About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our 12th Grade English Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about significant works by British playwrights. There is no faster or easier way to learn about British drama. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about works by authors including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need an English curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and a British drama unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
British Drama Unit Objectives
- Get an overview of Shakespeare's life and works
- Examine the historical context of Richard III
- Differentiate between fact and fiction in Julius Caesar
- Outline the plot of Twelfth Night
- Identify themes in Hamlet
- Explore various interpretations of Othello
- Take a look at significant events in King Lear
- Identify themes found in Macbeth
- Survey the major works of Christopher Marlowe
- Discuss the poetry and plays of Ben Jonson
- Recognize characteristics of Restoration comedy
- Discover the influence of Oscar Wilde's plays and novels
- Study Beckett's contributions to the Theatre of the Absurd
- Take a look at dialogue in Waiting for Godot
1. Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works
This video provides a crash course introduction to William Shakespeare's life, plays, and poetry. From 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' to 'The Tempest', we'll give you a timeline of his works and quick descriptions of what you need to know to identify them.
2. Richard III: Fact and Fiction in Shakespeare's History Plays
We'll tease apart the real and the invented in Shakespeare's Richard III and discuss Shakespeare's particular brand of historical fiction. We'll also go over the plot and characters, as well as some famous quotes from the work.
3. Julius Caesar: Shakespeare's Play vs. History
In this lesson, we'll examine Shakespeare's take on the life of Julius Caesar, which spawned such famous quotes as 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!' and 'Et tu, Brute!' We'll also take a look at Brutus and Cassius, the conspirators who plotted Caesar's demise, as well as Mark Antony and Octavius, who remained loyal.
4. Twelfth Night: Themes, Quotes and Cross-Dressing Characters
In this lesson, we'll outline the interplay between love and deception in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. We'll go over plot, characters, and figure out what Shakespeare's cross-dressing heroine Viola means in the context of love.
5. Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy
To be or not to be? In this lesson, that really is the question. Watch this video to learn all about Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. We'll explore its plot, characters and the meaning of that famous phrase.
6. Othello: Racism and Shakespeare
In this video, we'll give an overview of the plot of Shakespeare's 'Othello.' We'll discuss the motivations of his wicked ensign, Iago, and address the racial issues brought to light by Shakespeare's writing.
7. Shakespeare's King Lear: My Three Daughters
In this video, we'll discuss the importance of blindness, both literal and metaphorical, in Shakespeare's King Lear. We'll give an overview of the plot, characters, and explore the familial relationships central to the famous tragedy.
8. Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play
In this lesson, we'll follow how ambition shapes the events of Shakespeare's Scottish play, 'Macbeth'. We'll explore the plot, characters and supernatural elements that are characteristic of this play.
9. Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays
English playwright Christopher Marlowe was a contemporary of Shakespeare with a short but potent body of work to his name. Learn all about his plays - and his fascinating character - from our video lesson!
10. Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare
To a great deal of people, for a great deal of time, English playwright and poet Ben Jonson was known merely as a rival (and inferior) to William Shakespeare. But there's more to the story than that! Watch our video lesson to get the skinny on Jonson's life and work.
11. Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s
Despite their name, Restoration comedies have nothing to do with fixing up a theater. Rather, these were shockingly explicit works that were created after almost two decades of live performances being outlawed in England. Watch our video lesson to learn about this surprising and hilarious time in English theatrical history.
12. Introduction to Oscar Wilde: Plays, Novels, and Sexuality
From ''The Picture of Dorian Gray'' to the ''Importance of Being Earnest'', Oscar Wilde left an indelible mark on literature and theater. In this lesson, you'll learn all about the Victorian author.
13. Introduction to Samuel Beckett: Life, Plays, and Novels
This video will introduce the late modernist author and playwright Samuel Beckett. A close friend of James Joyce, Beckett's works typically portray a meaningless, absurd existence. This is epitomized in his most famous work, 'Waiting for Godot.'
14. Waiting for Godot: Plot, Characters, and Style
In this lesson, we'll explore Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking play, Waiting for Godot. We'll look at its main characters, Vladimir and Estragon, and hear an example of their circular, sometimes nonsensical banter. We'll also briefly discuss the play's legacy in modern theater.
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Other chapters within the 12th Grade English: Homeschool Curriculum course
- British Prose Authors - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- British Poetry - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- African American Authors - Overview: Homeschool Curriculum
- American Prose - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- American Dramatic Literature - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- Literary Terms - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- Writing Essays - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- How to Cite Source Materials: Homeschool Curriculum
- Writing Conventions - Usage: Homeschool Curriculum
- How to Identify Usage Errors: Homeschool Curriculum
- Punctuation in Writing - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- Elements of Grammar - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- Capitalization & Spelling Strategies -12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum
- Linking Texts & Media - 12th Grade: Homeschool Curriculum