Shakespeare's Famous Speeches Analysis Project

Shakespeare's Famous Speeches Analysis Project
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Shakespeare's Famous Speeches Analysis Project

Students choose from eight famous speeches from Shakespearean dramas, closely read and annotate one of them, and write an essay in which they analyze the author's use of rhetorical devices, figurative language and its impact on the reader/viewer.

Excerpts come from:
Julius Caeser
Romeo and Juliet
Richard III
Merchant of Venice

When I teach this, I review the elements of a dramatic monologue, then allow students to self-select a passage to analyze. I print copies of the poems, place them on a table, and allow students to peruse them before selecting. We then read Valerie Sorce's essay on dramatic monologues.

I allow students time in class to closely read their passages, annotate them and then complete a SOAPSTone analysis. This serves as the basis of the writing analysis.

You may edit/revise the documents to fit your needs. Additionally, the project is flexible enough include any excerpts you see fit.

Standards Addressed:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5): Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6: Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
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