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Soliloquies are key to an understanding of Macbeth’s character, so it is important to explore what he says in his soliloquies and how he says it.
The character is facing an enormous internal dilemma as to how to proceed once he is tempted with the idea of kingship by the witches. How can you use a variety of techniques to track the inner conflict, or psychomachia, that he faces?
The concept can be introduced via the familiar trope of good and bad angels as seen in popular shows that students should know such as The Simpsons or Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove.
Why teach this?
Macbeth’s soliloquies are an important part of his character development and give an opportunity to explore the ancient Greek notion of psychomachia, the conflict of the soul.
Key curriculum links
Macbeth is a staple of the English Literature classroom and often a popular text for students. It is on the Shakespearean set lists for most of the current GCSE English Literature specifications.