KEY STAGE 3: READING (Shakespeare)

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How familiar are you with William Shakespeare? Do you need to, or want to, improve your knowledge about the works of Shakespeare. This revision guide has been tailored to Key Stage 3 education to aid students during their English assessments.

No child should be without this ULTIMATE SHAKESPEARE guide which contains an array of plays and poetry to help build your understanding regarding Shakespearean language, themes, symbols, purpose and audience.

Enter the World of Shakespearean Literature!

key stage 3 reading

KEY STAGE 3: English Shakespeare

READING SHAKESPEARE

Learning about the works of Shakespeare is crucial to the English language. As well as classroom learning, it is a great idea to get to grips with Shakespeare. It will allow students to become familiar with the way literature was written during different eras, and how the narrative, language and structure differs to language of today.

In order to improve children’s ability regarding reading skills, we have broken down the curriculum for Key Stage 3, in order to give you some clarification as to how the English subject is taught.

TRANSLATE SHAKESPEARE

This guide not only provides sample questions and extracts from popular plays and poetry, but we have also provided translations to help you understand the language of Shakespeare.

How many of these words do you recognise?

MODERN DAY

 

ELIZABETHAN
Afraid Afeard
Aware Acknown
Away Hence
Banished Banish’d
Before Ere
Beg Pray
Chase (romantically) Woo
Come here Come hither
Curse Plague
Days -morrow
Desire Will
Does Doth
Enemy Foe
Escaped ’scap’d
Farewell Adieu
Go Hie
Go away Avaunt
Has Hath
Have Hast
Here Hither
Indeed Marry

There are loads more translations that can be found in our revision guide, to help your child understand what is being said.

Remember, language is a key component which would need to be analysed, therefore it is important that your child knows what Shakespeare was trying to say.

EXPLORING SHAKESPEARE

William Shakespeare was a British poet and playwright, and is still considered one of the greatest writers in literary history.

Shakespeare wrote around 40 plays, 154 sonnets and a whole range of other poetry.

The works of Shakespeare are taught in schools as a way of recognising writing that is in an old-fashioned style.

Due to the time in which Shakespeare was writing (over 400 years ago), his writing style was very different to how we read and write today.

Shakespeare’s works were able to capture the interest of his audience using conflict and emotion.

Sample Questions

OTHELLO

OTHELLO

A story full of love, tragedy, suspicion and grief, Othello tells the story of a black man (Othello) who secretly marries a woman from one of the first noblest families (Desdemona).

As the play progresses, the audience visualise a change in Othello’s personality. He is conveyed as being highly doubtful and suspicious as to whether his wife has been unfaithful to him. These suspicions are inculcated by the villain of the play, Iago.

CHARACTERS

OTHELLO A Christian ‘Moor’. The main protagonist who is the General of the armies in Venice. Living in a prejudiced society.
DESDEMONA Othello’s wife. Daughter of Venetian Senator, Brabantio. Married Othello in secret.
IAGO Othello’s ensign and villain of the play. His motifs throughout the play are questionable, and results in Othello doubting Desdemona’s faithfulness.
EMILIA Iago’s wife. Desdemona’s lady-in-waiting. Loyal to both. Her attitude towards men is different to that of Desdemona’s.
BRABANTIO Desdemona’s father and Venetian Senator. He is less than impressed with her marriage to a black man.
CASSIO Othello’s lieutenant. Young, inexperienced soldier. Resented by Iago. Considered as having weaknesses for drink and women.
BIANCA Cassio’s mistress. A courtesan (prostitute) in Cyprus. Cassio plays with her emotions and promises to marry her.
RODERIGO A jealous suitor of Desdemona. Constantly manipulated by Iago.

  

Jealousy = Iago makes Othello believe that his wife, Desdemona, has been unfaithful. Othello’s jealousy continues to spiral out of control as the play comes to an end, resulting in the death of himself, his wife and others.

Jealousy is also portrayed in other characters. Iago is jealous of Cassio’s position and authority in the military; Bianca is jealous about Cassio; and Iago shows jealousy towards Emilia.

Race = the idea of a mixed race marriage would be frowned upon by the majority of people at the time this play was written. The racial language used to describe Othello would have been accepted by most, and considered the ‘norm’. Whilst Shakespeare does draw upon racism, he attempts to challenge this by making Othello the hero and Iago the villain.

Reality and appearance = it is questionable as to what is real and what ‘appears’ to be real. Iago’s attempt to convey truth and honesty is nothing more than a cover-up. The dramatic irony of Iago stating how men should be what they seem draws emphasis to this theme.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

 

The Taming of The Shrew is another comedy of Shakespeare. The main plot of this play is the courtship between Katherina (the bad-tempered and resentful daughter) and Petruchio (a character in search of the ‘right’ wife).

Their relationship begins with Katherina being very unwilling and headstrong, but Petruchio soon ‘tames’ the ‘shrew’, and makes her a compliant wife.

Another plotline in this play includes Bianca’s suitors and their attempts to ‘woo’ her. Her father Baptista refuses to let Bianca marry before his eldest daughter.

CHARACTERS

KATHERINA A strong-minded and independent woman who doesn’t like to be held down by others. She is courted by Petruchio, who attempts to make her a compliant bride.
PETRUCHIO Petruchio is in the hunt for a bride, and when he hears about Katherina’s feistiness, he attempts to woo her.
BIANCA Katherina’s younger sister, who has many male suitors.
BAPTISTA The father of Katherina and Bianca. He is a wealthy citizen in Padua, and wants to find suitable husbands for both his daughters. However, he refuses to allow Bianca to marry before Katherina.
THE SUITORS Gremio, Hortensio and Lucentio are all male suitors for Bianca. Lucencio falls in love with Bianca.

THEMES

MARRIAGE = the play focuses on marriage and mocks the power struggles between male and female roles. Although the play does focus on 16th century matrimonial values, it also uses language that suggests quite perverse attitudes.

FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIPS = the theme of family is apparent throughout the play. Not only do we have the main relationship of Katherina and Petruchio, but we also see relationships created with Bianca and her suitors, and the family bond between Baptista, Katherina and Bianca.

TRANSFORMATION = one of the biggest transformations we see is through the character of Katherina. Early on in the play, Katherina is described as being bad-tempered, independent and challenging. She has a male suitor, Petruchio, who attempts to ‘woo’ her. He attempts to deal with her challenging behaviour until she eventually caves in and marries him.

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW SHAKESPEARE?

Key Stage 3 Reading (Shakespeare) is the ultimate revision guide to not only improve your Shakespeare knowledge, but also allows you to refresh your memory and learn the importance of language, purpose and context in terms of Shakespearean plays and sonnets.

This guide is unlike any other. The guide has broken down some of the most popular plays and sonnets, using extract and sample questions to help you analyse the words of Shakespeare. laid out in a clear and easy-to-use format in order to make the most out of learning. The guide is PERFECT for anyone who wishes to improve their knowledge or simply recap information, which has been taught in the classroom or simply for curiosity!

For the ages of 11 to 14, the guide will help children improve their Shakespearean knowledge using extracts, essay questions and analysis to help you get to grips with the works of Shakespeare.

MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES

  • Revision guide for Reading (Shakespeare) – this revision book focuses specifically on the works of Shakespeare, focusing on particular plays and sonnets.
  • A breakdown of the National Curriculum – this guide is useful for parents who want to learn more about what their child will be learning during Key Stage 3, and how they will be assessed.
  • Translating Shakespeare – a list of some of Shakespeare’s most popular words, and their meaning in modern-day English.
  • Detailed breakdown of plays – this guide contains detailed information about different plays including: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello and a whole range of other Shakespeare works.
  • Answers to every question – we have provided all of the answers, so you and your child can work through the booklet together and see which questions they are getting right and which ones they need to work on.
  • Essay questions – we have also provided essay questions that are commonly used during English assessments. We have bullet-pointed responses and provided details of what your answer should focus on, and what quotations are important.

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Free Online Interactive Educational Practice Tests

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