"A great teacher," Jeremy Paxman on BBC's Newsnight.
"Clearly Francis Gilbert is a gifted and charismatic teacher," Philip Pullman, author of 'Northern Lights'.
"Gilbert writes so well that you half-suspect he could give up the day job," The Independent.
Are you struggling to understand Shakespeare's classic play 'Romeo and Juliet'? Are you a teacher who needs a really good study guide which will enable students to understand the play's complex language and cover all the key areas required to get a good grade in an examination or coursework?
This study guide may be the answer to all your prayers. Written by a teacher who has taught the text for more than twenty years in various secondary schools, this guide is aimed at students who must analyze the text in depth or teachers wanting to deliver outstanding lessons on it.
This guide explains the plot, characters, language and imagery in detail, with visual diagrams and links to relevant websites. There are useful exercises on all the major sections of the play, including fill-in-the-blanks exercises for students to check their basic understanding. There's also a glossary of the essential vocabulary to know for every scene.
The final section of the book contains an exhaustive explanation of how to write top grade essays on the play, including sample A* answers as well as summaries of significant literary criticism. There are plenty of pointers to help students develop their own personal responses, including thought-provoking thematic questions.
This book covers the following areas in depth:
It checks basic understanding by providing fill-in-the-gaps exercises on every important part of the play.
It looks at why students should study 'Romeo and Juliet'.
It examines Shakespeare's story, looking at the structure & themes: love, hatred and the feud, fate and the use of time.
It discusses the contexts (the background) of the play: its different versions, including Brooke's poem upon which the play is based, Nashe's 'Have With You to Saffron Walden' (1596)and 'A Midsummer's Night Dream'.
It investigates the nature of Shakespearean tragedy, discussing the rules Aristotle set out for this genre.
It explores the world of Shakespeare's theatre and The Globe, discussing social and political contexts.
It provides an overview of various productions of 'Romeo and Juliet'.
It contains a detailed section on Shakespeare's language, examining his imagery and grammar, exploring his use of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
It contains a very helpful section on his use of rhythm and rhyme, setting exercises which will help students really understand this complex subject.
There is a long section on his use of characterisations, discussing all the main characters in depth.
There are summaries of every key scene as well as lots of lively exercises to aid understanding, analysis and creative thinking.
There's an excellent glossary of all the difficult words, including vocabulary students need to learn.
There are a number of speaking and listening activities that are very easy to do and really aid understanding.
There is a readable account of the literary criticism of the play which looks at feminist, Marxist, cultural materialist and queer theory approaches to the text.
There is a detailed account of how to write a good essay on the play which includes a dissection of sub-standard essay and an example of an A* essay.
Finally, there is a section which helps students compare the play with filmed versions & performances.
PLEASE NOTE: This Study Guide contains exactly same material as 'Romeo and Juliet: The Study Guide Edition' but does not include Shakespeare's text or my modern translation, which the Study Guide Edition does.