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Quick reassurance from English teachers, please?

(16 Posts)
BertrandRussell Tue 26-May-15 09:54:32

Ds has Macbeth to read as a holiday task. It would be all right for him to watch it following the text, woildn't it? Or is there some good reason for reading it "cold" so to speak?

Tommy Tue 26-May-15 09:57:01

I think if he's reading it/watching it/getting to the know the text, plot etc, then however he does it would be fine!
(an RE teacher but I expect it would work the same way grin )

Skeppers Tue 26-May-15 10:02:21

I used to find that watching a production of the play before starting study made it instantly more accessible to students as they were able to put it into context and understand the story arc, who the characters were, etc. They'd get really frustrated when they were so bogged down in the minutiae of the language that they couldn't really figure out what was going on. But I did have particularly 'challenging' students doing GCSE retakes, so anything which made it easier for them made it easier for me too!

To be honest, he'll probably just focus on a number of key scenes if he's doing an exam/essay on it. I love Shakespeare but there's an awful lot of guff in between the 'interesting' bits which they won't really be interested in unpacking at GCSE level. If there was a TV/Film version of something, I'd always recommend watching it as a introduction to the text.

jubles Tue 26-May-15 10:06:22

Not an English teacher (history teacher), but I remember doing my A-level English lit revision with audiobook. I got the two Shakespeare plays we were doing from the library and read along with the tape (showing my age!), pausing occasionally to make notes. Managed to get through each play several times that way. I think it is a good get into Shakespeare. Watching it might also work, as long as he is actually following the text as well.

BertrandRussell Tue 26-May-15 10:27:30

Great. Just ordered the IanMcKellern/Judi Dench production as most likely to be true to the text without any Polanski type distractions! And I'll tell him to stop trying to plod through it and wait til the DVD arrives.

justonemorethread Tue 26-May-15 10:33:10

If you think about Shakespear plays were never meant to be read!
They are written with the audience on mind, so it just makes sense to watch it first. As long as he then uses that as a support to learn the text well.

Skeppers Tue 26-May-15 10:35:12

Oooh, Dame Judi is my FAVE Lady Macbeth! fangirls

We were subjected to the Polanski version at school; was slightly distracted by the fact that Keith Chegwin (of all people) pops up as Fleance. Couldn't take it seriously from there on in...

Skeppers Tue 26-May-15 10:35:55

justonemorethread You've hit the nail on the head!

castlesintheair Tue 26-May-15 10:41:29

Macbeth is a play, it's meant to be watched! The Judi Dench /Ian McKellan version is my favourite. We watched it years ago at school when I was doing o'levels. It's what got me hooked.

FuzzyWizard Tue 26-May-15 10:53:17

I agree with PPs. Shakespeare is meant to be watched not read! To read a play but never watch it misses the whole point of plays IMO.

KingscoteStaff Tue 26-May-15 11:26:00

While you're waiting for Dame Judi to arrive, get him to watch the BBC Animated Tales version online. Cut down, obviously, but all Shakespearean language and excellent for getting the main events straight in his mind. Also has Zoe Wanamaker as a very scary Lady M!

BertrandRussell Tue 26-May-15 11:39:34

Kingscotestaff- he also has to read and review a book from a genre he doesn't usuallly read. He has chosen The Marlows and the Traitor. I can't wait to see what he makes of it!

jeanne16 Tue 26-May-15 13:17:17

If he is doing GCSE, as opposed to iGCSE, you will probably be stunned to find they actually study very little of the actual play. They only really study a few scenes and then compare some aspect to something else ( often poetry).

BertrandRussell Tue 26-May-15 13:22:54

I know sad - although the new syllabus is a bit better about that. He's only in year 9 though, with a teacher who likes to keep him busy.

hossenfeffer Tue 26-May-15 13:32:29

It's available on BBCi player Radio 3 for about twenty more days. Yes, it's supposed to be watched but also listened to. The most expensive seats at 'The Globe' were behind the stage so that the rich of the day could be seen by the rest of the audience.

There's a mention in 'The Importance of Being Earnest' to listening to plays.

I reckon listening and following the text would be a good way to get into it. Pausing when necessary or rewinding for the good bits.

The murder is the key scene. Poor Lady M. He really was a feckless twit.

Thymeout Tue 26-May-15 21:19:22

Well - I like the Polanski film. Always went down a treat.

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