Shakespeare: Active and Eclectic, by Chris Angermann
Guide Entry to 79.05.01:
William Shakespeare should be introduced as a popular playwright who wrote for a mass audience, much like screenwriters, or soap opera script writers do today. The unit presents strategies and objectives for teaching a sequence of three plays: “Macbeth,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” and “Measure for Measure.” Parallels are drawn between Elizabethan society and our own in an attempt to draw students into the material. The primary goal attached to teaching “Macbeth” is to remove the expectation of failure that so many students experience after the first few speeches. At the same time, the project is designed to spark an excitement for the dramatic aspect of the play by presenting the lines in script form. At the end of the narrative, suggested cuts (specific sections of scenes) from “Two Gentlemen of Verona” and “Measure for Measure” are listed, some with explanations for the teacher. Two of Shakespeare’s sonnets are also included as thematic companion pieces for “Measure for Measure.” A carefully annotated bibliography concluded the unit.
(Recommended for use in English III and IV classes at all levels.)