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The Shakespeare Inquiry Project

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The Shakespeare Inquiry started with a “Shakespeare Day” where we took part in games to explore the concept of villainy. Following Shakespeare Day, we spent our English lessons and homework time researching and producing our inquiry. For the rest of the day, each class had three workshops, with different teachers about different villains. For each workshop we studied the plot for the particular play the teacher was showing us, then identified the villain. We looked at their motives, actions, and relationships with other characters.

To do this, we came up with a few key questions about the villains, which ranged from comparing villains in different plays, comparing them to modern villains or real people, or just looking in detail at one villain. The final aim of the inquiry was to produce an exhibit for other English students to evaluate and learn from.

After the Shakespeare day, we set off on our individual inquiries to do with a villain of our choice. As a class we discussed some product ideas and the sort of key questions we should ask ourselves. My main question was “What are Aaron’s thoughts throughout the play and how does he present them?” To present this, I chose to create a fake Twitter account for the villain: Aaron in Titus Andronicus. I then researched the plot to give myself an in-depth understanding of the play. I used his soliloquies to help me find his ‘thoughts.’ I highlighted what I thought were the most important lines/phrases in the texts to help me come up with ‘tweets’.

Another outcome of this project was a rationale, which was presented through a QR code. It had to include why we chose the villain and why we chose particular questions, then further explaining what we did.

The exhibition worked really well – each exhibit had sheets of paper for other students to give feedback about their product. I personally really enjoyed the project. I liked having a lot of choice and freedom in what we produced (from artwork and posters to websites and PowerPoints). We were able to make what we enjoyed making as well as look up the characters that interested us most. I look forward to doing something like this again!

by Nicholas Basford (10D)


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