Last Thursday, January 13, we checked for ORU books and then went over the act I prologue of Romeo & Juliet. It essentially serves as a preview for the audience so they know what they're getting into with the play. The groundlings can't say Shakespeare didn't warn them, and, yet, they would still get affected by the ending despite knowing what was coming. In fact, it's knowing what is about to happen that makes Romeo and Juliet's story all the more tragic. There's nothing the audience can do but watch as these two young kids experience dizzying highs followed by the lowest of lows.
On Friday, January 14, we moved forward.
Tuesday, you took the lit terms and concepts quiz. Afterwards, we picked up books from the library and then assigned act I roles. You'll occupy that character for the duration of our reading of act I.
When Wednesday rolled around, I decided to change my initial plans. Instead of what I originally planned, we instead practiced how to complete this semester's ORU, and I'm glad that we did because I feel like everyone is a bit more comfortable with the new format and the new skill set needed to complete it.
I was at the School Loop training on Thursday, but you and Mrs. Keepers completed the Romeo & Juliet Scavenger Hunt and discussed the results. The items on the list are things to which many of you can relate and will see in the play.
Friday, we yet again moved forward.
Last Thursday, January 13, you turned in the aside questions. We focused the rest of the period on trying to get a grip on Lady Macbeth. Is she overly ambitious, not realizing what she's getting herself and her husband into? Or is she just an evil, vile woman who had the unfortunate temerity to be born a woman instead of a man? The answer is probably somewhere in between, but she's definitely one of the deepest female characters in any of Shakespeare's plays.
While we got our first look at Lady Macbeth in scene v, scene vii gives us a look at the Macbeths as a couple and how the two interact, which we read Friday. The scene also gives us a look at Macbeth's indecision, as he realizes that the only reason he has for wanting to be king is wanting to be king. It's like me and wanting a newer, bigger television. I have a nice TV already, but you know what? I could always use a newer one. The difference is that Macbeth's base desires involve murdering someone, a king no less. That's a big reason why he decides to give up the notion and tells his wife as much, but Lady Macbeth has already made up her mind. What can we gather from how they interact? We've already made mention in our discussion how Macbeth refers to Lady Macbeth as his partner in his letter in scene v. How does this scene strengthen that analysis? Has Lady Macbeth become unsexed like she asked? Does being a woman actually help her in her effort to convince Macbeth to side with her plans?
Tuesday, we finished up act I. We then began to view the different interpretations of Shakespeare's words by viewing the Royal Shakespeare Company's version of Macbeth that aired on HBO long before you were born. Heck, I don't think I was born when this originally aired. Besides noting some of the famous actors in the play, note how different directors could take the same dialogue we've read together and see something else entirely in their reading. My goal is for us to view at least two other versions, if not more, later on to really explore how differing interpretations are key to understanding the Bard.
You took a quiz on act I Wednesday, which determined how well you were paying attention to our reading in class.
There was another quiz on Thursday, this time on the Macbeth terms found in your Shakespacket. You also turned in your first ORU of the semester.
Friday, you turned in your first Act Paragraph, exploring a thematic dichotomy of your choosing in act I of the play. We then discussed Macbeth's dagger soliloquy, which forces us to ask if Macbeth is really being driven by fate or if he's just crazypants. Both, by the way, are valid interpretations.