Mountain View, California (EastBayDaily) — William Shakespeare has long been considered the greatest writer in the history of the English language. Whether or not you think he’s the real deal, Shakespeare has become a cornerstone of academia for English teachers everywhere. Shmoop University (http://www.shmoop.com), a digital curriculum company working to make learning fun and accessible, knows how much teachers love Shakespeare and, of course, how easy it is for students to hate him. That's why Shmoop recently launched Shakespeare Central, a place where all Shakespeare resources come together in an attempt to bring the Bard back to life…figuratively speaking.
Shakespeare Central contains original in-depth analysis of every one of Shakespeare's plays—except Henry VI, Part 1, but even Shakespeare himself probably forgot he wrote that one. (That's why there's Part 2, right?) Hamlet’s insanity might be enough to drive anyone mad, and iambic pentameter sounds like the name of a bad 90s metal band, but Shmoop acts as the WD-40 to Shakespeare's squeaky hinge: it covers everything from plot summary to character analysis and even manages to dig into themes and symbols in a way that won’t leave drool on the pages.
Shakespeare Central comes armed with other bells and whistles, too. As it turns out, almost everything that English speakers say today, Shakespeare said first. In sections devoted to Shakespeare’s Words and Shakespeare’s Quotes, Shmoop provides explanations of hundreds of words and idioms coined by the Bard—and it's all neatly and cleverly catalogued at Shakespeare Central.
Last but certainly not least, Shmoop presents the Shakespeare Translator, an endlessly entertaining way of sounding sophisticated, antiquated, and downright silly. The translator tool makes verbs more verbèd and makes adjectives shineth. It can even change current colloquial phrases into elegant(ish) Shakespearean language, all while familiarizing users with Shakespeare’s vernacular.
Shakespeare didn’t top the charts by being an easy read, but Shmoop’s Shakespeare Central will give even the most resistant budding Shakespeare scholars a reason to doeth their homework.
Shmoop is a digital curriculum and test prep company that makes fun, rigorous learning and teaching resources. Shmoop content is written by experts and teachers, who collaborate to create high-quality and engaging materials for teachers and students. Shmoop Courses, Test Prep, Teaching Guides, and Learning Guides balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous concepts. Shmoop sees 10 million unique visitors a month on its site and offers more than 7,000 titles across the Web, iPhone, Android devices, iPad, Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader. The company has been honored twice by the Webby Awards, named “Best in Tech” twice by Scholastic Administrator, and awarded with Education Software Review Awards (EDDIES) three years in a row. Launched in 2008, Shmoop is headquartered in a labradoodle-patrolled office in Mountain View, California.