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Writing to Shakespeare on the 450th anniversary of his birth

John Colet School students tell Shakespeare what he means to them

Mr William Shakespeare
Anne Hathaway’s Cottage

Dear Mr William Shakespeare,
I am Mi Mi from Sydney, Australia. I am greatly interested in you and your works, just as my class mates are. You have been living for 450 years. I would like to say Happy 450th Birthday! You will live on our stage and in our minds forever.
My school celebrates you by performing one of your plays every year. We have a festival as a remembrance of you. John Bell who acts and directs your plays professionally, comes to my school to watch our performance every year.
You have been well known for your talents and creativity all around the world. I wonder how you created 1700 gob-smacking words, You’ve inspired me with your fabulous plays of joy, love, romance, happiness, tragedy, comedy and more. You are full of ideas!
I particularly like your comedy. My class is performing ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ this year. Benedick and Beatrice are full of wit and humour. It is funny when Beatrice says ‘A bird of my tongue is a beast of yours!’
I just wanted to say that you have inspired me and many others to be more creative. You have brought colour to our lives and made English more fascinating.

Yours sincerely
Mi Mi P

Dear Sir Shakespeare,
I am writing to wish you the best birthday and to tell you how brilliant your plays are.  You have helped so many people, as much as a teacher would help a student. And you  have brought happiness all over the world. 

There are many things that I love about your plays, but that would fill five volumes, but I’ll start by expressing how thankful I am for your contribution to the English language.  It wouldn’t have been the same considering you invented 1700 words and have used over 24000 in your writings!  You are an absolute wizard when you write!

Your language and expression is your literature is brilliant.  One of my favourite lines in Richard III is “That dog that had its teeth before his eyes,” because of the daring description and incredible imagery. Your language was very poetic and had a profound effect on modern English.

There have been many amazing lessons I have learnt from performing your plays.  One in particular, is learning how to extend myself beyond my boundaries when acting on stage.  Last year, our class performed one of your darker plays, Richard III.  I was the Duchess and in one of my scenes I had to be very upset, which was quite difficult for me.  I was embarrassed to do it and during rehearsal, I wouldn’t give it my all, my very best.  Until one day I decided (very reluctantly) that I would try to express the emotion as if I was actually upset.  When I gave my best, I felt as happy as a horse, running free after carrying passengers all day.

Throughout your plays, the audience discovers how your characters develop.  They could turn good or bad.  During The Taming of the Shrew, Pertruchio is first a devilish character until he tames the shrew, Katarina, and then ends up having a happy life and marriage.  But Macbeth begins as a wonderful, strong warrior but then he turns into a ruthless monster with a hunger, thirst and passion for power.  The actors and actresses learn how to tackle obstacles such as expressing emotions and overcoming stage fright.  Your plays have taught many lessons to all.

Across the planet, so many people of all ages rejoice in watching and performing your plays.  Your contribution to the world’s literature has been the reason why many people are in high spirits.

Sincerely best wishes,
Jaanavi K
6th class

Dear Mr Shakespeare
I am writing to wish you a very happy 450th birthday and I hope you enjoy it.  I am a big fan of your writing and I find it very diverse and witty.

I have recently seen one of your plays; Macbeth, my class and I are practicing “As you like it”.  I found Macbeth very tragic and suspenseful.  In school, I am Duke Senior from “As you like it”. I like the part very much because I can be a leader of a group.  I admire how many words are in your vocabulary compared to ours, you have 24,000 in yours!  You also created words like elbow, swagger and drugged.  You are like a magician with words.

I have learned from Macbeth that power can corrupt good people.  It is also better to be humble than boast, otherwise you will make enemies.  In addition, in “As you like it”, I learned that a noble spirit emboldens the smallest person.

You have shown us in your plays how people change as events and important parts of their life pass.  Also, how even a noble mighty lion can turn into a cowardly, cackling hyena, as seen in Macbeth when the guilt of murder and treason drives him almost to insanity.

Yours Sincerely with Best Wishes,
Rahul K
6th class

Dear Mr Shakespeare.
I am Lexi.  I go to John Colet School in Belrose.  I like your plays because they are really funny.  I like the part when the 4 actors came out from the Merchant of Venice and tried to woo Portia.  They looked funny.

By Lexi
Upper First M


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