|A Midsummer Night's Dream
Sound Ball Activity
Submitted by: Amy Ulen
(adapted from a lesson by Brendan Desilets and Susan Weingarten)
Date: August 1994
Introduce students to Act II, scene 1, lines 188-244. To build motivation for
studying the play. To demonstrate that dramatic lines can have varied interpretations.
on board, lines from the scene on slips of paper, text (Act II, scene 1, lines
188-244), questions to ask students, and ball(s).
- The class plays a game of sound ball using
the following words: slay, hard-hearted, entice,
fair, spaniel, beat, fawn,
love, strike, neglect, lose,
unworthy, follow, beg, respect,
dog, tempt, hatred, spirit,
- Very briefly, tell the story of the lovers up to this point in the
- The teacher will then distribute key lines from the scene to the
- I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
- Where is Lysander and fair Hermia?
- The one I'll slay, the other slayeth me.
- Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
- Do I entice you? do I speak you fair?
- I do not, nor I cannot love you?
- I am your spaniel
- Use me but as your spaniel
- spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me;
- What worser place can I beg in your love than to be used as you use
- Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
- For I am sick when I do look on thee.
- And I am sick when I look not on you.
- You do impeach your modesty too much,
- Into the hands of one that loves you not;
- Your virtue is my privilege.
- I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
- And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
- The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
- I shall do thee mischief in the wood.
- Fie, Demetrius!
- Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex:
- We cannot fight for love, as men may do;
- We should be wooed and were not made to woo.
- I'll follow thee and make a heaven of hell,
- To die upon the hand I love so well.
- In three minutes or so, students will learn their lines well enough
to be independent of the paper.
- The teacher chooses a student and asks the student to say the
assigned line. The teacher gives the speaker a ball.
- The teacher asks the student a question that might lead to a
different interpretation of the line.
- The teacher asks the student to say the line again.
- Repeat the previous two steps two times.
- The student chooses the next speaker by throwing the ball to him or
her while saying the line.
- After each student has a turn, the class will split into groups of
four and put the scene (2.1.188-244) on its feet (one pair feeds-in
- After each pair has a turn, the teacher will ask for volunteers to
show their scenes.
- Discuss the different interpretations of the lines/scene.
- Each student will then choose a favorite line and present it to the
- In their journals, the students will write a letter to either
Demetrius or Helena about his or her behavior toward the other person.