Melissa Borgmann, North Community High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
What's On for Today and Why
The themes of love, transformation, redemption, and forgiveness are central to King Lear and to Lear's relationships with his daughters. Asking students to read, analyze, and perform two of Lear's speeches—one from the beginning of the play, and one from the end—is a provocative way to introduce these themes and to inspire questions about the character and the play.
This activity works as an introduction to the text, as a way to examine character midway through, or as a compare and contrast lesson at the end of the play.
This lesson will take 1–2 class periods.
What You Need
Folger edition of King Lear
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts
What To Do
1. Divide students into four groups. Hand out copies of Lear's speech from 1.4 (handout #1) to two groups. Give the copies of the speech from 5.3 (handout #2) to the other two groups.
2. Have students read through their speeches at least twice. The first time all of the students should read it aloud in a choral fashion. The second time through the students should take turns reading line by line. Ask students to identify words they don't know and find their definitions. Students should become familiar with the speech and begin to interpret what Lear is saying.
3. Instruct students that they will be performing their speeches for the class. One group with handout #1 and one group with handout #2 will perform their speeches using any significant props or symbols they can find or create. The symbols should help to convey the meaning of the most visual or significant words, and/or the words with difficult meanings. For example, students could find a picture of someone they hold in high regard for the "goddess". The two remaining groups are responsible for rewriting and performing the speeches in contemporary vernacular. For example, students should consider how a television character would say the lines, or how a father might sound delivering them. Give students 25–35 minutes to work.
4. Tell the students to begin rehearsing their speeches. Remind them that everyone in the group must participate aloud. Prompt students to consider setting. Who is Lear addressing? What time of day is it? What might have happened immediately before the speech? What might happen after? Will music or sound effects create the mood of the scene?
5. Ask students to take notes during the performances for a discussion afterwards. Have the two groups with handout #1 perform first, followed by the two groups with handout #2 .
6. Discuss the scenes as a large group. What did students notice? Which words had more impact? What was the predominate feeling of each speech? Did the original speech match the contemporary translation? How did the symbols help clarify meaning?
7. For homework, ask students to write an essay on one of two topics. If they have just started the play, they can predict what happens between Acts 1 and 5. If they are in the middle or have finished the play, they can compare/contrast the Lear in the first speech with the Lear in the second speech. They should use lines from the speeches and examples from the performances to support their claims.
How Did It Go?
Was comprehension evident? Did students engage in performance? Did they choose appropriate symbols or create accurate translations? Did students cite examples from the text and their performances in their essays?
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.
intended for additional revisions. You should share much more revisions such as this. read more
egtisham January 28, 2015 1:58 AM
solar cars were mostly for solar races and such like, but since then, they are slowly being adapted for everyday use on normal roads as...help debt
peter January 28, 2015 12:38 AM
what they want to do to act out the refrain. Practice once or twice...neuroflexyn
david January 26, 2015 4:12 AM
I am interested in the title "Golden Axe Review (Cutting Through the Hype)". It seems interesting. neuroflexyn review
david January 24, 2015 4:15 AM
I recieve four emails with similar comment. Can there be any way it is possible to eliminate me from that service. Thanks .cenaless
david January 20, 2015 6:03 AM
This publication is purposefully created to underline some of the issues ...cenaless
david January 18, 2015 2:23 AM
your team in the workplace will be grateful for what our game is today! no credit check loan
david January 15, 2015 7:07 AM
You and your team at home or your team in the workplace will be grateful for what our game is today! forklift scales
Jack January 14, 2015 3:41 AM
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about.http://www.largepro.com/silver-olas-carpet-tile-flood-cleaning-cleaners-in-murrieta-riverside-coun
david January 12, 2015 7:39 AM
Top New Zealand Universities have plenty of opportunities for students looking for vocational courses. kayla itsines
david January 9, 2015 3:18 AM