The English-Speaking Union of the United

National Shakespeare Competition

Evaluation Criteria

There are two main categories of evaluation:

UNDERSTANDING

• A thorough understanding of the text, including language, character/plot (monologue) and literary/poetic elements(sonnet).

Within this category, there are three subcategories: Meaning, Language and Character (monologue only).

COMMUNICATION & EXPRESSION

• An effective delivery of the interpretation.

• An unaffected, artistic range that includes the effective use of body and voice and demonstrates an individual point-of-view.

Within this category, there are three subcategories: Vocal, Physical and Ownership.

A high scoring presentation demonstrates the following:

Monologue

  • Meaning:  A sophisticated understanding of the meaning of the speech and its context within the play.
  • Language:  An excellent, nuanced understanding of all words, metaphor or imagery in speech and any poetic elements (rhythm, rhyme, etc.).
  • Character:  An accurate portrayal of the character with a detailed understanding their point of view, status and emotional state.
  • Vocal:  A clear, effective vocal expression filled with choices that fully reflect the character.
  • Physical:  A clear, appropriate physical expression filled with choices that fully reflect the character and his/her intentions.
  • Ownership:  A demonstration of impressive confidence/poise with a skillful use of performance energy that both constantly maintains a connection to their character and captivates the audience.

 Sonnet

  • Meaning:  A sophisticated understanding of the meaning of the poem and its context (messages, allusions, ironies, tonal shifts, etc.)
  • Language:  An excellent, nuanced understanding of all words, metaphor or imagery in the poem and any poetic elements (rhythm, rhyme scheme, etc.).
  • Vocal:  A clear, effective vocal expression filled with choices that fully reflect the poem and its structure.
  • Physical:  A clear, appropriate physical expression filled with choices that expertly enhance and illuminate the poem and its language.
  • Ownership:  A demonstration of impressive confidence/poise with a skillful use of performance energy that both constantly maintains a connection to the poem and captivates the audience.

For more information, see the Monologue Scoring Rubric and Sonnet Scoring Rubric on the Judge Resources Page.

Return to Judge Resources