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The North Face of Shakespeare: Activities for Teaching the Plays (Cambridge School Shakespeare)


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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The North Face of Shakespeare argues that successful active work arises directly from the extraordinary dramatic power of Shakespeare's writing - from its language and poetry and its use of narrative and character. The book invites teachers and drama practitioners to think of their classroom as a stage, with their students as both actors and audience. It proposes that the text can be presented as drama - whether in quite simple ways sitting at desks or in open space in the classroom or workshop, the text can be spoken and performed by every learner in the room. The aim is for students to take away an engaged and secure understanding of that text to use in their own reading and study.


A wealth of expert advice and practical ideas for teaching the plays.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Using this book; The organisation and content of the eight chapters; Developing the use of drama to teach Shakespeare; The teacher's autonomy; Section 1. Active Teaching: 1. Why use active methods to teach the plays? The North Face of Shakespeare; The problem of monumentalism; The teacher repositioned: 'Shakespeare shared'; Starting active work; Drama workshops; The learner and the text at the centre; Active Shakespeare and independent learning; Back to the art of teaching - and student achievement; 2. Practical work and drama workshops; The classroom as stage: activities in conventional teaching sessions; Safety: physical and emotional; Different needs and abilities; Workshop practices; Workshop objectives and the use of warm-ups and preparation exercises; Workshop planning: an example of a language workshop - 'Macbeth's soliloquies'; The origins of the workshop activities in the following chapters; Section 2. Activities for Teaching Shakespeare's Plays: 3. Group formation activities; Group formation; Getting started; 4. Drama games: using games in the Shakespeare workshop; 5. Drama exercises: using drama exercises in the Shakespeare workshop; 6. Shakespeare's language: the aims of language work; Shakespeare's language gives 'the motive and the cue' for action; Discourse and rhetoric as sources of dramatic energy and action; Language ownership and familiarity through workshops; Teaching approaches: listen and speak, active reading, learn and act; 7. Narrative in Shakespeare: harnessing the power of narrative's theatricality; The nature of Shakespeare's narratives; Teaching approaches: Structural approaches, dynamic approaches, investigative approaches; 8. Character in Shakespeare: changing ideas about character in drama; Characters and their speech utterances; Role differentiated from character; Character and setting; Mise en scene; Teaching approaches: personal encounters with roles; Roles in social settings; Roles in action in the narrative; Notes; References; Index.

Product Details

Stredder, James
Cambridge University Press
Foreword by:
Berry, Cicely
Berry, Cicely
Literary Criticism : General
Literary Criticism & Collections
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Cambridge School Shakespeare
Publication Date:
8.80x5.90x.60 in. 1.05 lbs.

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Criticism
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

The North Face of Shakespeare: Activities for Teaching the Plays (Cambridge School Shakespeare) New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521756365 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A wealth of expert advice and practical ideas for teaching the plays.
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