Mood and Ritual – Macbeth’s Witches: Shakespeare in the Classroom

When should I use this exercise?

I use this exercise as a way for students to use Shakesepare’s text to explore the dramatic elements of mood and ritual. It makes a nice break from working with deep textual analysis.

Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1:

Warm up using a game of ‘Silver Bullet’. This is similar to ‘Pass the Click/Clap’. It involves students standing in a circle and passing the energy from one person to another. Once this is established you would use the opening lines of Macbeth’s Witches’ text. The goal is to make the rhythm even and fast paced.

Step 2:

Students work in groups of three to create a ritual using the opening lines of the play.

Each group should take time to establish mood and tension before any words are spoken. Groups should attempt to create the supernatural quality on stage.

Each group must find a theatrical way to disappear at the end of the scene.

Step 3:

Students are to perform for one another and comment particularly on what is theatrically effective in each performance.

The instructions for this exercise, and accompanying example dialogue can be downloaded in PDF form here.

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