Drama Improvisation: Crime in Elizabethan Times

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Drama improvisation coursework: Crime

We first discussed everything that came up to our mind about our topic
of crime. We used brainstorming to help us, like this:

We then had a closer look at plays about crime in Elizabethan times.
Macbeth is a classic example of crime involving murdering. It is a
story about Macbeth who was the Thane of Cawdor was being influenced
by his wife and the witches to kill the King. He then became the King
himself and killed many other people who wanted to stop him.
Throughout the play, Shakespeare described clearly about how Macbeth's
character changes, from gentle to ambitious, to the never-ending evil.
From this play, we noticed that one of the motives of committing a
crime is being over ambitious and to believe in someone too easily.
This could be seen particularly in Act.i sci.vii. Here, we are
introduced to a scene when Lady Macbeth tries to persuade Macbeth to
kill the King. Macbeth feared about the deep consequences and he
refused to do the 'deed'. However, Lady Macbeth argued that if he is
afraid, he is not a real man. This attacked Macbeth's self esteem
instantly and he immediately changed his mind. We first tried out the
scene by reading through it with my partner. I acted as Macbeth and I
first found it very difficult to understand and to say the Shakespeare
language. I overcome this by slowing down the pace, emphasising every
word I was going to say. In order to improve our performance, we did
an exercise. We grouped all the Macbeths' on one side and all the Lady
Macbeths' on the other. We went through the scene altogether. I think
this helped us a lot because by doing that, I overcome some
limitations of movement and sound. I was able to express myself more.

The next thing we did was hot seating. We grouped all the Macbeths in
one group and we took turns to become the hot seated Macbeth. In our
group of Macbeths, some interesting questions were asked, for example:

· Did you regret anything you did?

· How does it feel when you kill someone?

· Do you actually love Lady Macbeth?

· If you have the right to live again, will you still do the same?

· What happened to your baby? Why did Lady Macbeth kill him?

After doing the hot seating, I felt that we had a deeper look at the
character of Macbeth. I was clearer about the mind of Macbeth and as
we were in role while doing the hot seating, we had more ideas of ways

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in expressing the feelings of Macbeth. We discussed that the main
motives, which caused Macbeth to commit the crimes were: his
over-ambitious mind, he was trying to prove himself to Lady Macbeth,
his jealousy and his insecurity of Kingship. The effect of the crime
on him was that, it turned him from a person with conscience to a
person without.

The next thing we did was an abstract interpretation of Lady Macbeth's
feelings after the crime. In order to get more ideas, we did a thought
tunnel exercise. One person which acts as Lady Macbeth walks slowly
between two rows of students. As the character passes, we call out
what we think the character is thinking. I got the chance to be Lady
Macbeth and walked between the two rows. I think it was very effective
because after I walked through it, I felt very guilty and it seemed
that I had really done something wrong. By doing this, we gained more
ideas for our abstract interpretation and it also gives us more
in-depth feelings of Lady Macbeth's character.


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