TESTS: 'Jumbled Thoughts' from Macbeth

Shall e'er have power upon thee. Then fly, false thanes.
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
Bring me no more reports; let them fly all.
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
All mortal consequences* have pronounc'd me thus:
Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane
And mingle with the English epicures*.
The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm?
'Fear not, Macbeth; no man that's born of woman

* consequences - here: fates
* epicures - 'luxury-loving people'


This is one of Macbeth's speeches from near the end of the play. It has been cut into sections and jumbled up. Your task is to sort it into the right order; you can work with a partner if you wish.
There are several clues which may help you: first and foremost — the meaning. You will see that one idea follows from another as the speech develops. Check the meanings of any unfamiliar words before you start. Then there is the rhythm; read your possible answer out loud and listen to see if it sounds right — the blank verse will be a useful guide. It may help to start with what you think are the first and the last sections, and then go on to fit the others in between. Watch punctuation, and note that the speech ends with a rhyming couplet.

When you have finished, check your work with the text.

Find another speech of about the same length or a little more, and prepare a sequencing exercise of your own for others to try. Write out the segments of the speech on separate cards, keeping as far as possible to 'sense units'. Shuffle them and hand them to the others to sort, while you try theirs. You will find that the exercise makes you very aware of the thought development and the language of the chosen speech.

amazon.de Macbeth. A Workshop Approach to Shakespeare's Macbeth
William Shakespeare (Autor), Brenda Pinder (Autor), Heinz van de Linde (Autor)

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