I recently set my Year 11s an essay using the passage from 5.5 printed below.
I have almost forgot the taste of fears;
The time has been, my senses would have cool’d
To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in’t: I have supp’d full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts
Cannot once start me.
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Enter a Messenger
Thou comest to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.
Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I look’d toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
The wood began to move.
Let me endure your wrath, if’t be not so:
Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove.
If thou speak’st false,
Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,
Till famine cling thee: if thy speech be sooth,
I care not if thou dost for me as much.
I pull in resolution, and begin
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend
That lies like truth: ‘Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane:’ and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane. Arm, arm, and out!
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence nor tarrying here.
I gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish the estate o’ the world were now undone.
Ring the alarum-bell! Blow, wind! come, wrack!
At least we’ll die with harness on our back.
My thinking was to ensure they are thinking of the character as a whole, wherever they might be led by the passage. This post contains a brief give back slide deck and a ‘model’ response. I want them to use the response to annotate and also to develop; to see it as a starting point and to find ways to improve it. It is not, therefore, a ‘model’ which claims perfection in any way, but should enable discussion and occasionally disagreement.