But, Was Helen Worth It?

Every time I come across a story about the Trojan War, I find myself thinking the same two thoughts: 1) Paris is the WORST, and 2) was Helen really worth all this? Today, I will be examining the latter. I could go on a rant about Paris, but I think that is a much less... Continue Reading →

Twelfth Night and the Gender Spectrum

Disclaimer: I consider myself to be an ally to the LGTBQ+ community, but I am a cis-gendered woman. I have spent a good deal of time thinking about how to present this topic without unintentionally offending anyone. I am still learning and understanding, so please forgive any transgressions I make. I welcome constructive criticism in... Continue Reading →

Much Ado in the Era of #MeToo

This Friday we will be looking at the culminating scene of Much Ado About Nothing, the wedding scene. For those of you that don’t know, this is when Claudio publicly shames Hero at the altar for her alleged infidelity. Afterwards, Beatrice talks with Benedick and delivers some of her most powerful lines. Beatrice expresses her... Continue Reading →

The Meaning of Nothing

Much like everything in Shakespeare, the meaning behind his words has multiple layers. The meaning behind the title of Much Ado About Nothing is no exception, especially when you look at the word “nothing”. You wouldn’t think there could be so much meaning behind a word that literally means...well...nothing or no thing or no nonspecific... Continue Reading →

Why War with France?

Since the primary focus of Henry V is his campaigns in France, I thought it would be helpful to review exactly why he wants to bother with conquering France in the first place (besides, you know, glory). Henry V decides to restart the war started by his grandfather, Edward III, known as the Hundred Years... Continue Reading →

Decontructing the Tudor Myth

By usurping Richard III in 1485, Henry Tudor (now Henry VII) brought about the end of the Wars of the Roses, decades of turmoil for the English people. The Tudor Dynasty meant a long period of peace and prosperity for England...at least that is what they wanted us to believe. Unfortunately for the Tudors, Henry’s... Continue Reading →

Introduction to Henry IV, Part 1

It will surprise no one to know that Shakespeare took a fair amount of creative liberty when presenting the history of Henry IV's reign. He did this in part to create a more compelling story and in part to satisfy the Tudor propaganda that was extremely relevant to his ability to produce plays. First, he... Continue Reading →

Portia: Independent and Controlled

Since I touched on the anti-Semitism in my introduction, I thought I would try to take the road less travelled (or at least the road less congested) and discuss Portia. I found Portia to be a striking female character because she exists in this grey area in between being independent and being under the control... Continue Reading →

The Merchant of Venice Discussion Guide

Introducing students to The Merchant of Venice is tricky, but directly confronting the issues that make it so can lead to several interesting and necessary discussions. What is anti-semitism and how has it appeared throughout history? It is important to take the time to identify the stereotypes and develop and understanding of how those stereotypes... Continue Reading →

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