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Interactive video lesson plan for: Not budge an inch - Shakespeare Speaks

Activity overview:

Thomas Swann shows his stubborn side while rehearsing 'The Taming of The Shrew'.

For the transcript click 'SHOW MORE'.

For activities and extra materials connected to this episode: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/shakespeare/unit-1/session-19

TRANSCRIPT

Narrator
It's evening at the Duck and Whistle. William Shakespeare and his actor friend Thomas Swann are rehearsing the opening scene of Shakespeare's comedy The Taming of the Shrew.

Thomas
I'll answer him by law. I won't budge an inch…

Will
Just a minute Thomas: Christopher Sly is drunk, but we do need to understand the words!

Thomas
You're criticising my acting, Will. Again.

Will
Thomas, Thomas. You're a great actor. A wonderful actor. But Thomas, can the audience please actually hear the words I wrote for your character to say…?

Thomas
The audience can see what's happening! I'm in the pub, I'm drunk, there's broken glass everywhere and -

Bess
Thomas Swann! If you've broken one of my glasses, I'll have your guts for garters…

Will / Thomas
No, no, no!

Thomas
Bess, it's in the play.

Will
The innkeeper - in the play, Bess - is going to call the police unless Christopher Sly pays for the glasses he broke. But Sly says he doesn't care about the police, he's entitled to be in the pub, and he's not moving.

Bess
Oh… well just you be careful. I won't have people breaking glasses in my pub.

Will
Of course, Bess. Now, Thomas. Please. Speak more clearly.

Thomas
No. I'm an artist, and I have to do it my way.

Will
Bess, please read the innkeepers lines. I'll be Christopher Sly. Thomas, just listen.

Bess
Alright Mr Will, the innkeeper's lines: I know my remedy. I must go fetch the third-borough.

Will as Christopher Sly
Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by law.
I'll not budge an inch, boy. Let him come, and kindly.

Will
Now please Thomas, do it like that.

Thomas
I will not do it like that.

Bess
He's just like Christopher Sly isn't he Mr Will? He won't budge an inch either.

Narrator
We'll leave them there for now. Christopher Sly is just one of several stubborn characters in The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare's early comedy about the battle of the sexes. The phrase not budge an inch is used these days to describe not only objects that won't move but also people who won't change their minds. Take Simon Walker, the director general of the British Institute of Directors, who said that the British chancellor George Osborne…

Clip 1
…must not budge an inch on the crucial job of deficit reduction.

Clip 2
That stupid dog refused to move. I kept pulling on the lead, but he wouldn't budge an inch.

Thomas
Will, it's my way or –

Will
Now look here Thomas -

Bess
Now stop arguing you two or I'll knock your heads together. Thomas, do what Mr Will says. It's his play.

Thomas
Grrrr. To budge, or not to budge: that is the question.

Shakespeare Speaks is a co-production between BBC Learning English and The Open University. For more great Shakespeare content visit http://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/english-language/shakespeare-speaks

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