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Technology and Shakespeare: Writing, Researching, Knowing

by
Melissa A. Dailey


Contents of Curriculum Unit 09.01.06:

To Guide Entry


Overview

Students will study vision, interpretation and action in the plays Macbeth and Hamlet. Through textual analysis and writing, students explore the intersection of seeing and knowing as presented in the two plays. In the current technological age, it is of growing importance that we think critically about what is presented to us via the Internet, the cell phone, and television. My eleventh- and twelfth-grade students utilize these forms of communication daily. I intend to use classic literature to draw a connection between what we see, how we interpret it, and how we react to it. Using Hamlet and Macbeth as the central texts, the class will evaluate how the characters Hamlet and Macbeth base their actions on visions that may or may not be valid. In the cases of Hamlet and Macbeth, the decisions they make based on what they see have grave results. Through exploration of these characters, students will evaluate how vision can be problematic for them as well. The saturation of technology in these students' lives requires them to evaluate the quality, validity, and at times the safety of what is presented to them. In turn, they often act on what they see, and if they do not do so in an analytical and ethical fashion, their actions may be harmful to themselves or others. Examples of such actions can range from spreading a hurtful, inaccurate rumor to being accused of trafficking child pornography through sexting. Therefore, this three-week unit helps students become critical viewers when it comes to technology and critical readers when it comes to literature.

One issue facing teachers and students is the "hyper attention" characteristic of students growing up in this technological world. According to N. Katherine Hayles, hyper attention contrasts to deep attention. The two differ as their names imply:

"Deep attention, the cognitive style traditionally associated with the humanities, is characterized by concentrating on a single object for long periods (say, a novel by Dickens), ignoring outside stimuli while so engaged, preferring a single information stream, and having a high tolerance for long focus times. Hyper attention is characterized by switching focus rapidly among different tasks, preferring multiple information streams, seeking a high level of stimulation, and having a low tolerance for boredom."1

Hayles's conception of hyper attention and deep attention are closely related to my unit. In the hyper-attentive world we live in, it is increasingly important to engage students with technology as well as make them critical users of technology. In addition, it is important to cultivate both the hyper attention and deep attention of our students. Through my unit, this is exactly what I intend to do. Through the uses of technology and a focus on technology, I hope to engage their hyper-attentive selves. I hope to engage them in deep attention with the Shakespeare.

When planning this unit, I felt that the situations in Hamlet and Macbeth were so grave and supernatural in nature that they could not be plausibly linked to the lives of the students. With greater thought I realized that there are many situations involved with seeing and understanding that confront students in very serious, ethical ways. As in Macbeth and Hamlet, students make decisions based on what they see. Hamlet and Macbeth are dealing with the illusory world of the spiritual, while our students are dealing with the illusory world of the Internet.

The majority of my students own cell phones and have accounts with Facebook or Myspace. In addition, students conduct research on the Internet as well as acquire everyday information from it. Students need to be able to determine what is valid information. Frequently, students will limit themselves to a Google search or rely on Wikipedia as a sole source. There is nothing wrong with this as a starting point. Yet students need to start to develop their researching skills.

Teachers in my school stress different ways to acquire information and determine quality sources. The library has access to some worthwhile Internet material. We are linked into ICON and the Encyclopedia Britannica. Students stick with Google and Wikipedia because they are easy and they are what the students know. Once they are introduced to other types of research, they will be willing to use them, once they get over being told what to do. The other technological problems we face involve students who are becoming friends with all kinds of people through social networking sites and sexting with their cell phones. We do make a point to warn students about whom they are associating with online and not engaging in inappropriate texting, but teenagers will be teenagers. As a result, some students get themselves into problematic situations.

A completely different kind of problem that students have is Shakespeare's writing style. Drawing students into the storyline alone makes the texts worthwhile. Nevertheless, Shakespeare's language enriches the material. A challenge for teachers includes bringing that language to life for students. Students become frustrated with the language. It takes patience and close reading to understand Shakespeare. A few students always pick up the language with ease and guide the rest of the class through the reading. Still, one wants all the students to really delve into the language of Shakespeare and appreciate the imagery he uses. Students cannot just read the words and expect to develop an understanding without thought. They need to think about what they read, another reason why Hamlet and Macbeth serve as good texts to use for this unit. Students need to go beyond the surface in order to develop a full understanding of the texts.

Students do not always go beyond the surface of things. When they do go beyond the surface of a text or image, they need to do so using evidence and analysis to support their inferences. From written analysis of a Shakespeare piece to finding a valid source on the Internet, students need to think critically. Students cannot simply read Shakespeare, understand the story, and leave it at that. They need to explore the imagery and symbolism of the text to appreciate it fully. Similarly, students cannot just look at the first site that pops up on Google and take the information they find as the truth or the whole story.

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Objectives

When teaching this unit, I intend to target a number of standards. First of all, at the Sound School we teach one Shakespeare play each year. Therefore, we do our best to develop an appreciation for Shakespeare. Students interpret, analyze and evaluate the influence of culture and history on themes in the literature. Through analysis of different productions of the plays, students evaluate the historical and cultural influences on each. Students evaluate the theme of vision, interpretation, and action in the plays Hamlet and Macbeth. They explore the idea of seeing and knowing as presented in the plays. Also, studying his use of language, symbolism, and following a theme throughout a text are crucial to the unit. Using close reading to evaluate these topics and techniques guides the reading and journaling that students do. They engage journaling as well as engaging in the writing process (prewriting, drafting, peer evaluation, revising and rewriting). They evaluate the validity of primary and secondary sources of information on the Internet. Finally, students perform a skit based on the themes discussed in the unit in order to use oral language with clarity, voice and fluency to communicate their message.

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Discussion of Subject Matter

In his article "Horrid Image, Sorry Sight, Fatal Vision: The Visual Rhetoric of Macbeth," Houston Diehl states that the Renaissance man saw a correlation between the material world and the spiritual world. Therefore, things that are seen with the eye are to be interpreted as having a spiritual significance. As a result, what we see is ethical. The influence of God or the devil, beings of the spiritual world, affects human beings through manifestations in the material world. The spirit world exhibits both good and evil signs in the material world. The individual's ability to interpret the spiritual in the material world therefore involves ethical questions of good and evil. For example, when Macbeth sees the witches, he must decide whether their words are true or not, and his choice will have serious ethical implications. Shakespeare was obviously aware of these values in his society and used them in his works. It would be an important point to make with students that he had an audience and purpose in mind when writing. Although students today do not necessarily make this connection between the tangible world and the spiritual, I believe that what we see still has ethical implications. The ethics of vision can be applied to the Internet and cell phone use as well as a Shakespeare play.

There are several reasons why Hamlet is an ideal central text for this project. The appearance of the ghost of Hamlet's father initiates both the action of the play and Hamlet's tortured inquiry into what the apparition means. Since Hamlet contains more soliloquies than any other Shakespearean play, the reader has many opportunities to observe and explore the connections between what Hamlet sees, knows, and puts into words. If words bring what we see to life, they also dictate our actions. The process of understanding what we see involves language. Hopefully, before acting on what he or she sees, the individual processes it with the use of language. Therefore, words are a step toward action. Hamlet is a perfect example of this. He talks through virtually everything he does before acting on it. Therefore, he gives students the opportunity to explore this idea.

In addition, Hamlet contains a great deal of spying. The characters spy on one another in an attempt to determine the reality of a situation. Their observations are supposed to bring the truth to light. Yet spying does not always do so, and in Polonius' case he dies as a result of spying. What the characters think they know or have been told taints their vision. For example, Polonius tells Claudius and Gertrude that Hamlet's madness is due to his unrequited love for Ophelia. Therefore, Polonius' words influence their observation of Ophelia and Hamlet. Hamlet spies on Claudius on several occasions. He spies on him during the play to determine Claudius' guilt and then observes him as he is kneeling. Claudius' reaction to the play confirms Hamlet's suspicion of Claudius' guilt while simultaneously alerting Claudius of Hamlet's knowledge of his guilt. Claudius now sees Hamlet as a serious threat. The vision of Claudius kneeling leads Hamlet to believe he is praying. Hamlet does not want Claudius' soul to be spared, so Hamlet does not act on his impulse to avenge his father's death. A misunderstood sight deters Hamlet from his endeavor to kill Claudius when Claudius actually struggles with prayer. Ultimately Claudius cannot pray, but Hamlet still does not act. What Hamlet thinks he sees causes him to act in a certain way. What he think he sees is not actually the case, therefore interfering with his accomplishing of his goal of killing Claudius.

In the case of Macbeth, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Duncan fail to interpret what they see with an accurate analytical eye. They are thwarted by their own selfish desires. Duncan perceives Macbeth as a worthy ally and Lady Macbeth as a hospitable lady in a charming home. He looks only at the surface and does not interpret the situation with any depth. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth plan and carry out the murder of Duncan.2 Duncan, preoccupied with his own prowess, perceives Macbeth and Lady Macbeth as loyal followers.

Lady Macbeth's complicated attitude toward vision deserves attention. On the one hand she seeks to deceive others with appearances. She wants Macbeth to fool Duncan by appearing innocent and friendly. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth does not see that visions have significance. She feels that if they are horrible as they are in Macbeth's case, they should be simply ignored. After Duncan has been murdered and when Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost, Lady Macbeth demands that Macbeth disregard the visions that he has. Of course, when Lady Macbeth sees blood on her own hands, she obsessively tries to wipe it off. The sight torments her and drives her mad. In this case, what she sees finally does have an impact on her ethically and therefore mentally. The morality of the situation finally affects her, and she loses her mind.3

Macbeth is preoccupied with his own needs and therefore does not interpret the ethical aspect of what he sees. When he sees a dagger, witches or apparitions, he follows them because they lead him toward his desires. If he were to look at them ethically, he would see that they will destroy him and the people around him. They are images of the devil or of death and destruction.4 In Hamlet and Macbeth, what the main characters see or think they see sets off life-altering and life-shattering actions.

While teaching the texts and identifying these problems of vision, I draw connections to the students' own lives. Making such connections captures their attention, promotes discussion of the texts, and explores issues in the students' lives with an analytical eye. Identifying valid information on the Internet, predators on social networking sites, and sexting focus our exploration on issues relevant to students' lives. We will practice identifying credible sources on the Internet by looking at articles and information regarding the topics we are dealing with in this unit. For example, we search for background information on the texts we are reading in class as well as articles on social networking sites and sexting. In addition to deepening their critical evaluation of information, this research is a springboard for writing prompts and conversation. Discussions deal with a range of activities characteristic of today's students. They are notorious for posting incriminating or sexually provocative images of themselves on social networking sites. Students need to always be aware of the messages they sending as well as their potential audience and the way that they might interpret these images. Potential employers, for example, may view their pages to determine whether they are viable candidates for the position. This is just one example of an unintended audience for their postings. Communicating with people who are not what they present themselves to be in the Internet confronts students daily. These individuals are not always trustworthy. This can present dangerous situations for students. Finally, the issue of sexting, sending or receiving images of naked individuals, poses problems. Once a student forwards an image of an under-aged individual, they can be charged with the dissemination of child pornography. Students send such things because they do not see their ethical or legal implications. As a result, if they are caught, they can face serious charges that could be life shattering. The interpretation of what is seen on the Internet or on cell phones is crucial to students. This discussion will bring the issue of being a critical thinker and seer to life.

The discussion of the deceptive qualities of the Internet connects to Hamlet and Macbeth. At this juncture, students delve back into Hamlet to explore the play within a play. A great deal of spying occurs during "The Mousetrap," the scene in which Hamlet puts on a play. Characters spy on one another and therefore have an unintended audience. In both plays, people put forth false personas to get what they want. Hamlet and Claudius both wear masks in Hamlet. Although both men seek to deceive, they are not comparable, according to Jacqueline E.M. Latham in her essay, "the Imagery in Hamlet - Acting." Hamlet acts throughout the play. He feigns insanity. Claudius pretends to be loving toward Hamlet and concerned about his wellbeing. Hamlet works in an illusory, dreamlike world that inhibits his action, whereas Claudius puts himself in reality and action.5 In Macbeth, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth deceive Duncan. Students discuss whether the witches are deceptive and what the ethical implications of following their prophecies are.

The exploration of staging the plays is also crucial to the unit. For example, students will debate whether the ghosts in each play should appear on stage or not. This issue brings up questions about audience and purpose. Whom does the director want the audience to identify with? What does the director want the audience to see? How does the actual vision of an object affect the audience's interpretation of the characters and the plot?6 Another issue of staging deals with the set design. Students will view or read about different set designs for Hamlet and Macbeth. The different interpretations of the set will provide students with insight into what the audience expected and how the designer either catered to it or helped to determine what the audience expected. Students would be able to explore both of these issues. Some of the questions the students ask include the following: To what extent does the set design establish a vision? What does the audience see, and what is the point of each different representation? When students present their own skits, they are required to set the scene with props and wear costumes. They have to acknowledge the audience and purpose of what they want to present. They make choices about what they want the audience to see and how they want the audience to interpret what they see. They control the image.

In addition, the language of Shakespeare is visual. He uses imagery throughout all his works. In this unit students explore the use of language in its creation of a vision that does not exist in a real, tangible sense. A great deal of imagery connects to concepts or themes in the texts. For example, in Hamlet it deals with the theme of being constrained. As a result, much of the imagery in the text deals with shackles, slavery, and restraint. One message of the play is that we, as human beings, are limited in our ability to create our destiny. One of Hamlet's more famous lines is, "O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!"7 Later he says, "Give me that man/ That is not a passion's slave."8 Clearly this imagery throughout the text makes a point about one of its main themes. It creates an image in the student's mind that reinforces what is being seen throughout the action of the play, providing yet another example of how language can be a catalyst for understanding what we see.

Hamlet's constant use of puns creates a double reality that one must perceive in order to appreciate the full meaning of the play. The use of figurative language throughout the text creates images in the reader's mind. Hamlet's puns generate images for the reader. In addition, the pun is referred to as antic or grotesque in Yasuriro Ogawa's article, "Hamlet and the Vision of the Grotesque." Hamlet's character and his use of puns are connected. The two antic entities reflect the grotesque nature of the text.9 Just as Hamlet's language reflects his nature, the language and character reflect the nature of the play.

The purpose of the unit is to encourage students to think critically about the world around them and base their actions on the truth as they understand it through attaining valid information. Students can access a wealth of information at the touch of a finger. The current climate requires that students are viewing life and Internet with a critical eye. Through guided search exercises, students will practice evaluating and finding valid sources. Students will also draw connections between their own lives and the lives of the characters, Hamlet and Macbeth. Just as the characters struggle to identify the reality of what they see, students struggle with the validity of what they see on the Internet. They will see that the struggle with what is seen is timeless. In Shakespeare's time the struggles with what was seen was more of a spiritual or supernatural nature. The tangible, visual world was more closely related to the spiritual world. Therefore the sight of something could be misinterpreted as a spiritual sign. Shakespeare in his plays took this concept so far as to include ghosts, witches and apparitions. Today, students can be deceived by the world of technology. Drawn into the visually problematic world of the Internet, students must think critically.

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Strategies

To introduce the unit I show students artistic representations of Hamlet, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Ophelia. I begin by asking students to simply write about what they see. Then based on what they have observed, I ask them to write what is going on in the picture. Basing their inferences on observations is the first step in using evidence from the text to support their findings. By viewing the images students should start thinking and talking about the artist's point of view, audience, purpose, bias and the theme of the unit.

After the above exercise, I ask students questions about seeing, interpreting, and reacting as a prereading activity. When you and another person see something, do you see the same thing? How do you know? When you and another person see something, is it possible to have two different perspectives on the object or situation? How do you know? When looking at something, is interpretation necessary to understand what you see? When you are looking at an image, do you consider the artist's perspective in your understanding of what you see? Are there ethical elements to vision? We define the word ethical at this juncture. How does what you see influence how you act? Think of some examples of how an image or a witnessed incident can affect your behavior.

I explain to students the attitude of people from the Renaissance regarding the material and spiritual worlds as explained by Houston Diehl. Students understand that during the Renaissance people felt a strong connection between the material and spiritual worlds. In addition, human beings can interpret what they see in either a positive or negative way depending on whether they were being led by the powers of good or the powers of the devil. Therefore, individuals could be deceived and see something that can be harmful to themselves or others. They can perceive the information correctly and proceed in a way that is not harmful, but helpful or positive. I continue by asking the students if they believe that this something people believe today. Why or why not? Is there any truth to this way of thinking? I explain to the students that Shakespeare was clearly aware of this thought process and created plays with such ideas in mind. Therefore in both Hamlet and Macbeth the main characters are confronted with visions of things that may or may not be there. There is a very spiritual element to each of the texts. Whether the visions can be trusted is at the core of each text. It is an ethical question.

As students read the text, they keep reading journals. When a specific prompt is not provided, students are to go beyond summarizing. Students sometimes find it difficult to delve into analysis when writing a journal entry without a specific prompt. Therefore, I specify that the entries should not be a mere summary of the text. I direct students to ask questions, make predictions, select significant quotes, and evaluate character relationships, themes, structure, and style. I encourage them to develop their own ideas about the text, but to use textual support including quotes when developing their ideas.

In the first of act of Macbeth, Macbeth is confronted by three witches. I ask students about their perception of the witches. In their journals they respond to questions such as: How do you interpret the scene with the witches? Do you believe the witches are telling the truth or are they deceiving Macbeth? How does your understanding of witches determine how you perceive the situation? What do you think Shakespeare wants the audience to think? Pull out a quote that supports what you think about one of the above.

In the first Act of Hamlet, Hamlet confronts the ghost of his father. I ask students whether they believe Hamlet is really seeing the ghost of his father. If not, what are the implications of his vision? If so, what are its implications? Find a quote to support your point of view.

After reading Act II of Macbeth, students select a quote from a few options to explore Lady Macbeth's attitude toward what is seen. The quotes might include the following.

"Bear welcome in your eye,/ Your hand, your tongue. /Look like th'innocent flower; /But be the serpent under 't."10
"Had he not resembled my father as he slept, /I had done 't"11
"The sleeping and the dead are/ But as pictures. / 'Tis the eye of childhood/ That
fears a painted devil."12
After reading Act II of Hamlet, students explore the idea of spying in the play. Who is spying on whom? Why? What do they hope to find? What are the problems with spying as a means of finding the truth? What are the ethics involved in what is seen in this context?

Students write poems in their journals at this point in their reading of each of the plays. The personal connections made at this juncture make a nice segue into the discussion to follow.

We begin making connections to the lives of the students. In what situations do you have to be critical about how you interpret what you see? What kinds of situations arise on the Internet, with your cell phone, or on television that demand critical interpretations of what you see?

I take the students to the library to begin researching some topics regarding social networking sites and sexting. I provide the students with specific sites to find and to determine whether they are credible or not. After the students have done this, I ask them what they learned. This leads to a discussion of being active seers.

After reading Act III of Macbeth and Hamlet, students perform Act III, scene iv of each play. I split the class into groups depending on how large the class is. Each group is responsible for presenting the scene with a specific rationale in mind. They have to make certain choices, for example, whether Banquo's ghost will appear or not. Whatever choices they make at this time require them to have a written rationale. They should explain why they want to present the ghost as visible or not. What is the purpose of how they chose to portray the scene? What do they want the audience to get out of their presentation? They are responsible for props and costumes as part of how they want to portray the scene. They must have their audience in mind. I have encouraged students to perform scenes from Macbeth before, but I have not specifically asked them to include props, costumes, scenery or a written rationale. This will be practice for the final project.

Before initiating the final project, a presentation of a scene that the students write, we will view a few different productions of the plays. For example, I would show the scene in Gertrude's bedroom when Hamlet confronts her and sees the ghost. Two different interpretations of this scene can be viewed in Kenneth Branagh's version and Mel Gibson's version. We will discuss the plays in terms of the different productions. We will evaluate the different choices made by each director and the effect it has on the audience.

For this final project, I encourage students to select a topic dealing with seeing, interpreting, and acting or reacting. They then write a scene that illustrates the topic. Students select a topic that interests them, but relates to the main themes of the unit, an issue we have discussed in the course of the unit. We will begin with a brainstorming session. Students will write their own lists of potential topics or scenarios. After developing their own lists, students will take turns coming to the board and writing their ideas so that they can be shared with other students. As a group, we will discuss the best choices for a skit. The students will be split into groups of five to select their topic and begin an outline of their scene. I will stress to the students that the set, props and costumes are crucial to the performance. It is also important that they try to develop a voice in the piece that they write. Each student in the group will be responsible for helping to write and produce the skit. Nevertheless, one person will do the actual writing, another person will be in charge of editing, another person will be in charge of props, one in charge of costumes, and on in charge of music or sound effects. The students will have a couple of days to prepare their presentation. I will allow them time to write the scene in class and rehearse their performance of it. In addition to the skit itself, students will be required to identify their audience and their purpose. As a class we will generate a rubric that will be used to determine their grade.

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Lessons

Lesson 1

Initiation: Writing prompt on the board states: What is Lady Macbeth's attitude toward what she sees and what Macbeth sees? Students will write their ideas in their journals for five minutes.

Background: Now that we have read Act II, students can understand that Lady Macbeth has a complex attitude toward what she sees. She seeks to deceive with appearances, and she is also affected by what she sees, but when it comes to Macbeth, she feels he should not be affected by what he sees. In the following quotes these attitudes are apparent. In small groups of three or four you will be required to find the quote, discuss its implications and write a response.

Practice:

The following quotes are assigned to different groups.

"Bear welcome in your eye,/ Your hand, your tongue. /Look like th'innocent
flower; /But be the serpent under 't."13
"Had he not resembled my father as he slept, /I had done 't"14
"The sleeping and the dead are/ But as pictures. / 'Tis the eye of childhood/ That
fears a painted devil."15

After finding and discussing the assigned quote, answer the following questions in your journals: What does the quote mean? What does the quote reveal about Lady Macbeth's attitude toward what she sees? How is the quote significant to the overall meaning of the text?

Closure: Students share their responses to the quotes. The responses to the quotes promote a discussion of Lady Macbeth and vision in general.

Lesson 2

Initiation: I hand out copies of May Swenson's poem "Come In Go Out." Students take turns reading the poem out loud. As students read, I encourage them to take note of the different ways that each student reads the same poem. In addition to the different voices and intonations, the students have the opportunity to read the poem a column at a time or straight across, right to left. The multiple readings of the poem are due in part to the way the poem is laid out on the page in two columns of verse.

Background/Model: Throughout this unit we discuss the problems of vision and the interpretation of what we see. In this poem not only are there multiple ways of seeing the poem visually, there are also multiple ways of reading the poem's content. The poem itself can be read as a metaphor for life and death or other forces of nature. Because the poem is written with two columns of verse, one can read the poem in at least two different ways. Each reading affects the meaning, but not necessarily the overall metaphor of the poem. Now that we have read this text, students write their own poems. The student-generated poems can experiment with visual structure as well as metaphorical meaning. The main focus of the writing encourages students to explore their feelings about the topics discussed throughout the unit.

Practice: Students write their own poetry in their journals.

Closure: Students share their poetry. The class discusses the possible readings of the presenter's poem. Some of the differences in interpretation should be due to the visual representation of the poetry in addition to its content.

Lesson 3

Initiation: Writing prompt on the board states: How do you express yourself through movement? Think of one action that reflects who you are as a person. The movement can reflect something that you feel, believe, or anything you want to express about yourself. Once students have thought about this question and jotted down ideas in their journals, some students briefly share their ideas.

Background/Model: As practice for the skits and performances students create, we explore Shakespearean characters through movement. This exploration also brings depth to the students' understanding of the characters and their struggles. Each student selects a character from Macbeth or Hamlet. The students present a representation of the character's three selves through movement. They present an inner self, an outer self and a dream self without using words. As a bonus students can strictly focus on the character's attitude toward vision in the text. What are the character's various attitudes toward what he or she sees? I offer an example of a character from another text so that I do not inhibit their ability to create original ideas about the Shakespearean characters.

Practice: Students practice their movements in an open space. I take the students outside, but schools with a gym or auditorium may use that space.

Closure: Students perform their presentations of their characters. The students presenting are not allowed to speak at all during the performance. Once the student has completed his or her movements, the class guesses what the student was saying. The performer shares his or her intentions, and we discuss the validity or quality of the performance.

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Resources

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Annotated Bibliography for Teachers

Cartelli, Thomas "Banquo's Ghost: The Shared Vision," Theatre Journal 53 (1983): 389-405.

This article discusses the different staging techniques in Macbeth and their influence on the audience. It not only explores whether Banquo's ghost should appear on stage or not, but evaluates Macbeth's inner turmoil.

Diehl, Houston "Horrid Image, Sorry Sight, Fatal Vision: The Visual Rhetoric of Macbeth," Shakespeare Studies 16 (1983): 191-203.

This article explores the various attitudes toward vision the different characters have in Macbeth.

Hayles, Katherine N. "Hyper and Keep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes," Profession (2007): 187-198

This article evaluates two different modes of learning in students and provides techniques to target each learning style.

Latham, Jacqueline E.M. "The Imagery in Hamlet - Acting," Educational Theatre Journal 14 (2003): 199-202.

This article poses the argument that Hamlet is an actor within the context of the play. It traces his character development throughout the play.

Ogawa, Yasuhiro. "Hamlet and the Vision of the Grotesque," Grotesque in Art and Literature edited by James Luther Adams and Wilson Yates, 193-226. Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997.

This article explores the grotesque throughout the play Hamlet. The imagery of death and decay in addition to the language and actions of the characters are evaluated in terms of the monstrous elements they convey.

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Reading List for Students

1.Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. Add editor

2.Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. ditto

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Materials

Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet (1996)
Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet (1990)
Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948)
Orson Welles's Macbeth (1948)
Roman Polanski's Macbeth (1971)
Geoffrey Wright's Macbeth (2006)

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Appendix

District Standards

2.4 Interpret, analyze and evaluate the influence of culture and history on themes in the literature

Students watch scenes from different versions of each play. Each representation was made in a different time period and affects the film. Students analyze these differences in each film.

1.1 Draw conclusions and use evidence to substantiate them by using text heard, read, and viewed

In journal entries and discussion students support their claims with textual evidence. This standard is targeted throughout the unit.

1.2 Interpret information that is implied in a text

Through evaluation of characters attitudes toward what is seen, students make inferences about the characters and draw conclusions based on those inferences.

3.2 Evaluate the validity of primary and secondary sources of information

Students identify valid sources on the Internet. Being able to distinguish between accurate and safe content on the Internet is central to the unit.

3.1 Use oral language with clarity, voice and fluency to communicate their message

The final project requires that students present a short skit. In this skit they must communicate clearly. In addition to the final project, students must utilize this skill in daily class discussions.

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Notes

N. Katherine Hayles, "Hyper and Keep Attention: The Generational Divide in Cognitive Modes," Profession (2007): 187.
2 Huston Diehl, "Horrid Image, Sorry Sight, Fatal Vision: The Visual Rhetoric of Macbeth," Shakespeare Studies 16 (1983): 191.
3.Huston Diehl, "Horrid Image, Sorry Sight, Fatal Vision," 193.
4 Huston Diehl, "Horrid Image, Sorry Sight, Fatal Vision." 194-195
5 Jacqueline E.M. Latham, "The Imagery in Hamlet - Acting," Educational Theatre Journal 14 (2003): 199-200. [am I right about the italics here?}
6 Thomas Cartelli, "Banquo's Ghost: The Shared Vision," Theatre Journal 53 (1983): 389.
7 Shakespeare, William, Hamlet, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992). 2.2. 578;117
8 Shakespeare, William, Hamlet, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992). 3.2 .76-77;141
9 Yasuhiro Ogawa, "Hamlet and the Vision of the Grotesque," Grotesque in Art and Literature, ed. James Luther Adams and Wilson Yates (Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997). 193-226.
10.Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992). 1.6. 75-78; 35
11 Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992).2.2. 16-17; 55.
12 Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992).2.2. 69-71; 59.
13 Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992). 1.6. 75-78; 35.
14 Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992). 2.2. 16-17; 55.
15 Shakespeare, William, Macbeth, ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (New York: Washington Square Press, 1992). 2.2. 69-71; 59.

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