Hamlet Sanity Hearing Debate
Culminating Final Assessment—Hamlet Unit
THIS ACTIVITY IS WORTH 200 POINTS
-60 points for participation in preparation
-100 points for debate contribution
-40 points for post-debate write-up
The purpose of a debate is to argue in favor of or against a predetermined resolution.
The resolution to be debated:
Hamlet’s behaviors were the result of insanity.
The class is divided into two teams, and each team will choose a team captain. It will be randomly determined which students will argue in favor of or against the resolution.
A coin toss will also decide which team will begin the debate. Depending on the results, the first person in the first row speaks, followed by the class member directly beside him or her.
The time limit for each team’s turn to speak is 8 minutes.
The affirmative side will explain the reasons why you believe Hamlet was actually sane (only pretending to be insane). It is critical that you provide specific supporting evidence from the text.
The negative side will explain reasons why you believe Hamlet was insane. It is critical that you provide specific supporting evidence from the text.
Team members must speak in order through the first round. Whether a team is finished speaking or not, the debate goes to the opposing team at 8 minutes.
There will be a 3-5 minute break between rounds. Teams should compose rebuttal arguments and organize the most valid and logical arguments to stress during round two. Speakers may only confer with members of their own group during this time.
The affirmative side (sane) will rebut (refute) what you feel are errors in the arguments given by the negative side.
Then, the negative side (insane) will rebut (refute) what you feel are errors in the arguments made by the affirmative side.
Speakers do not have to go in order. If a team member wants to speak, he or she can raise a hand and the team captain will call on whom he or she thinks will make the best argument. Remember, strategy is an important element in a debate!!
The debate is not over until every team member has spoken at least once. All team members must speak before any member may speak a second time.
ALL TEAM MEMBERS MUST SPEAK FOR THE GROUP TO RECEIVE FULL CREDIT.
No group member may speak more than three times.
Words of Wisdom
The keys to success with this activity are organization and advance planning.
Make sure all members are prepared to make and defend all arguments the team wishes to present. You will have approximately one class period to prepare for the debate.
Pre-plan the order of the arguments and speakers.
Pre-plan your persuasive strategies.
Remember, your arguments and the evidence to support them, must come from the play. Strong arguments and rebuttals will come from the team that uses textual evidence to support their particular argument.