12 Mar 2013

Books to Help with Studying Shakespeare at GCSE

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For Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night or The Merchant of Venice, make sure you buy a copy of the book being used in school. You can't take notes or underline a school book, but you can if it's yours. This is probably the single best tip I give to parents.

Ask the teacher for the ISBN (they'll know what this is). School Shakespeare texts have fab notes in them, an introduction and usually have a section in the back which helps to answer most essay, controlled assessment and exam questions set.

If you're really struggling, sparknotes do line by line translations.

If you want a new way to enjoy the story, other than the various film versions or a trip to the theatre, try searching Manga Shakespeare. This one from Julius Caesar is superb, and includes only Shakespearean text. Not for C grade students I think, but a way for keen, B-A* students to enjoy the text. The front two pages are colour, introducing the characters. The rest is black and white ink drawings, which are stylish and hugely evocative.