I hope you have had a great weekend!
The Macbeth workshop proved to be extremely worthwhile; it allowed me to think of new and creative ideas for activities for a classroom, but it also allowed me to see Macbeth in a different light—allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of not only Macbeth, but for other plays as well. The group went over scansion and we briefly studied elision—something that I have never heard of. An elision, or elided word, is similar to a contraction:
- Ross: Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man’s act, (Act II Scene 4,5)
- Lady Macbeth: Your hand, your tongue look like th’innocent flower / But be the serpant under’t. He that’s coming (Act I Scene 5, 65-66)
In the first example, heavens is contracted, essentially squeezed, into a monosyllabic word; instead of reading, or saying, heav-ens, one reads/says “h’vens” (it’s a little weird… I’m having a bit of trouble trying to explain it just right. Perhaps someone has a better explanation!). In the second example, th’innocent replaces the innocent.
Another thing we covered was the concept of shared lines, which I found very interesting. Here’s an example:
- Macbeth: Hath he / ask’d for / me?
- Lady Macbeth: Know / you not / he has?
Here, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth share lines, completing iambic pentameter. I found this interesting from an analytic perspective; as soon as Macbeth completes his thought, Lady Macbeth is ready to pick it up. This represents a shared consciousness. How does the structure communicate the characters’ identities? Just thought I’d share what I found interesting in the workshop!