Taylor Swift of Shakespeare?

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Infobase’s Bloom’s Literature and Classroom Video On Demand offer all the resources needed to supplement your literature courses. Dive into Bloom’s Literature’s Shakespeare Center and discover all things Shakespeare in one convenient location. Explore engaging resources, detailed analysis, and scholarly criticism on the Bard’s works. Find the full text of all of his plays and the award-winning Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare. Deepen learning with performance videos of Shakespeare’s plays, research and writing advice, discussion questions, lists of characters, and more.

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Is It William Shakespeare…Or Is It Taylor Swift?

William Shakespeare is arguably the best-known figure in world literature, but can your students distinguish his words from Taylor Swift’s lyrics? Consider launching your Shakespeare unit with this engaging Taylor Swift-themed classroom activity. Present your class with verses from both prolific writers. Challenge each student to vote on whether the lines below were written by Shakespeare or Taylor Swift. 

  • “Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone” (Taylor Swift)
  • “And I’ll still stay…forgetting any other home but this” (Shakespeare)
  • I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones, in a faith-forgotten land” (Taylor Swift)
  • “Go and travel for a while, until Antiochus’s rage and anger are forgotten” (Shakespeare)
  • “They told me all of my cages were mental” (Taylor Swift)
  • “Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.” (Shakespeare)
  • “Diesel is desire, you were playing with fire” (Taylor Swift)
  •  “We are such stuff as dreams are made on” (Shakespeare)
  • “The snaps from the same little breaks in my soul.” (Taylor Swift)
  • “And beauty making beautiful old rhyme” (Shakespeare)

After voting, watch the videos below on Classroom Video On Demand to delve into Shakespeare’s great works and discover the stories behind these famous literary words. Explore Shakespeare’s legacy and words with these K–12 resources.

“And I’ll still stay…forgetting any other home but this” 

Pair this line with Romeo and Juliet (Item #156395, BBC Worldwide Learning, 2016,  Classroom Video) from the BBC Worldwide Learning series  Shakespeare Themes. Romeo says this line in Act 2, Scene 2. Watch the video and explore the themes of one of Shakespeare’s most famous works. Extend student learning with BBC’S Worldwide Learning’s Bitesize—Shakespeare series and investigate plots with Romeo & Juliet – Fate (Item #147830, BBC Worldwide Learning, 2017, Classroom Video [also available on Learn360]). 

“Go and travel for a while, until Antiochus’s rage and anger are forgotten.”

Pair this line with Pericles by Shakespeare on the Road (Item #210248, 2019, BayView Entertainment LLC, Classroom Video). Listen for the line at 17:17. Discover Shakespeare’s timeless story in this modern day interpretation of the tragedy Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Consider comparing this tragedy with Shakepeare’s other great tragedies, HamletOthelloKing Lear, and Macbeth. Find Macbeth and Hamlet in BBC’s Worldwide Learning series Bitesize—Shakespeare and Shakespeare ThemesOthello and King Lear can both be found in Shakespeare Uncovered (Series 2).

“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.”

Pair this line with Much Ado About Nothing with Helen Hunt (Item #166898, PBS, 2018, Classroom Video). The line can be found in Act 3, Scene 1, spoken by Hero. In this romantic comedy,  Shakespeare explores the emotional roller coaster of romance and marriage. As part of the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered (Series 3), Helen Hunt, who has played Beatrice twice, investigates this finely balanced play through the testimonies of other actors who have played its major roles. 

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on”

Pair this line with The Tempest (Item #280888, 2021, Academy Media, Classroom Video)This line is spoken by Prospero in Act 4, Scene 1. From the series Shakespeare: Like No Other, this two-part documentary explores how Shakespeare got to where he did and, in particular, the remarkable society in which he found the space and tolerance to do it. Part two explores the detail, the words, the images, and  the dramatic techniques he used in The Tempest. Astonish your students with the exquisite world of William Shakespeare.

“And beauty making beautiful old rhyme” 

Pair this line with Sonnets of William Shakespeare (Item #280883, 2021, Academy Media, Classroom Video). In this video, you find a selection of 25 sonnets from the 154 that Shakespeare wrote, read by Malcolm Hossick. Discover the sonnet form of 14 lines in a regular pattern. Explore these brilliantly exploited ideas in these poems about love, including  its transience and frailty. This line is spoken in Sonnet 106.

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The award-winning Bloom’s Literature database is rich with relevant content on the core authors and works most studied in the high school curriculum. Students will find exactly what they need without having to wade through an uncurated search. Educators will appreciate the thoughtful organization and important curriculum tools to help with lesson plans, assignments, and independent study.

Want to see these products for yourself? Take a free trial of Classroom Video On Demand and Bloom’s Literature today! With Classroom Video On Demand, you get access to thousands of videos on English and language arts that you can pair with the carefully curated scholarly criticism and full-text literary classics in Bloom’s.

See also:


Taylor Swift sources:

  • “Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone” (“Love Story,” Taylor Swift, Fearless (Taylor’s Version),  2021)
  • “They told me all of my cages were mental.” (“This Is Me Trying,” Taylor Swift, Folklore, 2020)
  • “I’d meet you where the spirit meets the bones, in a faith forgotten land” (“Ivy,” Taylor Swift, Evermore, 2020)
  • “Diesel is desire, you were playing with fire” (“The Great War,” Taylor Swift, Midnights (3am Edition), 2022) 
  • “The snaps from the same little breaks in my soul.” (“It’s Time to Go,” Taylor Swift, Evermore (Deluxe Edition), 2020)

Emily Ice,Emily Ice, Director of Product and Licensing K-12, Infobase

As a former elementary school educator, Emily leverages her experience in the classroom, curriculum development knowledge, and passion for teacher training to inform and curate Infobase's K–12 video content.

She has her Bachelors in Psychology from Duke University and has her Masters in Education from the University of Notre Dame.