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Points for each participant

William Shakespeare

  • “throne” tragedies (Othello, Macbeth, King Lear);
  • themes;
  • famous plots and characters;
  • Shakespearean language.

Concentrate on the most famous works of the master. Try to answer the question: why Shakespeare is still new and alive, even in contemporary world?

You may use the following information (Магистральный сюжет у Шекспира):



  • time limit is 7 minutes;
  • 5 main criteria: informativeness, creativity, being interesting, use of visual aids, interactiveness;
  • informativeness: give useful and the most important information;
  • creativity: present your project in an original way, p.e. act out some scene from the book, sing, dance, make video etc.
  • being interesting: do not make your presentation boring - present only interesting facts;
  • use of visual aids: prepare pictures / slides for each passage of your speech, bring real objects, dress according to the epoch you present, find screening of some important episodes from the book etc.
  • interactiveness: involve your groupmates, prepare tasks and questions for them to heck their attentiveness; it may be a final quiz, a crossword, a series of riddles, handouts, a quest etc.
  • while presenting remember that most of your groupmates are not aware of anything you are going to present; be an expert but do not make everybody sleep.
  • do not read,only peep.


Read the play “Hamlet”. If you have read it many years ago re-read it (and compare your attitude). If you read Russian translation try to find the translation by B. Pasternak (the translation by Lozinsky is also permitted).


The following positions will be discussed at the practical class:


· The world of courtly lies and hypocrisy;

· The theme of revenge and the theme of religious belief;

· Hamlet as the person of Renaissance: is Hamlet a humanist?

· Madness: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t” (Хоть это и безумие, но в нем есть последовательность);

· Word and silence (think over the last words pronounced by Hamlet);

· World = theatre; the importance of actors; play inside the play;

· Metaphor “Death – life – dream”;

To prepare for the discussion look through the questions using the following links:



Read famous Hamlet’s soliloquy “To be or not to be” in English.

Critical task:John Dover Wilson (in What Happens in Hamlet), commenting on the ‘to be or not to be’ speech, wrote: ‘He believes in immortality, which means that by death he may exchange one nightmare for a worse.’ How far do you think that Hamlet’s religious beliefs make it more difficult for him to reach decisions?


Compare different filmed versions of the ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy. State the difference between Hamlet in different actors’ interpretations.


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