Denise Hughes is a friend who loves words and the Word. I first met Denise when I guest posted on (in)courage. She’s a teacher at heart and loves to share her passion for writing and digging deep in scripture. Ever feel aimless in your Bible reading? Well, Denise has a remedy for the plight of the random quiet time and stick around — she also has a free gift for us!
When I taught English in high school, at least one Shakespearean play was required reading each semester. By the time my students had reached my class, they’d already been exposed to Shakespeare in earlier grades, and they knew it wasn’t the easiest material to read. So whenever I told my students we were going to read a play by Shakespeare, my announcement was met with equal parts weeping and gnashing of teeth.
To help my students enter the world of Shakespeare, I’d spend a couple of class periods talking about European life in the 1500s, especially in England where Shakespeare wrote and directed his plays. We’d look at pictures of the costumes they wore and the props they used for “special effects” on stage.
We’d also discuss the plotline prior to reading the play. I’d have to explain I wasn’t trying to be a plot spoiler; rather, Shakespeare’s audience already knew the storyline before going to the theater because he mostly took existing stories and recreated them with his own artful spin on the language. The audience came to hear Shakespeare’s unique presentation of the stories they were already familiar with.