For teachers and learners

We would like to grow Shakespeare ZA as a portal for the sharing of teaching and learning resources. We invite you to share with us the materials and websites that you have found useful in the classroom or when working on your own.

To get things started, we have posted below some links and documents related to Hamlet and Coriolanus, which were selected as Grade 12 set works for English Home Language by the Department of Basic Education and the Independent Examinations Board respectively.

Other Shakespeare plays that are currently set works in South African schools in Grades 10-12 include Romeo and JulietOthello and Henry V. Let’s start to build a collection of resources!

Hamlet | Coriolanus | Other links and resources


Hamlet

  • In these two videos,  Benedict Cumberbatch talks about taking on the role of Hamlet in a 2015 production at the Barbican Theatre in London; alongside, Kenneth Branagh discusses his 1996 film version of the play.   

It might also be useful to think about different approaches to or manifestations of Hamlet in a specifically South African context. In recent years a number of South African writers and scholars have tackled the play – the selection below includes research articles, essays and reviews of books and stage productions:


Coriolanus

Coriolanus is a political play: it is about life on the public stage. The characters and their relationships can be confusing! This fun breakdown of the dramatis personae may help. 

Coriolanus has a particularly interesting resonance in South Africa – both because of the play’s action and themes, and because it is a favourite of former President Thabo Mbeki. This article by Daniel Roux assesses the connections between Mbeki and Coriolanus in light of the history of “tragedy” as a genre in South Africa.

Coriolanus is not performed very often – certainly not as often as Hamlet. In 2011 Ralph Fiennes directed and starred in a film version that has become a standard point of reference. Here is Fiennes discussing his film in three parts:

In 2016, the Rohan Quince and Nikki Pilkington directed a production for the National Children’s Theatre that toured South Africa, performing at schools across the country. The images below illustrate key moments in the play. (Click to enlarge.)