Great actors use many techniques to get inside the minds of their characters. With these Shakespeare journal prompts, high schoolers can learn firsthand how writing helps actors bring characters to life!
1. Fairy Antics
You are the mischievous fairy Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You just learned that you applied a love potion to the wrong young man, and now two men are pursuing the same woman! Journal about your reactions to your mistake. Do you feel a little bit sorry? Are you looking forward to seeing how this entertaining day of mix-ups plays out? Are you confident you can fix your mistake?
2. Midnight Meeting
In the first scene of Hamlet, two night guards convince Horatio to watch for a ghost who resembles the dead king. When the ghost appears, Horatio commands it to speak. Imagine that you are Horatio. Write about your thoughts when you first call to the ghost. Are you truly afraid or simply curious? Do you believe in ghosts, or do you suspect the guards are playing tricks on you?
3. Word Games
When the English King Henry courts the French princess Katherine in King Henry V, he speaks very little French and she speaks very little English. Imagine that you are Katherine. Journal about your thoughts during your conversation with your future husband. Are you shy, hopeful, or confused? Do you use all your language skills, or do you pretend to know less English than you really do?
Did you enjoy these Shakespeare journal prompts? If so, you might also like writing prompts about literature. Also, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature prompts especially for teens.
Photo: Brian Wright, courtesy of Creative Commons
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