Shakespeare:
  • How can we celebrate Shakespeare's complex language?
  • How can you trace elements of Michael Wood’s biography in our readings of Hamlet and Macbeth?

Sonnets: There is a narrative arc to these sonnets. Let's also explore what is the best page online to use for the best student experience.
  • Sonnet 18: we'll use this sonnet as a model to start reading sonnets.
  • Let's read these other sonnets: 19, 2, 3, 29, 30, 33, 35, 54, 55, 63, 64, 65, 66, 73, 104.

Hamlet:
  • Celebrate Shakespeare's skill to create strong characters: Hamlet = Renaissance prince, studying philosophy, who must figure out what is the nature of the Ghost's message.
  • Trace elements of binary thinking in Hamlet's language.
  • How does Shakespeare mention Hamlet before we hear about the hero?
  • Appreciate Shakespeare's use of minor characters to illuminate tragedy of Hamlet.

Macbeth: While we read it during our final stages of drafting our research paper, let’s juxtapose its tragic elements to Hamlet.
  • Appreciate how this is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy. (Lincoln's favorite play, too).
  • How does Shakespeare mention Macbeth before we hear about the hero? Why is Lady Macbeth introduced after her husband?
  • How does the supernatural elements and the nighttime setting illuminate the main characters?
  • Juxtapose Hamlet’s hesitation with the Macbeth family’s ambition.
  • What are Macbeth's dimensions of conflict regarding self, family, nation, international, and cosmic?