Imprimis: Links and Tidbits, 10 June 2011

Just a few links today: Shakespeare reaching across language boundaries, new research into old records, and a good laugh for the end of your week.

  • “Shakespeare as a Second Language” examines using Shakespeare to reach students in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Langauges) classrooms. The author of the article believes that Shakespeare shouldn’t be “saved for high school English class or reserved for only gifted students,” but that early experiences with his works can have great benefits.
  • Speaking of the benefit of Shakespeare to other languages, the “Learning English” website has a radio feature on Shakespeare’s treatment of law, justice, and human conflict.
  • Shakespeare in the Park not for you? How about Shakespeare in a Bar? As the website posits, “Where else can you sit next to Caesar after his death and share a pint as you both watch the rest of the story unfold?” Cass says: This sounds like such an entertaining way to spend an evening — Who’s up for starting this at Zynadoa or The Mockingbird?
  • On the more erudite end of things, research into Tudor England coronary reports has revealed a possible inspiration for Ophelia’s drowning. Cass says: Whether or not you buy into this possibility, the article is worth reading just for the Darwin-Award-worthy list of accidental deaths. Who knew that Christmas games and maypoles could be so dangerous?
  • Is theatre good for you — as in, potential-health-benefits good? Is it possible to overdose?
  • And finally, if you need a laugh, check out’s 6 Most WTF Moments in Shakespeare (this article has an adult language warning) — and as a bonus, one of the pictures for King Lear is from an OCS production! So what do you think? Does the article feature your favorite moment of stage insanity? Or did they miss out on something spectacular? Cass says: If that author thinks Shakespeare has some crazy stuff going on, we need to introduce him to Middleton and Ford. (And, er, as always on the Internet, don’t read the comments if you value your sanity).