Analyzing Humor in Act V of MidSummer Night’s Dream

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SWBAT understand meanings, explain, and identify the tone of certain words and phrases that Shakespeare uses in Act V of the play.

Big Idea

Going once! Twice! Sold! Meaning of words & phrases in Shakespeare's play.

Bellringer: Make me Laugh!

10 minutes

Is the best medicine in life laughter? While students may not recognize it, Shakespeare uses humor throughout MidSummer Night’s Dream to tell the simple story of four people falling in love. To start this lesson, students respond to the following prompt on the whiteboard

What was the funniest thing that ever told to you?

I want students to select a time where they were laughing so hard that they cried! However, students will have a different opinion about what’s funny so it will be nice to see what is selected by students for this activity. I will allow students to share their responses to bell work! Hopefully we can start this lesson with laughter of great past memories.

Guided Practice: Funny Videos

10 minutes

To laugh even more, students will watch a video clip. Even I will sit and watch the clip with students to show that even as a teacher I too enjoy a good laugh.

Independent Practice: Station Activities

30 minutes

To end with laughter, students will read parts in the play. The choice to read this act aloud may help students hear the humor devices used by Shakespeare to impact the mood of the play. After we finish reading the play, station activities will be done independently. These will include

  • Comprehension: Study Guide for Act V
  • Active Reading: Act V Handout


Because the humor in this act is hard to depict, students will work on the study guide independently then move into the next station as a whole class. I will assign each student an example of humor to look for in the play. From here I will help pairs that need assistance in finding a textual example of the comic device. Afterwards a share-out will occur so students can see the many ways that this Shakespearean play is indeed a true replica of a comedy. This will lead students back into the initial unit activity where they had to understand Shakespeare and comedies.