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ACCESS 1 CLIL WORKSHEET UNIT 3 – READ IT Literature - Shakespeare and Lope de Vega,


Literature - Shakespeare and Lope de Vega, two great playwrights

Student information

This lesson links to the topic of Lope de Vega and classic Spanish theatre, part of the “Literatura” programme.

William Shakespeare and Félix Lope de Vega lived and worked at the same time in history and both wrote plays for the theatre.

Starter activity:

Discuss with a partner what you know about both playwrights and why they are so famous. At the time of Shakespeare and Lope de Vega the theatre was the main form of entertainment. How do you think this fact affected the status of a playwright?

Now read the text to see if your ideas are mentioned:

Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) and Lope de Vega (1562–1635) were both from normal families:

Shakespeare’s father made gloves, and Lope de Vega’s father made clothes.

Lope de Vega’s life was very dramatic: he had two wives, three mistresses, many love affairs and 14 children. He also had many different jobs: private secretary for the Duke of Alba, he wrote love letters for the Duke of Sessa and finally he became a priest. In comparison, Shakespeare’s life was very boring! He was eighteen when he married Anne Hathaway (who was twenty-six) and they had 3 children. Historians think that he was a teacher for a few years until he joined a drama company and started writing plays.

Shakespeare and Lope de Vega both wrote for the popular public theatre, where performances were watched by all social classes, from the illiterate to the cultured. However, the situation of theatre as an art form was very different in the two countries at this point in history. Drama was an established, popular pastime in England during Shakespeare’s time, but there were only theatres in London. In other towns and cities, the plays were performed in the street or special outdoor areas. In Spain, at the time of Lope de Vega, theatre was not a common activity for ordinary people and was really only performed for the Court. This is why Lope de Vega is often called the “father of Spanish national drama”. He created innovative works which mixed tragedy with comedy and introduced dancing and songs to his theatrical shows. As a result of his work, theatre became a form of entertainment for the common people, not only for members of the nobility.

Photocopiable © Pearson Educación, S.A., 2011



Check your understanding

ACCESS 1 CLIL WORKSHEET Check your understanding 1. Find words in the text that mean the

1. Find words in the text that mean the opposite of the words below:




2. Say if the statements are true, false or not mentioned in the text. Give evidence from the text.

1. When Lope de Vega began to write, people in Spain went to the theatre often.

2. People usually watched plays outside in England.

3. Lope de Vega created a new type of theatre show.


1. Read the following short summary of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

1. Verona is described as a violent and feuding city, with two noble families, the Montagues and Capulets, fighting a constant war. Romeo and Juliet, two teenagers from these families become involved in a sudden, passionate love affair, but they have to keep their love secret from their respective families. As a result of this tension, both characters die and this emphasises the power of their love. This tragic love story has a sad, but optimistic ending because the Montagues and Capulets decide to end their feud. But it is too late for Romeo and Juliet.

1. Choose a play by Lope de Vega that you know, and with a partner produce a similar summary in less than 100 words.

Photocopiable © Pearson Educación, S.A., 2011