Lady Macbeth's "Letter"A student raised a question about the contents of the letter Lady Macbeth wrote in Act 5.  We only have the reports of her doctor who tells the Gentlewoman, "...I have...

Lady Macbeth's "Letter"

A student raised a question about the contents of the letter Lady Macbeth wrote in Act 5.  We only have the reports of her doctor who tells the Gentlewoman, "...I have / seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, / unlock her closet, / take forth paper, fold it, write upon't, read it / afterwards seal it, and again return to bed, yet all this while / in a most fast sleep (5.1.3-7).

As a class exercise, you might have students pretend to be Lady Macbeth and write in her voice.  Is she confessing?  A warning, her will?  Some combination of all three?

 

 

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Something else I have thought about but would love to actually do is get students to roleplay Lady Macbeth meeting with her psychoanalyst - can you imagine it! Would be such a laugh... but would perhaps take some preparation and setting up.

amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

This would be an awesome portfolio piece.  In KY the seniors have four pieces of literature in their portfolio which must be deemed "proficient" or higher in order to graduate.  This letter would fit into the literary category since they are using their imaginations to create it and it also relates to a literary piece.  The other categories are analysis (comparison/contrast or lit.analysis), personal pieces (memoirs, narratives), and transactive (real-world pieces such as editorials, articles, letters to senators, etc.).

This is a fun exercise that will be a change of pace from the usual.

cybil's profile pic

cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I'm currently teaching Macbeth to my freshman students. When we return to class after spring break, we'll begin Act 3. Considering Lady Macbeth's letter is an exercise I think my students will enjoy by the time we get to that point in the play. They're used to having to provide evidence to support their opinions so I believe they will have plenty to say about what she may be writing. Thank you for a great idea!

linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Great exercise. The character of Lady Macbeth is one that students love to delve into, but also sometimes have difficulty with. This exercise seems like it would make them confront her character in a creative and fun way.

Your students must be more motivated or more intelligent (did I really write that?) than mine. Most of my students could care less! If I gave my students this assignment, I'd have to practically tell them what to write. Most of them would complain that they don't understand the play so how can they write a letter in her voice.

I'd love to give this a try, though. I think it's a great change of pace from essay writing and question answering.

alexb2's profile pic

alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted on

Great exercise. The character of Lady Macbeth is one that students love to delve into, but also sometimes have difficulty with. This exercise seems like it would make them confront her character in a creative and fun way.

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