In this second module, students read and analyze Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As with any of Shakespeare’s play, many rich themes are present; in this module, students will focus primarily on the theme of control. Characters in this play are controlled by emotions, other characters, and even magic. They often attempt to manipulate others in a variety of ways. Students will examine why the characters seek control, how they try to control others, and the results of attempting to control others.
In Unit 1, students will build background knowledge as they explore the appeal and authorship of Shakespeare. Students will read much of the play aloud in a Drama Circle, and will frequently reread key passages to deepen their understanding. Students will analyze differences between a film version of the play and Shakespeare’s original script.
In Unit 2, students will study how Shakespeare drew upon Greek mythology as he crafted the play within the play. They will continue to closely study characters who attempt to control or manipulate others in the play, and write an argument essay about whether or not Shakespeare makes the case in A Midsummer Night’s Dream that it is possible to control someone else’s actions or not.
In Unit 3, students will write a “confessional” narrative from the point of view of one of the characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream to creatively explain his or her attempts to control or manipulate someone else in the play. This performance task centers on standards NYSP12 ELA CCLS RL.8.2, RL.8.3, W.8.3, W.8.4, W.8.9a, and W.11b.