Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare

It’s easy to think that it’s other people who are the movers and shakers, those who change history and the world. Yet one way we are all agents of change and creativity is in our use of language. According to David Crystal in a blog post Speaking Shakespeare Today:

Conversation is “unpredictable in its subject-matter, and keeps us on our toes. It is unpredictable in its participation: in a group we never quite know who is going to talk next. It is interactive, and therefore unpredictable in the reactions we encounter. It requires us to read between the lines, as people bring their individual backgrounds, presuppositions, and assumptions to bear.”

We could all learn a thing or two about communicating using better presentation skills and interesting words. We could take David’s suggestion and look at what Shakespeare does with words – such as turning a noun into a verb like I did with this blog post title. Tips straight from the Southwark wordsmith.

If you are interested in linguistics and language we have a number of books in the reference collection including the fascinating: From bonbon to cha-cha: Oxford dictionary of foreign words and phrases.

 

 

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Shakespeare and theatreSaturday 23 April marks 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. We’ve been adding new material to our reference section to compliment the bard covering not only Shakespeare himself but his plays, sonnets and the theatre.

To start off we have William Shakespeare: a Very Short Introduction by Stanley Wells which is one from our favourite Oxford University Press series. It’s a great introduction to Shakespeare’s life, work and the different types of plays he wrote from comedies to tragicomedies and tragedies. Next we have The Shakespeare Book edited by Satu Fox. This one is a Dorling Kindersley book listing each play with a plot summary, a timeline outlining the key parts of the plot and dramatis personae (list of characters) and an ‘in Context’ section exploring themes, origins of the material and the impact of the play. The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare by Michael Dobson and Stanley Wells is an alphabetical listing of the plays and characters, themes, plots and famous actors who played the roles. Lastly The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare By Albert F Kinney is for the more serious student of Shakespeare and holds chapters dedicated to issues in Shakespearean studies from the versions of the text, to interpretation of the works, issues within them and transfer of the material from stage to film and television.

You cannot study Shakespeare without looking at theatre so we have Theatre: a Very Short Introduction by Marvin Carlson to help you put the history plays and others into context. In addition we have the Oxford Guide to Plays by Michael Patterson which acts like a dictionary listing the plays alphabetically. Each entry summarises the plot, gives you the playwright’s name, when it was written, when and where it was first performed, categorises them by genre and tells you when and where it is set. There is also an index of playwrights and characters. Last but not least the Oxford Dictionary of Plays by Michael Patterson lists plays from around the world alphabetically and organises them by country and historical period. Basically a larger version of Oxford Guide to Plays.

There is a special Saturday night on television  Shakespeare Live! From the RSC on 23 April at 2030 which will be available on the iPlayer after the broadcast. A host of stars perform snippets from Shakespeare. Find out more on the BBC Shakespeare Special page about other programmes celebrating the anniversary.

Interested in studying more about Shakespeare? How about joining one of these Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) I found on the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s website. If you don’t fancy that there’s a free exhibition of primary sources you can examine on Shakespeare Documented. Great for students and teachers!

 

Much Ado About Nothing and Shakespeare, Feminism and Gender coversOur Access to Higher Education students are in the process of writing assignments on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at present.

Each student is researching away trying to find new sources and angles on the play and its themes to stand out from the others. Whilst we’ve got an ebook version of a  Harold Bloom’s literacy criticism Much Ado About Nothing to help them we’ve also got a copy of Kate Chedgzoy’s Shakespeare, Feminism and Gender which looks at the role and view of women in the play.

While working with them in Learning Zone this week and discussing the role of Hero in the play and the significance of her name our Learning Resource Centre (LRC) staff member suggested they might find something interesting about it on Britannica Online. As well as using the literature dictionaries we have. Britannica came up trumps with a reference to Greek mythology.

As a librarian our Learning Resource Centre team member found yet again by thinking laterally about the sources you could use for an assignment on Shakespeare it was possible to get a different angle on the play without spending hours running Google searches to find a quality and useful source to impress…

Much Ado About Nothing and Buffy the Vampire slayer graphic novelsEarlier this academic year our Six Book Challenge students took part in voting for books they’d like to see us stock to count towards the Challenge.

One of them who has recently completed the Challenge told me how she’d loved reading the Manga Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing edited by Richard Appignanesi. Since she finished the Challenge we’ve added Romeo and Juliet to our stock too. If you’re into graphic Shakespeare then why not try Macbeth by William Shakespeare edited by John McDonald?

If you’re a fan of Manga then you’ll also like these graphic novels:

Adamtine by Hannah Berry

Fables: Rose Red by Bill Willingham

Fables: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham

Buffy the Vampire Slayer- Time of Your Life by Joss Whedon

Graphic doesn’t necessarily mean it only applies to plays and novels. We’ve got some graphic books for students studying for Access to Higher Education:

Introducing Psychology: a Graphic Guide by Nigel C. Benson

Sociology in Pictures: Research Methods by Michael Haralambos and Wendy Hope

 

Aside

Posted on: May 8, 2012

Globe on standFor all of our English students out there this year is special because of the Shakespeare events which form part of the Cultural Olympiad. Take a look at the myShakespeare blog area of the World Shakespeare Festival which is a space dedicated to discussing performing Shakespeare’s plays and thoughts about the bard’s material in the light of what we see and experience today. You’ll also find the London 2012’s Cultural Olympiad brochure downloadable online.

For all of our …


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