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ERIC Number: EJ856321
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-8274
Virtual Seating in the Globe Theatre: Appreciating Film Adaptations of Shakespeare's Plays
Williamson, Lynette
English Journal, v99 n1 p71-73 Sep 2009
While it may be true that different interpretations of Shakespeare's words elicit varied responses, Shakespeare's popularity in Renaissance England was due in large part to his ability to appeal to a socially and educationally diverse audience. Shakespeare knew what it took to fill the seats. To encourage appreciation of Shakespeare's universal appeal, the author invites students to "take a virtual seat" in one of three locations--the pit, the gallery, or the balcony--as they view a film adaptation of one of Shakespeare's plays. The author leaves the choice of seats up to the students, and surprisingly, their choices mirror the typical audience at one of Shakespeare's original stagings. In a recent class of 33 students viewing Roman Polanski's "Macbeth," the majority, 23, plopped in the pit; 6 sat in the gallery, and 4 opted for the balcony seats. While the author has considered assigning seats, students' freedom to choose generally makes for a stronger commitment to their point of view and more authentic discussion at the end of the viewing.
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A