Shakespeare In Bits: Macbeth iPad Edition
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Macbeth isn't appropriate for little kids because of its mature themes -- including murder, witches and ghosts, alcohol consumption, and sexually suggestive language. Plus, this animated version of the story shows the killing sequences (albeit with cartoon-like visuals). It's not overtly graphic compared to today's violence seen in movies. Many young kids won't likely understand everything because of the use of Shakespearean English.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- text analysis
- academic development
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
Classically trained actors bring voices to this excellent animated version of Shakespeare, which should draw kids in to the sometimes challenging required study of Macbeth.
Shakespeare in Bits has it all -- informative summaries, thoughtful analysis, detailed character explanations, along with the full text of the play, which appears alongside the animation.
With a very intuitive interface, all of the data teens could need to understand Macbeth is available here.
What's it about?
The app includes the full text of the play as well as plot summaries, character analysis, and literary analysis. Kids read the text and watch the animation and hear the professional reading. In-text translation is available for some of the Shakespearean language, like hurly-burly to battle or ere to before -- kids click on the highlighted term to see the more contemporary word choice. Each scene is brief -- a minute or two -- so kids can view the whole two-hour plus play at once or watch scene by scene.
Is it any good?
SHAKESPEARE IN BITS: MACBETH delivers the original play, divided into digestible "bits" with translation, analysis, summaries, and notes. But what really makes this app shine is a fully animated version of the tragedy that runs beside the text. Therefore, not only can you read the complete unabridged Macbeth, but you can also watch the nearly three hour play of it, voiced by professional actors Stephen Dillane (King Arthur) as Macbeth and Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter) as Lady Macbeth. When the play is running, the text is highlighted, so you can easily follow along -- or pause at any time to click on a word or phrase to get the modern English translation. You can also skip back or fast forward to various acts and scenes.
This handy app also has a biography section so you can read up on each character, along with a relationship map that shows the links between characters.
Families can talk about...
If teens are studying Macbeth in school, use Shakespeare in Bits: Macbeth as a complement at home to deepen understanding. Watch it and discuss it with your teen.
Share with your teen some of your favorite lines or scenes from Macbeth.