3U: The Setup(s) and the Great Line Challenge

Mark and Jesse must talk today!

Today, we will consider three crucial setups:

  • Shakespeare’s decision to include a rather unremarkable scene iii
  • The fruition of the plan to make a fool of Malvolio
  • an attempt to start a fight between two characters

Let’s test our acting skills with  Act III scene iii. It exists for one reason: to step up a scene later in the play. I want you to view this scene the same way you view any seemingly insignificant scene in film, and ask yourselves why Shakespeare wanted his audience to see this rather unremarkable moment.

Act III scene iv is actually the culmination of a setup orchestrated by Maria, Sir Toby, and a few others. Let’s quickly review the set up by considering the questions below; once we have considered the questions, we will watch the next scene:

  1. Why do Maria and Sir Toby target Malvolio?
  2. What object do they use to set up Malvolio?
  3. What does Malvolio “learn” about Olivia from this object?
  4. What is Malvolio supposed to do?

Once we have watched the first half of this scene, we will turn to the text. We need to read the interaction between Maria, Malvolio, and company. Get ready to act…

Finally, we will watch the dual itself.

Tomorrow, we attempt the Great Line Challenge. I will divide you into four groups, and assign you parts of the play. How this game will work:

  • I will give your group some time to find 10 great lines/pairs of lines in your section of the play. Remember that you must be able to explain why these lines matter.
  • When the game begins, you may throw the Shakespearean Globe (get it?) to the team of your choice, and read one of the lines you have selected. You must also tell them the scene in which the lines appears. The team has 1 minute to find the line and explain its significance.
  • Teams that successfully identify and explain the line earn 1 point.
  • Teams that stump other teams earn one point.
  • Teams may earn extra points by delivering a line in costume or in character (or both).
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