Produce an annotated script of a section of the play

English 17/217 Shakespeare, Laney College, Weidenbach
Produce an annotated script of a section of the play Othello. The section you choose should be
approximately 25-40 lines long.
When preparing your speech, you will need to consider
how the character is feeling,
how they might move,
any changes that might occur during the speech.
Set your work out in a two column table, with the speech on one side and your comments on the
other. Speeches can be interpreted many ways. Imagine that you are writing directions for an actor,
and that anything you say must be able to be acted. (Thus, it is not helpful to say what is going on in a
person's mind unless that can be shown on their face, or through some movement.)
Here is a sample from Macbeth:
Act 1, Scene 5
How will Lady Macbeth enter? Is she reading the letter for the first time? Has she glanced at it and
now reads it closely?
When Lady Macbeth reads my dearest partner in greatness, is she touched [moved], proud, impatient or
How does she behave during the letter reading?
Look at Lines 13-28 and Lines 40-56. What are possible actions for Lady Macbeth in these speeches?
Come thick night
She moves to the window. Spoken softly and slowly, but firmly.
Facial expression is sharp, grim.
Set out your work as is done above (if you are working in Microsoft Word, insert a table with two
columns). Under the Action column, include both movements and general instructions to the actors
about the way in which the lines should be spoken. Note that there is no correct way to answer this.
What mood is Lady Macbeth in at this stage? Perhaps the instruction to the actor could be:
Come thick night
She looks toward to the window. Spoken quickly and excitedly,
but firmly. Face has a hint of a smile.
A further example, written by a student, suggests an interpretation of the Macbeth's speech as he
walks to Duncan's room on his way to murder the king (Act 2, Scene 1). Do you agree with this
interpretation? Could an actor easily interpret all the directions? Are actions and facial expressions
"busy" enough (that is, show the range of emotions which Macbeth is experiencing)? Too busy (and
therefore look melodramatic)? Consider these aspects when dreaming up your own Actions.
English 17/217 Shakespeare, Laney College, Weidenbach
Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 1 – Annotated Script
Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle
toward my hand?
He stops then stiffens. Spoken softly and unsurely. Facial expression
shows puzzlement and slight fear.
Come, let me clutch thee
He takes a step towards the dagger and lifts his right hand to clutch it.
Spoken softly but with conviction. Facial expression hasn't changed.
I have thee not and yet I see thee still!
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to
His hand is still outstretched towards the dagger, he frowns
questioningly at the dagger. Spoken fearfully but in strained, hushed
Or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, He closes his eyes and turns his head away from the dagger. Face
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
shows grief and signs of an inner struggle. Spoken in a strained voice.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going
And such an instrument I was to use
He looks towards the King's chambers, then at the dagger in his hand.
Spoken softly and wonderingly. Face lights up slightly.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses, or
else worth all the rest
He lifts a hand to his face and rubs his eyes gently. His voice is
thoughtful, and so is his facial expression.
I see thee still; And, on thy blade and dudgeon, gouts He drops his hand from his face and looks at the dagger. Spoken
of blood which was not there before.
softly, thoughtfully.
There's no such thing. It is the bloody business which The dagger disappears. He shakes his head gently from side to side.
informs thus to mine eyes.
Spoken grimly.
Now o'er the one half-world nature seems dead, and He breathes deeply, sighs, then speaks softly. Facial expression is
wicked dreams abuse the curtained sleep
Witchcraft celebrates pale Hecate's offerings; and
Looks at the dagger in his hand. He speaks in disgust. Facial
withered Murder, Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf, expression still grim, with a hint of a frown.
Whose howls his watch thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.
Thou sure and firm-set earth,
He starts to pace slowly towards the King's chamber. Spoken softly,
but more quickly and excitedly. Facial expression strained but sharp.
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear thy
very stones prate of my whereabout
And take the present horror from the time which now
suits with it.
Whiles I threat, he lives:
He moves more directly, more certainly. Spoken with some
impatience mixed with new strength.
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
A bell rings
Walks quickly to the door of the King's chamber. Facial expression
shows resolution.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
He speaks quickly but firmly and with conviction.
Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell
thanks to Celia Correia