Lady Macbeth Soliloquy
by William Shakespeare
Workshop Title: Literature
Say, “Let’s start by watching the following video. What do the monologue and animations in the scene imply about Lady Macbeth’s character? What is she like?” Then give your students time to discuss.
Look at Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy one more time. Ask your students to identify the specific pieces of text stand out in characterizing her in a certain light? Briefly discuss.
Say, “Think of some other characters from classic literature with strong personalities. Who are they? What makes them so memorable? Come up with as many specifics as you can.” Then give your students time to brainstorm.
Ask your students to compose a monologue from the perspective of a character from classic literature that characterizes them in a certain light. Compose your speech in “poetic form,” not simply prose.
When the students are done, have them share their responses with one another.
Area of Focus: Various
This lesson allows students to analyze various concepts and skills, so it is recommended that you have covered several of the “standalone” lessons before assigning this one.
Start by showing your students the following image. Ask your students what the picture implies about the expected behavior of women in this era.
Show your students the following video to give them a bit of context behind William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the gender expectations at the time.
Have your students open the following document and go over the introduction with them so they have some context to the soliloquy. Then go over the directions with them. In this assignment, your students are going to examine one of Lady Macbeth’s most infamous soliloquies and determine how the language serves to both characterize her and comment on the traditional, expected gender roles in that era. Then give your students time to work.
When your students are done, have them share their responses with the rest of the class.
If time permits, share the exemplar essay with them.
- Death / Grief
- Gender / Gender Identity / Gender Expression / Sexism
- Figurative Language