Introduction to Shakespeare years 9 and 10



This is a WebQuest where you will be tasked to research the life and works of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers to ever live! 


Image result for shakespeare



William Shakespeare is one of the most famous playwrights in British Literature. To this day, his plays are performed worldwide every day. His works have quite literally transcended time as these works were originally created in the Renaissance Era. Head over to the next page, to find a task that will have you explore the life of Shakespeare.


Working in pairs, you are to take on board the task of documenting Shakespeare's life, and his works. You will have the entire lesson for this task which is to be completed during lunch if necessary.

As you come across Shakespeare's works, keep in mind the audience of his time, and the audience today (you). How does this effect your reaction to his work? Now go to the Process page to begin.


Activity 1:

Let's get started! First, head over to this site:

Use the above site to find out the answers to the questions below.


1. How much do we know about Shakespeare's life? Why?

2. Where was Shakespeare born?

3. What date was he born on?

4. Did Shakespeare ever get married? If so, to whom?

5. Shakespeare established himself as an ____________ and _________________

6. What day did he die? What is unusual about this date?

7. What did he leave his wife in his will?

8. After his death, what year did Shakespeare's works first get their own Folio?


Activity 2:

Now that you know the time Shakespeare was born, and the basics of his life, and some of his works, lets look further into one of his most famous works, Romeo and Juliet.

Below are a list of statements about the play. These could be true OR false. You are to work out what is right and what is wrong. Use this website to help you:


1. The plot of Romeo and Juliet is based on a French tale.

2. The play is believed to have been written between 1581 and 1585.

3. The play is set in Venice, Italy.

4. It begins with a street fight between the Montague and Capulet servants.

5. Romeo first sees Juliet at a ball in the Montague house.

6. With the help of Benvolio, they are secretly married the next day.

7. Romeo kills Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, in revenge for his killing Romeo’s close friend and ally, Mercutio.

8. For the execution, Romeo is exiled from Verona.

9. Before he leaves, he secretly spends the night with Juliet.

10. Juliet’s mother offers her a drug that will put her into a coma for ’two and forty hours’ on the night before her planned wedding to Paris.

11. When she is found, she is believed to be dead.

12. Romeo buys a gun to kill himself when he hears the news.

13. At the crypt where Juliet’s body has been laid, Romeo is met by Paris.

14. He kills him before drinking the poison.

15. When Juliet awakens from her deep sleep, she realizes Romeo is dead and, panicking, she runs away.


Activity 3:

Shakespeare is known to have created roughly 1700 words that we still use today, quite often too. However a lot of his works are also written in an older English. With words such as thou and dost and many more. These words have modern equivalents. In your pairs, use the below website to translate the sentences shown and repeat it to your partner.

Shakespeare Lexicon:


1. Thou wast in the next room.

2. Ye all came forth from the room.

3. Get thee to a nunnery.

4. If thou remember’st not the slightest folly.

5. Doubt that the sun doth move;


Now come up with 5 sentences you use every day, and translate them to Shakespearean Language. Don't forget to use the lexicon. Once you're done, your final task is on the next page.


William Shakespeare is one of the most studied persons in recent history due to his work in literature and impact on the English Language and Theatre. Now that you have an understanding of who Shakespeare was and what he has done, you must now recreate your own version of his biography.



Using the websites and your answers from the previous tasks, the video's above, and your own research, you are to work on an individual powerpoint presentation.

You are to create a biography of William Shakespeare that includes all the information you have previously gathered as well as anything else of importance such as some of Shakespeare's famous works, what he is known for, some of his achievements after death and anything else you deem relevant and important about Shakespeare. The aim of your powerpoint will be to introduce Shakespeare to someone who has no knowledge of him. 

Your powerpoint is to have full sentences and proper structure with slides dedicated to an Introduction, a Body and a conclusion. You must also include examples of his works and your own thoughts on Shakespeare and what most interests you about him (whether it is his life or any of his works).


To conclude, discuss with you previous partner what you liked and didn't like about Shakespeare, this will be discussed with class as well. What works sound interesting to you? Would you want to see one of his plays performed?

Now that you are familiar with the context of Shakespeare's works - the environment in which they were written - you will have a better understanding of the meaning behind his words as we work through his play "Romeo and Juliet".