Online Literature Locate Drama, then Shakespeare

ELA UNIT PLANNING
UNIT: The Internal and External Struggles of the Tragic Hero/Unit Plan TIME FRAME: Four Weeks TEACHER/GR: Saunders 12th
Unit Summary and Rationale:
The unit involves multiple aspects of William Shakespeare's Tragedy, Macbeth. Students will explore multiple thematic elements including the supernatural, gender roles, symbols, fate and free will, ambition, violence and appearance versus reality. The analysis of the play, and specifically Macbeth as the anchor text, will be evaluated and synthesized with poetry, novels, current events and informational text to determine contextuality for the learner. Prior learning skills will be applied and evaluated for relevance in multiple genres, thematic applications, global students, and pop-culture. The tragic hero will also be considered for both Shakespearean and Greek tragedies as a model for the literary type. Students will also student the use of theatrical elements in the performance aspect of the play.

Unit Connection College and Career Ready Descriptions: Teachers will select at least one of the following lenses to act as the overlay for the unit. These are the descriptors that must be included to ensure the unit is fully aligned to the CCSS and relevant to the college and career ready student.
ü Students will demonstrate independence.
ü Students will value evidence.
ü Students will build strong content knowledge.
ü Students will respond to the varying demands of audience, task, and discipline.
ü Students will critique as well as comprehend.
ü Students will use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
ü Students will develop an understanding of other perspectives and cultures.

Unit Standards for Macbeth:

Reading: Literature
  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
  • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Writing
  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and ListeningComprehension and Collaboration
  • Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
  • Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

Language
Conventions of Standard English
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • Knowledge of Language
  • Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Usage and Use
  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  • Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.
  • Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
  • Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Technology
Use appropriate technology tools to design products and information with others.

Learning Tasks


After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
  • Compare historical perspectives on the supernatural with today’s understanding of these phenomena.
  • Describe how Shakespeare uses the theme of the supernatural in Macbeth.
  • Interpret a literary text by identifying the techniques used by the author and how they contribute to its meaning.
  • Analyze themes, plot, and character in Macbeth.
  • Evaluate gender roles in Shakespearean plays and modern culture
  • Determine and analyze the use of symbols, false appearances and fate vs. free will in literature

Big Ideas/Theme and Essential Questions by Theme


Macbeth Theme of Fate and Free Will

Macbeth takes seriously the question of whether or not fate (destiny) or human will (choice) determines a man's future. Shakespeare seems, ultimately, to be interested in what it is that causes a seemingly decent man (Macbeth) to commit evil acts. On the one hand, the play is set in motion by the weird sisters' prophesy that Macbeth will be king, which turns out to be true. It also often seems that outside forces (related to the weird sisters, who are in many ways associated with the three fates) control Macbeth's actions. On the other hand, the play goes out of its way to dramatize how Macbeth deliberates before taking action, which suggests that he alone controls the outcome of his own future. Alternatively, some critics suggest that Macbeth's fate may be set in stone but his choices determine the specific circumstances by which he arrives at or fulfills his destiny. In the end, the play leaves the question unanswered.
==Questions About Fate and Free Will==

  1. What is Macbeth's initial response to the weird sisters' prophesy? Does his attitude change at some point? If so, when does the change occur?
  2. Macbeth is repeatedly described as giving the witches his "rapt" attention. Why is that? What does this suggest about Macbeth?
  3. Do all of the witches' prophesies come true?
  4. What role does Lady Macbeth play in her husband's actions? Is she always involved in Macbeth's decision making?

Macbeth Theme of Ambition

Macbeth is often read as a cautionary tale about the kind of destruction ambition can cause. Macbeth is a man that at first seems content to defend his king and country against treason and rebellion and yet, his desire for power plays a major role in the way he commits the most heinous acts (with the help of his ambitious wife, of course). Once Macbeth has had a taste of power, he seems unable and unwilling to stop killing (men, women, and children alike) in order to secure his position on the throne. Selfishly, Macbeth puts his own desires before the good of his country until he is reduced to a mere shell of a human being. Of course, ambition isn't Macbeth's only problem. Be sure to read about the play's portrayal of "Fate and Free Will" also.

Essential Questions:
  1. How does Macbeth's ambition overrun the witches prophesy?
  2. Evaluate the difference in the projected outcome and the eventual outcomes based upon Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's ambition.

Macbeth Theme of Power


Macbeth is interested in exploring the qualities that distinguish a good ruler from a tyrant (what Macbeth clearly becomes by the play's end). It also dramatizes the unnaturalness of regicide (killing a king) but walks a fine line by portraying the killing of King Macbeth. Although the play is set in 11th century Scotland (a time when kings were frequently murdered), Macbeth has a great deal of contemporary relevance. In 1603, King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England, becoming England's first Stuart monarch. The play alludes to an unsuccessful Catholic plot (the Gunpowder Plot of 1605) to blow up Parliament and King James. Shakespeare also pays homage to the Stuart political myth by portraying Banquo as King James's noble ancestor.

Essential Questions:
  1. What kind of a ruler is King Duncan? How would you compare his leadership to that of Macbeth (once the latter is crowned king)?
  2. What is the play's attitude toward the murder of King Duncan?
  3. In Act iv, Scene iii, Malcolm pretends that he thinks he'll become a tyrant once he's crowned king. Why does he do this? What's Macduff's response? What's the overall purpose of this scene?
  4. Does the play ever portray an ideal monarch? If your answer is yes, what textual evidence supports your claim? If your answer is no, why do you think the play never shows us a good king?

Macbeth Theme of Versions of Reality

Essential Questions:
  1. Synthesize the role of weather in the play with another play that you have studied. Evaluate meaning.
  2. The recurring theme of false appearances is commonly found in literature, particularly in Shakespeare's plays. Reflect on one novel and one play and how the theme advances the meaning of the novel as a whole. Compare the impact on one of your choices to that of Macbeth. Which is more powerful and why? Defend with details and support.

"Fair is foul and foul is fair." That's what the witches chant in unison in the play's opening scene and the mantra echoes throughout the play. In Macbeth, appearances, like people, are frequently deceptive. What's more, many of the play's most resonant images are ones that may not actually exist. Macbeth's bloody "dagger of the mind," the questionable appearance of Banquo's ghost, and the blood that cannot be washed from Lady Macbeth's hands all blur the boundaries between what is real and what is imagined. This theme, of course, is closely related to the "Supernatural."

Questions About Versions of Reality


  1. At the beginning of the play the witches say "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." What does this mean? Does this idea resonate throughout the play? If so, how?
  2. How do Macbeth and Banquo respond to the witches' prophesy in act one, scene three? Does it seem real to them? Why or why not?
  3. What kinds of hallucinations and visions occur in the play? What purpose do they serve?
  4. Why is a doctor called in to tend to Lady Macbeth? What's wrong with her?

Macbeth Theme of Violence


Violence in Macbeth is central to action. The play begins with a battle against rebel forces in which Macbeth distinguishes himself as a valiant and loyal warrior. Later, Macbeth's murder of King Duncan is condemned as an unnatural deed but the play also raises the question of whether or not there's any real difference between killing a man in combat and murdering for self gain. Violence in all forms is frequently associated with masculinity – the play is full of characters (Macbeth, Macduff, Young Siward, and so on) that must prove their "manhood" by killing. Even Lady Macbeth asks to be "unsexed" so that she may be "filled with direst cruelty." At the same time, the play also suggests that unchecked violence may lead to a kind of emotional numbness that renders one inhuman.
Essential Questions
  1. The battlefield is central to most characters in the play, who have won their honors by killing others in this arena. Can the political realm of these players also be described as a battlefield? To what degree?
  2. What kind of violence is acceptable on this political front?
  3. Nature always seems to be rebelling against the unnatural acts going down in Dunsinane, yet violence is a central part of the natural world. Are humans any more than animals here?
  4. The play ends with as much violence as the original battle against another traitor to the crown. Is there a suggestion here of cyclical and never-ending violence? Is there any way to argue against Macbeth's claim that blood demands blood? And when will all the killing stop?
  5. When Malcolm takes a break in England with Macduff, he wishes to stop and grieve. Macduff tells him instead that violence in the name of Scotland is a better cure. Yet when Macduff finds out his family is murdered, he grieves deeply and then turns to revenge. Is violence a justified reaction to a wrong, or is it just an emotion out of control that can be rightfully calmed with thought?

Macbeth Theme of Gender

Macbeth is notorious for its inversion of traditional gender roles – Lady Macbeth is the dominant partner (at the play's beginning) in her marriage and she frequently browbeats her husband for failing to act like a "man" when he waffles about killing the king. Lady Macbeth isn't the only emasculating figure in this play – the weird sisters cast a spell to literally "drain" a man as "dry as hay" and set out to ruin Macbeth. It's important to note that traditional gender roles are ultimately reestablished by the end of the play when Lady Macbeth is excluded from all decision making and goes mad before she finally commits suicide. The play is also notable for the way it portrays femininity as being synonymous with "kindness" and compassion while it associates masculinity with cruelty and violence. (A seeming paradox given that Lady Macbeth and the witches are quite cruel. The point seems to be, however, that these women are "unnaturally" masculine.) Macduff appears to be a lone voice in the play when he argues that the capacity to "feel" human emotion (love, loss, grief, etc.) is in fact what makes one a "man."
Essential Questions
  1. How does Lady Macbeth convince her husband to kill Duncan? What's her strategy?
  2. What is meant when Lady Macbeth says Macbeth is too "full o'th'milk of human kindness"?
  3. Why does Lady Macbeth call on spirits to "unsex" her? And, what does she mean by that?
  4. How does the play define "manhood"? What is it that makes one a "man" in Macbeth?
  5. How are women characters portrayed in Macbeth? What kinds of roles do they play?

Link to Gender Roles in Shakespeare

Macbeth Theme of Gender, Cont'd

Essential Questions
  1. What kind of a ruler is King Duncan? How would you compare his leadership to that of Macbeth (once the latter is crowned king)?
  2. What is the play's attitude toward the murder of King Duncan?
  3. In Act iv, Scene iii, Malcolm pretends that he thinks he'll become a tyrant once he's crowned king. Why does he do this? What's Macduff's response? What's the overall purpose of this scene?
  4. Does the play ever portray an ideal monarch? If your answer is yes, what textual evidence supports your claim? If your answer is no, why do you think the play never shows us a good king?

Macbeth Questions


Essential Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. The last scene in the play, where Malcolm blesses all who have fought nobly on his side and promises to punish all who helped the traitors, is eerily reminiscent of the first scene with his father, Duncan. Is this play commenting that it's just the nature of history to repeat itself?
  2. Macbeth starts the play as a hero and ends up a tyrant. Does this mean there are no truly evil people and power corrupts, or just that some people have bad judgment when choosing heroes?
  3. Lady Macbeth is often hailed as the source of Macbeth's evil, but she never talks about her own gain. Even when she should be all happy as queen, she takes her own life. Is Lady Macbeth just caught in fate here? Was she just trying to do the good thing by being a supportive wife? Is good in the eye of the beholder?
  4. The three witches, the weird sisters, are also often blamed for planting the seed of treachery in Macbeth's mind – yet the root of the word "wyrd" goes back to the Anglo Saxon word for "fate." Does one only need to think a thing is fate to make it happen? How much personal agency does one have against fate?
  5. The good of other characters seems magnified when called out against Macbeth's evil. If not for Macbeth, Duncan would've died an aged king, Malcolm would never have tested his mettle in battle, and Macduff would've just been a good, quiet Thane of Fife, not a warrior-hero. Does it truly take the worst of times to see the best in men's natures?


Assessments and Activities


Shakespeare "Speak I Charge You" Macbeth On Your Feet Lesson Plan

from PBS.org

LESSON TITLE: “Speak, I Charge You”: Macbeth On Your Feet, Not In Your Seat
GRADE LEVEL: Grades 9 12
TIME ALLOTMENT: Two 45 50-minute class periods
OVERVIEW:
This lesson explores the validity of a statement Ethan Hawke makes in the Macbeth episode of the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered: “There’s always a certain magic that happens when you start to say the lines [from a Shakespeare play] out loud that you can’t anticipate. It feels like a spell.” This leads us to an essential question: is there a difference between reading Shakespeare silently versus speaking his works aloud? Very often, students believe they will not enjoy Shakespeare’s plays because they won’t understand the language. This lesson will help students overcome this fear by having them engage with the language of Macbeth through performance and not by merely reading the play at their desks. By moving from their seats to their feet, students will understand that Shakespeare wrote plays to be performed.
In the Introductory Activity, students will experiment actively with lines from Macbeth in order to experience Shakespeare as language to be spoken and played. Students will then move on to the Learning Activities where they will explore video segments from Shakespeare Uncovered and will then stage scenes or parts of scenes from Macbeth. During this portion of the lesson, they will make all the decisions about staging, using only Shakespeare’s script and the handout “How to Stage a Scene” from the Folger Shakespeare Library. During the Culminating Activity, students will discuss Ethan Hawke’s “There’s always a certain magic…” statement and also reflect on their experiences during the performance of their scenes. Two Optional Activities provide students with opportunities to write and discuss the scenes they acted out during the lesson.
This lesson is designed to be used as part of a unit on Macbeth. The Introductory Activity could be used as a pre-reading exercise to introduce performance at the beginning of the unit.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:
After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
  • Read complex texts carefully and closely since all of their staging decisions must emerge from what the text suggests;
  • Understand characters’ emotional and psychological states based not only on what they say, but on how they speak;
  • Discover the differences between Shakespeare on the page and Shakespeare performed;
  • Write about Shakespeare’s play in specific and textually supported ways.

Reading: Literature
  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
  • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
  • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
  • Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
  • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Writing
  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
MEDIA COMPONENTS
Video
Shakespeare Uncovered: Ethan Hawke on Macbeth, selected segments.
Access the video segments for this lesson at the Video Segments Page.
Segment 1: “Exploring the Dagger Scene” In this segment, Ethan Hawke seeks help from a fellow actor to gain a deep understanding of the “Dagger” speech in Act II, Scene i and models for the viewer an actor’s approach to understanding the text.
Segment 2: “The Language of Trauma” In this segment, a forensic psychiatrist explains how the manner and style of one’s speech reflects extreme or traumatic experiences, a useful framework to discuss the form of characters’ speech and of how this might affect performance.
Segment 3: “Who is Your Lady Macbeth?” (Optional) This segment focuses on the different ways Lady Macbeth can be and has been played, a notion of how Shakespeare’s plays offer interpretative choices for actors.
Websites
The website of the Folger Shakespeare Library, the world’s richest archive of manuscripts and Early Modern items, provides a variety of resources for students and teachers. The following documents from the site are used in this lesson:
**“Objectives and Tactics”**
**“How to Stage a Scene”**

Shakespeare’s Words

[[http://www.shakespeareswords.com­]]

This website, which is a companion to the book Shakespeare’s Words, provides a comprehensive Shakespeare glossary, synopses of all the plays, and links to the Penguin Complete Works.
MATERIALS
For each student:

This handout includes suggested lines from Macbeth for students to use in the Introductory Activity in this lesson.

This handout provides definitions for “objectives” and “tactics,” two terms fundamental to an actor’s approach to a play.

This handout provides six broad guidelines that help teachers and students with little or no experience put any scene in a play on its feet. This handout is used during Learning Activity 2 in this lesson.
For the class:
  • Computer, projection screen, and speakers (for class viewing of online video segments).
PREP FOR TEACHERS
To prepare for this lesson, view the Macbeth episode of Shakespeare Uncovered at www.pbs.org/shakespeare-uncovered. If you do not have time to screen the entire episode, please review the segments featured on the Video Segments Page as you prepare this lesson.
Download and print the “Line Festival” Handout for the Introductory Activity, and make enough copies for each student in your class.
Choose the scenes that you will have your students perform during Learning Activity 2 of this lesson. Six scenes are recommended below, but you may choose any scenes from the play to suit your students. To save time, consider casting them in the scenes you choose ahead of time. Feel free to stage only part of a scene, if you wish; the main focus of this lesson is what students do with the scene. (Recommended scenes follow below with links to the free Folger e-text of the play, which may be downloaded and printed). Print out copies of the scenes that will be performed by students if they do not have their own text of the play so that they may annotate their scripts with stage movement, notes, etc. Prepare copies of “Objectives and Tactics” and “How to Stage a Scene” Handouts for each student ahead of time.

Supernatural Shakespeare and Macbeth Lesson Plan

from PBS.org


OVERVIEW
In this lesson, students will explore how Shakespeare uses supernatural elements in Macbeth. The lesson will begin with an exploration of beliefs about the supernatural and witchcraft in Shakespeare’s time as presented in a segment from the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered. Students will then compare these beliefs to modern-day notions about the supernatural and consider how these beliefs shape people’s behavior. Next, students will turn to the text of Macbeth andanalyze the action, imagery, characterization, and language of Act I, Scene iii (the scene in which Macbeth and Banquo first encounter the witches and hear their predictions). Then, students will view another segment from Shakespeare Uncovered and explore key questions about the role of the witches in the action of Macbeth. Finally, they will examine other supernatural episodes in the play and produce a paper exploring the impact and meaning of one of these episodes. This lesson is best used during a reading of Macbeth.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
After completing this lesson, students will be able to:
  • Compare historical perspectives on the supernatural with today’s understanding of these phenomena.
  • Describe how Shakespeare uses the theme of the supernatural in Macbeth.
  • Interpret a literary text by identifying the techniques used by the author and how they contribute to its meaning.
  • Analyze themes, plot, and character in Macbeth.
Reading: Literature
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
MEDIA COMPONENTS
Video:
Shakespeare Uncovered: Ethan Hawke on Macbeth, selected segments
Access the video segments for this lesson at the Video Segments Page.
Segment 1: “Witchcraft in Shakespeare’s Time” A discussion of what people in Shakespeare’s day believed about witches.
Segment 2: “A Force of Evil: The Witches and Macbeth” An exploration of the impact and meaning of the witches in the play.
MATERIALS
For the class:
  • Computer, projection screen, and speakers (for class viewing of online video segments).

For each student:




The Three Weird Sisters

Continue Watching:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1604122998/

Annotated Version, Link to Site

Macbeth Net Trekker

Assessment Evidences:
DIAGNOSTIC
FORMATIVE
SUMMATIVE
Pre-Assess Knowledge of Time Period
Review of Robert Frost's "Out-Out"
Video Clip Ethan Hawke
Annotated Documents
Study Guide Ongoing Review
Macbeth Symbol Logs
Theme Chart

Staging Document
Objectives and Tactics Handout
Line Festival Handout
Objective Exam
Essays
Presentations
Student-Generated Rubric
and
Reflection

Link to Gender Roles in Shakespeare


Macbeth Theme of Gender

Macbeth is notorious for its inversion of traditional gender roles – Lady Macbeth is the dominant partner (at the play's beginning) in her marriage and she frequently browbeats her husband for failing to act like a "man" when he waffles about killing the king. Lady Macbeth isn't the only emasculating figure in this play – the weird sisters cast a spell to literally "drain" a man as "dry as hay" and set out to ruin Macbeth. It's important to note that traditional gender roles are ultimately reestablished by the end of the play when Lady Macbeth is excluded from all decision making and goes mad before she finally commits suicide. The play is also notable for the way it portrays femininity as being synonymous with "kindness" and compassion while it associates masculinity with cruelty and violence. (A seeming paradox given that Lady Macbeth and the witches are quite cruel. The point seems to be, however, that these women are "unnaturally" masculine.) Macduff appears to be a lone voice in the play when he argues that the capacity to "feel" human emotion (love, loss, grief, etc.) is in fact what makes one a "man."
Essential Questions
  1. How does Lady Macbeth convince her husband to kill Duncan? What's her strategy?
  2. What is meant when Lady Macbeth says Macbeth is too "full o'th'milk of human kindness"?
  3. Why does Lady Macbeth call on spirits to "unsex" her? And, what does she mean by that?
  4. How does the play define "manhood"? What is it that makes one a "man" in Macbeth?
  5. How are women characters portrayed in Macbeth? What kinds of roles do they play?