Hear From the People Behind our Shakespeare Examinations - Part 2

Hear From the People Behind our Shakespeare Examinations - Part 2

LAMDA’s new Shakespeare Qualification is designed to help Learners develop an understanding of Shakespeare’s language and the skills to communicate Shakespearean text to an audience.

We interviewed the panel of experts who supported LAMDA Examinations in the development of the Qualification to learn more about the benefits and challenges for Learners, and their own Shakespearean inspirations!

For our second interview, we sat down with Mark Gregson, a LAMDA Teacher.

What’s Exciting about these Qualifications?

“I think that the Level One exam offers a great introduction to Shakespeare's writing and characters for younger Learners who may well go on to develop a lasting love of Shakespeare. The Level Two and Three exams offer Shakespeare enthusiasts a means of deepening their practical and theoretical understanding of Shakespeare’s plays and an opportunity to research their historical context.”

Benefits for Learners

“I think the exams will help Learners to develop their appreciation of Shakespeare's style and dramatic techniques in both theory and practice. They definitely promote an active engagement with the rhetorical elements of Shakespeare's language which, I think, is such an important element of his writing.”

Favourite Shakespeare Play

“It’s so hard to single out one, such is their richness and variety, so the best I can do in answering this is give my favourite example of each genre. From the Comedies I would probably go for Much Ado About Nothing; from the Histories, Richard II; from the Tragedies, Othello… and I’m going to allow myself an extra one by bracketing-off the late plays as Romances, from which it would easily be The Tempest.”

Favourite Shakespearean Character

“It’s hardly original, I know, but I would have to say Hamlet. Of all Shakespeare's characters, I feel that he embodies the human condition in all its agonies, ecstasies and contradictions. Coleridge once remarked ‘I have a smack of Hamlet myself, if I may say so’ and I’m sure that each of us has seen something of ourself in him at some point in our life. Moreover, Hamlet’s predicament is always current in some way: an eminent Yale Professor of History recently completed a survey of the contemporary political scene by quoting Hamlet: ‘the time is out of joint’. I’m sure we can all relate to that sentiment!”

Anything else we should know?

I just hope that this new Qualification encourages learners to follow the advice of John Heminges and Henry Condell, Shakespeare's fellow actors, who compiled and published his plays after his death in the First Folio (1623) to ‘reade him therefore; and againe and againe.’

If you would like to learn more about our Shakespeare Examinations, including the examinations syllabus, take a look at the LAMDA Examinations pages on our website.

Find out more in our Hear From the People Behind our Shakespeare Examinations - Part 1 article.

Published on 25 October 2017.

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