Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare’

Hamlet: Goofy Skits for Your Merriment

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Hamlet-goofy-skits

My kids performed some goofy skits to summarize Shakespeare’s Hamlet. My daughter played the parts of both Queen Gertrude and Ophelia. My oldest son was the wicked uncle, Claudius. My youngest son was Hamlet, and my second son was all the other male parts. We produced the following video and summary for your merriment:

Hamlet: The Dramatized Summary

Once upon a time in Denmark, a king named Hamlet died mysteriously. His wife Gertrude married his brother Claudius less than two months later. Claudius’ reputation was so bad and his face so ugly, there was widespread suspicion that he murdered the late king for his throne! The prince, also named Hamlet, was shaken by his father’s death and shocked his mother would so quickly re-marry. He was ashamed of the wedding and showed up in all black.

But later the night watchmen told him about a ghost they had seen that looked like the dead king. Intrigued, Hamlet stayed up with them. Sure enough, there was the ghost of his father! In spite of the soldiers’ best efforts to dissuade Hamlet, he went out to speak with the spectre. What would he find out but that the king really had been murdered by Claudius! The ghost begged Hamlet to avenge him, then disappeared into the night.

Over the next few days, Hamlet was so bewildered by what he had seen, everyone thought he had lost his mind. Could love for Ophelia be driving him mad? He thought it was the perfect cover-up for plotting to avenge his father, so he feigned insanity.

One day, some actors were performing a play and worked themselves up to really feel the emotions of their characters. Hamlet was impressed and remembered the case of a murderer who was so moved by the play he was watching, he confessed to the crime. Why wouldn’t this work on his uncle, Claudius? Hamlet wasn’t so sure that what the ghost had told him didn’t come from his own imagination, and this felt like the perfect test.

So he had the actors perform a play in front of Claudius that went exactly as the ghost had described the murder. As they got to the part where the killer poured poison into the victim’s ears, the king felt very ill and had to leave. This made Hamlet sure the ghost’s tale was true, and he followed Claudius out of the room. But when he found the king praying, Hamlet didn’t want his uncle’s last act to be so saintly, so he decided to wait for another opportunity.

Hamlet’s mother wanted to talk to him about how he was acting up lately, and the king felt like it would be a good idea to hide behind a drapery in the room to secretly find out what was really up with Hamlet. Ophelia’s father Polonius volunteered to do the king’s spying for him.

When Hamlet was summoned, he confronted his mother about marrying his uncle so soon after his father died. In the heat of the debate, Polonius, who was secretly listening the whole time, thought Hamlet was attacking his mother in his madness and cried out. Hamlet, thinking the man behind the curtain was Claudius, drew his sword and stabbed him. To his horror, he found he had killed Polonius! His mother exclaimed what a crime he had committed, to which Hamlet replied that to kill the king, then marry his brother was much worse. He compared the late king’s handsomeness with the ugliness of the new one. He scolded his mother for marrying the one most suspected to have killed her husband.

When Claudius found out about Polonius’ death, he thought Hamlet was too dangerous to leave alive. Rather than risk the publicity of sentencing Hamlet to death, he banished Hamlet to England but secretly sent a letter to the courtiers to assassinate him as soon as the ship landed. But Hamlet suspected something like this and crept in at night, found the letter, erased his name, and put in the names of the courtiers.

On the way to England, pirates attacked the ship and Hamlet single-handedly boarded the pirate ship. The ship he came on sailed away, and he was left with the pirates. But they turned out to be well- mannered gentlemanly pirates, so they took him back to Denmark.

But when he got back, he found out the death of Ophelia’s father by his hand drove her to such madness and grief that she had committed suicide. Her brother, Laertes had not heard that Polonius’ death was an accident, so he wanted to kill Hamlet. The king thought this would be perfect, so he arranged for a duel between them with dulled sabers. But he secretly sharpened and poisoned Laertes’ blade.

On the morning of the duel, people placed their bets as to who would win, and the duel began. They fenced skillfully, Hamlet was stabbed with the poisoned blade, and he stabbed Laertes with his own sword, dooming both of them. Meanwhile, the queen accidentally drank from the cup the king had used to poison the blade, and she died. Laertes told Hamlet about the poison, and that he didn’t have long to live. So he stabbed and killed Claudius, and then he died. The end.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Poem

Monday, May 20th, 2013

a-midsummer-nights-dreamMy 11-year-old son Stephen Evans wrote a poem to summarize A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare:

I will tell you a hilarious comedy,
The best I ever said.
Four lovers ran into the woods
And everyone ended up wed.

Theseus was the duke of Athens,
He would marry his love with grandeur.
Hermia’s father wanted her to marry
Demetrius, but she loved Lysander.

Theseus gave Hermia four days
To marry Demetrius or die.
Hermia begged her father with tears,
“Why must I marry Demetrius? Why?”

Lysander said to his love, Hermia,
“I have a plan to become your spouse.
To be free from Athenian law,
We’ll run away to my grandma’s house.”

The plan was set in motion,
But Hermia told her friend.
In turn, her friend told Demetrius,
Who wanted it to come to an end.

Demetrius followed Lysander and Hermia,
Trying to win Hermia’s love.
Helena ran after Demetrius,
But Demetrius gave her a shove.

The forest was inhabited by fairies,
And King Oberon ruled them all.
He noticed Helena’s rejected love
And decided to rectify the gall.

Oberon ordered Puck to put love juice
On the young Athenian’s eyes.
Puck mistook Lysander for Demetrius,
And Helena was scandalized.

Puck realized his mistake
And put love juice on Demetrius.
Both men ran after Helena,
But poor Hermia was treated like pus.

They all fell asleep in the forest;
Oberon made Lysander’s eyes okay.
Now everyone loved their true loves
And married the very next day.

Related product to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” poem: Romeo and Juliet Unit Study

Macbeth Poem for Kids

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Macbeth-poem-for-kids

This Macbeth poem for kids was written by my 11-year-old son when he was given the assignment to write a summary of Macbeth. He decided to do the summary as a poem. My kids said that Macbeth was the worst story they ever read, and we talked about how ambition led Macbeth to take matters into his own hands. I’m doing a Bible study on the life of David, and we compared Macbeth to King David. Both men had predictions that they would be king. But David waited on God. He did not take matters into his own hands, even when he had the chance twice to kill Saul. David was a man of integrity, whereas Macbeth thought he had to keep killing people to cover up his previous murders. Macbeth even had his best friend Banquo killed, and after he won the crown, he couldn’t even enjoy it but was miserable. All sin ends in misery.

Macbeth – by Stephen Evans (age 11)

I’ll tell you a gruesome tragedy,
The worst you ever read.
Three witches caused Macbeth to act,
And everyone ends up dead.

Macbeth had won a victory
Against the thane of Cawdor.
Lady Macbeth contrived a plan
That was so full of gore.

Macbeth was to kill King Duncan
And take the crown for himself,
Framing the sleeping guards,
And sneaking away with stealth.

Banquo thought he was a friend,
But Macbeth had him killed.
Banquo’s ghost showed up at a feast;
With insanity Macbeth was filled.

Macbeth revisited the witches,
Who told him, “Beware Macduff
And watch out for Birnam Wood.”
Then they disappeared with a puff.

Macduff, Duncan’s son, and an army
Made camp in Birnam Wood.
When Macbeth looked over the battlements,
At once he understood.

The soldiers hidden by branches
Marched against Macbeth.
Macduff sank his sword into his foe,
And Macbeth fell down in death.

*Artwork above poem by Bryan Evans (age 12)
“Macbeth Sees Birnam Wood Advancing”

Related product: Romeo and Juliet Unit Study

Romeo and Juliet Slapstick Humor

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

romeo-and-juliet-slapstick-humor

My son Stephen (age 10) was halfway through writing a summary of Romeo and Juliet when he saw his older brother writing a poem. He asked me, “Can I write it as a poem, too, but can mine be funny?”

“As long as you keep the main plot line, you can add humor to it,” I answered, and he excitedly ran to get started.

His Romeo and Juliet poem for kids includes slapstick humor similar to the Three Stooges:

Once upon a time there was a fight
Because a Capulet bit his thumb.
A Montague tied his belt too tight,
And a Capulet fell on his bum!

A Montague named Romeo
Went to a Capulet ball.
He was handed some strawberry jello,
Which he dropped when he climbed the wall.

“What light through yonder window breaks?
‘Tis the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
“Not now, Romeo; my toe aches.
But I’ll marry you tomorrow at one.”

The next day they were wed.
But Romeo hit Tybalt with a frying pan
Because Romeo’s friend was dead.
So he was banished by a man.

Juliet in her grief and sorrow
Ran to the friar for relief.
“This potion you may borrow,
And your life will seem so brief.”

She drank the potion,
Was put in a crypt,
Romeo saw her without motion,
And on a banana peel he slipped.

He died by her side.
Juliet woke up, screamed, and died.

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