|The Graphic Version|
In our curriculum, the story of Macbeth was used as the introduction to Shakespeare. I chose to also focus on Hamlet as we are fortunate to live in an area with a Shakespeare Theater where Hamlet was performed this last season. My 10 and 12 year old enjoyed the slightly abridged version of Hamlet at Orlando Shakes though they still thought it was long. (They were not wrong.)
In addition to these book materials, I found several videos that were entertaining and insightful for all of us. I have mentioned videos by Crash Course in the past for history topics, but they also have both a Literature and Theatre video series that include information about Shakespeare and his works. The literature video series has episodes that give an overview and literary importance of Hamlet, The Sonnets, and Romeo and Juliet. The theatre video series includes several episodes expressly about Shakespearean Theatre in a historical context. (Since every parent has different filters for their children, I suggest parents watch these first.)
TedEd has some great educational content in general as well as this little gem on Shakespeare's Macbeth:
As you learn about Shakespeare and his works, one can't help but discover the controversy surrounding the identity of the man himself. There is another TedEd talk on that subject called, "Did Shakespeare write his plays? - Natalya St. Clair and Aaron Williams" and a documentary that I personally found fascinating entitled "Last Will & Testament." (Last Will & Testament is currently available on Amazon Prime and I believe PBS Passport.)
I was already convinced of the importance of Shakespeare's works when at a recent homeschool convention I learned that the works of Shakespeare are considered Honorary Classics. There is The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, The Aeneid by Virgil, The Divine Comedy by Dante, The King James Bible and then the works of Shakespeare, considered by many to be the "Western Canon." I look forward to delving more into the works of Shakespeare in the coming months and years. Once again, I find myself learning along side my children and finding new interests and amazement in things that I would have never before imagined and I am grateful.