ALEX Classroom Resource

  

Analyzing Character in Hamlet Through Epitaphs

  Classroom Resource Information  

Title:

Analyzing Character in Hamlet Through Epitaphs

URL:

http://readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/analyzing-character-hamlet-through-956.html

Content Source:

ReadWriteThink
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan

Overview:

Students compose epitaphs for deceased characters in the play Hamlet, paying particular attention to how their words appeal to the senses, create imagery, suggest mood, and set tone. Using a three-paneled poster board, students design gravestones to display their epitaphs. Students must capture the essence of their characters in their epitaphs, and their poster boards must reflect the themes that support their character's personality and station in life. The resulting projects make compelling hallway displays and provide students with an audience for their writing.

This activity can be easily adapted to another tragedy by changing the characters students write epitaphs about. For instance, students can write epitaphs for Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio, and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet or write epitaphs for Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Duncan, and Banquo in Macbeth.

Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
1 ) Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. [RL.11-12.1]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.1- Answer who, what, when, where, and why questions to analyze stories, using textual evidence and inferences as support.


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
3 ) Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed). [RL.11-12.3]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.3- Describe how characters interact and develop in a story; identify the setting of a story; identify the problem in a story.


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
5 ) Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact. [RL.11-12.5]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.5- Describe how the sequence of events contributes to the tension, mystery, or surprise in a story.


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
9 ) By the end of Grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the Grades 11-College and Career Readiness (CCR) text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. [RL.11-12.10]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
21 ) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. [W.11-12.3]

a. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events. [W.11-12.3a]

b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. [W.11-12.3b]

c. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution). [W.11-12.3c]

d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. [W.11-12.3d]

e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. [W.11-12.3e]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.11.21- Compose narrative texts by introducing characters or a narrator, organizing events in sequence, and providing an ending related to the event sequence.


English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
22 ) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 19-21 above.) [W.11-12.4]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
23 ) Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three standards in the Language strand in Grades K-11.) [W.11-12.5]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 11
29 ) Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on Grade 11 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. [SL.11-12.1]

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. [SL.11-12.1a]

b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed. [SL.11-12.1b]

c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. [SL.11-12.1c]

d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. [SL.11-12.1d]

Tags: characters, Drama Map, epitaphs, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
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Author: Cassie Raulston