Ch 3: Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the plays and poetry of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday The Bard himself Shakespeare's biography and his writings
Tuesday Social issues and famous lines Discuss elements of racism in Othello, examine Hamlet as a whole play, review the best-known lines and soliloquies in these plays
Wednesday Power and authority Analyze MacBeth's rise to power in 'The Scottish Play,' and explore King Lear to discover the monarch's loss of authority
Thursday The sonnets Identify themes in Shakespeare's poetry and explain the meaning behind some of the more famous sonnets
Friday Shakespeare's contemporaries Christopher Marlowe and Ben Johnson

8 Lessons in Chapter 3: Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Introduction to Shakespeare: Life and Works

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.

Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy

2. 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.

Othello: Racism and Shakespeare

3. 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.

Shakespeare's King Lear: My Three Daughters

4. 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.

Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play

5. 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.

Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems

6. Shakespeare's Sonnets: Reading and Interpreting the Major Poems

In this video we'll learn about Shakespeare's sonnets, which contain some of his most famous poetry. Shakespeare addresses both a Fair Youth, speculated to be a young earl and patron, and a Dark Lady, whom he describes in frank and unromantic terms. We'll discuss the meter and rhyme scheme of the typical Shakespearean sonnet, as well as the structure of the overall work.

Introduction to Christopher Marlowe: Biography and Plays

7. 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!

Introduction to Ben Jonson: Poems, Plays and Shakespeare

8. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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