English Literature KS3 / GCSE: What were Shakespeare's sources and influences?

An exploration of the sources and influences in Shakespeare’s plays.

Shakespeare pulled in influences from many sources. In Julius Caesar he borrows phrases and words from other writers.

In Macbeth we find him using his knowledge of the Bible as a reference.

While in Romeo and Juliet he uses elements of nature to reflect emotion.

This clip is from the series Shakespeare Themes.

Teacher Notes

This could be used to look in more detail at what influenced Shakespeare's writing and the influence his work has had on others. Students could take one of his plays and find examples of influences and sources on the his storytelling process. Students could explore the different kinds of sources Shakespeare takes inspiration from and how best to stage his plays when trying to add the influence of modern society.

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.