Tips on how to approach the study of a Shakespeare play

Renaissance Drama
Tips on how to approach the study of a Shakespeare play on your own

  1. Look for the broad pattern of the play – what is it ‘about’?
  2. Think about the particular characteristics of the genre the play is written in (comedy, history, tragedy, romance, tragicomedy, ‘problem play’) and about how the genre impacts on the action and the language (verse vs. prose, imagery).
  3. Think about the distinctive qualities of the play you are studying. Look at the plot in more detail and think about why things are represented the way they are: what is the function of particular scenes?
  4. Now look at a few key scenes in greater detail, working on the assumption that those scenes are bound to tell you a lot about the play as a whole. Look for controlling ideas, for patterns, echoes, contradictions. Always ask yourself why things are represented the way they are and what it means within the play as a whole.
Six areas of interest:
  • plot (how is it built up? Are there echoes? Climaxes?)
  • character (are the protagonists caught between opposite impulses? What is the function of the minor characters? Are there contrasts between characters in similar situations?)
  • ‘diction’, i.e. the language of the play (are images of order set against images of disorder? What semantic fields dominate? Is the scene written in verse or prose? Does it contain rhetorical figures? Is the language stylised or realistic?)
  • themes (often: a tension between order and disorder, conflicts between men and women, tension between the government and the individual, the insiders and the outsiders)
14 marzo 2017
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Hello, I'm Ismail. From London in the United Kingdom but currently based in Bangkok, Thailand. I am a native English speaker and specialise in copywriting, proofreading, essay writing, conversation practice, pronunciation and business english. I currently work as a journalist and editor at a national newspaper, as well as a regular part-time English teacher. I have a depth of knowledge of the English language and also teach Business English, both online and in-person focusing on the digital economy, interview skills and real estate and property management. I have taught English for over a decade to a wide variety of age groups, from young children to adults. Having studied at British schools and universities, I have an excellent written and spoken knowledge of the language. Is your pronunciation bad? Do other people seem confused when you speak English? Don't worry, I am here to help. As a journalist and editor, I can also help with your essay writing, university application ...
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Inglese
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Regno Unito
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23
Parla:
Inglese
Madrelingua
Hello, I'm Ismail. From London in the United Kingdom but currently based in Bangkok, Thailand. I am a native English speaker and specialise in copywriting, proofreading, essay writing, conversation practice, pronunciation and business english. I currently work as a journalist and editor at a national newspaper, as well as a regular part-time English teacher. I have a depth of knowledge of the English language and also teach Business English, both online and in-person focusing on the digital economy, interview skills and real estate and property management. I have taught English for over a decade to a wide variety of age groups, from young children to adults. Having studied at British schools and universities, I have an excellent written and spoken knowledge of the language. Is your pronunciation bad? Do other people seem confused when you speak English? Don't worry, I am here to help. As a journalist and editor, I can also help with your essay writing, university application ...
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