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Greetings everyone,

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!