Decoding Shakespeare: A Guide for Teens

Even though studying Shakespeare is often a source of grumbling among teens, I have a secret for you - Shakespeare is hilarious! Shakespeare wrote for the common people, not for the rich folks we associate with his work today. His plays are full of dirty jokes and epic slams that will have you rolling on the floor, if you can just learn how to decode them.

To that end, here are some resources to help you turn "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" into "Seriously, why does my crush have to be from the one family I'm not allowed to date?"

You may know about Mango for learning new languages, but did you know they have a Shakespeare course as well? The lessons teach you how to translate Shakespeare's Old English into modern speech so you can better understand what he's saying.

Do a basic search for "Shakespeare" in the Gale "for Students" Literary Criticism Collection and you'll find a wealth of resources for your homework. They've got summaries of the plays, explanations of the characters, historical context, and background. For critical essays talking about the plays and sonnets more in depth there's the Literary Reference Center, another good resource for your research papers.

And finally, Shakespeare's plays were meant to be seen, and if you can't get to the Globe, or to Chicago Shakespeare Theater to see it, you can find a few of the film versions to stream or download through Hoopla.

And so, I bid you anon and good fortune!

(That means 'goodbye and good luck')

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