Introduction to Shakespearean English

As we were reading through early British literature in my sophomore survey class, I wanted a good way to introduce Shakespearean English.

Shakespeare_Portrait_Comparisons WC pdSo I went to YouTube and showed my students the comedian John Branyan’s Three Little Pigs in Shakespearean English. It is an amazing introduction and gives students a taste for the difficulties without making them feel totally inept.

I found a transcript of the work at WritingDeviant. While it is not completely correct, the minor emendations required are significantly less than the level of work it would require to transcribe the video personally.

Overall this video was successful in several ways:
1. It broke up the class (in terms of changing topics easily).
2. The video made the students laugh.
3. They understood that someone else had difficulty with the language, but still was able to “get” it.
4. They heard the language spoken, so they knew it was something they should be able to comprehend when reading it.

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