The day my teacher achieved the impossible

I remember being at school and having to write a thesis from one of William Shakespeare’s plays. At the time I thought there couldn’t have been anything more boring. There were FAR cooler things to do, like play with my radio controlled car, or play football, or watch TV. Luckily we had an amazing teacher at Kapiti College named Mrs Palmer, who somehow brought these very old stories to life. She made Shakespeare interesting, and because of this, we were sucked into happily doing our homework. I now have a huge admiration for Shakespeare and Mrs Palmer.

Here is a link to an article written in the Guardian by Deborah Patterson titled ‘Top 10 tips on how to write like William Shakespeare.’ And below you’ll find some examples:

1 – Have fun with language. Many words and phrases that are in common usage today can trace their origins back to Shakespeare, so feel free to invent words and create new phrases. You may even come up with the next “The world’s mine oyster”, or “green-eyed monster”.

2 – Write a love story. Like Shakespeare, you’ll have endless themes of love to choose from. Forbidden love is a popular choice, but there’s also jealous love, love-sickness, unrequited love, luckiness in love, or, worst of all, ‘death-mark’d love’ as suffered by Romeo and Juliet. As Shakespeare wrote in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “The course of true love never did run smooth”, so your love story could have as many plot twists as you like.

3 – If you would like to add a darker tone to your tale, consider including a ghost in your cast of characters. The ghost of Hamlet’s father was given a voice, and he used that voice to reveal the identity of his murderer to his son. The ghost of Banquo was silent but was used to great effect in Macbeth, increasing Macbeth’s growing sense of madness.

4 – To write a Shakespearean comic tale you will need to put one or more of your characters in disguise. Sometimes only a single scene using disguise is enough, a masked ball for example, but you could choose to lead your plot with the main character who is permanently concealing her identity.

I hope you learn like I did, that William Shakespeare was indeed a master. We have a lot to learn from him.

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