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shakespeare & the renaissance: related resources

About the Author | Activity Ideas | Related Resources

Find Below: PBS Web Sites, Other Recommended Links, Recommended Books

pbs online

In Search of Shakespeare:

Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance:

Great Performances - Romeo and Juliet

Frontline: "The Shakespeare Mystery":

Frontline: "Much Ado About Something":

Masterpiece Theatre - Who Was Shakespeare?:

Masterpiece Theatre - Teaching Othello:

NewsHour Online - The Play's the Thing:

Treasures of the World: Mona Lisa (da Vinci and the Renaissance):

Standard Deviants TV - All About Shakespeare:

recommended web sites

The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The 16th Century
The Norton Topics Online collection of 16th Century literature presents information about the Renaissance, exploration, the world outside of Europe, and Christopher Marlowe. There is a review section including an online multiple choice quiz and summary. Writing samples from Shakespeare, John Skelton, Henry Howard Earl of Surrey, Sir Philip Sidney, and Edmund Spenser are in PDF format.
Subject: Reading & Language Arts
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Shakespeare for Kids
The Folger Shakespeare Library has a fun site for kids with coloring pages, puzzles, maps, and a detective game to figure out what Shakespeare characters are quoted. A section on words includes scripts for children, weird words, insults (Thou peevish dog-hearted snipe!), and compliments (Thou precious tender-hearted valentine). Queen Elizabeth I is also featured with activities about which Shakespeare plays she enjoyed and how to dress like a queen. Many of the printable pages are in PDF format. Don't miss the other exhibits at the main Folger site including Shakespeare's Unruly Women, Food in Shakespeare's England, and The Housewife's Rich Cabinet with remedies for ailments and vermin in the house.
Subject: Reading & Language Arts
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Andreas Vesalius: De Humani Corporis Fabrica
The Renaissance anatomical atlas "On the Fabric of the Human Body" was written in the 1500s by Andreas Vesalius (when he was only 28!) and illustrated with woodcuts. This Web site from Northwestern University provides an annotated translation in Flash and no Flash versions, the difference with Flash being high-resolution image viewing. Vesalius wrote chapters (books) on blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, the nervous system, heart, lungs, brain, and skeletal system. Detailed illustrations, cross references, and essays supplement the book.
Subject: Reading & Language Arts; Science & Technology
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Epact is an electronic catalogue of medieval and renaissance scientific instruments from four European museums. Use the handlist which lists the more than 500 instruments in the online exhibit from armillary spheres to wind vanes. Each has a thumbnail photo and details about the instrument's origins. There are thematic essays providing background information about the medieval and renaissance mathematical arts and sciences as well as a number of technical articles giving explanations of how the different types of instrument operated. A glossary and bibliography are provided.
Subject: Reading & Language Arts; Science & Technology
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The Medici Archive Project
What was daily life like in the Medici dynasty? The Medici Granducal Archive has survived from 1537 to the present, forming the most complete documentary record of any government, state, or ruling family in Early Modern Europe. The Archive houses documentary sources for the arts and humanities, Jewish history, costume, and textiles. Translated documents complete with historical context include prenatal care advice from a mother, a Tuscan Military Field Hospital in 1636, and themes commonly found on modern soap operas.
Subject: Social Studies
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Life in Elizabethan England
A humorous discussion of topics in this "short attention span history" of Shakespeare's era in England is full of fun factoids. You'll learn about money, food, religion, among other everyday topics of naming the baby, snack foods (pretzels and bagels!), and schooling. Aren't you glad your school day doesn't start at 6 am in the summer and ends at 5:30? Don't miss the manners in the Childhood section, where you should "Sup not loud of thy pottage" and "Scratch not thy head with thy fingers, nor spit you over the table."
Subject: Social Studies
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Shakespeare's Life and Times
Organized in a set of books and chapters, this online publication from the University of Victoria in Canada covers Shakespeare's life, society, history, and politics. One section covers the background of ideas at the time of religion, the supernatural, education, and the medieval universe. Specific topics in society include country life, city life, family, and the roles of husbands and of wives.
Subject: Social Studies
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recommended books

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
By Ross King
Published November 2003
Grades: 6-8; 9-12
Subjects: The Arts
As if painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were not challenge enough, Michelangelo had to contend with debt, poor health, the Pope's impatience, artistic rivalry, and power politics. King has written an engrossing narrative that puts great art in its social context.
More Recommended Arts Books

Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
By Charles Murray
Published October 2003
Grades: 9-12
Subjects: Reading & Language Arts; Science & Technology; Social Studies; Math
Is Shakespeare a more important writer than Homer? Are Einstein and Newton equals? Murray used statistical techniques to investigate human accomplishment in arts and science and compiled inventories of 4002 men and women, greats in literature, music, art, philosophy, and science. Chapters distinguish between giants and merely great, the differences between accomplishment in art and science, fourteen leaps in the capacity to create great art and science, and patterns of accomplishment in time and place. Appendices illuminate statistics, methods, and data. This book is sure to generate controversy.
More Recommended Reading & Language Arts Books
More Recommended Science & Technology Books
More Recommended Social Studies Books
More Recommended Math Books