Today while running my many (many) errands, I stopped by the local library and picked up A&E’s William Shakespeare: A Life of Drama. I wanted to see if it would be worth viewing with my students–or purchasing.
- It was a good introduction and overview of Shakespeare.
- It provided visuals: the plays, Elizabethan England, the new Globe, etc.
- It was under an hour, meaning that with my double-block classes we could both watch the documentary and do a more active related activity.
- It looks a little dated, which might be a turn off for my students.
- It’s interesting, but not absolutely captivating.
- Romeo and Juliet was mentioned maybe twice.
It was interesting to note where the documentary differed from Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare: The World as Stage. What Bryson presents as supposition or a fact under dispute, the documentary presented as the absolute truth.
I did a quick search on Amazon and found In Search of Shakespeare by PBS. I’ve requested this from the library as well to see if it would be a better fit for my students.