Week 16: Great Literature: Shakespeare’s The Tempest & MacBeth
Read K – 5: The Tempest by Bruce Coville
- Shakespeare was famous for his comedies (funny stories), tragedies (sad stories) and histories. Is the Tempest a comedy, tragedy, or history? (comedy)
- How did Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, end up on an isolated island? (His brother and a nearby king wanted control of the city of Milan and plotted against him.)
- Who do Prospero and his daughter share the island with? (a spirit and a monster)
- Who does Miranda fall in love with? (king’s son Ferdinand)
- Which 3 characters provide the comedy for the play? (Caliban the monster, the jester, and the butler)
- Why does Prospero choose to forgive his brother and the king? (He could tell they were truly sorry for the wrongs they had committed.)
- What is a tempest? (a great storm)
- Why do you think the play is called “The Tempest”? (A storm brings a ship to the island carrying those who had originally betrayed Prospero.)
Questions for grades 6 – 8:
- Is MacBeth a comedy, tragedy, or history? (tragedy)
- Witches inform MacBeth that he will be king. Why does this news seem to be both good and bad? (Good to be king, bad because ugly witches delivered the news.)
- How did MacBeth become King? What part did his wife play in him becoming king? (MacBeth killed Duncan; his wife urged him on.)
- Was MacBeth a happy king? Why? (no; tormented with guilt)
- Why did he want Banquo and Banquo’s son, Fleance, killed? (Prophecy said that Branquo’s children would be kings; he didn’t want his throne to pass to their line.)
- What happened to Fleance? (escaped)
- How did Lady MacBeth change after becoming queen? (sleep walking; muttered strange words, complained of blood on her hands; eventually died)
- How did Birnam Wood come to Dunsinone Hill? (men marched with cut branches to hide their true numbers)
- MacBeth was told no one born of woman could kill him. How was he defeated by MacDuff? (cesarian section)
- Did any lines in this play sound familiar to you? (answers will vary)
- What do you think may be a famous rhyme from this play? (Double, Double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.)
- Why do you think this is such a popular play? (Temptation to do evil can cause more evil; twisted words make story exciting.)
K – 2: Art: Draw your own picture from The Tempest.
3 – 5: Of the three Shakespeare stories you’ve read over the past three weeks, which one do you like the best? Why? Write a paragraph.
6 – 8: Choose one of the following essay topics:
- Of the six Shakespeare stories you’ve read, which is your favorite? Why? Write a 5 paragraph, three proof essay.
- Compare and contrast MacBeth and his wife to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
- How can the witches MacBeth encounters be compared to the devil?
- Who is the greater villain in the play, MacBeth or his wife? Defend your answer.
Copyright December 23rd, 2015 by Gwen Fredette