Home > Slide Shows/Photo Galleries > Thee… Thou… Whaaat?: Reading and Understanding Shakespeare

Thee… Thou… Whaaat?: Reading and Understanding Shakespeare

by: Calisin, Johanna Rose E
University of the Philippines – Diliman

Shakespeare is an icon in English Literature. He is continuously read, studied and adapted into different media. However, a lot of people find it difficult to read and understand Shakespeare’s language. Not too long ago, I was one of them.

I sought ways to help myself understand Shakespeare better and recently found 3 very useful videos by TED-Ed.

    The First video is on Shakespeare’s use of the iambic pentameter which is about how the use of stress and rhythm are useful tools in understanding the bard:

    This next video is on Shakespeare’s language. It talks about how he had invented words that we use nowadays and it also talks about romantic language by him. It translates into modern language some of them.:

    The last video is a helpful guide in the language of insults in Shakespeare’s works. Through it, the viewers can understand what kind of insults were used and why these were insulting in works like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet etc:

    Hopefully, others would find these useful as well.

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  1. hgrdimapilis
    December 2, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    It’s interesting to take note that there are actually a lot of educational videos made to help people, specifically students, to understand and appreciate Shakespeare more. Most students find the text difficult to read due to the Old English used, but for some reason, people keep pushing the youth to just read it, instead of simply translating it into a language they could understand. I think it would be better if a translation to modern English existed rather than all the thine and thou’s. It would help the children understand the text more, and once they have understood the story, then go to the original text with the Old English. I think they would be able to appreciate the text more that way.

    – Hannah Grace Dimapilis, 2014-73730

  2. Clarisse Peralta
    December 2, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I really appreciated this post because watching TED-Ed videos is one of my favorite ways to kill time (haha). And Hannah is right, there are so many educational videos out there on Shakespeare and I think this reflects just how popular and phenomenal Shakespeare really is. Online educational videos have started only fairly recently and still, Shakespeare is one of the very first subjects that people want to talk about share information about. I just think it’s so cool to see something that a lot of people (especially high school students) perceive to be boring and dull transformed into what is considered to be a modern and youthful form of media. I think teachers will see a dramatic change in the reaction of their students to Shakespeare if they decide to tap this kind of medium.

    I also want to recommend these videos from Crash Course. It’s a channel similar to TED-Ed and it features John Green lol! This is just one of the many videos from their series, Crash Course Literature.

    Of Pentameter & Bear Baiting – Romeo & Juliet Part I: Crash Course English Literature #2

  3. janchloepojas
    December 6, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I agree with Hannah when she said there are A LOT of Shakespeare videos online to help people appreciate Shakespeare even more. If you search ‘animated Shakespeare’ just on youtube, a whole wide array of videos tackling the bard in animation will pop-up, at our disposal. I have seen these videos even before, (Ted Ed is a fave of mine) but it never hurt to watch them all over again and be reminded of even the most basic things about Shakespeare! Good call on this topic and selection of videos! I love that your shared it for everyone to see and to learn from! 🙂

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