Great advice, despite coming from Polonius. Last semester we read Hamlet by William Shakespeare. Charlotte Mason quotes from Hamlet quite often, including the lines above. She prefaces the quote by telling us that “most of us carry in our minds tags of verse which shape our conduct
more than we know.” (Vol. 4, p. 10) It’s so true. Because these “tags of verse” help shape our conscience, selecting only the best becomes paramount. And the quote above speaks deeply to me.
It has become a thing here at Sage Parnassus for me to share the resources that we used after each Shakespeare play. You can access all of the past posts about the plays we’ve experienced here under the heading “Shakespeare in Our Community”.
Oftentimes I introduce the play with a pre-reading activity at our TBG Community meeting. These serve as a sort of retelling, if you will. Here is a great intro to the play that involves acting – Pantomime Pre-reading Activity
I use the tried-and-true, affordable Folger’s editions of the plays. Each student who can read has their own copy. It has become a rite of passage in our community to be able to have your own text. In addition to that, each student now has a sizable library of the plays, marked up with their own notes and underlines.
As the teacher, I have a few favorite resources. First, Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Christian Guides to the Classics)
by Leland Ryken is excellent. Read World magazine’s review of it here.
Another fabulous resource that I mentioned over 4 years ago is worth mentioning again. That is, Marjorie Garber’s Shakespeare After All . She brilliantly analyzes the plays with insight and depth that is astounding. And now you can take her class at Harvard – for free! Sandy tells me these lectures are well done so I ‘m excited about this resource.
Finally, we did something fun with narrations this term. Each student did a drawing narration for each act as we went through the play. They were to draw the scene that struck them on paper 4.25 x 5.5. When we met, they shared their drawings. They were to design a book cover and place their 5 drawings in them. Here are a few pictures of them.