How To Read Shakespeare

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his web page is intended for students who are following GCSE specifications (a UK exam) in English Language and English literature. It may also be of general interest to students of Shakespeare's plays. If you have the text of the play as an electronic document (an e-text), you can use your text editor (such as WordPad) or word processor (such as Word, WordPro or WordPerfect) to search for items of interest, and help you in other ways. To get a copy of the play as a text file, go to the e-text library of Project Gutenberg. Back to top How to write about Shakespeare's plays Let the teacher/examiner assessing your written (or spoken) work see that you know that a play is drama. It happens in performance in a theatre (or, today, in a feature film or TV…show more content…
(This is only a selection - you will notice many more changes from the text you have studied.) Back to top It may be all right to mention these things so long as you show you know that they are the director's ideas, and not Shakespeare's. But avoid such errors as writing that Juliet shoots herself at the end of the play! And don't call the play a “film” or a “book”. Finally, do not copy long passages from the text of the play. Do quote short phrases or single words, putting these in speech marks. Do not write the verb “quote” to introduce a quotation. Always explain, or comment on, what you quote, using your own words. The notes that follow should give you some ideas about what happens in selected episodes from the play, about how they show the themes of the play and its characters. There are also notes on how the play is written. These refer to the structure of the scene, to dramatic language, and to Shakespeare's stagecraft as it affects the plays in

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