The Tragedy of Macbeth
LRJ Passage Analysis Assignments: 4 total (Acts I-IV/V)
NOTE: You will not be receiving a grade simply for completion. You will be graded on accuracy, thoughtfulness, and legibility (including neatness) of each entry. Be sure to follow the instructions! 25 points each.
Responding to Dramatic Literature
As we read Macbeth, I would like you to pay attention to the way Shakespeare uses language, asking yourself the following questions:
• How do the characters interact? What do they say to each other? To themselves?
• How do they express ideas? Are they blunt and to-the-point, or are they more subtle, hinting at meanings and true intentions?
would also like you to pay attention to words or lines that stand out to you. Think about the following:
• What stands out and why?
• Do you understand this particular bit of dialogue or scene? Why or why not?
• What do you need to know to have a better understanding?
• Are the meanings and definitions of words from Shakespeare’s time different from our time? How do you know?
• How can use of context clues shape and influence the meaning you derive from the play? What do the words make you think of, feel, see, or envision?
It is my hope that these LRJ activities will allow you to further your understanding and enjoyment of the play, while also helping you pay close attention to the nuance and power of language.
For these passage analyses, you will be asked to either cite a passage from the play, or cite the section you are writing about. Below is an example of how to cite text from a play correctly:
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, / and then is heard no more: it is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing” (5.5, 22-27).
In this reference, the quotation would come from Act 5, scene 5, lines 22-27. All the numbers go inside the parentheses. Sentence punctuation goes at the end, outside the parentheses. Use the slash to indicate that your quotation runs over lines.
IMPORTANT: For each act (1-4/5), you will complete one “passage analysis” (see below) according to the instructions below. You will complete four passage analyses total: Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4 or 5.
PART 1 – PASSAGE ANALYSIS (Required for each Act.)
Read the brief analysis below of Macbeth, 1.5, 1-31. You are to write a similar analysis of 25-50 lines for each Act of Macbeth (Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and Act 4 or 5). Each passage analysis will be approximately one LRJ page
– 300-400 words. Follow the example below. Cite the exact passage being analyzed at the head of your analysis. Then, in your analysis, be sure to include:
1. a brief description of the passage and its mood,
2. the dominant emotional effect on the reader,
3. elements of setting, action, language, imagery, and character that achieve this effect,
4. use of figurative language and other language resources / literary devices, and
5. the significance within the immediate context (the scene) and within the whole play.
Remember to use the literary present tense when related events that happen in the story.