Macbeth DIY Lesson
Now that you’ve finished reading Macbeth on your own, it’s time to share your expertise of your assigned act with the rest of the class with a lesson created and led by…you! This is an opportunity for you to depict your own interpretation of the play through the performing and creative arts!
How you craft and present the lesson is up to you, but it must meet the following requirements:
- Contains a summary of the act
- Be sure to mention how Macbeth and/or Lady Macbeth develop(s) over the course of your act, interacts with other characters, or advances the plot or develops a theme.
- Identifies and explores a key theme from the act
- Find a passage that supports your chosen theme and complete a literary analysis of the passage (not to exceed one page). Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings to show how Shakespeare’s use of language creates an impression on the audience. Share your findings with the class.
- Some of the thematic ideas presented in the play include: fate vs. free will, ambition, power, violence, gender, versions of reality, supernatural, etc.
- Contains a performance of one scene from the act
- Your presentation doesn’t have to be done live in front of the class. If you prefer, you may record it and play the scene during your lesson. In either case, get creative and have fun!
REVISED Due Dates:
- Act II—A-day) April 17th(/ B) 18th
- Act III—A-day) April 19th/ B) 23rd
- Act IV—B-day) April 25th/ A) 26th
- Act V—B-day)April 27th/ A) 30th
If you have questions concerning your assigned act, please come see me for tutoring (advisory, Thursday afternoons, or by appointment)….but do not wait until the day before your presentation is due!
- Contains a summary of the act
a brief review of medieval Scotland, Shakespeare's England, the Gunpowder Plot, and witchcraft
Please read these comments thoroughly. Following is a link with additional information regarding the historical context of the play--I highly suggest you read it too for reinforcement. Happy reading! :)
A new site I discovered with full explanations and annotations at the end of each scene! Check it out!
Follow the link for quick and easy access to every act and scene.
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE: A SYNOPSIS OF EVERY SCENE FROM ACT I.
Scene 1 Synopsis: An open place in Scotland.
The play opens in a wild and lonely place in medieval Scotland. Three witches enter and speak of what they know will happen this day: the civil war will end, and they will meet Macbeth, one of the generals. Their meeting ends when their demon companions, in the form of a toad and a cat, call them away.
Scene 2 Synopsis: King Duncan's camp near the battlefield.
Duncan, the king of Scotland, waits in his camp for news of the battle. He learns that one of his generals, Macbeth, has been victorious in several battles. Not only has Macbeth defeated the rebellious Macdonwald, but he has also conquered the armies of the king of Norway and the Scottish traitor, the thane of Cawdor. Duncan orders the thane of Cawdor's execution and announces that Macbeth will receive the traitor's title.
Scene 3 Synopsis: A bleak place near the battlefield.
While leaving the battlefield, Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches, who are gleefully discussiong the trouble they have caused. The witches hail Macbeth by a title he already holds, thane of Glamis. THen they prophesy that he will become both thane of Cawdor and king. When Banquo asks about his future, they speak in riddles, saying that he will be the father of kings but not a king himself.
After the witches vanish, Ross and Angus arrive to announce that Macbeth has been named thane of Cawdor. The first part of the wtiches' prophecy has come true, and Macbeth is stunned. He immediately begins to consider the possiblilty of murdering King Duncan to fulfill the rest of the wtiches' prophecy to him. Shaken, he turns his thoughts away from this "horrid image."
Scene 4 Synopsis: A room in the king's palace at Forres.
King Duncan receives news of the execution of the former thane of Cawdor. As the king is admitting his bad judgment concerning the traitor, Macbeth enters with Banquo, Ross, and Angus. Duncan expresses his gratitude to them and then, in a most unusual action, officially names his own son Malcolm as heir to the throne. To honor Macbeth, Duncan decides to visit Macbeth's castle at Inverness. Macbeth, his thoughts full of dark ambition, leaves to prepare for the king's visit.
Scene 5 Synopsis: Macbeth's castle at Inverness.
Lady Macbeth reads a letter from her husband that tells her of the witches' prophecies, one of which has already come true. She is determined that Macbeth will be king. However, she fears that he lacks the courage to kill Duncan. After a messenger tells her the king is coming, she calls on the powers of evil to help her do what must be done. When Macbeth arrives, she tells him that the king must die that night but reminds him that he must appear to be a good and loyal host.
Scene 6 Synopsis: In front of Macbeth's castle.
King Duncan and his party arrive, and Lady Macbeth welcomes them. Duncan is generous in his praise of his hosts and eagerly awaits the arrival of Macbeth.
Scene 7 Synopsis: A room in Macbeth's castle.
Macbeth has left Duncan in the middle of dinner. Alone, he begins to have second thoughts about his murderous plan. Lady Macbeth enters and discovers that he has changed his mind. She scornfully accuses him of cowardice and tells him that a true man would never back out of a commitment. She reassures him of success and explains her plan. She will make sure that the king's attendants drink too much. When they are fast asleep, Macbeth will stab the king with the servants' weapons.