The concept of No Sweat Shakespeare ebooks as teaching resources is simple, but the effects are significant. Shakespeare’s language is basically modern, but because of the length of some of the passages and the occasional contextual obscurities, students often find the language a barrier. Because it’s necessary to stop and work out Shakespeare’s meaning at those times, students can easily lose sight of the whole.
The No Sweat Shakespeare modern English Shakespeare ebooks are aimed at 12-18 year olds, and are ideal for: IB, SAT, GCSE, Key Stage 3, AS Level, A Level etc.
No Sweat Shakespeare ‘s novelizations retain the words of Shakespeare’s texts wherever possible, but the difficulties are solved by slightly altered wording that clarifies meaning without slowing down the pace. The settings are described as they are in novels, with the actions and spatial positions of characters made clear as novel-like narrative. Soliloquies are presented as inner views of the character’s mind or other narrative, while the language and sense are retained. The result is a swift, exciting read that can be done together in class or individually by students. Teachers who have used these resources have found that students need no help to read and understand the story, and gain a feel for Shakespeare’s language. They emerge from the reading – which can be achieved almost in one sitting – as though from a performance of the play, but with everything clear. Take a look at some samples of Shakespeare’s plays translated to see how they work.
No Sweat Shakespeare ‘s novelisations have been designed to be read in conjunction with the Shakespeare texts. They are set out in the form of Acts and Scenes and students can have both texts in front of them. The relevant passage in the Shakespeare translation will clarify everything that causes a difficulty in the original Shakespeare text.
The parallel line-by-line translations that were the only kind available before the No Sweat Shakespeare concept was developed are constrained by a too exact ‘fit’, resulting in complex sentences that are not recognisable as contemporary modern English and still difficult for students to decipher. No Sweat Shakespeare’s texts are fast, easy read.
Care has been taken to ensure that every line of the original is transformed into the kind of English that young people can relate to. Archaisms are carefully replaced with close modern equivalents; Shakespeare’s wordplay is mirrored by a modern form of wordplay, retaining the humour and the freshness, and obscure references are teased out to inform students of their meanings, while not interrupting the flow. The result is a text that is, in fact, a line-by-line parallel but with a freedom that allows our writer to create an absolutely contemporary text while using ninety percent of Shakespeare’s words. Our writer is a teacher with more than thirty years’ experience and a distinguished record of teacher and student education in Shakespeare work. He is also an established fiction writer. Our texts are the result of these two strands of his experience.
Each of these Shakespeare teaching and learning resources is presented in an Adobedocument. Extracts, or the whole text, can be photocopied for whole class use. Parts of it can be included in work sheets. There is no end to the flexibility in the use of these unique Shakespeare teaching resources.