Unit 4 – “Comedy and Conflict” Exploring relationships through comedy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

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Comedy is a genre of storytelling that is thousands of years old. We laugh at the ridiculousness and absurdity of comedic stories but also learn from them. Comedies expose, and often ridicule, human folly, and so these stories are both enjoyable and educative. In this unit, we will read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with a close emphasis on the relationships between the characters of the play and how staging opportunities can bring the story, and these relationships, to life.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Session 1 – “Comedy and Conflict” Boss vs. Leader
What better way to start the study of a dramatic text by doing some drama? Today we will introduce the big ideas of the unit by acting out scenes involving a lovable band of ‘Mechanicals’ preparing to put on a play.

Session 2 – “Problems with Parents” Types of parent-child relationships
Today we look at the different types of parent-child relationships and practise making connections with how such relationships can be explored in dramatic texts.

Session 3 – “Green Eyed Monster!” Jealousy and envy in relationships
We have all experienced jealousy and envy at some point in our lives. Today we learn that it is a natural part of being human, but can also lead to some negative consequences!

Session 4 – “Melancholy Matrimony” Problems in marriages
We are finally introduced to the last group of characters in the play: the fairy king Oberon and queen Titania. Today we will learn about some common marital problems and apply our knowledge by giving some much-needed marriage counselling to this troubled couple!

Session 5 – “Twists and Turns” Irony and comedy
Now we get to the good part of the play! Our three groups of heroes collide to comedic effect, produced by Shakespeare’s use of irony. We will finish Act 2 and then devise our own comedic scenes about some unsuccessful relationships using irony.

ASSESSMENT

Task 8 – Advisory text

Task 9 – Dramatic comedy scene

FURTHER RESOURCES

  • Video SparkNotes: Video that provides a useful visual summary of the novel. Use this to review your comprehension of the story.
  • No Fear Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s language is tough, but not with this handy guide! Shows the modern language side-by-side with the Bard’s original words.
  • BBC Audiobook: Listen to this while reading to help bring the story to life!
  • Resource folder: All my resources will be placed here.

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