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Hamlet Soliloquy Choral Speaking Activity

Choral speaking is done by a group, often using various voice combinations and contrasts, to bring
out the meaning or tonal beauty of a passage of literature.
For this activity, each group will be focusing on Hamlet’s “To be or not to be” soliloquy in Act 3,
Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s play.
Each group will need to develop their own choral reading of the soliloquy and present it to the
class.
Before your group beings, think about the following questions:
1. What “mood” or “feeling” do we want to portray?
a. Think about what was going on in the play at this time (specifically for Hamlet)
2. Who wants to say what lines? Are there specific words or lines that one person really wants
to say, or does your group want to translate Shakespeare’s language into modern day (school
appropriate) language?
3. What words/lines does your group want to put emphasis on when reading the soliloquy?
4. What movement(s) will your group will you use when presenting?
5. What sounds or rhythm will your group use when reading the passage?
Hint: emphasizing words or phrases and using movements, sounds and rhythm helps to create a
specific mood or feeling during choral readings. Once your group determines what mood they
want to portray, think about ways to incorporate word emphasis, movement, and rhythm into your
reading.
Rubric:
Volume and clarity

1

2

3

4

2

3

4

5

Reading accurately
reflects mood

1

2

3

4

Movement and levels 1

2

3

4

5

Phrasing and timing

1

5

5

Total: _____/25

Volume &
Clarity

Poor
Students’ voices were never
clear, and the audience
could not hear them.

Phrasing,
Timing

Mood

Movement and
Levels

Participation of
all group
members

Poor

Fair
Students’ voices were rarely clear, and
most of the audience could not hear
them.

Fair

Good
Students spoke in mostly clear voices, and
could be heard by the majority of the
audience.

Good

Excellent
Students spoke very clearly, and were heard
by all of audience.

Excellent

Students were not
understood by the audience
because the students sped
through their lines.

Students need to improve on timing and
phrasing. Part/role was hard to
understand because the students spoke
too quickly.

Students used good timing and phrasing.
Part/role was spoken in a voice that was
usually steady. Students spoke slightly too
fast.

Students used excellent timing and phrasing.
Part/role was spoken in a steady voice.
Students did not speak too quickly.

Students did not accurately
create the mood of the
scene through language and
movement.

Students need to improve on accurately
creating the mood of the scene through
language and movement

Students somewhat created the correct
mood of the scene through language and
movement.

Students did an excellent job of creating the
correct mood through language and
movement.

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Students did not use
gestures, voice fluctuations,
facial expressions, or
various heights.

Students tried a few gestures, voice
fluctuations, facial expressions and
heights. Students did not make the
audience believe that they really were
the character.

Students used some gestures, voice
fluctuations, facial expressions, and
heights to enhance meaning of the part
played. Students worked toward getting
into character.

Students used gestures, voice fluctuations,
facial expressions and varying heights to
enhance meaning of the part played. Students
made others believe that they really were the
character.

Very few group members
participated in the reading

A few group members participated in the
reading

Most group members participated in the
reading

All group members participated in the reading

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