Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teaching Modules
Teaching Modules Archive

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Stop, Look and Listen: The Images Behind Shakespeare's Words (Day 2 of 3)

Teachers' Rating:
  0 ratings

Carl Van Vechten. Paul Robeson as Othello. Photograph, 1944.

January 2013

Deborah Gascon teaches English at Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, SC

Darren McGarvey teaches English at Kettering Fairmont High School, Dayton, OH

Sarah Lanterman teaches English at Woodinville High School, Kirkland, WA


Plays/Scenes Covered

 Othello, 3.3.299-318

However this lesson can be used with any play.

What's On for Today and Why

Students will:

  • Review Day 1
  • Practice close reading, annotation (focused on literary and rhetorical devices) and literary analysis, building on understanding of images in Day 1
  • Prepare for summative assessment

This lesson is the second of three. Each lesson will take one  50 minute class period

What You Need

Copies of the selected monologue or Folger editions containing selected text

Lexicons, glossaries, dictionaries


Colored markers

Computer access and interactive whiteboard if using PowerPoint option

What To Do

1. Divide class into pairs and give each student a copy of the monologue to annotate.


2. Have students identify any unfamiliar words and consult glossaries, lexicons, dictionaries as needed.


3. Discuss this definition of imagery :

A rather vague critical term covering thoses uses of language in a literary work that evoke sense-impressions by literal or figurative refrence to perceptible or concrete objects, scenes, actions, or states, as distinct from the language of abstract argument or exposition.

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Chris Baldick. Oxford University Press, 2008.


4. Encourage students to look for a variety of devices such as repetition, similies, metaphors, personification, syntax, diction, tone, theme, direct address, etc.


5. Have students work with their partner to annotate the passage, identifying all examples of imagery.


6. Give students time to discuss the passage and the imagery.


7. Have students work in pairs to create an illustration of their own depicting one of the images in the text. Allow students to choose or assign specific images to ensure that all images will be represented.


Note: Talk through a possible example such as, "Though that her jesses were dear heartstrings..." Othello, 3.3.302--the students could draw an image of the strings tied to a falcon's legs connected to strings coming out of Othello's heart.


8. Discuss students' findings by asking such questions as:

  • Do any patterns emerge?
  • Do the images share a common theme, or do they vividly contrast with each other?
  • How is Shakespeare using imagery to give us insight into characterization?


9. Have students compare their annotations to the visuals from Day 1 and discuss how their annotations provide a differnt way to access and analyze the text.


Looking Ahead:

Day 3

How Did It Go?
  • Did students engage with the language and gain insights into the text?
  • Did students make connections bewtween the visuals and the written word?


  • Give each group a differnt monologue (from the same play to track the growth of a character or from different plays) and have the group do a close reading as a group. Share the annotations with a the class using a document camera, or using an interactive white board. 


  • Apply this activity to any piece of literature that contains imagery: e.g, the opening chapter of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.



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.

Login or register to post comments.

1 Comment

Kronotex Laminate Flooring
Traci October 18, 2014 8:45 PM
  Common Core State Standards






Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623