Let’s meet the Bard, William Shakespeare


shakespeareToday I’d like to introduce you to …. the Bard: William Shakespeare!

I would like to start this post by sharing with you the magazine Gallant Gossip  created by a class of mine some years ago. I’m still so proud of it! Originally it was just printed as a booklet of paper like the copy I showed you in class. Then I created the on-line version. Reading it is a must as it will inspire you all for our next creative writing activity that, as for now, I want to keep secret .

Gallant Gossip by Laura Cimetta

If you’ve asked yourself the question. “Why do we have to study Shalespeare?” here you’ll find some answers. Why study Shakespeare?

  • CHOOSE 3 REASONS write them in your notebook and bring them to class.

Here’s some links on W. Shakespeare http://absoluteshakespeare.com/index.htm or this one http://www.enotes.com/topics/william-shakespeare  From the beginning you’ll see there are TOO MANY TOPICS, related sites and too much info and you’ll feel … totally LOST ! Don’t worry, it’s normal! In order to help you cope with that feeling I have selected some links that will make you save time without feeling overwhelmed. You can plunge into the ocean if you feel like but let’s start surfing the lake! :) Here are my suggestions:

1) Watch Shakespeare ‘s short biography. It gives the key events of Shakespeare’s life and work.

2) Take a short Shakespeare’s Biography Quiz

3) Have  a looK at the houses where he lived: beautiful Images of his properties in Stratford Upon Avon

4) Photos of the Globe theatre: http://www.wfu.edu/~tedforrl/shakespeare/globe.htm and if you like take a virtual tour of it. (The virtual tour requires the free Quicktime plugin for your browser but you can download it from page). It’s like being inside the theatre during a show!

5) If you want to have an idea of how many theatres there were in London look at this beautiful map of all Elizabethan theatres: 

6) In the future, after studying some of his works, should you doubt about the existence of Shakespeare as the dramatist who wrote Shakespeare’s plays read this: How We Know That Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare: The Historical Facts. There’s also a movie Anonymous that claims he didn’t write his plays.

7) There’s also a beautiful Interactive folio of Romeo & Juliet where you can read his comedy, have explained the difficult words and also listen to it :)

Here’s a funny Video about Shakespeare’s language :)

If you like music this website offers you Shakespeare’s works through music. 

Let’s end this post with Shakespeare’s … dating tips so that you can get ready for your St. valentine’s day :) If you register you can also do the activities (multiple choice ex. ) on the video here. Enjoy!


  1.  a list of the 13 words you didn’t know were invented by Shakespeare!
  2. 60 second Shakespeare’s plays
  3. Interactive Shakespeare
  4. Tudor’s dressing game


4F: WILLIAM BLAKE 1757-1827

Next Friday we’ll start reading one of my favorite poets and artists: WILLIAM BLAKE


No other poet could better embody the pure essence of Creativity, the fight against the injustices of his time and the constant wish to balance & blend the OPPOSITE FORCES of life in a PERENNIAL QUEST  FOR HARMONY which will be one of the main threads – together with Human Rights and  breaking down of certainties also touched by his production – running through our syllabus.  I’ve found a TV documentary you may find interesting. In order to help you while listening, I’ve created some true/False questions with EDPUZZLE. (In the first you register and sign to my class so that I can track your work while in the second you can foo the activity as a guest)

Since Blake’s message according to the documentary was: EMBRACE A WORLD OF CREATIVITY I’ve chosen this second video animation, highly visual.

You can see his paintings at this BBC Website. They’re stunning and highly impressive. Some of them refer to Dante’s Divina Commedia and you’ll find them familiar ;)

The last video is an animation. Sheila Graber was Commissioned by the Tate Gallery to create a movie for their 1977 Blake Exhibition. She was even invited down into the Sculpture Hall where she actually made the movie in public view – thus demonstrating how animation on cel is actually done. It follows “The Poets” journey from Heaven to Hell and back… showing that, as Blake said, “Energy is Eternal delight and whether we create of destroy-it’s the same energy.”

Now I hope you’ll be ready and eager to know more about this great artist and read together in class some of his poems.

How did you like that animation for such a complex poet as William Blake? Does it suit his work? We’ll discuss in class next week AFTER READING SOME OF HIS POEMS.