Teaching Resources for Macbeth


All notecards on the island with information, text links and provocations can be found here .

Introductory Session

In my first session with English and Drama teachers studying New Literacies, we spent time exploring the island, responding to questions and engaged in some simple experiential drama experiences. These are listed in the workshop notes here . [AT]

Exploration of Themes

There are a number of metathemes that are explored, evoked or potentially provoked by the various spaces across the island.
These include:

  • metaphor and symbolism of the play
  • character motivations
  • alternative endings and adaptations
  • the nature of drama and constructedness of narrative
  • the themes of morality, truth, justice, and social mores
  • the historical references used by Shakespeare to construct Macbeth
  • the influence of Shakespeare on the English language

We have started collecting resources for deep exploration of these themes:

On the theme of Adaptations:

One of our favourite adaptations of Macbeth is Polanski's Macbeth. This was a source of inspiration for us in designing the virtual space. Here is the opening scene thanks to a user on Youtube:

A fun thing to do is to watch the a whole range of adaptations of the same scene. Here is another version of the witches opening scene:

Students can discuss similarities and differences between the different versions, and discuss the constructedness of texts, the role of the director, and the nuances which might be used in their own dramatic explorations.

In the age and spirit of the participatory web, students can make their own versions of the same scene and upload them to youtube, just like these students did:

There are hundreds of youtube clips showing student productions.

Here are some links to the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) of Macbeth adapations in film:

Joe Macbeth

Throne of blood

Men of Respect

Scotland PA


Rave Macbeth

Macbeth (2006) – Geoffrey Wright

Macbeth (2003) – Bryan Enk

Macbeth (1998) – Paul Winarski

Macbeth (1997) – Jeremy Freeston

Macbeth (1981) – Arthur Allen Seidelman

Macbeth (1948) – Orson Wells

Macbeth (1916) – John Emerson

Macbeth (1908) – J. Stuart Blackton

Additionally, there are quite a few books that are retellings of Macbeth from different perspectives, including the following:

The Third Witch
Lady Macbeth

On the theme of Shakespeare's influence on the English Language:

Some links:

Words and Phrases Coined by Shakepseare
Everday Expressions Coined by Shakespeare