Shakespeare buff has write stuff

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2014
Kate McDonald
ANDY JACKSON/ Fairfax NZ
AWARD WINNER: Kate McDonald scooped first place two years in a row at the SGCNZ/Ida Gaskin Shakespeare essay competition.

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Kate McDonald's dedication to Shakespeare has earned her first place in a writing competition celebrating the playwright.

It is the second time Kate has walked away with a first place in the SGCNZ/Ida Gaskin Shakespeare essay competition and prize money of $500.

Winners were announced last month and Kate was placed first equal with Auckland's Rutherford College student Mohammed Al-Diery.

Kate, of New Plymouth Girls' High School, based her essay on Henry IV and she had to present an argument showing how Shakespeare plays were still relevant to 21st century youths and their lifestyles.

"I read it and said ‘I liked this'," the year 13 student said.

Kate said she was happy to have won the competition as she had worked "really hard" on it.

Henry IV was heavily based on father-and-son relationships which could be easily applied to a modern day context, she said.

"Family relationships never really change. The situations around it change but the dynamics really don't."

Kate enjoyed Shakespeare for his ability to capture "so many elements" of humanity that have not changed over the 450 years since his birth.

Judge Ida Gaskin said this was the first time the same student had won two years running.

She said the entries were judged anonymously with a number attached to the essays. "I had a bit of a shock when I checked out the numbers and found it was Kate again."

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