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Shakespeare & Game of Thrones | Fit for a Fool

By October 17, 2014 No Comments

Teachers struggling to get your pupils interested in Shakespeare, why not teach it like Game of Thrones according to a star of the popular drama show Downton Abbey. He thinks this will make them much more exciting to the kids. Bring in the death of characters not of Shakespeare. He says “Shakespeare gives us just as much politicking, intrigue, lust and violence as you’ll find in any episode of Game of Thrones. From the aching young love of Romeo and Juliet, to the vomit-inducing barbarity, complete with severed hands and human pies, of Titus Andronicus”. With this in mind The Telegraph have created a spot the difference kind of quiz: which plot concept is from Shakespeare and Game of Thrones and can you tell the difference? Try your luck here in the quiz: Game of Thrones or a Shakespeare play? There are some comic questions and some tough cookies in there too for those looking for a challenge. I was quite pleased with my 70% having never seen a GOT episode nor read the books, but for those lovers of both I expect top marks! Here’s a sample question for those bursting to know more:

“The king’s cousin assembles an army and invades the realm, executing the king’s faithful supporters.

Game of Thrones Book 2: A Clash of Kings OR Shakespeare’s Richard II?”

To find the answer check out the quiz here.


In seems it was a week for Shakespeare in The Telegraph this week, last Saturday he also got a mention. Known to be a wordsmith and having churned out a considerable amount of words over his lifetime it seems he was beaten by Churchill.

Churchill apparently produced “not just more words than Dickens, or more words than Shakespeare – but more words than Dickens and Shakespeare combined” Wow. Quite an impressive feat. The amount Shakespeare pumped out is inspiring enough, one wonders how he managed to find time to run a country among other things.. This claim is made by Boris Johnson (remember the man with the funny hair who featured a few weeks ago) who has recently written The Churchill Factor. Which I hope is similar to the X-factor but I sense not.


Shakespeare & Game of Thrones | Fit for a Fool shakespeare news The Shakespeare Standard shakespeare plays list play shakespeare               Shakespeare & Game of Thrones | Fit for a Fool shakespeare news The Shakespeare Standard shakespeare plays list play shakespeare


Away from politics and onto the dating scene, yes you heard correctly! BuzzFeed published an article this week entitled ‘If Shakespearean Characters had Tinder’. I’m sure the Hamlet rewrite “to swipe right or not to swipe” will make much more sense to those users of the app. It’s a clever concept and they’re all pretty hilarious. From Lady Macbeth who doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, to Shylock, whose strapline reads “does your man treat you right? Just looking to pound some flesh. A delightful sounding date of course! And then there’s Julius, “sort of a big deal. I’ll give you those good night tetrrors” Oh will he now?!


On Wednesday this week a marvellous Dirtbag Henry IV, Part 1 was published by The Toast. It follows Dirtbag Othello, and is a series which “imagines modern remakes of Shakespearean plays with a teenage dirtbag cast”. This time it features a conversation between Falstaff and Hal. This little excerpt should give you a good idea of the dynamic. Well worth a read!

FALSTAFF: so its the king telling you this not me

HAL: right

FALSTAFF: falstaff is so great you should never fire that guy ever

KING HENRY: are you ever going to stop partying

HAL: im not partying its IRONIC

KING HENRY: you’re partying right now

HAL: only as a commentary on partying

KING HENRY: that doesn’t make any sense

HAL: doesnt it


Shakespeare & Game of Thrones | Fit for a Fool shakespeare news The Shakespeare Standard shakespeare plays list play shakespeare


And in a final bout of foolery, over in the UK this week, Shakespeare popped on a show called Don’t Tell the Bride. On this TV show the groom is left in sole charge of planning his fiancés wedding with no input allowed from her at all. This week Jack (a former drama student) attempted to put on his own version of a Shakespeare classic for his other half, James, at their wedding. If you can stream BBC where you are, here’s the link to watch the chaos unfold.

Until next week, keep it cool Shakespeare fools!

Author Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is a PhD student at Oxford Brookes University, England where she is currently researching female melancholia in the early modern period (as presented in Shakespearean and early modern drama and proto-medical treatises) and contemporary female depression. She is interested in all things Shakespeare related, particularly contemporary Shakespeare adaptation and appropriation.

More posts by Sarah Waters

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