Googleplex – 1/16/11

I subscribe to a service called “SiteMeter” which allows me to see a limited amount of information about my visitors. One thing that I can see is if someone finds my site via a Google search, and what they were searching for.

Every now and then I check in on what searches people have done to find themselves at Shakespeare Teacher, and to respond to those search terms in the name of fun and public service. All of the following searches brought readers to this site in the past week.


cymbeline appropriate for kids

Well, there is a bit of sexual content in it. Iachimo bets Posthumous that he can seduce Imogen, Posthumous’s wife. To prove he’s won his bet, he describes Imogen’s body in intimate detail.

But why do we flinch at mild sexual content like this for kids, and shrug off graphic violence? Does anyone ask if Macbeth is appropriate for kids?

I just did it myself. When asked if Cymbeline is appropriate for kids, I immediately addressed a verbal description of a female body, and completely ignored the decapitated corpse on stage.

I addressed the same concern when I taught the play to 8th graders. In the end, they did very well with it. You will have to let your own moral compass guide the way.

how long does it take to teach macbeth?

It depends on how deep you want to go. I have taught Macbeth in one lesson; I’ve taught it over an entire year. I’d recommend at least a month, but you’ll have to see what fits in your curriculum.

shakespearean tragedy centered on the theme of “man’s inhumanity to man;

There’s plenty of inhumanity in the canon to go around.

My vote is for King Lear, though I suppose Titus Andronicus would be an appropriate choice as well.

“much ado about nothing” “which war”

Unlike other war-themed plays of Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing does not seem to center on any actual historical war. Directors, therefore, have the freedom to set the play in any post-war period that strikes the fancies of their set and costume designers. Of course, directors of Shakespeare hardly need such an invitation.

In the play, Don John has stood up against his brother Don Pedro, so the Civil War is a good choice. But really, the war itself is such a small part of the story that any war will suffice, even the indeterminate war of the text.

rap songs about historical figures; shakespeare

There are some organizations, like Flocabulary and The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, that use rap music to teach Shakespeare. But my favorite Shakespeare rap is still from the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s three man show The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged):

Full disclosure: Back in my acting days, I performed in this show. I played the role of Daniel (the first guy in the video, wearing red pants), and performed in this rap. The play is rather silly on the page, but turned out to be a great audience pleaser.

UPDATE: The embedded video doesn’t seem to be working right now. Here’s a direct link.

writing an obituary for hamlet

Hamlet, prince of Denmark, died yesterday from complications from a wound by a sword laced with a deadly unction. Some sources reported his age to be 30, while other sources insisted that he could not possibly have been that old. He is survived by nobody. King Fortinbras is requesting that any flowers sent on behalf of the deceased are of a botanical variety that have deep symbolic and/or ironic meaning.

I leave the task of responding to the remaining search terms to my readers:

how did shakespeare fight back?

why might modern day detectives want to question macbeth further

who plays puck on season 1 of slings and arrows

comic strip about merchant of venice

was shakespeare a teacher

edmond king lear bipolar

5 Responses to “Googleplex – 1/16/11”

  1. micah Says:

    who plays puck on season 1 of slings and arrows

    Claire, who is herself played by Sabrina Grdevich.

  2. Bill Says:

    Thanks, Micah!

    I thought it was Claire, but didn’t want to post without being sure, and didn’t feel like pulling out the DVD.

    And if I recall, her Puck was as ridiculous as her “mad” Ophelia.

    I miss that show.

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Slings and Arrows is a great show!

    I would argue that Hamlet is survived by Horatio – he makes a big deal out of preventing Horatio from killing himself and then Horatio tells Fortinbras he will tell all.

  4. Bill Says:

    Fair enough, Elizabeth.

    When you get a chance, check out our Slings & Arrows thread!

  5. Antigonus Says:

    -why might modern day detectives want to question macbeth further-

    The angles of the knife wounds on the bodies were not consistent with his testimony of how things went down.

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