Monday, March 10, 2014

Shakespeare through Infographics


Inspired by an outstanding production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream this past weekend (University of Ch
icago's Dean's Men Production), I thought I'd take post an interesting collection of facts, quotes and infographics related to Shakespeare and his works.

For me, the brilliance of Shakespeare's work is its timelessness, and his outstanding play with language. All gifts, thrills and treats, the infographics below cannot begin to relate or express. As a result, while fun, I find the infographic limiting.  That said, they can be used to motivate, detail, and summarize aspects of The Bard's genius with language and character.

So, while I provide you with the inforgraphics below to help students and readers learn, appreciate, understand, and simply have fun with Shakespeare  - it his insults, jabs, sonnets, and prose that should be savored and enjoyed. The infographics below introduce his work - be they his "history" plays, his tragedies, comedies, famous quotes, suggested reading, life history, or interesting statistics. They are fun but should be taken and enjoyed ALONG WITH THE  reading and exploration of the texts and plays themselves.

More specifically, the infographics below relay:
  • Aspects of his "History" plays;
  • His tragedies - as told by their deaths;
  • Interesting Shakespeare "statistics";
  • His more famous quotes and where they're from; 
  • helping you "Choose" which Shakespeare play you want to read; and
  • An "anatomy" of Shakespeare's insults
For more on Shakespeare (to supplement the infographics)  please see:

So please enjoy the infographics below, but don't stop here.

INFOGRAPHIC #1: The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare's History Plays - Shakespeare's Game of the Hollow Crown designed by Ricardo Galvez and Produced/Researched by Tom McNamara. Please visit Shakespeare Uncovered ( more Shakespeare infographics. Note these come from PBS's Anatomy of a Scene: Shakespeare like your High School English teacher never taught you.

Hamlet and Macbeth are about a lot of things. Power and revenge. Madness and the otherworldly. But, when you get right down to it, these are plays about death and dying and murder: so that you know evil when it crosses your path.

See Shakespeare’s dark world illustrated and how each character came to their bloody end. (Click on the image to enlarge or open in new window.)
Using Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, Part One and Henry IV, Part Two as your map, follow the history of rebellion in turn of the 15th century England and the successive stories of three kings: Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V.

Richard II (Click on the image to enlarge or open in new window.)

Henry IV, Part 1 (Click on the image to enlarge or open in new window.)

Henry IV, Part 2 (Click on the image to enlarge or open in new window.)

Look at Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. They take place in a wood and a forest respectively. Interestingly, “wood” meant “mad” back in Shakespeare’s day. So, it makes sense that while these are settings of enchantment and escape, they are also sites of confusioneven madness: where fairy queens fall in love with ass-headed (literally) common folk; or where you don’t even know if you’re sleeping or awake.

Enter Shakespeare’s Enchanted Forest and see all the comedy (or madness) that ensues. (Click on the image to enlarge or open in new window.)

INFOGRAPHIC #2: Shakespeare's Tragedies by Cam Magee and Caitlin Griffin - summarizing Shakespeare's tragedies in a nutshell. Cam Magee and Caitlin S. Griffin created a infographic that crosses Shakespeare with the people from bathroom signs. It shows every death from the tragedies, plus one of the most famous stage directions ever, from The Winter's Tale: "Exit, pursued by a bear."

An infographic that keeps track of all of Shakespeare's deaths for you

INFOGRAPHIC # 3 William Shakespeare in Statistics The source for this infographic was which I  found at View the full image at NoSweatShakespeare’s
Note that some of the personal 'items' below related to Shakespeare's personal life are believed true, but a good amount of his life was and still is not fully known to us.
View the full image at NoSweatShakespeare’s Shakespeare facts & statistics infographic

INFOGRAPHIC #4: Eight Phrases We Owe to William Shakespeare found at by 2011

INFOGRAPHIC #5:What Shakespeare Play Should I read by and posted by Jessica on 4/23/2013 at

INFOGRAPHIC #6: A Grand Taxonomy of Shakespearean Insults created by Charley Chartwell at

That's about it for this week.  Thank you for your visit. Please leave your own teaching ideas and/or your memories of the thrills and chills of reading/learning Shakespeare in the comments below.


  1. Oh my goodness. there is so much to chew on in this post. I find it so fascinating. I will have to go back over all of this when I have some time to really digest it.
    Thank you for all the time you put into the teaching materials.

  2. Our church is doing an event next month for Billy Shakes' 550th birthday.

  3. I'll have to write a blog post for the occasion. See Shooting Parrots on ABC Wednesday, also about Shakespeare, sort of.

  4. Oh my goodness! I'm in heaven! I absolutely love infographics and these are fabulous. Thanks for taking time to share them.

  5. Outstanding, they would enthuse anyone. I remember being on a summer school (in the days when computers were the size of room) and and as part of a project someone did a program on the interactions in Macbeth which threw up some surprising results. Unfortunately all I remember all these years later was the walk-through on the concertina computer paper laid out across the room. As Will said "Tis in my memory lock'd"...

  6. Wow... These infographics are awesome, I actually had to go over them a number of times, what a great compilation you have here.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing these! My students will love them!