Students can sometimes find Shakespeare hard to understand and appreciate, in part because the language is 400 years old. It may be the greatest dramatic poetry ever written, but it is also from another time. The Bard Bites Back features the ghost of the world’s greatest dramatist, William Shakespeare, who has come back to Earth to set the record straight and to let us know just what he thinks of what has been made of his legacy. The film is a comedy and features original music written to some of the most famous Shakespearean texts.
Click here to watch the trailer!
The Bard Bites Back follows the seven stages of human life as outlined in Jacques’ speech in As You Like It and can be viewed in its entirety (over 60 minutes) or sequentially in segments corresponding to these different ages. Each segment of the can be treated as a stand-alone springboard to discussion (with accompanying notes) of topics such as:
- How would you compare the way we use language now with the way it was used in Shakespeare’s time?
- Does Shakespeare belong to everyone? (Shakespeare and multiculturalism)
- How does Shakespeare look at men and women? (questions of gender in Shakespeare)
- What are some different ways of interpreting Shakespeare? (literary critical approaches including deconstructionism, historical context, thematic analysis)
- How did Shakespeare become so well known? (Shakespeare’s reputation and how it came about)
- What are the differences between Shakespeare then and now? (productions of Shakespeare across time)
- Who was Shakespeare? Are you sure? (biographical questions relating to Shakespeare)
- What kind of world did Shakespeare live in and how did it affect what he did?
The Bard Bites Back looks at many aspects of the Shakespearean world, raising issues that remain current today. But above all, it is fun. Learning about Shakespeare and the glorious dramatic tradition that he instigated need never be boring. And the advice that Shakespeare’s ghost has for us all at the end of the film, once heard, will not be forgotten.