William Shakespeare

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • dramatist: a person who writes plays
  • credit: to recognize someone as the creator of something
  • iconic: famous; widely known
  • comedy: a type of play that makes use of humour, and has a happy ending
  • tragedy: a type of play that has a sad endingoften the death of the main character
  • relevant: important to the time or situation

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, currently considered to be one of the greatest of all time. He was born in 1564 in Stratford, where he would spend the rest of his childhood. At age 18, he married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and the had three children together. After the birth of his youngest two children, Shakespeare travelled to London and helped to found an company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. While working as an actor, Shakespeare began to write scripts. One of the first plays to be officially credited to Shakespeare was the iconic Romeo and Juliet, a story of two young lovers who come from families. During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays: 14 comedies, 12 tragedies, and 12 histories. Shakespeare died in 1616 – over 400 years ago – but his plays are still relevant today because of their influence on stories. In fact, many of today’s books, movies, and plays are based on concepts from Shakespeare’s work.

Comprehension questions

1. William Shakespeare was born in

Correct! Wrong!

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford.

2. Shakespeare began writing plays while working as

Correct! Wrong!

Shakespeare began writing plays while working as an actor.

3. Shakespeare wrote at least

Correct! Wrong!

Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you know of any modern books, movies, or plays that are based on Shakespeare’s plays?
  2. Why do you think that so much modern entertainment is inspired by these plays?

Transcript

William Shakespeare was an English dramatist and poet, currently considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time. He was born in 1564 in Stratford, where he would spend the rest of his childhood. At age 18, he married a woman named Anne Hathaway, and the couple had three children together. After the birth of his youngest two children, Shakespeare travelled to London and helped to found an acting company known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. While working as an actor, Shakespeare began to write scripts. One of the first plays to be officially credited to Shakespeare was the iconic Romeo and Juliet, a story of two young lovers who come from rival families. During his life, Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays: 14 comedies, 12 tragedies, and 12 histories. Shakespeare died in 1616 – over 400 years ago – but his plays are still relevant today because of their influence on modern stories. In fact, many of today’s books, movies, and plays are based on concepts from Shakespeare’s work.

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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