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Shakespeare's Toolkit

Created by Todd Espeland

Todd Espeland has the experience to know that having more tools in your toolbox makes you a better actor. This is especially important when teaching students how to approach Shakespeare. They need help breaking through the language barrier and into the character’s needs and into the character’s thoughts.

The tools that you’ll receive in this course will do just that. The course looks at scansion as a tool for breaking down Shakespeare’s verse, the importance of end of lines, and caesura. Caesura is an inner-line pause which is a lot of fun to play with and really, helps us provide insight to the character’s thoughts and into their needs.

The course provides numerous examples and handouts, and culminates in a performance assignment to use with your students.

9 Modules
3 hours, 3 minutes
6 Credit Hours

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Introduction 7:20 FREE PREVIEW
Lesson 1 outlines the course and explains the techniques that will be covered to build the tools to break down Shakespeare's characters and text.
Lesson 2: Warm-Up 9:02 FREE PREVIEW
This lesson teaches a vocal warm-up that gets the lips, teeth, and the tongue prepared for the language of Shakespeare's text.
Lesson 3: Scansion 41:47
This lesson covers scansion: a system of breaking down Shakespeare’s verse in order to understand it, see how it’s arranged, and then look at the arrangements and see how Shakespeare arranged this poetry.
Lesson 4: Scansion with a Sonnet 31:17
This lesson applies the scansion learned in lesson 3 to one of Shakespeare's sonnets.
Lesson 5: Ends of Lines 21:15
This lesson looks at ends of lines in Shakespeare's poetic form, and examines their importance.
Lesson 6: Ends of Lines with the Sonnet 10:58
This lesson reviews the ends of lines learnings and applies them to the ends of lines verse with the sonnet.
Lesson 7: Caesura 31:02
This lesson reviews Caesura: an inner-line pause that Shakespeare has built in for characters to take breath or to create suspense or to have an emotional gear shift.
Lesson 8: Performing Everything 11:58
This lessons applies the scansion, the ends of lines and the caesura to the sonnet, in order to perform.
Lesson 9: Non-Shakespeare Work and Recap 18:31
This lesson recaps the learnings of the course, as well as discusses how these learnings can be applied to non-Shakespeare work.

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Standards Addressed

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