TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- William Shakespeare’s claim that “all the world’s a stage” included Washington Irving School students on Wednesday, Nov. 19, when fourth- and fifth-graders studying the Bard’s play "Macbeth" staged Shakespeare Night for parents and visitors.
Dozens of 21st-century English language arts students dressed in medieval costumes performed readings, acted in portions of "Macbeth" on the auditorium stage and displayed their projects in the main hallway. Fifth-grader Aden Arduino said the class studied "Julius Caesar" last year and were deep into "Macbeth" this fall. “I did a research presentation on William Shakespeare, who was born in 1564 and died in 1616,” Aden said. “The most important thing about Shakespeare to me is that he influenced great writers like Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy and musicians like Verdi. Writers and artists were influenced by him and his plays on human nature. His play showed a lot about human flaws.” Wave Waldman, a fourth-grader, said he knew who Shakespeare was but not about his work until this fall. She created a three-dimensional scene from Macbeth where the witches meet Banquo. “It is a little difficult to understand the language at first, but you pick it up quickly,” Wave said. “My project represents where the problems began for Macbeth and fate takes over as the witches influence the story.” Bianca Vercesi said she studied medieval history and was impressed by how the world has changed. “I saw that men had all the rights and women were not allowed to do what they chose to do in life,” Bianca said. “The rich – kings and lords – owned the property, and the vassals were subject to working for them. I learned a lot about the times, laws and what it was like to be alive from Julius Caesar and Macbeth.”
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.