We are starting our year in Honors English I with Shakespeare and poetry, including poetry by Shakespeare. William Shakespeare is widely regarded as one of the greatest dramatists of the Western World. Romeo and Juliet, while not perhaps his best play, is a wonderful way to dip your toes into the bard’s language. While most of his tragedies are completely serious, and most of his comedies are entirely whimsical, Romeo and Juliet includes elements of both tragedies and comedies. You don’t have to log your literature book home with you to read the play; you can read the entire play online at the MIT website. You can find background information on Elizabethan drama here. If you want to review your knowledge of the characters, you can take a Quizlet quiz I created for you by clicking here. (You do have to create an account to take quizzes on Quizlet, but it’s free, and it’s a fun way to review!)
One very interesting thing about Shakespeare’s theatre is that women were not allowed to be on stage. You can watch a scene below from Shakespeare in Love that illustrates this scene well.
Since Shakespeare’s language incorporates so many figurative elements, it is natural to pair it with the study of poetry. We will begin out foray into poetry with some classic poems such as “I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud” by Wordsworth, “Ozymandias” by Shelley, and “The Day is Done” by Longfellow. I have hunted down some online resources to help make working on the poetry unit even more fun than usual. One great resource is a Quizlet Quiz to help you study some poetry terms. (Although I didn’t write this one, I will be adding some quizzes for you on Quizlet later, so this is a good practice for you.) If you need a source for definitions of the terms, you can find most of them here.
Now, to make this the most fun you’ve ever had in school, we will be assigning parts and reading the play in class, so if you are an aspiring thespian, comment below and let me know you’d like to read.