This lesson aims to introduce students to the historical and religious context of Shakespeare’s England through exploring the theme of disguise. Students will learn about the true story of a 17th-century trunk to discover how religious tensions lead Catholic priests to disguise themselves as pedlars in order to perform the mass for secret Catholics. The lesson will also introduce students to the use of disguise in two of Shakespeare’s plays (Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It) through a reading and discussion activity.
Topic: Disguise and deception in Shakespeare’s England
Time: 80 minutes
To develop students’ ability to read a text for gist and detail
To develop students’ understanding of (and extend their vocabulary relating to) the historical and religious context of Shakespeare’s England
To introduce students to the theme of disguise in Shakespeare’s plays.