The king is dead

9th March 2007 at 00:00
Ages 14 to 18

Have you ever reached the end of a Shakespeare tragedy to discover that, despite having an overview of the plot and a grasp of the major themes, even your brightest and keenest A-level English pupils are unclear about some of the finer details?

To remedy this, have pupils establish the respective causes of death of the pile of corpses at the end of King Lear by setting them the task of writing a brief - and possibly humorous - obituary of each character.

This encourages pupils to look again at the text and helps consolidate what happens to whom and why.

My Year 13 group produced fruitful discussions about Shakespeare's intentions and audience sympathies, as well as responses to the tragic ending of the play

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