Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shakespeare - Macbeth

One of my tutoring students is currently studying Shakespeare's Macbeth.  He is 16, and in the 10th grade.  Whatever grade your student(s) happens to be in, or whatever age, I wanted to share some of the resources I've found to go with the text.

First, you need the text, right?  My student's class is reading the Folger Shakespeare Library edition, but you can find several FREE versions of the play at Project Gutenberg

Macbeth is one of the more difficult plays by Shakespeare, and is the only text for which I have ever allowed a student to use a study guide like Spark Notes.  You can review the Spark Notes study guide HERE.

A humorous approach can be found in the videos at the BBC Schools website.  There are several sections here, including text, some videos, and tests.  The videos are pretty funny, with several jokes, although many are specifically British references.  Check it out HERE!

A great, basic study guide from a student teacher at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. This study guide offers very basic background for the play, but also has some fantastic study or thought questions which might be good for writing assignments.  It also has several organizational charts for the student to use.

There are a few different versions of the play available on video.  I recommend watching the two linked just below.  Watch both, then compare and contrast them.  Does the set dressing or time period change the understanding or meaning?  Is one more successful than the other at getting across the meaning, or main ideas of the play?  Why, why not? 

Watch a modern interpretation of Macbeth from PBS's Great Performances series.  This version is FREE to view, and stars Patrick Stewart.  Please note, it is geotagged to be only viewable in the USA.  The dialogue is all the original play, but the sets, the costumes, etc are updated and resemble World War II

Watch the BBC production at  Unfortunately, it is not free.  You get 7 days of viewing access for  $1.99.

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