Analysing and staging Macbeth

25 Apr

Shakespeare’s plays are, of course, designed to be performed.  In order to perform them, actors must first understand the language and structure.  Indeed, language, punctuation and structure all provide subtle clues for staging.

This is explored really well in Ian McKellen’s analysis of Macbeth’s ‘Tomorrow’ soliloquy.  I am inclined to show students this clip to help them understand the depth of analysis required.  This is quite a long clip for students to simply watch.  Accordingly, I think I will have to provide them with a graphic organiser or something that allows them to use the information to annotate the soliloquy along with McKellen.

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3 Responses to “Analysing and staging Macbeth”

  1. MythRider April 26, 2014 at 11:59 pm #

    I am a Shakespeare fan. Though I prefer his comedies.
    I’ve noticed the better an actor has a handle of the language, as you have described, the easier it is to understand them. Just reciting the words is not enough.

    • mscwhite April 27, 2014 at 12:48 am #

      I too enjoy Shakespeare’s plays. I, however, prefer the tragedies. Hamlet is my all time favourite, followed by Othello and then Macbeth.

      I completely agree that understanding and performing go hand in hand. While actors need to understand to perform, students seem to draw a lot of understanding from the performance. In other words, things like tone and pace help students to make better sense of the language.

      • MythRider April 28, 2014 at 12:50 am #

        I’d like to take a Shakespeare class, but have not done it. Now I can’t a ford the high cost of college.
        I believe there would be a lot for me to learn about writing novels.

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