Lesson Plans: Exploring Minor Characters
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Exploring Minor Characters
1Think of a line that defines a particular character for you. Any suggestions?Give me a line!
Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them: Found Monologues for Minor CharactersPhilosophy and Purpose:We need to pay more attention to our minor characters!This lesson helps students to focus in on a minor character and really explore that characters voice and role. Students will create a Found Monologue to give a cohesive voice to a minor character who appears multiple times in the play but is not considered a protagonist. Students create a monologue using the characters own words, with an eye to expressing the goals or desires of the character. Once students have created a polished monologue, they will memorize and perform it for the class. This lesson requires close reading, creative writing, and careful character study.
3Procedure:1.Assign/choose characters.2.Have students write briefly on the following questions: What does your character want or try to achieve in the play? What evidence do you have to support your claim?3.Hand out guidelines / look at sample monologue.4.Model the process.5.Write and practice.Share! Questions for consideration: What message does the monologue send about the character? What goal or desire does it express? What kind of voice or personality does the performance give to the character.For multiple students doing the same character: similarities/differences?Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them: Found Monologues for Minor Characters
4Monologue must be at least fifteen lines long. Up to two thoughtfully used transition words per line.Up to two lines said by another character in the play to or about your character. Lines do not need to be complete: you can use words, phrases, etc.Monologue does not need to rhyme, but should attempt to maintain a rough iambic pentameter as much as possible. Lines can be rearranged and manipulated, but the words must remain the same.Focus on expressing the goals, desires, and emotions of the character, not their actions over the course of the play.
5I am sorry, our house is hell. And soFarewell, father, I shall end this strife.Alack, what heinous sin is it in meTo be ashamed to be my fathers child?They call me most beautiful pagan, mostSweet Jew. Lorenzo says, Fair JessicaShall be my torchbearer. And I willBecome a Christian and thy loving wife.Oh, father, what is your will? Know you notI have a father, you a daughter lost?I shall be saved by my husband. Farewell.But love is blind and lovers cannot see.What, must I hold a candle to my shames?That were a kind of bastard hope indeed.No, indeed, I shall be saved by my husband. I shall be saved, in such a night. Farewell.Why am I never merry when I hearSweet music? O, Father, farewell, farewell.