Shall I Compare Thee To A Rap Star?

Teaching artists have for years been making connections between Shakespeare and hip-hop. The Royal Shakespeare Company is now getting in on that game: the organization has launched an app teaching “Much Ado About Nothing” through rap. Jacqui O’Hanlon, the RSC’s director of education, said the app would act as a “trail of breadcrumbs” to the original work. The app’s rap lyrics are derived from Shakespeare’s insults, and his characters’ amorous exchanges. It challenges users to spot the difference between the Shakespeare rap and those of modern hip-hop artists. Intended for use by pupils aged 11 to 16, it is designed to capture the imagination of young people before they come to the conclusion Shakespeare is not for them.

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