Final Thoughts on Teaching “Macbeth”: The Films

We’re finally done with “Macbeth” in my 10th grade classes. Students will be taking their midterms soon, so in preparation for them, and to give them a break from regular studying, we’ve been watching different “Macbeth” films. Here’s what I ended up showing, along with my takes on each. And seriously, if you haven’t watched …

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“Macbeth,” and a Question: Is “Hamilton” Worth the Hype?

Lately I’ve been posting about “Macbeth,” a play I’ve thoroughly enjoyed teaching. But what does that have to do with the play “Hamilton?” Well actually, if you’ve seen “Hamilton” (or at least if you’ve listened to the soundtrack), you’d know the answer to that question. Or obviously, as you have probably guessed if you aren't …

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Explain the Porter Monologue in “Macbeth” or Just Skip Over It?

Some more notes on teaching “Macbeth”: First, don’t worry—my next post won’t be about this play. And second, though Shakespeare and his language are often seen as “high and mighty,” in so many ways “Macbeth” can shatter this illusion for inexperienced students. I’d say that’s for better, because I’m in favor of making all literature …

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Reading and Teaching The Stranger (Deuxième Partie) (Part Two!)

So a follow up on teaching The Stranger by Albert Camus: what a success! Which initially surprised me, since I thought this would be a “we-need-to-read-this-novel-because-its-important-so-power-through-it” kind of text. Unfortunately, in high school this situation comes up every now and then. For younger students, it’s often with Shakespeare. Last year, it was with Washington Irving …

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On Translating and Reading Camus’s The Stranger

In my senior literature class we’re finishing up The Stranger, by Albert Camus. Believe it or not, but before this summer I’d never read the novel (there’s a lot of literature out there!). And I am absolutely loving it. Our copy was translated by Matthew Ward, which is a point worth noting—Camus wrote in French, …

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Addendum: Texts I Taught This Year and EDGAR ALLAN POE

Recently I wrote about both the well-received texts I taught this school year (Of Mice and Men, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”) and the “misses” (The Picture of Dorian Gray, Heart of Darkness). Not that anything here is to say that the “misses” weren’t texts students didn’t learn from. For example, though “Julius Caesar” can …

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The Great, the Good, and the OK: Texts I Taught This Year

With finals going currently, here are some thoughts on novels, stories, and plays I used in my classroom over the last school year. It’s always interesting to experience something as a student and then as a teacher. Take Heart of Darkness: the dialogue is richer than what I remember from high school, and the novel is …

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