Hamlet: using film versions to explore alternative interpretations

One of the most useful things I think students can do to revise Shakespeare is watching a range of different versions. Not mindlessly in the background – but with the thought in mind that these are alternative interpretations, considering the way directors and actors have portrayed the lines and the choices they have made. It’s also a great way to learn quotes – hearing them and seeing them is a fantastic way to get them into your head, and I think it’s important to hear them spoken as often as possible. Consider Ophelia’s argument with Hamlet, for example –I’ve put …

How to stop worrying about quotations: Getting form, structure and language right without memorising the whole text

When exams are closed book, it’s easy for students to panic and worry more about memorising quotes than anything else. The assessment objective for analysing language always includes the selective/judicious use of quotation, but it does also include close reference. While I will do some on how to learn quotes, as we’re coming into the final half-term before AS exams, I’m starting to spend more time on how to get that detailed, precise understanding of FSL (form, structure and language) without necessarily remembering whole poems or soliloquies. As someone who’s not great at remembering quotes themselves (from literature, anyway – apparently I …