Notecards


Notecards on the island are found in the Macbeth books. They include thematic information, inquiry, text references, provocations, network links

WHAT IF? Island


1. Object: Bust of Shakespeare

Themes and keywords Authorship

Process of writing; Shakespeare’s influence on English and literacy; the person behind the text, notions of authorship

Inquiry


‘Shakespeare had a gift of storytelling unrivalled in our time’.
Bill Bryson Shakespeare 2007

Text MACBETH: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
Act 5, Scene 5

Provocation

Discussion Starters . . .

• What do you know about William Shakespeare?
• Explain why Shakespeare still matters or does he?
• Do you always understand Shakespeare’s verse?
• There is speculation about the true authorship of the plays. If Shakespeare didn’t write his plays, who did?
• Shakespeare’s plays have been performed more than any other playwrights work in history.
Why are the plays so popular with audiences?
• Shakespeare was like any other writer, just trying to earn a living.
• Shakespeare was a story thief and plagiarist.

Calls to Action/User Generated Content

I. You are the ‘real’ Shakespeare. Give a true account of your life and how you became an actor and writer for the theatre.
II. You are a Shakespeare expert. While doing some research on the earliest manuscript of Macbeth you find a missing scene from the play. Give a press conference about your discovery.
III. Write and perform the ‘missing scene’ .
IV. Make a machinima entitled, “The true adventures of William Shakespeare”.
V. Debate ‘Does Shakespeare still matter?’ Take sides and argue your case.

Network links http://www.bardweb.net

2. Object: Theatre Masks

Themes and keywords The Playhouse

Nature of drama, genres; role of art in society; performance as a mode.

Inquiry #1

‘Character is that which reveals personal choice, the kinds of thing a man chooses or rejects when that is not obvious. Thus there is no revelation of character in speeches in which the speaker shows no preferences or aversion whatever.’
Aristotle The Poetics
1.Openings, A Description of Tragedy.

How is Macbeth brought to life through the choices, words and actions Shakespeare gives him as a dramatic character?

Text

MACBETH: If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well
If it were done quickly. . . .
I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself
And fall on th’other -
Act 1, Scene 7
Line 1- 27

Inquiry #2

How does Shakespeare use other characters to create a picture for the audience of Macbeth’s character? What does Lady Macbeth say about her husband?



LADY MACBETH: Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promised; yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full o’thmilk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it . . .
Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear
And chastise with valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crowned withal.
Act 1, Scene 5
Line 12 - 28
Provocations

Starters


• What does Macbeth want?
• What does Lady Macbeth want?
• What obstacles do they encounter?
• What choices do they make in order to achieve their wants?
• Shakespeare knew how to write for the theatre because he was an actor.
• Shakespeare was Aristotle’s greatest pupil.
• If you want to understand the character of Macbeth read Aristotle’s The Poetics.
• Macbeth is the epitome of Aristotle’s hero with the ‘tragic flaw’.
• Shakespeare was just following Aristotle’s rulebook on tragedy when he wrote Macbeth.

Inquiry #3

‘Identity exists where the Complication and Unravelling are the same’

Aristotle The Poetics
XVIII. Further rules for the Tragic Poet.


What is the relationship between plot and character action in Macbeth?

Calls to action/User Generated Content

I. Imagine you are Shakespeare acting and directing a production of Macbeth for James 1. What part will you play? How will you rehearse the actors? What will you be mindful of when performing for the new King?
II. Argue the case that Shakespeare was just following Aristotle’s rulebook on tragedy when he wrote Macbeth.
III. Role-play Aristotle and Shakespeare meeting and sharing opinions on how to write a tragedy. Write/present a dialogue of their conversation.
IV. Re-write and perform a scene from Macbeth as a comedy.
V. Make a Machinima entitled ‘The comedy of Macbeth’

Network
www.leeds.ac.uk/classics/resources/poetics/poettran.htm
http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/tragedy/aristotle.htm

3. Object: Scales

Themes and keywords Everyman’s Journey

Ethics, morality, behaviour in society, social norms and values

Inquiry

‘The best predictor of violence is past violence.’
Dr Dorothy Lewis
American Journal Of Psychiatry

Shakespeare rescues Macbeth from the category of melodramatic villain, the kind of character we can dismiss with a snap moral judgment, and elevates him to that of tragic hero. . . toward whom we must exercise a most careful moral and human discrimination if we are to do him even partial justice.

Calderwood, James L. Macbeth and Tragic Action.
Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1986.

How much is Macbeth a matter of choice versus a matter of fate?

Text

MACBETH: I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself
And falls on th’other -
Act 1, Scene 7
Line 25 - 28

MACBETH: I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.
Act 1, Scene 7
Line 45 -47

MACBETH: As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed.
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life which must not yield
To one of woman born.
Act 5, Scene 8
Line 9 – 13

Provocations

Starters


• A hero is only as good as his enemy.
• No villain, no story.
• The villain character in drama must always be complex, even likeable.
• Name your favourite fictional villains.
• Macbeth wasn’t evil, just gullible.
• Macbeth’s violent life as a soldier makes him predisposed to commit acts of violence against others.
• Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are equally responsible for their fate.
• There is a Macbeth in all of us.

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Create a portrait gallery of the greatest villains of history.
II. Devise and present a scene/machinima where Macbeth decides not to kill Duncan. How will Lady Macbeth respond?
III. Role-play the witches having to decide between Banquo, Macbeth and Macduff who to bewitch. Who will be the best candidate for evil?
IV. Debate whether it is Lady Macbeth’s coercion that enables Macbeth to murder or his own ruthless ambition.

Network

http://shakespearesvillains.com

4. Object: Leather wallet

Themes and keywords Macbeth c1005 - 1057

Containing family tree, portraits, map of Scotland: primary and secondary sources; the archive; adaptation

Inquiry

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is an adaptation of The Chronicles by Holinshed.
Will the real Macbeth please stand up?

Text
The strong man was fair, yellow haired and tall

Very pleasant was that handsome youth to me

Brimful of food was Scotland, east and west

During the reign of the ruddy, brave king.

St Berchan the Irish Chronicler


Provocations

Starters


• What if Macbeth was a play about a brave and good man? What changes might Shakespeare have made to the play in order to have Macbeth emerge as hero?
• Name famous men and women of history. Who amongst them could be said to be truly good? Who had a tragic flaw?
• List famous and historical figures who have been dramatized in films, novels and stage plays.
• How important is it to be accurate when dramatizing history?
• Is there any such thing as a ‘true story’?
• There are two sides to every story.
• Who was the historical Macbeth?
• Who was the real Lady Macbeth?
• How do the believed source stories compare to Shakespeare’s interpretation of the story?

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Research a real life murder case, adapt and dramatize the story. Role-play and/or make a machinima based on your adaptation.
II. You are casting the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth for your next machinima – a contemporary adaptation of the play. What will be the style of your production? What qualities will you be looking for in the avatars who audition for the role?
III. You are the historical Macbeth write a blog defending your name and honour. Invite others to respond to your defence.
IV. You are Shakespeare explain your method of adaptation with specific reference to use of primary and secondary sources.
V. Role-play Shakespeare at a press conference addressing questions posed by the journalists on his adaptation of other literary works.

Network

http://www.shakespeare-online.com/sources/macbethsources.html

http://www.perthshirediary.com/html/day0814.html

5 Object: Statue of Macbeth

Themes and keywords Poetic License

Alternative outcomes; choices in real life; playwrights choices; reflection on the specific character of Macbeth, notions of leadership & authority.

Inquiry

There are no new stories only different ways of telling them.

Text

MACBETH: It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
Act 5, Scene 5

Provocations

Starters


• Poetic license is also known as artistic license or dramatic license. Discuss examples in Macbeth where Shakespeare has taken ‘poetic license’ with the historical sources to enhance the drama.
• When have you had to convince some-one to do something they didn’t want to do? What happened? Did you succeed?
• Do you believe in the occult? Witches? Magic?
• Have you ever had your fortune told?
• The Elizabethans believed in the existence of witches. Why does Shakespeare begin the play with the witches?
• The first scene with the witches demonstrates Shakespeare practice of poetic license when it comes to word usage and meaning - where the language choice is based not only on creating meaning but meeting the demands of the verse structure.
• What verse structure is Shakespeare using in this scene? And why?
• Why do the characters sometimes speak in prose? What is the dramatic effect of Macbeth switching from verse to prose (and visa versa) when he meets with the murderers in Act 3, scene 1?

Network

www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-witchcraft-and-witches.htm

www.historylearningsite.co.uk/james-I-witchcraft.html

http://watch.pair.com/daemon.html

www.bardweb.net/content/readings/macbeth/lines.html


Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Problem solve ways to make Shakespeare’s words your own without changing his language or meaning.
II. Discuss this dialogue between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

MACBETH: If we should fail?

LADY MACBETH: We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place
And we’ll not fail.
Act 1, Scene 7
Lines 59 - 61
III. Ask questions about the language:

- What do you notice about the words? Look for patterns, use of repetition of words, letters;
- Switch to Voice - speak the verse in different tempos – slow, fast. Avoid pauses between lines and individual words;
- Notice how Macbeths’ question is answered with a question by Lady Macbeth. What is the effect of this dramatically? ;
- How is Shakespeare directing the actors in this scene through the verse?

IV. Role-play and explore different ways of doing this scene. Pay attention to what each character wants and the different strategies they might use to achieve their individual wants. For example: How can Lady Macbeth get what she wants without losing her husband’s confidence and affection?
V. Write an alternative ending to the play based on Macbeth deciding not to kill Duncan.

Network

www.bardweb.net/language.html



Notecards in Throne Room


Object: Wunderkammer

Discussion Starters/Calls To Action/User Generated Interaction

• Touch the objects
• Listen to the sound scape
• What do you notice?
• What can you hear?
• What associations do you have to the objects, and the sounds - feelings, thoughts, images, memories?

Inquiry

How important is symbolism and metaphor in Shakespeare’s verse?

Text

CAPTAIN: As whence the sun ‘gins his reflection
Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders
So from that spring whence comfort seemed to come
Discomfort swells.
Act 1, Scene 2

Provocation

Starters

• What do these objects signify?
• Why are they in this cabinet, and in the Throne Room?
• Who could they belong to?
• What is the story being told?
• Discuss and describe the use of metaphor and symbol in the design of the Macbeth island?

Call to Action/ User Generation Content

I. Research original text and find specific quotes that relate to the objects represented in the wunderkammer.
II. Add or replace one of the objects.
III. Create a wunderkammer for another character in the play.
IV. Make a wunderkammer that represents your life – what objects would you put in the cabinet?




Objects: Throne
Empty Frames
Portrait Gallery
Bear Rug
Fallen Chalice
Pool of Blood
Apparitions
Porter


Calls To Action/User Generated Interaction

• What do you see?
• What sounds can you hear?
• Who is speaking?
• Touch the objects.
• Take a snapshot of yourself
• Upload your photos onto the empty frame.
• What does it feel like to be in a position of power and authority?
• Do you recognize any of the portraits on the walls?
• What does this space reveal about Macbeth’s character?

Inquiry

The greatest evil in the world is self-deception, because self-deception preys on the troubled soul.
Anonymous
In what ways is Macbeth and many of the other characters in the play deceived by poor judgement and self-deception?
Text

MACBETH: We will proceed no further in this business.
He hath honoured me of late, and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss
Not cast aside so soon.
Act 1, Scene 7
Lines 31-33

FIRST WITCH: All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
SECOND WITCH: All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
THIRD WITCH: All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter

Act 1, Scene 3
Lines 46 - 48


KING DUNCAN: O Valiant Cousin, Worthy Gentleman
Act 1, Scene 2
Line 24

KING DUNCAN: What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.
Act 1, Scene 2
Line 66


CAPTAIN: For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name –
Act 1, Scene 2
Line 16


ROSS: And for an earnest of a greater honour,
He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane,
For it is thine.
Act 1, Scene 3
Line 101- 105

Provocation

Starters

• Discuss the nature of power and authority, leadership, notions of governance, control and influence over others. Do you consider yourself more of a leader or are you more of a follower?
• When have you been in a leadership role? What were your responsibilities? How would you rate your success as a leader out of 10?
• What are the most important qualities a leader should have?
• How does the design of the Throne Room lead you to consider issues of leadership and identity?

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Add another object to signify Macbeth’s Kingship in the Throne Room.
II. Research the source images in the portrait gallery. Discuss the different interpretations of Macbeth in theatre and film.
III. Create a Macbeth portrait in your own image. What will be your design theme and style approach? How will you interpret the character of Macbeth? For example – as the misunderstood hero, the hen pecked husband, or the evil tyrant?
IV. Rehearse and present the banquet scene (Act 3, Scene 4) in the Throne Room.
V. What if Macbeth were to emerge victorious in his final battle against Macduff? Re-write/perform the ending of the play with Macbeth retaining the throne.


Path of Temptation

Starters

• Discuss the nature of temptation and morality.
• What do the hands signify?
• Why does the text move left to right and right to left, and low level on the ground?

Inquiry

How do the characters in Macbeth influence and affect change in each other?

Text

LADY MACBETH: Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time,
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour,
As thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting I dare not wait upon I would,
Like the poor cat I’th’adage?

MACBETH: Prithee, peace.
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.

LADY MACBETH What beast was’t then
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man.
And to be more that what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time, nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both.
They have made themselves and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck and know
How tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn
As you have done to this.

Act 1, Scene 7
Lines 35 - 59


Provocation

Starters

• What does lady Macbeth want from Macbeth? What tactics does she use to convince her husband that murder is the only course of action? What is she prepared to do to achieve her want?
• What does Macbeth want from Lady Macbeth? How does he respond to her tauntings?
• Before she arrives Macbeth is by himself and debates whether or not to kill Duncan (Act 1, Scene 7, lines 1- 27) What arguments does he present against killing Duncan?

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Read the scene between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth this space represents. Write your own enticements from Lady Macbeth to Macbeth.
II. Design your own temptation space based on your own experience when faced with making a difficult moral choice.
III. Write an alternative temptation scene for another character/s from the play. For example the witches enticing Macbeth, Macbeth enticing the murderers.
IV. Make a machinima based on the theme of temptation.

Ravens’ Nest

Object: Raven’s nest
Skeletons
Bloody shield

Discussion Starters/Calls To Action/User Generated Interaction

• What can you see in the raven’s nest?
• What do these objects signify?
• What sounds can you hear?
• Sit on the raven.

Inquiry

Once Macbeth has murdered Duncan he is no longer in conflict with himself.

What enables a human being to kill another human being?

Text MACBETH: Is this a dagger which I see before me?
The handle toward my hand?
Act 2, Scene 1
Line 33-34

LADY MACDUFF : How will you live?
CHILD: As birds do, mother.
LADY MACDUFF: What , with worms and flies?
CHILD: With what I get I mean, and so do they.
LADY MACDUFF: Poor bird, thou’dst never fear the net, nor lime,
The pitfall, nor the gin.
CHILD: Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for.
LADY MACDUFF: Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm.
Act 4, Scene 2
Lines 31- 71

Provocation

Starters cont

• Macbeth orders the murders of Banquo’s son Fleance, Lady Macduff and her children. What causes Macbeth to commit such heinous crimes against women and children?
• What kind of a society condones the murder of innocent people?
• Why does Shakespeare draw an analogy between Lady Macduff’s plight and the ‘poor birds’?
• Have you ever lost someone close to you? If you had the chance to speak to them again what would you like to say?

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Research and find recent examples of serious crimes against humanity. Discuss the moral and ethical issues that surround the murder of innocent people in a society. For example, in times of war.
II. Role-play/record a chat box conversation between Lady Macduff and Macduff . He explains why he cannot come just yet. What is her attitude to his decision to put fighting Macbeth first over returning to his family?
III. Find more examples of Shakespeare’s use of animal metaphors throughout the play. Discuss their meaning and significance.
IV. Make a machinima on the theme of separation and loss.


Path of Enlightenment

Discussion Starters/Calls To Action/User Generated Content

• Discuss the nature of enlightenment and moral redemption.
• What can you see and hear as you move down the pathway?
• Why have the artists created a dark and narrow pathway to signify ‘enlightenment’?

Inquiry

For every choice we make there is an opportunity cost. What are you prepared to loose to have what you want? And what are you not?

Text
Why should I play the Roman fool and die
on my own sword? Whiles I see lives, the gashes
Do better upon them.
Act 5, Scene 8
Lines 1-3

Provocation

Starters

• What does it mean to achieve or receive enlightenment?
• Have you ever had a near death experience or crisis moment in your life?

Calls to Action /User Generated Content

I. Have you ever had a moment of ‘enlightenment’? What happened? What did you learn and discover?
II. Do a life history time-line of all the significant moments or events to date from your own life.
III. Design your own life path of enlightenment. Record a sound scape for this pathway.
IV. Re-tell the story of Macbeth from a minor character’s point of view. For example – one of the murderers, Banquo’s son Fleance, Lady Macbeth’s Gentlewoman or her Doctor, Seyton, Macbeth’s armour bearer or an unnamed servant, lord, court attendant or messenger.

Chamber of Blood

Discussion Starters/Calls To Action/User Generated Interaction

• What can you see?
• What can you here?
• How did you feel when you enter the chamber?
• How does it feel to loose control of your avatar?

Inquiry
What is the play of Macbeth about?



Text

FIRST WITCH Show!
SECOND WITCH Show!
THIRD WITCH Show!

ALL WITCHES Show his eyes and grieve his heart
Come like shadows, so depart
Act 4, Scene 1
Lines 106 - 110

Starters

• Discuss: the nature of control, agency, power. What is it like not to be able to control your avatar? When have you ever felt you were not in control of a situation? What happened?
• Discuss themes of bloodlust. What is bloodlust? Name other leaders in history who might also be described as blood thirsty?
• Discuss the nature of media surrounding crime. What other crimes and atrocities have gained notoriety through the media?
• Imagine you are explaining what Macbeth is about to an eight year old child. Is there a lesson or moral to your tale?

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Research the text and select scene/s that are being represented here?
II. Who could the ghost figures be? Why do they keep reappearing?
III. Discuss the design elements – colour palette, spatial design and movement, use of repetition, sound scape, juxtaposition of 3D animation and real life documentary footage.
IV. What do you think the desired effect of this space might be on the user?

The Maze

Discussion Starters/Calls To Action/User Generated Content

• What do you see?
• What do you hear?

Inquiry

A maze is a tour puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route out.

How does the maze signify Macbeth’s journey?


Text MACBETH: Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
Act 5, Scene 5

Provocation

Starters

• Discuss: the nature of loss, futility, confusion, disorientation.
• Have you ever been lost? What happened? How did you feel at the time?
• Research and find the source quotes written on the walls as graffiti.

Calls To Action/User Generated Content

I. Discuss the design of the maze - use of symbol and metaphor, colour palette, sound scape, and graffiti font
II. Leave your own trace. If you could leave a message what would you write?
III. Select a scene from the play to perform in the maze.
IV. Repeat the scene in a different space on the island. Compare and contrast your experiences of the effect choice of space has on the scene, with specific reference to mood, use of space and avatar action.