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William Shakespeare Resources

A collection of resources

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William Shakespeare is one of the best-known English authors in all of history. Take a look at the teacher resources available on Storyboard That.



Edward III, The War of the Roses, and The Hundred Years’ War

By Kristy Littlehale


Many of Shakespeare’s Histories drew their inspiration from a contentious period in English history: the War of the Roses, and the years leading up to it. It is worth reviewing this important, yet complicated history with students before engaging them in Shakespeare’s History plays. Shakespeare’s histories often painted former monarchs in a particularly exaggerated light for theatrical effect. It was important that Shakespeare paint the Tudors as favorable to anyone else, lest England sink back into the depths of another civil Yorkist/Lancastrian war upon Elizabeth’s death. As he developed these plays, Shakespeare assumed his audience was already familiar with the history of their reigns and their conflicts, so students should be familiar with them, too.

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The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Kristy Littlehale


The Tempest is often considered to be the last work that William Shakespeare wrote by himself, without collaboration. It is an enchanting play to read and watch, as Prospero wields his magic powers, aided by the fiery spirit Ariel, to right a wrong done to him by his own brother 12 years before. The play is also very funny, in a humor that still stands even with today’s students. The play covers important themes such as illusion vs. reality, revenge, discovery, and redemption.

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King Lear by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Kristy Littlehale


King Lear is one of the most complex plays written by William Shakespeare, with its many characters, disguises, and surprising outcomes. Typical of most Shakespearean tragedies, old King Lear is brought to ruin, and eventually death, by a tragic flaw: his foolishness spurred on by his pride. Shakespeare examines many universal themes and ideals such as the dangers of foolishness and manipulation, the consequences of greed, and the bittersweet happiness of redemption and reconciliation.

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The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Kristy Littlehale


Until recently, the popular opinion of King Richard III was that he was an evil hunchback who killed two little boys, brought an end to the era of the House of York, and brought about the glory of the Tudor family. Much of his reputed evil deeds comes from William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Richard III. Some have suggested that Richard III was unfairly demonized in order to paint the Tudor family as the saviors of England. Regardless of the more recent speculation, The Tragedy of Richard III remains one of the most chilling tales of the potential destructiveness of a man’s ambition and pride.

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Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Kristy Littlehale


“Sonnet 73” is a poignant sonnet for anyone who has sensed time passing by too quickly, and the need to hang on to youth, life, and experiences much more tightly. This sonnet uses winter, night, and a dying fire as metaphors for the inevitable approach of Death. This sonnet is excellent to use for literary elements, TP-CASTT analysis, and for a student to connect their own experience of time passing by too quickly. While old age and death may seem far away for our students, the final activity will help them understand exactly what Shakespeare is trying to say to his readers.

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The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray


If you haven't read The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare yet, you are in for a crazy soap opera of lies and suspicion! Shakespeare delivers again with this masterful and tragic tale of lovers and traitors. In Othello, racism, jealousy, and prejudice all culminate with sorrow and murder. Using this teacher guide, captivate your students and keep them on track with this tricky plot!

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The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray


Fearing Rome would lose its democracy under the rule of Caesar, Brutus agrees to kill his friend in the name of Rome. “It is not that I love Caesar less, but that I love Rome more.” (Act 3 Scene 2) Conspiring with other senators, Brutus and Cassius stab Caesar to death Caesar on the day of his coronation. Julius Caesar famously says, "Et tu, Brute?" indicating his deep feeling of betrayal.

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The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray


One of the most quoted lines of Shakespeare comes from Hamlet: "To be or not to be, that is the question!" Inspire and engage your students with captivating storyboards as you teach The Tragedy of Hamlet, a dark tale of a prince consumed by revenge. Bring the vivid imagery to life with our invaluable teacher guide that incorporates all four strands of the ELA Common Core State Standards.

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A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray


Despite being one of Shakespeare's most popular works, A Midsummer Night's Dream can be a tough play to follow. It contains four plots, and as Puck's work unfolds, things can get a little strange. With this teacher guide, watch your students master this comedy and become pros with Shakespeare!

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The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray


The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is about two star­-crossed lovers from feuding families, who take their own lives. Through a series of unfortunate events, fate and chance turn against the lovers. Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, marry in secret, but are soon separated. The two die tragically in one of the most famous examples of dramatic irony.

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The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray


The Tragedy of Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's best-known works. The shortest (and one of the bloodiest) of Shakespeare's tragedies, the story begins with victory and honors for the brave Scottish general, Macbeth. The play follows Macbeth's descent from noble soldier to nefarious traitor.

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William Shakespeare Plays

By Rebecca Ray and Kristy Littlehale


No matter what they were named, William Shakespeare’s plays would still be great works of art, so it may not matter what we call them. Generally though, Shakespeare wrote three types of plays: Tragedy, Comedy, and History. These names help us understand the archetypes of a play and better analyze its events. After all, The Comedy of Romeo and Juliet would be a very different play from The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps it would be a farce about two star-crossed lovers, doomed to suffer humorous mistakes of identity and bumbling servants. It wouldn’t be the story of woe we are all so familiar with.

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