Shakespeare on Film

One-semester course. In this course, students will examine 5 frequently adapted Shakespeare plays, as well as movie and television adaptations. They will read and discuss the plays, answering and asking questions about the characters, plot, setting, style, and language of the works. They will also reflect on the adaptations, asking and answering questions about their setting, costume, acting, editing, directing, and context, and comparing those adaptations to Shakespeare as well as to each other. The course will focus on examining how we choose to adapt Shakespeare to the screen and what that we emphasize, keep, alter, or discard, as a way of learning how to better appreciate Shakespeare as well as see something about ourselves in what we choose to highlight and minimize in making the adaptation.

*Alternates with Introduction to Film Studies. Will be offered Spring 2026.


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Shakespeare on Film Information




  • Example Syllabus
  • Class meets once per week for 50-55 minutes.
  • Class cap: 20 students.
  • Designed for grades 9-12.
  • High school students may be awarded .5 Fine Arts credit upon completion of this course.

Course Materials




  • Click here to purchase the course texts.
    • Romeo and Juliet
    • Hamlet
    • Macbeth
    • Henry V
    • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Required viewing:
    • The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), by the Reduced Shakespeare Company, 2002
    • Shakespeare Re-Told, BBC miniseries, 2005 (selected episodes)
    • The BBC Television Shakespeare, BBC series, 1978-1985 (selected episodes)
    • West Side Story, dir. Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, 1961
    • Romeo + Juliet, dir. Baz Luhrmann, 1996
    • Romeo and Juliet, dir. Carlo Carlei, 2013
    • Hamlet, dir. Laurence Olivier, 1948
    • Hamlet, dir. Kenneth Branagh, 1996
    • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, dir. Tom Stoppard, 1990
    • Haider, dir. Vishal Bhardwaj, 2014
    • Macbeth, dir. Justin Kurzel, 2015
    • Throne of Blood, dir. Akria Kurosawa, 1957
    • Henry V, dir. Laurence Olivier, 1944
    • Henry V, dir. Kenneth Branagh, 1989
    • 10 Things I Hate About You, dir. Gil Junger, 1999


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Shakespeare

One-semester. For high school students. Theme runs on a four-year cycle. 


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Introduction to Film Studies

One-semester. For high school students.


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