Shakespeare monologues


The students will demonstrate their understanding of Shakespeare by presenting synopsis, and breaking apart a monologue to memorize.


Materials Needed

see lesson


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Finding interesting characters. Shakespeare had a talent for developing interesting and not so interesting characters. Last time we talked about Richard III, or Gloucester who was so evil he had a growing hump of evil, we talked about Beatrice and Benedick and their love affair that started because of their friends spreading rumors, and we even looked at Hamlet and Ophelia and dipped into their psyche. We started class with a glimpse into Two Gentlemen of Verona and the character of Launce. Let me tell you about his idea of his dream girl.


“she can fetch, carry, milk, sew, brew good ale, knit, wash and scour. She is not without her detriments: she is toothless, and overly fond of liquor, and has illegitimate children and “… more hair than wit, and more faults than hairs, and more wealth than faults”


As we go through the remainder of our presentations, remember, you are writing down summaries of the plays so that you can recall them, but I also want you to be on the lookout for interesting characters that you can draw upon in the future.



Transition: Now we are going to continue to look at Shakespeare’s characters and plays. Keep in mind you need to write the summaries on the paper you were given.


Guided Practice: Presentations on Shakespeare’s plays: from the list given, write down what the play is about to remind yourself. Star the ones that appeal to you or characters you might be interested in playing someday. Which ones seemed exciting or interesting to you that you would like to get to know further? This paper will be turned in for credit and returned later for your future use.


Independent Practice: Get together with new groups and talk about your observations. As a group, choose one play you all liked. If you were to change the setting to any other setting in the history of the world, except Shakespeare’s, how would you do it? Why would this be interesting? Group leader from each group needs to share your ideas from the group discussion with the class.



Closure and Assessment: The students will get a monologue sheet, enclosed. They need to each choose a monologue that they will memorize and perform in front of the class. For homework, the students will break apart their monologue and find out what the character is really saying. Then they will memorize it. We will be quizzing them on their memorization on Monday.