediments.
    Appearance vs reality
    All is not what it seems.
    Love

    Othello

    Appearance vs reality
    All things are not what they seem.
    Jealousy
    Hatred
    True love

    Richard III

    Ambition
    Appearance vs reality
    All things are not as they seem.
    Where there is pure evil, there is no conscience.
    I am what I am.


    Romeo and Juliet

    Love
    Tragedy
    Judgement
    Conflict
    Fate

    Taming of the Shrew

    Role of women - submissiveness
    Love
    Money makes the man

    The Tempest

    Forgive and forget.
    Repent your sins.
    Exploration and mistreatment of native populations.
    The storms of life are followed by peace and calm.
    Friendship
    Freedom

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