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The student news site of Smoky Hill High School

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Review | Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’

Sophomore Smoky classes delve deep into the world of Shakespeare with a specific literary work
Folger Theatre and Two River Theater Company – Macbeth

Shakespeare is a well-known playwright of his many popular plays, such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and Hamlet, becoming known as an influential storyteller and writer in the English language. His name is still well known even today, becoming an educational requirement in schools and colleges. 

Smoky students in English classes begin to learn or have learned of Shakespeare already. Particularly, a handful of sophomore English classes are learning Macbeth as of right now. After learning about Macbeth, students are told to write an essay on the characters they learned about and watch the film the class to visualize the play.

English Teacher, Kelley Ingrid, who taught her English Honors class about Macbeth earlier this year talks believes there are benefits to teaching this work by Shakespeare.

“When students study Shakespeare and Macbeth, typically what we are learning about and studying are things like literary devices like symbolism or motifs, imagery and metaphors,” Kelly said, “We are also learning a lot of vocabulary, a lot of vocabulary that not only did Shakespeare use, but vocabulary that has become part of our way of speaking [and] of our tradition of speech. Even though we might not understand every single word of Shakespeare’s language, we are getting a feel for what English might have been like 400 years ago.” 

In addition, Carrie Faust teaches an English class where students recently finished Macbeth and are required to write an essay. Students in the class, like sophomore Cassie Guerra, talks about her opinion of the play itself.

“Personally I don’t find interest in it, I mean it’s a pretty good play with plot twists, and there’s some parts where it’s interesting but the parts where it’s kind of boring that’s where I doze off,” Guerra said, “I think it teaches a great lesson about not listening to people. Like how Macbeth listened to the witches throughout the whole book, and he killed this guy. It got him in so much deep trouble it led to his downfall.”

The play has been taught over the years and has become a requirement for the majority of Smoky Hill’s English classes. Through books, online plays and audiobooks, the play has been taught in different ways to help the students in visualizing Macbeth. Back in early October, the school even hosted the play performed by the Denver Center for Performing Arts out in the front parking lot of the school, to which for an entire class period students sat and watched actors perform the very play they learned about in class.

Sophomore English teacher, Kristen Gurzick, also talks about her opinion on the play itself.

“I think Shakespeare was a brilliant writer because it takes a really great mind to write about something that is still relevant hundreds of years later,” Gurzick said.

Gurzick explains how she believes Shakespeare is worth learning about by everyone at some point.

“I think it’s really important for people to at least learn one or two of his plays, because even popular authors and young adult authors refer back to or allude to things that are in Shakespeare’s plays. And so by studying Shakespeare, it deepens our understanding of other literature and conversations we might have,” Gurzick said.

Shakespeare’s famous play, Macbeth, is a well-known play Smoky will continue to require for future classes to study and read, as its complex language and many attributes still affect writing to this day. 

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