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How does Shakespeare make Act 1 such a great opening to his play?

Learning Objectives: to develop your reading skills by understanding difficult language; to develop your powers of imagination by imagining how Act 1 might be filmed.

Before we look at filmed versions of the play, you need to understand WHAT IS HAPPENING in the play and develop your ability to understanding Shakespeare’s language.

Activities:

Read by yourself until the end of Act 1, Scene 1.

Then do FIVE MINUTES free writing, saying what you think the scene is about and what you think of it — or anything else you want to say.

Read in pairs Act 1, Scenes 2 and 3.

Now write down 5 QUESTIONS to ask about these scenes.

Read Act 1, Scenes 4 and 5 by yourself.

Now do 5 MINUTES free writing on how you think Act 1 might be filmed: what actors might play what roles, what music might be used, what settings might be used.

Now brainstorm the key points in answer to this question:

How does Shakespeare make Act 1 such a great opening to his play?

Here are two PowerPoints which are quite good at highlighting the main points of Act 1. Read through them and then write your own summary (synthesize and collate).