April 23rd was Shakespeare’s birthday – and the day of his death – so why not have a go at understanding Shakespeare’s plays yourself?

Romeo and Juliet might be the most famous of his stories – but do you also know Hamlet, Macbeth or A Midsummer Night’s Dream? As well as the original version, you have probably already seen a modern version of at least one of Shakespeare’s plays: check out this list of films based on the plays here.

If you want to read the plays, try following these steps here. You might find the No Fear texts useful – the original text with a more modern version alongside. What you really need to do in order to understand the plays is go and see them: ideally at The Globe in London – the traditional home of Shakespeare. If you don’t live in London, have a look at your local cinema for National Theatre Live – plays filmed live and shown at cinemas around the world.

For more information about all aspects of Shakespeare, try this blog.

And if you’re feeling nervous or overwhelmed, you might find some comfort here: learners discuss their experiences with Shakespeare, and with reading in general, and give each other advice about literature, and about Shakespeare in particular.

You can do it! Good luck!

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