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Shakespeare for life 2016

Celebrate Shakespeare in 2016!

To mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, Macmillan Education has created a series of new resources and opportunities to help you celebrate Shakespeare’s legacy and learn more about his language, plays and enduring relevance in our everyday lives.

As part of the new Shakespeare for Life series, we have collaborated with The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company (THSC) to bring you a series of thought-provoking new resources and blog posts – including a brand-new Shakespeare rap!

Watch Akala's Shakespeare rap

Tune in to Akala's 'Comedy, Tragedy, History' rap video – specially adapted for Macmillan Dictionary as part of the Shakespeare celebrations. Can you spot the 25 Shakespeare play titles? Download the full lesson plan (with teacher's notes and answers), student worksheet, and full lyrics for use in your classroom.

Download lesson plan Download worksheet Download lyrics

Blog posts about Shakespeare’s language

Over on our blog you can find our latest Shakespeare posts. Keep your eyes peeled for the next article about the Bard and his influence on the English language.

Macmillan Dictionary Blog

The poetic virtue of slang: from Shakespeare to council estates by Anthony Anaxagorou

"Language is not a fixed entity nor has it ever been. It borrows from older meanings, it's shaped by literature, history, migration and war and it's largely comprised of sounds that have very little to do with the actual thing they are denoting – indeed some linguists argue that all language is essentially metaphor and it's our human ability to translate and interpret meaning that gives language its true and indomitable virtue."

Read the full blog post

Macmillan Dictionary Blog

Translating Shakespeare by Mish Jani

"For anyone, pupil and scholar alike, who may have the task of unpicking and decoding Shakespearean language, the process is multi-layered. The earliest translations of Shakespeare were taken down by hand one week in the pits of the Globe and performed the very next in the theatres of Europe, often giving credit to an entirely different author."

Read the full blog post

Macmillan Dictionary Blog

From Bard Words to BuzzWords – parallels in word formation by Kerry Maxwell

“Shakespeare was a big cheese when it came to the propagation of trendy new vocabulary. And if we take a more detailed look at some of his enduring contributions to the English language, it’s fascinating to see the parallels between the development of ‘Bard words’ and some of today’s BuzzWords.”

Read the full blog post

Macmillan Dictionary Blog

Much ado about ‘do’ by Stan Carey

“In Act 2, Scene 4 of Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio enters the stage and asks: ‘Where the devil should this Romeo be? Came he not home tonight?’ Then in the next act, Benvolio urges his cousin Romeo: ‘Begone! Stand not amazed.’ Both quotations are distinctly Shakespearean – we notice there’s something syntactically different about them even before we pinpoint what it is.”

Read the full blog post


Get a taste of Macmillan Education's year-long Shakespeare for Life campaign in this video by The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company's founder, Akala.

You can download a transcript of the video below.

Video transcript

Shakespeare on Macmillan Readers

Shakespeare for life 2016 Head to ‘Will’s World’ on the Macmillan Readers website – home to the big Shakespeare 2016 celebrations!

Among the range of new Shakespeare resources you’ll find lesson plans, infographics and quizzes – plus the chance to show off your language skills in our global creative writing competition.

Macmillan Readers Resources

About The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company

The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company Founded by MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist Kingslee “Akala” Daley, The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company is a music production company that works with young people and communities across the globe to deliver a unique education programme exploring Shakespeare’s enduring relevance and legacy. 

Drawing on the parallels between hip-hop music and Shakespeare’s language and plays, they deliver thought-provoking workshops, talks and residencies that seek to shift perceptions and proactively inspire, educate and entertain audience of all ages about the important part Shakespeare played – and continues to play – in our global culture and society. 

Launched with the support of British Actor Sir Ian McKellen, the organisation’s own profile and legacy continues to grow and they have worked with an array of high-profile artists and organisation including Ed Sheeran, The British Council, The Royal Shakespeare Company and now Macmillan Education!

For more information, visit their website: www.hiphopshakespeare.com

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