Phoenix Education Online

Shakespeare's Tragedies: Shakespeare Workshop


Stock: Available

Product Code: 978-1-876580-77-3

 edited by Ken Watson

 This volume, written by a range of experienced teachers, contains five of the most popular of Shakespeare's tragedies.



King Lear


Anthony and Cleopatra

There is a wide range of activities for each play providing abundant opportunities for activities which allow students to work towards a thorough understanding of the plays as theatre and literature, towards a range of interpretations of the plays and to explore ways in which a script can be transformed into a stage play.

Most plays include activities dealing with

  • Introduction to the play
  • language
  • staging and performance
  • character
  • plot
  • themes and issues
  • dramatic structure

 In addition to the activities for each of the plays there is  a separate section on staging Shakespeare's plays.

 The plays selected in Tragedies are more suited to senior secondary students, but can be used with middle secondary.

 All activities are photocopiable.

Also available

A Workshop Approach to Shakespeare's Histories

A Workshop Approach to Shakespeare's Comedies

A Workshop Approach to Introducing Shakespeare

Content examples from three of the plays in Shakespeare's Tragedies


  1. Parallels Introduction to the play
  2. Sequencing on the Feet                                         Introduction to the play
  3. Kaleidoscope                                                         Introduction to the play
  4. Opening Scenes                                                    Theatre vs text
  5. 'Cloze' Exercise                                                     Analysis of language
  6. From Text to Scene                                               Possible interpretations
  7. Freeze Frames                                                      Plot and relationships
  8. Student as Director                                               Interpretation of characters/issues
  9. Group 'Soliloquy'                                                    Language awareness
  10. 'Improving' Shakespeare                                        History of text changes
  11. Student as Designer                                             The play as theatre
  12. Bystanders                                                           Theatrical dimensions of a scene
  13. Effects of Pause, Emphasis & Tone                        Character/play construction
  14. Dumb Show                                                           Essential elements of the play
  15. Prompt Copy                                                         The play as theatre
  16. Role Play                                                              Themes, issues, moral judgements
  17. Bare Bones                                                           General grasp of text
  18. Dreams                                                                Character
  19. Thinking Visually                                                   Relationships, plot lines
  20. Hot Seat                                                               Character
  21. Missing Punctuation                                              Verse / choral activities
  22. Two-Handed Soliloquy                                            Development of thought:
  23. Interpretations of the Title Role                             Changing conceptions of Hamlet: Betterton, Garrick, Gielgud, Olivier and Burton
  24. Question and Answer                                             General understanding of text
  25.  Some Fun with Hamlet & Hamlet                           Parody


  1. 1 Parallels                                                                Role Play/Interconnections
  2. 2 Opening Scene                                                      Language/Dramatic Structure
  3. 3 Group Performance                                               Dramatic Experience of Text
  4. 4 Missing Words                                                      Language/Interpretation
  5. 5 Sources                                                                Dramatic Purposes
  6. 6 Two-Handed Soliloquy                                           Macbeth's Dilemma
  7. 7 The Porter                                                           Theme Through Character
  8. 8 Alter Ego                                                              Looking Behind the Text
  9. 9 Bystanders                                                           Imaginative Recreation
  10. 10 Alternative Viewpoint                                          Imaginative Recreation
  11. 11 Kingship                                                             Theme and Character
  12. 12 Punctuation for Effect                                         Language/Interpretation
  13. 13 Image Search                                                      Patterns of Meaning
  14. 14 Thinking Visually                                                 Character Relationships
  15. 15 Question and Answer                                           Knowledge of Text
  16. 16 Hot Seat                                                             Role Play/Interpretation
  17. 17 Freeze Frames                                                    Dramatic Interpretation
  18. 18 Dreams                                                               Performance/Interpretation
  19. 19 Character Jigsaw                                                Character Analysis
  20. 20 Inquest Role                                                        Play/Interpretation
  21. 21 A Tragic Hero?                                                    Personal Response
  22. Answers to Question and Answer game, Activity 15


King Lear

  1. 1. Parallels                                                                Dramatic similarities
  2. 2. Counterpoint Intercutting                                       Meaning and structure
  3. 3. Letters                                                                  Dramatic devices
  4. 4. Case Conference on Lear's 'Madness' Role play
  5. 5. Jigsaw: Edgar                                                       Patterns of meaning
  6. 6. Dramatic Recreation                                             Meaning and structure
  7. 7. Is Lear an Un-actable Part?                                    Dramatic interpretation
  8. 8. Tragedy                                                               Tragic dimensions
  9. 9. Justice & Injustice: Trial of Goneril & Regan          Exploration of themes
  10. 10. The Fool                                                             Dramatic relationships
  11. 11. Patterns of Imagery                                             Exploration of themes
  12. 12. A Dialogue on Nature                                           'Naturalness' and 'unnaturalness'
  13. 13. A Happy King Lear                                               Dramatic structure
  14. 14. Sequencing                                                         Language
  15. 15. Bystanders                                                          Imaginative recreation
  16. 16. Edmund                                                               Exploration of character
  17. 17. Student as Designer                                            Staging and meaning
  18. 18. Dumbshow                                                          Dramatic structure
  19. 19. Group Soliloquy                                                  Theatrical effects