English Literature KS3 / GCSE: Shakespeare's heroes

This clip explores how Shakespeare characterises heroes within his plays. Shakespeare’s heroes come in many different shapes, and they don’t all live happily ever after.

Some die tragically for romance like Romeo in 'Romeo and Juliet', or kill tragically like the anti-hero Lord Macbeth in 'Macbeth'.

Even the more traditional royal heroes like Henry V, a magnificent leader of men, end up making a lot of mistakes early on in their careers.

This clip is from the series Shakespeare Themes.

Teacher Notes

This could be used to look in more detail at the role of heroes in Shakespeare's plays.

Students could take one of his plays and find examples of when characters have made heroic decisions.

Students could explore the different kinds of heroes in Shakespeare's plays, and compare these with heroes of history, Greek gods, war heroes, or modern day heroes.

What does it take to be a hero in the present day?

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching English Literature at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Also 3rd and 4th level in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, WJEC, CCEA and SQA.