Understanding Shakespearean Archetypes through Modern Day Rom-Coms

In this lesson, students will demonstrate their understanding of Shakespearean archetypes by applying them to modern day romantic comedies. They will learn about the traditional five act structure of and commonly used “stock characters” in Shakespeare’s comedies. They will then identify similar plot points and stock characters in a modern romantic comedy.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

This lesson should be implemented during or directly after your class studies one of Shakespeare's comedies so you can reference concrete examples when teaching your students about Shakespeare's five act structure and stock characters. Shakespearean comedies include: All's Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Comedy of Errors, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure, Merchant of Venice, Merry Wives of Windsor, Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado about Nothing, Taming of the Shrew, Tempest, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Winter's Tale.

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Lesson tags: Eighth, Eleventh, English, Film, Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth

Cassie Brown

Cassie Brown Cassie Brown is an award-winning playwright and performer as well as an experienced educator. Cassie currently teaches enrichment classes in magic, model airplane building, and outdoor adventure skills. She has a degree in Early Childhood Development in addition to a Bachelor's in Film Studies with a minor in Education. Cassie honed her understanding of student-centered education while at Sesame Street, where she spent years learning the value of combining entertainment with education.