SwipeSpeare - Modern Shakespeare
This is a brilliantly informative app which not only includes all of Shakespeare’s plays, but has them both in the original, and modern day (translated) text. We have given the app an EAS Certification of 5 Stars and EAS Recommended Status.
The app’s landing page is fairly simple. At first I was a little sceptical, due to the plain layout, but my scepticism was soon quelled when I opened up the first tab in the educational version of the app, ‘ Shakespeare Biography’. Under this heading there is a wealth of information, not only about Shakespeare, but about the political events at the time.
The familiar character associated with Shakespeare is that of a man from humble beginnings from Stratfod-Upon- Avon, who married Anne Hathaway and had two daughters, before heading off to London to become the most famous writer of all time.
The information about Shakespeare is interesting, but it’s not until you click on the next tab ‘the Real Shakespeare’ that things get really interesting. This section depicts a man that evaded tax, and threatened those that owed him money with ‘death or bodily harm’. As you read on the revelations thicken.
It’s widely believed that the man from Stratford-Upon-Avon may not actually be Shakespeare at all! The evidence is certainly compelling, suggesting that it was in fact the Earl of Oxford who was the mind behind the pen. It was common in those days for members of the aristocracy to not take credit for their creative endeavours for fear that they would appear less serious or credible. The app goes on to list many of the coincidental facts leading us to believe that Oxford was indeed Skakespeare. For instance, Oxford died in 1604, the same year that Skakespeare retired, which happened to be at the height of his fame.
The list of evidence is really astounding, and I have to commend the app on bringing to light an issue that is rarely talked about. I think this kind of background information will really help build students’ fascination with Shakespeare (whoever he really was).
The next part of the app is really astonishing. Not only does it contain every single Shakespeare play, but is has both original texts of each play, as well as a modern translation. All you have to do is swipe your finger over the selected text and the translation will appear. This is a fantastic feature for students struggling to engage with the material because they don’t understand it. This revolutionises the learning experience, as the student no longer has to rely on teacher input to de-code the language.
And if the content wasn’t enough already, the app then has a section full of lesson plans for teachers, with ideas on class discussions and homework assignments for a variety of the most popular works. These are really detailed teaching aids and probably the most suited for classroom application that I have seen. Lastly, there is a study guide section with information about the themes, characters and act by act summaries of the most popular works. Again, this section is amazingly detailed.
In summary this app is astonishing and can be used as a complete tool for teaching/learning Shakespeare. This app really has it all, and could be used in a classroom without the need for any additional material. We have given the app 5 star in our Certification, and if it was possible to give it a higher score we would. One criticism of the app would be that the layout and presentation is fairly standard and not very eye - catching, but in terms of quality of content, it is unrivalled.
From the Developer
Shakespeare has all the ingredients of a big budget movie—if you can understand him.
SwipeSpeare puts the words of the Bard into plain and simple English with a Swipe of a finger!
Unlike other apps that put the original and modern side-by-side in a way that is distracting and hard to read, SwipeSpeare only shows you the modern text when you want to see it. Simply swipe your finger over the text, and the text will change; swipe it again and it will change back.
This app features:
- FREE built in (and searchable) Shakespeare Dictionary
- FREE Shakespeare biography
- FREE "Swipeable" copy of Romeo and Juliet
- Every Shakespeare play translated into modern English! (The original play is also included--you choose how you want to read it. Swipe your finger and you can easily toggle back and forth!)
- Study Guides for every major play with more on the way
- Lesson Plans for every major play with more on the way
We are already making lots of improvements to this app--both to the content / features and the UI; we are eager to receive any feedback about what you dislike about the app or what you would like to see in future updates.