membean quiz–after receiving instructions, take quiz at start of class (15′)
close laptop after quiz and pick up paragraph-openings exercise sheet; start marking sheet, until everyone has picked one up (10-15′)
start the chart for this exercise: “what they say, what they do, Act One, Act Two” (20′ or more)
In your Macbeth journal, create a table entitled “presence/absence of conscience;” it contains three columns and multiple rows. Label the columns “Macbeth,” “Lady Macbeth” and “differences/similarities.” In the first column, enter short passages that show direct, or indirect, evidence of Macbeth’s conscience; cite line numbers in parentheses. Do the same for Lady Macbeth in the second column. In both of these first two columns, try to include what the characters say, as well as what they do–i.e., their words and actions. In the third column, explain similarities and/or differences you see in this pair of passages. Each new passage you add to a given column moves readers forward in the play. As best you can, associate each Macbeth passage with a corresponding one from Lady Macbeth.
We will not finish this table today; we are just starting. As the opening of my recent poem says, “The play, Macbeth, has come to signify / Conscience.” Therefore, I think it wise to follow the signs of conscience in the play’s two main characters. This table has two types of movement, across and down. First, it allows us to compare husband and wife (across), and second, it tracks development of these two characters over time (down). For now, we will use this table to study these movements just in Acts One and Two.