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R and J: Learning the Shakespeare

Mrs Brooks - 22 May 2015

Some helpful ways of being confident with the Shakespeare....



Understanding the Shakespeare:
An excellent website..... No Fear Shakespeare (on Spark Notes)
The lines are modernised for you alongside the original text. It is helpful if you are unsure of what the words mean and it helps you think about how to say your lines better.


http://nfs.sparknotes.com/romeojuliet/

Now - remember the play has been cut down so you need to go through your scenes and pick out the relevant bits and jot them in your script in another colour.

Sectioning your work off:
I have spoken to some of you about thinking of your individual lines as sections of emotion or reaction.


With a colour pen go through each and every one of your lines and write something to promt you for the reaction you need to give.

Ways of learning:
  • Speaking the lines out loud is the most effective way of learning. Get someone to help you by reading in the other parts
  • Recording yourself saying the lines and listening to them on mp3
  • Recording the other people's lines in the scene leaving gaps where your lines are meant to be (for you say out loud).
  • Read out loud - cover script - speak without looking - check
  • Go through the hardest lines first
  • Don't always go from the beginning of the scene.
Practise Practise Practise.

Please see some info from shakespearegeek website for extra pointers...


From: http://blog.shakespearegeek.com/2005/09/tips-for-memorizing-shakespeare.html
 
  • Find the rhythm in what you're memorizing, as if it were music. This is poetry, after all. As you read it, tap your hand along and try to get the appropriate dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH sound. Or, in the case of what I just read, DAH da DAH da DAH... WHEN shall WE three MEET aGAIN, in THUNder LIGHTning OR in RAIN? WHEN the HURly BURly's DONE, WHEN the BATtle's LOST and WON... Get the idea? but SOFT what LIGHT through YONder WINdow BREAKS, it IS the EAST...
  • Try to group the lines into a logical set. Usually one "line" is not a complete sentence. Shakespeare did tend to be wordy. "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" is a complete sentence, but it is a question. So what's the answer? "It is the east, and Juliet is the sun."
  • "Practice" by keeping an ear open for other lines in the play that stuck in your head. It's actually easier to memorize 20 individual lines scattered around the play than it is to memorize 20 in a row. Much of the difficulty in memorizing a Shakespearean monologue is just plain lack of confidence. You get a block that says "I can't do it" and thus you can't. But once you realize that you've already memorized a bunch of lines without even trying, that mental block tends to go away.
  • Try to remember that these are indeed people talking to other people, trying to get their point across. Put some emotion into the words. That's one of the reasons that I say to try finding a passage that you really like. When I was in high school and had to do the balcony scene, there were 4 boys and 4 girls in the class and we were paired up to recite it. And, of course, all of us were painfully shy over the whole prospect, since if we actually did it well, then we'd have to endure endless speculation that we must like each other (ewwwwwww). I remember deliberately doing it badly just to avoid that. So maybe try a scene where Romeo is angry (like after the death of Mercutio), or when Juliet actually stands up for herself.
 
 
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