Shakespeare 400: Our Little Globe by Marina Jevtić

A classic of world literature and theater arts in the school yard – Our Little Globe

William Shakespeare is the classic of world literature and theatre arts. Each generation rediscovers his works, in which he painted human virtues and flaws, traits and psychological states. He created a gallery of unforgettable characters and universal human destiny, which school librarians and the English language teachers wanted to get closer to students of their school.  In this way, we marked the International Day of Book and Copyright, April 23rd, which was established by UNESCO in 1995. This day was chosen because on that day two famous writers passed away, William Shakespeare and Miguel Cervantes.

Therefore, from the beginning of the school year 2015/2016 a number of teachers of “Dušan Jerković” elementary school in Užice started preparations for the celebration of the great jubilee – 400 years since the death of the Bard.

In praise of books and reading culture, a series of activities have celebrated the famous writer. Students have been introduced to the Elizabethan epoch, historical circumstances and conditions of life, literary and artistic works of the Renaissance in England, but also fashion, dance and music. Since September 2015, each week a new Shakespeare quote has welcomed students and teachers for a new working week in the hallway in front of the school library.

We decided that, in addition to Romeo and Juliet, the students and the audience should be acquainted with the characters of Hamlet and King Lear, as well as with Shakespeare’s sonnets, his life, work, historical and cultural circumstances. We were guided by his thought that “The whole world’s a stage and all men and women merely players…” and during February, March and April started practicing with students.

On that particular evening all of the large audience were thrilled, curious to see how elementary school students could see the greatest theatre author. They could see the exhibition of wallpapers about Shakespeare in modern films, fashion from the 16th century, drawings from his works, characters, sonnets, quotes, etc. The event was conducted on the eve of April 22nd in the inner courtyard of the school, which looked like the Globe Theatre. Guests, parents, colleagues, teachers and librarians were sitting in rows, but most of the students who were the audience were on the three- floor galleries. And they all closely followed the whole show. You could hear every single word, every beat.

A long applause satisfied both the students and the teachers who were receiving congratulations for the successful programme. In the best possible way we marked this important anniversary – four centuries since the death of the world famous writer-William Shakespeare.

On that night at “Dušan Jerković” elementary school, Shakespeare was with us, thanks to the children and hardworking teachers, librarians and supporting staff. Quite magical! The interior of our school for a moment looked like the Globe Theatre … Thanks to the genius from Stratford who inspires even after four centuries. Thanks to “Dušanovci” who are maintaining that flame.

“Certainly the one that made us with such a broad mind, to look forward and back did not give us the ability and the God similar sense purely to be moldy, unused.”


by Marina Jevtić, ‘Dušan Jerković’ Primary School, Užice