How do I compare thee to hip hop?

Let’s face it: Shakespeare had a way with words. In fact, he invented a few. And for his time he was a phenomenon. The fact that we study his sonnets and plays hundreds of years after they were written is a testimony to his talent.


BUT, how do you get 16- year- old’s to recognize this phenomenon IF recognizing it requires reading, interpretation and sitting in a classroom? Not the easiest task. Enter AKALA, award winning British rapper and every English High School teacher’s new best friend. This engaging individual forces teenagers to find the ‘cool’ in Shakespeare’s IAMBIC PENTAMETER, by showing them how hip hop rhythms are closely related to Shakespeare’s deca-syllabic construct of meter within his lines of poetry and in his plays.


The Grade 10’s were engrossed by the challenge set by AKALA in his video. He quotes lines of pure poetry, encouraging the viewer to decide whether they are the work of the famous playwright or a well-known rapper. Certainly harder than it sounds – the kids were pretty sure of themselves with each response but quickly noticed their beloved rappers have more in common with ‘boring’ Shakespeare than they had thought!


Seems there is a method to his madness!

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