“Good sentences, and well pronounced.” MV I.2

993057_10151724618759855_1942787574_nIt’s time for more fun with Shakespeare! Often our goal is to have our students write. This time, the goal is to have students write, but using the Bard’s words, not their own.

Last year in Chicago there was a production entitled Bard Fiction, which told the story of Pulp Fiction using words originally penned by Shakespeare. Hilarity ensues. Here’s a clip:

The script was in part compiled through a collaborative Wiki, the Pulp Shakespeare Project. The contributors found lines from Shakespeare’s works that correlated with the script from Tarantino’s masterpiece. For example, Samuel L. Jackson’s famous line now reads, “Speak ‘What’ again! Thou cur, cry ‘What’ again!”

Another variation on that theme is found at the Speak Shakespeare website, a type of Shakespearean “translator.” Type in “He’s gorgeous,” and they’ll give you “Nay, he’s a flower. In faith, a very flower,” from Romeo and Juliet.

As for classroom applications, a few ideas come to mind. Like the 1950s cocktail napkin pictured above, students can take lines from whatever play they’re currently studying and have them re-imagine them in a different context. Lady M doing laundry for example. Other examples from the 1950s include the following:


ShakespeareNapkins30However, the more creative assignment, in my opinion, would be along the lines of Bard Fiction. Have students choose a favorite movie scene. Using Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets as source materials, have them rewrite the scene as Will would have. For exceptionally creative students, they can film shot-for-shot remakes using the new dialogue, and then the class can have a classy Hollywood-esque premiere!

Now, go for it. Or as Shakespeare would say, “Nay, now dispatch” R3 I.2.


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