Valuable aspects of any literary work are its themes, symbols, and motifs. Part of the Common Core ELA standards is to introduce and explain these complex concepts. However, abstract ideas are often difficult for students to anatomize without assistance. Using a storyboard, students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts, and master analysis of literary elements. For best practices, see our article with specific lesson plan steps on setting up your classroom and activities to teach themes, symbols, and motifs.
As a classroom activity, students could track the rich symbolism William Shakespeare uses throughout Macbeth. In the example storyboard below, the creator has focused on Shakespeare's use of visions in the play. The recurrence of this motif throughout the play proves its significance. Since Macbeth's actions weigh heavily on his conscious, it is not surprising that he would have some second thoughts. The visions Macbeth and his wife consistently see throughout the play serve as constant reminders of their ambition and corruption.
Macbeth Themes and Ideas to Discuss
Things are not what they seem
Throughout the play, the idea that ‘fair is foul, and foul is fair’ is repeated. What you expect is not what will come about.
Nature at war with itself / Man goes against his nature
Another favorite theme is that nature is ominous and that it foreshadows and mimics what is to become of Macbeth and Macbeth's actions.
Macbeth and his wife’s personal ambition to control the crown ultimately ends up controlling them.
Motifs and Imagery to Look For
Ghosts, witches, and spirits are used throughout the play to add a sense of suspicion and suspense.
The blood that was spilled because of Macbeth's ambition continuously reappears as a physical reminder that he cannot wash away his evil deeds.
As his corruption begins to control him, Macbeth and his wife slip out of reality and struggle between sanity and insanity.
Order and disorder surround the new King and Queen. The Order of their rulership clashes with the chaos they have caused. This links to the theme that things are not what they seem.
The motif of sleep (or sleeplessness) surrounds the tyrants as they struggle to overcome their deeds.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes, symbols, and motifs in Macbeth. Illustrate instances of each and write a short description below each cell.
- Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
- Identify the theme(s) from Macbeth you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
- Create an image for an example that represents this theme.
- Write a description of each of the examples.
- Add additional cells as needed.
- Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
«Какого черта! - подумал. - Что я делаю здесь в пять вечера в субботу?» - Чед? - В дверях его кабинета возникла Мидж Милкен, эксперт внутренней безопасности Фонтейна. В свои шестьдесят она была немного тяжеловатой, но все еще весьма привлекательной женщиной, чем не переставала изумлять Бринкерхоффа.
Кокетка до мозга костей, трижды разведенная, Мидж двигалась по шестикомнатным директорским апартаментам с вызывающей самоуверенностью.