Othello Act III (Day 1 of 2)

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SWBAT analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums by comparing multiple performances of Othello Act 3.

Big Idea

"These pretzels are making me thirsty"--who knew there were so many ways to say this!

SSR and Reflection

15 minutes

We will read for 10 minutes to start class. I will ask students to complete their reflection sheets for this week as well. You may notice that I have reformatted these. I was worried that students were not being truthful about their page counts and wanted to try something new to see if I can get better information.

"These Pretzels are Making Me Thirsty"

15 minutes

The students were supposed to read the first three scenes of Act 3 as homework. We will spend the next few days doing some class analysis of these passages. To begin, I will show them a clip from Seinfeld and talk to them about subtext and how an audience relies on an actor's interpretation of the dialogue to have a deeper understanding of the playwright's purpose.

With Act 4, I will have them use these principles to perform short scenes from the play, but for Act 3, we are going to use this idea to analyze multiple performances of Othello and learn how to read between the scripted lines to develop understanding and to evaluate the credibility of each performance based on their comprehension of the written text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2).

While we watch the clip, I will ask students to take note of the different meanings they can infer from each performance and then lead a short discussion on how this is important to reading/understanding Shakespeare.


Act 3 Comparative Listening Activity

20 minutes

To take their thinking from the Seinfeld clip and apply it to Shakespeare, I will ask them to listen to two different interpretations of to sections of Act 3, scene 3. The first is the famous "beware the green eyed monster" scene where Iago advises Othello to be careful with his jealousy. The second excerpt is a scene between Emilia and Iago, where she hands over the "napkin" that he has been asking her to steal. By listening to and comparing multiple interpretations of the text (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7), I hope that they will have a richer understanding of the characters and themes of the play so far.

A few years ago, I found the most incredible resource for this kind of activity in the Sourcebook Shakespeare. This version of the text includes a CD with 28 different audio clips recorded from stage and film performances of the play. Besides the performance clips, there is narration by Sir Derek Jacobi providing students with some context for what they will be hearing. These books are available for most Shakespeare plays (as well as a few other texts) and I use them with all the plays I teach.

While they are listening, I will have them fill in a graphic organizer, which will replace their dichotomy journal for this act.

Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

Once I have given them time to answer the questions provided, we will take the last few minutes of class to discuss their observations and final questions about the different performances. I will assign Act 3, scene 4 as homework for tomorrow.