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SUBJECTS — Drama; Literature/Literary/Devices: Characterization;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Ambition; Work/Career;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility; Citizenship.
14+; The 1979 BBC version has not been rated by the MPAA but, according to the Internet Movie Database, the film was rated PG by the UK and Australian classification organizations; Drama; 93 minutes; black and white. Note that other film versions of the play have other ratings.
This play is Shakespeare's tragedy of the rise and fall of two people corrupted by power and ambition. Showing a film version of the play, either before or after reading the text, will enhance students' understanding of both the art and the content of Macbeth.
In the section entitled "Beyond Macbeth" TWM shows how to maximize the relevance of Macbeth to the lives and interests of teenagers.
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Macbeth is frequently taught in high school English Language Arts classes.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Macbeth.
Before showing the film . . . point out that the physical movements and facial expressions of the actors are essential elements of Shakespearian plays. Have students note how the actors communicate feeling, even to the raising of an eyebrow. At appropriate points in the performance, turn the sound off and replay favorite monologues or scenes. Ask the class what is communicated through facial expression and body language, rather than through the words being spoken. In "A Performance of Macbeth," the acting of McKellen and Dench, as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, are so strong that students will easily identify the feelings being communicated. The faces and body movement of the three witches help emphasize this point, as does the fine performance of the actor playing The Porter.
The Learning Guide to the film Macbeth contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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