Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beowulf Performed in the Original Old English

Although the original Old English is a bit much for most students to handle, Benjamin Bagby's lively performance of Beowulf  is a great way to show your students how the story was originally intended to be heard. Check out a clip from the show here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Original Shakespeare theatre discovered

According to

The 17th century stage that saw Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet staged for the first time has been rediscovered in the Shoreditch district of London. Archaeologists claim they’ve found the remains of the long lost Curtain theatre.

The theatre opened in 1577 and stood until it was dismantled in the 17th century, and its remains were discovered in one of the most densely built up city areas, The Guardian reports.

Archaeologists discovered fragments of the theatre’s exterior wall. Now the experts are waiting till the site is cleared for further work. They believe that many interesting discoveries might await them as they continue digging.

The Curtain theatre was the premiere venue from William Shakespeare’s team before the Globe was built on the banks of the Thames. It stood just next to London's first playhouse, The Theatre. They are the oldest examples of purpose-built theatres in London. The Curtain received its name after the road it was facing and stood until the late 1620s.

The Globe was complete in 1599. For at least two years prior to that Shakespeare was using the Curtain as the main stage. Such plays as Henry V and Romeo and Juliet saw their premieres in the Curtain.

After Shakespeare’s team moved to the Globe, the building fell into decay and was then lost.

The site where the theatre remains were found is currently being developed. Having learned of the discovery the Plough Yard Developments plans to incorporate the remains as public open space within a mixed office, retail and residential quarter. The company now awaits further planning permission.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Social Networks and Summer Reading

by Matt Roberts

The advent of summer heralds the coming of summer reading. English teachers can surely get to those books they haven’t had a chance to read during the school year, and they’ve likely given their students a reading assignment to tide them over until the fall. My fondest summer reading assignment was from the summer preceding seventh grade; I had to report on The Hobbit. I’m looking forward to the movie based on the book to come out this December, of course, but sincerely hope the film won’t fundamentally alter the treasured images I had conjured up in my mind as I enjoyed Tolkien’s mellifluous prose that summer.

The New York Times’ “Learning Network” education blog has sparked a Twitter campaign to discuss summer reading. Whether you’re picking up timeless classics like Brontë’s Jane Eyre (I vividly recall the illustrations from the 1943 edition I pulled off my parents’ shelf for summer reading) or enjoying a recent book like Fforde’s The Eyre Affair, join in the conversation by using the Twitter hashtag #summerreading tomorrow, June 7th. For more details, along with classic essays and articles on summer reading from the Times, see their post here.

In other news, Ray Bradbury, author of perennial classroom classic Fahrenheit 451, has passed away at the age of 91. We at Prestwick House express our condolences to his family and friends. Bradbury was a shining beacon in the literary world, and will be sorely missed.