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An Actor's View of Shakespeare

Teachers' Rating:
  16 ratings


December 2009
Scott O'Neil teaches at North Harford High School, Pylesville, MD.

Plays/Scenes Covered

Macbeth 1.7

King Lear 1.1

Much Ado About Nothing 1.1

The Taming of the Shrew1.2

Richard III 1.2

The Tempest 1.2





What's On for Today and Why

This lesson gives students the opportunity to look at characters from the point of view of a real actor. Students will investigate character motivation and how this impacts performance technique and delivery.


This lesson will take two 50 minute class periods.

Acting 101
Character Catch Phrases
The Actor's Introduction
Playing Lady Macbeth
Playing King Lear
Playing Benedick (from Much Ado About Nothing)
Playing Petruchio (from The Taming of the Shrew)
Playing Lady Anne (from Richard III)
Playing Ariel (from The Tempest)
What To Do

Day 1

1. Divide the class into groups of 4-5


2. Distribute Acting 101 Handout and have students work through it as a group, identifying what the character really wants and the method of delivery that would be most likely to achieve that end.


3. Have each member of the group deliver one of the speeches and then justify the choice of delivery.


4. Have students watch the videos, Advice from Actors, to see how professional actors approach the same speeches.


Day 2

1. Distribute handout on Character Catch Phrases.


2. Have students work in groups  to create lines of dialogue that represent the personality of two of their characters.

How Did It Go?

Were the students able to justify their choices on delivery with reference to the text? Were students able to create dialogue that conveyed the personality of a specific character? How did students react to seeing the real actors perform? What observations did they make on the actor's choice of delivery?


If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.

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  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
How To

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