Number one for English language teachers

EAP Shakespeare: Reading and writing about Shakespeare

Level: Upper intermediate, Advanced Type: General lesson plan

In the third lesson of this series, students read an extract of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, practise doing some close reading, analyse Shakespeare’s use of figurative language, read a short extract from an academic paper and analyse the style and tone in a piece of academic writing.

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Thanks Team. Jaques spares no one.

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  • Hi George,

    Thanks for the feedback. There are some readings of the passage that point towards a bawdy joke/metaphor in the lines below which refer to the sixth age.

    "His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank"

    Hose can be read as 'a pair of breaches' but of course the word hose can also refer to a private part of his anatomy. If you associate it with the word 'shrunk'... I'm sure you can take it from there!

    This is far from being the only sexualised pun in Shakespeare. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, you could have a look at:

    Chapter 4 on Language in Smith, E. (2007) The Cambridge Introduction to Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Chapter 5 on ' Double Talk' in MacDonald, R. (2001) Shakespeare & The Arts of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


    Hope that helps.
    Best wishes,
    The onestopenglish team

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  • A brilliant lesson, but where's the bawdy joke in Jaques's famous monologue? Neither me, not my advanced student could spot it. Prithee, tell!

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