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© Boardworks Ltd 2004 1 of 25 Macbeth Introduction and Act One For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates.

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Presentation on theme: "© Boardworks Ltd 2004 1 of 25 Macbeth Introduction and Act One For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates."— Presentation transcript:

1 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 1 of 25 Macbeth Introduction and Act One For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. This icon indicates the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. This icon indicates that teacher’s notes are available in the Notes Page. This icon indicates that a useful web address is included in the Notes page.

2 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 2 of 25 Introduction Before we start looking at the play itself, it will be useful to explore some of the background to the play and its playwright. What do you already know about William Shakespeare? In this unit we will look at Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare. We will consider its storyline, characters and themes.

3 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 3 of 25 Author information Name: William Shakespeare Dates: 1564–1616 Biographical information: Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. His father, John, was a fairly wealthy man, and so Shakespeare probably went to the local grammar school. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582, and they had three children together. Shakespeare moved to London to work as a writer and an actor. As well as writing plays and poems during his life, Shakespeare also invested money in the London theatres.

4 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 4 of 25 Studying a play Studying a play is not the same as studying a novel or a poem, and you will need to take a different approach. But how exactly is a play different? Write some of your ideas down below. studying a play

5 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 5 of 25 Here are some of the ideas that you might have thought of. A play is written to be performed. A play is mainly written in dialogue. There will usually be stage directions. A play is interpreted by the director, actor, and audience or reader. There may be various different interpretations. A play may be written in verse or in prose. Studying a play studying a play

6 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 6 of 25 Studying a play While you are studying Macbeth try to imagine it actually being performed in a theatre. If you get the chance, go and see a performance of the play, or watch a film version. In Shakespeare’s day both rich and poor people enjoyed going to the theatre. Theatres such as The Globe held up to 2,500 people. The wealthy sat in the galleries while the rest stood in the yard. The stage would have been lit by daylight, so the audience would have to be told what time of day it was. Look out for references to the time while you study Macbeth. The original Globe theatre was pulled down in 1664. This photo shows the reconstructed Globe which opened in 1997.

7 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 7 of 25 Studying Shakespeare They are written both in poetry (usually using iambic pentameter) and in prose. As a rule, the important characters talk in verse, while the servants and other minor players talk in prose. The way that language is used, and some of the vocabulary, may seem strange to you at first. Most versions of the text will offer definitions of words that might not be understood by modern readers. Shakespeare’s plays are written very differently to modern ones. Here are two of the differences, see what others you can think of:

8 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 8 of 25 Plot summary exercise – Act One

9 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 9 of 25 Plot summary exercise – Act One

10 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 10 of 25 Focus on Act One, Scene Three Act One, Scene Three opens with the witches meeting on the heath, as planned in Scene One. Why are the witches meeting on the heath? Macbeth and Banquo arrive on the heath. Whose words do Macbeth’s echo?

11 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 11 of 25 Focus on Act One, Scene Three BANQUO: How far is’t called to Forres? What are these, So withered and so wild in their attire, That look not like the inhabitants o’the earth, And yet are on’t? Live you? Or are you aught That man may question? You seem to understand me By each at once her choppy finger laying Upon her skinny lips. You should be women; And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so. What do you think the witches look like? Describe them in your own words.

12 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 12 of 25 Focus on Act One, Scene Three The witches make three prophecies before vanishing. How do Banquo and Macbeth react to the witches? Brainstorm your ideas in a table like the one below. MacbethBanquo seems to fear the witches down to earth fascinated, wants to know more sees the witches as evil Can you find quotes to support these ideas?

13 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 13 of 25 Focus on Act One, Scene Three When Ross and Angus arrive, they bring the news that Macbeth is now Thane of Cawdor – the witches’ first prophecy has come true. How does Macbeth react to the news? Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor! The greatest is behind – Thanks for your pains. Do you not hope your children shall be kings, When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me Promised no less to them? Macbeth immediately believes the other prophecies will become true, and is already greedy for more. He repeats that Banquo’s children will be kings. Is he already envious of this?

14 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 14 of 25 Focus on Act One, Scene Three

15 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 15 of 25 Focus on Act One, Scene Three Macbeth’s first major soliloquy reveals more of his thoughts. This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor. If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, And make my seated heart knock at my ribs Against the use of nature? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My though, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smothered in surmise, And nothing is but what is not. What do you think Macbeth is saying?

16 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 16 of 25 This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor. If good, why do I yield to that suggestion Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair, And make my seated heart knock at my ribs Against the use of nature? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings. My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man That function is smothered in surmise, And nothing is but what is not. Focus on Act One, Scene Three Macbeth links becoming king with murder, but the idea is fantastical – it is only in his imagination at this point. Macbeth asks how the witches can be evil, when they have predicted good things.

17 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 17 of 25 We first meet King Duncan in Act One, Scene Two as he celebrates his army’s victory in battle, and praises Macbeth and Duncan for their bravery and loyalty. King Duncan In Act One, Scene Four King Duncan expresses his gratitude to Macbeth and Banquo and they state their loyalty to him. However, when Duncan announces that his son Malcolm will succeed him, Macbeth admits to the audience his desire to be king himself. Duncan does Macbeth the honour of visiting his castle – ironically providing Macbeth with the opportunity to act on his desires. What impression do you get of King Duncan? Is he too trusting?

18 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 18 of 25 The two central characters in the play are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The couple feed off each other, both in terms of how ambitious they are, and also in the evil that they do. Who do you think is the stronger character? Lady Macbeth Read Lady Macbeth’s speech at the beginning of Act One, Scene Five. She seems to have a great deal of influence over her husband. She wants to mould him so that he gains power, and consequently she will become more powerful too. Read the rest of the scene. What are Lady Macbeth’s intentions?

19 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 19 of 25 Lady Macbeth The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend of mortal thoughts, unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty…... Come thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes Duncan will die within the castle Calls on the the supernatural Women were not thought to be capable of evil, so Lady Macbeth asks the spirits to unsex her so she can commit the crime she is planning.

20 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 20 of 25 While Lady Macbeth immediately plots to make the witches prophecy come true, Macbeth has some doubts about killing the king. Read Act One, Scene Seven. What arguments does Macbeth put forward against killing Duncan? How does Lady Macbeth change his mind? Lady Macbeth

21 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 21 of 25 Writing about the speech On the next few slides, you will see two examples of students’ work. They have responded to Shakespeare by writing about Macbeth’s soliloquy at the start of Act One, Scene Seven. As you look at the responses, think about which is the more effective, and why that may be. Both students have tried to use the PEE method of writing about a text. See the following slide for an explanation of how this method works.

22 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 22 of 25 Make a Point – a statement which directly relates to the question Use Evidence, in the form of a quotation which illustrates your point Explain your point – follow the quotation with a detailed discussion of how your quotation proves your point. P E E Writing about the speech PEE is a useful way to write about any text, including Shakespeare. It encourages a focused, logical and analytical approach to answering a question.

23 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 23 of 25 Macbeth realises that killing Duncan would be wrong. ‘deep damnation’ Macbeth knows that murder is a crime and he doesn’t want to go to hell. P E E What arguments does Macbeth put forward against killing Duncan? Writing about the speech

24 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 24 of 25 Here, Shakespeare shows that Macbeth is fearful of the consequences his crime may have. Images of heaven and hell are employed. Heaven would be angered by the death of Duncan, the rightful king, and his murderer would be condemned to hell. Macbeth is wrestling with his conscience. Duncan is a good king and his murder would be an evil act. This is illustrated by the line: ‘his virtue / Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued against / The deep damnation of his taking-off’. P E E Writing about the speech What arguments does Macbeth put forward against killing Duncan?

25 © Boardworks Ltd 2004 25 of 25 Act One – anagrams


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