• Supernatural Elements in Shakespeare

    In this media collection, students explore the use of supernatural elements within William Shakespeare’s plays, focusing particularly on Macbeth, Hamlet, and The Tempest. Students examine supernatural beliefs during the 16th and 17th centuries, and they also identify how supernatural elements drive the plot of many of Shakespeare’s plays.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Loss in Shakespeare

    Using this media collection, students explore the theme of loss within Shakespeare's plays, particularly focusing on Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and Richard II. Whether it is loss of a loved one, loss of power, or loss of identity, students examine how Shakespeare’s characters cope with loss. Students also question whether or not Shakespeare’s own life (and loss) influenced his writing.

    Grades: 8-12
  • The Use of Soliloquy

    In this series of videos from Shakespeare Uncovered, students explore the use of soliloquy as a device to reveal character and advance plot. They consider how using soliloquy perhaps more truthfully exposes character than other devices like dialogue. In addition, students focus particularly on the famous soliloquy in Hamlet, "To be or not to be," and discuss how and why the topics of his speech are best explored through soliloquy.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Shakespeare’s Words and Phrases

    This series of videos from Shakespeare Uncovered explores how Shakespeare uses language in his works. This gallery includes examples from Hamlet, Henry V, Macbeth, Richard II and The Tempest and features actors and scholars discussing and debating the meaning of Shakespeare’s words. The videos highlight the way in which different phrases can have varied meanings, and illustrate how Shakespeare’s words come to life when read aloud. The collection also includes a video segment that shows where Shakespeare gained inspiration for his writing and one that raises questions about what version of Hamlet contains Shakespeare’s original text.

    Grades: 8-12
  • In Shakespeare’s Time

    This series of videos from Shakespeare Uncovered presents the practices and beliefs held by the Elizabethans during Shakespeare’s time. The gallery explores the ideas and attitudes of both average people and monarchs regarding witchcraft and specifically addresses Queen Elizabeth’s response to attacks on the throne. Two videos delve into the serious beliefs surrounding suicide and ghosts. This gallery also explores Shakespeare’s sources for historical research, the topic of boys and men playing female roles, the role of theater in London, and the idea that Shakespearian Theater was akin to big box office theater today.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Shakespeare and the Evolution of Character

    This series of videos from Shakespeare Uncovered explores the many ways Shakespeare showed the dramatic evolution of a character. This aspect of Shakespeare’s plays is specifically examined in Macbeth, The Tempest, and three history plays, Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V, which chronicle the lives and journeys of successive kings of England beginning with Richard II. The videos show characters in inescapable positions forced to make decisions under mounting pressures. Several videos delve into the concept of the Divine Right of Kings and how it informs the actions and choices of both Richard II and Henry IV. In Henry V, Shakespeare creates a coming-of-age story in the character evolution of Prince Hal who began as a reckless young prince in Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 and who now emerges as a very successful king of England.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Gender Roles in Shakespeare

    This media gallery contains a series of videos from Shakespeare Uncovered that highlight commonly held beliefs regarding gender roles and identity in society. As you view the videos and complete the activities, examine the ways in which women and men are presented in the plays and think about what motivates their actions--is it their individualism or their gender?

    Grades: 8-12
  • Supernatural Shakespeare and Macbeth | Shakespeare Uncovered

    In this lesson from Shakespeare Uncovered, students will explore how William Shakespeare uses supernatural elements in Macbeth. (This lesson is best used during a reading of Macbeth.)

    Grades: 9-13+
  • "Speak, I Charge You": Macbeth on Your Feet, Not in Your Seat | Shakespeare Uncovered

    This lesson explores the validity of a statement that Oscar-nominated actor Ethan Hawke (Boyhood, Training Day) makes in the Macbeth episode of Shakespeare Uncovered: "There's always a certain magic that happens when you start to say the lines [from a Shakespeare play] out loud that you can't anticipate. It feels like a spell." (This lesson is designed to be used as part of a unit on Macbeth. The Introductory Activity could be used as a prereading exercise to introduce performance at the beginning of the unit.)

    Grades: 9-13+