DOI link for Approaching Shakespeare
Approaching Shakespeare book
This chapter considers what pupils bring to the experience of Shakespeare in the classroom and explores a range of strategies for teaching Shakespeare. It examines the place and role of Shakespeare in the curriculum and in society. Shakespeare represents both the most constrained and the most open aspect of the secondary English curriculum. The only author whose works have been a compulsory element in every version of the English National Curriculum — and hence whose works feature in public examinations throughout the secondary phase — Shakespeare is the fixed point of a shifting assessment regime. Many welcome the challenge of Shakespeare because difficulty functions as a marker of their own maturity: Shakespeare means grown-up texts for grown-up readers. Allowing pupils to explore images of and references to Shakespeare in contemporary and popular media is a good way of situating its relevance and exploring its iconic status.