This set of four alternative Shakespeare guided reading scripts - Hamlet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo & Juliet - include detailed synopses (both of the original play and its alternative version) and suggested lesson plans.
The scripts are ‘conversation pieces’ - discussions of what happened in the play; and as such do not have separate scenes.
These scripts (plus lesson plans) are also available separately off TpT and www.plays-r-ussell.com along with many other alternative Shakespeare scripts.
Sample texts from Alternative Hamlet
Sample from Synopsis of Original Story
Hamlet’s dead father appears to him in a vision, commanding him to avenge his murder by Claudius, Hamlet’s stepfather. Hamlet sets about his task under the cover of madness. When he accidentally kills Polonius (when he is ‘set up’ by Claudius), Hamlet finds himself banished to England.
Sample from Alternative Synopsis
Theme: Love and forgiveness prevail over grief-induced hatred and madness. In this version it is left to ‘the council in heaven’, where all the characters meet up again, to reveal to Hamlet what really happened and his mistaken role in the proceedings
Sample from Suggested lesson plan:
1. Ask students for brief synopsis of original story - refer back to one provided, above.
2. Discuss what an ‘alternative’ script is.
3. Explain the script will be read and then differences in plot and character will be examined.
Sample from Script
Narrator: So, who’s going to tell me what really happened?
Hamlet: What do you mean? Everyone knows it was Claudius who killed my father, then married my mother, stepping into my father’s shoes as both husband and king!
Gertrude: (Sighing) Oh Hamlet! Can you still not face up to the truth? After all that has happened?
Claudius: A pity he couldn’t face up to it before!
Polonius: Just think how many lives that would have saved! Mine for one!
Laertes: And mine, plus my sister’s.
Hamlet: (Sarcastically) And those of my devoted parents? I don’t think so!
Gertrude: Oh Hamlet, what did I ever do to deserve such cruel words? What would your father have said?
Hamlet: Which one? The one you married in such joyful circumstances,… or the other, whom you married in such disgraceful haste?
Gertrude: You know full well, I meant your natural father. He was indeed a fine and noble man.
Hamlet: So why did you swap him for this rogue? This devil? This murderer?