PLE – 10xEN1 – Home learning due Thursday 8 May

Following our lesson today on Act 1, scene 4 your home learning relates it to the end-of-Year 11 exam. Please answer the following question, aiming for three PEE(+E) paragraphs in ten minutes.

(b) Using your understanding of the extract, explain how the following lines might be performed.

Flourish. Enter KING DUNCAN, LENNOX, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, and attendants
DUNCAN

Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
Those in commission yet returned?
MALCOLM

     My liege,
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die, who did report
That very frankly he confessed his treasons,
Implored your highness’ pardon, and set forth
A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he owed
As ’twere a careless trifle.
Give reasons for your answer.                                                                                        (7)
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2 thoughts on “PLE – 10xEN1 – Home learning due Thursday 8 May

  1. Mr Legowski Post author

    One way for the scene to be performed is by all current actors/characters enter a room quickly, as if concerned, then the character Duncan would turn, face the other characters and then swiftly begin his lines. “Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not those in commission yet returned?”. The initiation of conversation being a question and without waiting for a response but an immediate following question would suggest haste, a need for answers to many questions asked by King Duncan. If the actors were to use the idea of intensity, then this would set the mood of the beginning scene which may be accompanied by the play scenery itself.

    A second way to perform this would be that when all actors are on stage, the beginning of the scene is when King Duncan is perhaps seated behind a table reviewing events or awaiting further information. Then the next characters enter the ‘room’ where Duncan is waiting and begins immediate conversation, “Is execution done in Cawdor? Are not those in commission yet returned?” To which Malcolm would stand before Duncan, on the opposite side of the table, and answer. From my understanding, this is a battle location, so the ‘room’ is most likely a war tent. Malcolm, Lennox and Donalbain may be injured of have minor wounds, they may be holding them or have their palms resting on the hilt of their swords for example. Lennox and Donalbain would stand a little bit behind Malcolm whilst he addresses the King.

    A third way to which the scene can be acted is similar to the first, but involves another character, who could be placed as a servant to King Duncan. When the beginning lines are spoken by Duncan who may be questioning an assistant, maybe a soldier of some rank. Malcolm, Lennox, Donalbain and attendants then approach the scene where Malcolm then addresses Duncan as “My liege,” the apostrophe means there is a pause, as if awaiting Duncan’s attention before continuing with his remaining lines which grant the information Duncan has been awaiting. The scene then progresses afterwards.

    Reply

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