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The Best of Shakespeare


“I’ll call for pen and ink and write my mind.”

--Henry VI, Part I, V, iii, 66.


“ ‘To Perform or Not to Perform?’ A Question Worth Exploring” by Ginny Graham explores options for performing Shakespeare as a class activity and includes guidelines and tips (English Journal, September 2002).

statue“Shakespearean Slide Shows” by Rosalind Flynn details the drsma technique of human slide shows as a way to explore meaning through staging (English Journal, September 2002).

“Translating Shakespeare” by Frances Gilbert suggests that students may gain insight by approaching reading Shakespeare as a translation.

“Shakespeare’s Leap” by Stephen Greenblatt explores the connection between his life and works, the creative leap he made, and what made Shakespeare Shakespeare (New York Times, 12 September 2004).


first folioBiography

“20 Things You Never Knew about Shakespeare” by Robert Gore-Langton reveals something new (Sunday Times, 31 May 2010).

“Ten Ways Shakespeare Changed the World” by Robert McCrum looks at the bard’s long-term impact on our modern world (Guardian, 17 April 2016).

“Will Power” by Adam Gopnik reviews Greenblatt’s Will in the World will a focus on elements of critical biography (New Yorker, 12 September 2004).


I love infographs which can be hard to view on screen -- they need to be downloaded, printed, and taped together to be best displayed. That said, click on the images below to launch the full-sized infographic.

Life & Achievement

Game of Life


Illustrated Biography




In Statistics



Study Matrix
study matrix

20 Surprising Facts
20 facta

How to Talk like Shakespeare

Which Play to See
20 facta



Best Shakespeare Sites

absoluteAbsolute Shakespeare offers summaries overviews, some criticism, and text of the plays. Focus is on the more frequently taught plays.

BBC In Search of Shakespeare traces Shakespeare’s life in two parts. Early Years and Later Years (archived).

Cummings Shakespeare Guides offer a varied mix of information written just for the site and links to scholarly resources.hamlet

Ed the Pathology Guy --Ed Friedlander has his own twistonseveral Shakespearean plays. Not certian that his insight is tempered by being a pathologist, but what he offers is a uniqueinterpretation, straight forward, unepected.

Folger Library : Teaching Shakespeare presents lesson plans and resources for teaching many of the plays. Check out Forsooth!, their Tteacher site.

globe educationThe New Globe: Teaching Shakespeare offers extensive resources, with handouts and activities. Virtual Tour of the reconstructed theater amazes. Virtual Tour: Globe 360 App is downloadable for your own device.


Shakespeare Birthplace Trust offers extensive biographical resources.

on internetShakesper: The Global ElectronicConcordance
is a comprehensive link site that includesscholarly resources and an impressive set of Teaching Resources, including PowerPoints.

magazineShakespeare Magazine offers exceptional teaching resources. Famous for the Hamlet memo!

Shakespeare at ThoughtCo. (formerly About.com) is a great starting place with annotated links. An unusual mix of quirky andthorough.bard net

Shakespeare Resource Center is comprehensive and well-organized.

uncoveredShakespeare Uncoveredis the PBS website with resources on teaching through video clips, all downloadable, with accompanying lessons and worksheets. (Archived)

Shakespeare Quotes: 37 in under 2 minutes.

textText Detectives from the RSC uses film clips to explain terms, interpret scenes, and explore clues actors look at when first approaching a text.

Triangulating Shakespeare archives a selection of college level teaching materials -- online syllabi, lecture notes, and critical essays -- as well as student work -- papers, pictures, and performances on RealPlayer video clips.

Web English Teacher offers links for teachers for fourteen of the plays.


Just for Fun

Art to Enchant: Shakespeare and Illustrators from Washington University presents lesser known illustrations and an excellent introductory essay.

Bardolatry is a site that specializes in the unexpected Shakespearean goodies -- up-to-date reviews of productions all over the country, t-shirts, longlost videos. Hard to describe exactly what it is.

60 second
BBC 60-Second Star
offers tabloid newspaper versions of fourteen plays: As You Like It, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Othello, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and The Winter’s Tale.

Every Shakespeare Play Summed Up in a Single Sentence. Yes, really.

Shakespeare Illustrated represents years of work finding, scanning, and linking all the art derived from Shakespeare's plays. Wow!

Shakespearean Insulter can help you find the words to put someone in their place.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater Paper Cutouts lets you print and contruct a Globe model.

shakespearienceShakespearience Poster by T. E. Breitenbach $18 ($21 signed) illustrates famous phrases from Shakespeare. YouTube video about the poster and its word play.

tickle brain
Good Tickle Brain
offers insightful stick-figure versions of Shakespere’s life and his plays. Really, I am not kidding.

Shakesongs: Discovering Shakespeare Through Song -- Quirky but worth a look.

lambCharles and Mary Lamb retold Shakespeare for children in their Tales from Shakespeare. Ebook Audiofile Online

Talk like Shakespeare. Also offers suggestions on how to blog and twitter like the bard.

TED Talks -- Shakespeare Is Everywhere, Why Shakespeare?, and Hip Hop and Shakespeare.

Three Little Pigs in Shakespearean style by John Branyan. Script.

Titles from Shakespeare collects all the various allusions to Shakespearean plays and the various books and movies inspired by his words. Overwhelming!

The TV Viewer’s Guide to Shakespeare by J. E. Consolmagno is the best of the best! Originally in the April 1978 American Way, the inflight magazine of American Airlines. Each play is described as if it were a TV Guide entry.


Twittered Shakespeare -- The infamous Complete Works of Shakespeare as Tweets. Let the storm begin!


Lynch Multimedia offers adaptations, simplified prose versions of Macbeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Anthony & Cleopatra, and A Winter's Tale.



Internet Shakespeare Editions includes the text, an overview of criticism, and relevantbackground for each play. Life and times covers history, society, staging and productions, and significant ideas.


no fearNo Fear Shakespeare from SparkNotes offers free parallel text editions. Quality of the “translations” varies, but these will help students who are struggling.

Shakespeare Navigators for Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and A. C. Bradley's Shakespearean Tragedy are user-friendly hypertext study guides.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet of The Day
--Free Subscription service delivers a sonnet to your email every day.


Materials on the Comedies

Shake Hands with Shakespeare -- An interesting guide designed to introduce Shakespeare to elementary students. It includes games and lessons from Shakespeare’s school days.

Multiple Plays -- Festivals

chicagoChicago Shakespeare Theater has Teacher Handbooks for more than twenty plays. Some titles include online resources, criticism, and more.

Classic Stage Company is a quirky youth-oriented New York THetare with interesting Study Guides for major plays.

Johnstonia, Professor Ian Johnston's extensive Lecture Series includes a Studies in Shakespeare course. All wonderful introductions to often-taught plays.

oregonOregon Shakespeare Festival at Ashland has more than thirty Archived Study Guides and a Video Archive with short clips and trailers.rsc

Royal Shakespeare Society has an eclectic set of resources available for teachers.

Shakespeare in America (National Endowment for the Arts) general introduction.

tavernShakespeare Tavern Playhouse has Study Guides for middle and high school.

Utah Shakespeare Festival
-- Who knew the wealth one can find here! Handouts available on Shakespeare & 32 plays.


Poster Circles -- Display on fourteen major plays. PDF files for printing.

Shakespeare in Love

in love

Viewing Guide and Exam available.

Complete Works of Shakepseare

completeReduced Shakespeare is just too much fun. Full video available on YouTube. Journal Assignments and Viewing Guide to do while watching. Essay Questions,

Theater Teacher’s Guides for this video offer varied activities:


The Animated Tales

Shakespeare: The Animated Tales -- Although occasionally available on YouTube, this five-DVD set is worth every dollar. Each tale is illustrated in a different style.

pencilThe Globe

Globe Theater Scavenger Hunt with Answers -- original and rebuilt

Diagram Images of the Globe -- 1, 2, 3

Factsheets -- short handouts withn basic information

A Day at the Globe with Journal -- PowerPoint with writing assignment.

English Theater PowerPoint -- very large file.




TES Resources include several PowerPoint sets to introduce Shakespeare. Full of content and usable with any play.

  • Beliefs -- Four humours, signs of the zodiac, Great Chain of Being, the supernatural, Catholicism and Protestantism, and the role of women.
  • Genres -- tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy, history plays, and problem plays.
  • Language -- poetry and prose, iambic pentameter, Shakespeare’s sonnets, vocabulary, characterizatio and language, and analyzing language.
  • Productions -- costume, set design and props, technical elements, interpretation, and audience response.
  • Staging -- Globe Theater, positioning on stage, proscenium arch, open thrust, and in-the-round.

Special -- Includes creative and close text analysis (with passages). 17 parts altogether. Offered as a .zip file.


Background Notes -- general introduction to Shakespeare by the wonderful Becci McDaniel.

Fact Find -- quirky presentation with simulated news pages, trivia, kinda fun.

Shakespeare -- 100-slide presentation, with some notes, includes family background, education, later years and many hard-to-find images.

Elizabethan Ideology -- in-depth discussion of major Elizabethan beliefs.

Shakespeare’s Dramatic Language -- emphasis on rhetoric and word play, with analytical exampls.

Shakespeare with Terms -- Straightforward presentation of career, staging, terms, with examples.


If you download or print anything from this site, please consider making at least a $10.00 donation through PayPal.
I can maintain and expand this website only with your help.

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Updated 9 September 2018.

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