warning

Content guidance

Physical activity required.

Adult supervision recommended.

video

Lesson video

In progress...

Loading...

Hello there.

My name is Mr. Burt, and welcome to your drama lesson.

Now this is the first of three drama lessons, looking at a unit of learning called "Approaching Shakespeare, Twelfth Night." And in this first lesson we're going to start looking at the plot of the play.

We're going to start looking at a character called Orsino and a monologue that he delivers at the very beginning of the performance.

And we're also going to look at something called iambic pentameter, which is a way of language that Shakespeare wrote in which helps us as actors to perform his work.

But before we do that, let's have a quick look at what equipment we need to be able to be successful in our lessons.

So here's all the bits of equipment you're going to need in this lesson.

You will need a worksheet or a piece of paper to write on.

You're going to need a pen, and you might want a highlighter or to highlight your lines.

So make sure you've got that equipment.

And once you've got that, let's get on with the learning.

So in today's lesson, we're going to start with an introduction to the play "Twelfth Night." Then we're going to focus on a character called Orsino, and a monologue that he delivers at the very beginning of the play.

We're going to take a closer look at that, and in particular, his motivation for why he's saying the lines.

Then we're going to use that to help us understand how Shakespeare wrote it using iambic pentameter, and we're going to combine those two to think about how we can perform the monologue to an audience.

So let's get going.

Before we start the lesson, though, we need some key terminology that's really going to help us understand and succeed in the lesson.

The first key word is iambic pentameter, and that is the name of a widely used rhythm of speech that contains five beats on each line.

The next word is monologue.

Now a monologue is a long speech that an actor says on their own.

And then finally, we're going to need to use the word motivation.

And motivation is the term we use to describe why a character does something when they are on stage.

Before we go on, let's just have a quick check of our understanding of one of those important key words, and that is monologue.

So is monologue a long speech that an actor says on their own? True or false? Answer the question now.

Well, yes, you're right.

It's true.

A monologue is a long speech that an actor says on their own.

Although you might have heard the key word soliloquy.

Now soliloquy is slightly different to a monologue.

A soliloquy is a speech which an actor gives on their own but does so speaking directly to an audience, whereas in a monologue, the character is either just speaking to themselves or delivering it to another character who's on stage with them.

Now, before we start our lesson properly I want us to do a quick vocal warmup.

Now it's really important that we warm our voices up as actors, because we're going to be using our voice for a long and extended period of time.

And our vocal cords are muscles.

So just like when we do, when we go out and do PE or play football or netball, we warm up before we play we really need to warm up our vocal chords so that they don't hurt and they aren't damaged long-term.

So we're going to start with a simple exercise to begin with where they're breathing exercise.

So what I'd like you to do, first of all, is I'd like you to stand up and stand in neutral.

Now, standing in neutral just means that your head is up, straight looking forward and your shoulders are slightly rolled back so that you've got a straight line from your head to your shoulders and then your shoulders exactly above your hips.

And then your legs are straight, your hips are over your knees, which are over your feet and your feet slightly apart, and your hands are gently resting by your sides.

And we're going to breathe in for five seconds.

We're going to hold the breath for five seconds, and then we're going to breathe out for five seconds.

I'm going to demonstrate first.

Because I can't count out loud, I'm going to do it on my hand.

So I'm going to breathe in for five, hold for five, and breathe out for five.

And what we're simply doing here, is we're simply forcing air up through our vocal chords and then back down through our vocal chords, just starting to warm them up.

Now we're going to do that three times in a row.

I'm going to count for you, okay.

So let all the air out and then breathe in for one two, three, four, five.

Hold for one, two, three, four, five.

And out for one, two, three, four, five, and rest.

It's quite easy really.

And let all the air out.

And in for one, two, three, four, five.

Hold for one, two three, four, five.

And out for one, two, three, four, five and rest.

And one last time.

In for one, two, three, four, five.

Hold for one, two, three, four, five.

And out for one, two three, four, five.

Excellent.

Like I said, what that exercise is doing is just beginning to get air flowing through your vocal chords and just beginning to warm them up.

This time, what I'd like us to do is to start at a hum to the end.

So we're going to breathe in for five, hold for five and breathe out through a hum.

And I want you to hum for as long as you can.

So I'm going to demonstrate and because I can't count out loud, I'm going to count on my fingers again.

So breathe in for five.

Hold for five.

And then out in a hum.

I know it sounds silly, but I really wanted to see if you can just feel your mouth with sound.

All right we're going to do this just once.

So let all the air out.

And then in for one, two, three, four, five.

Hold for one, two, three, four, five.

And out where the hum.

Let's see if you can make it louder, make it louder still, and keep going, and then out.

Excellent.

One last task, and it's going to involve a line of Shakespeare.

a line of Shakespeare from "Twelfth Night" actually.

And what I want you to do for this, is we're going to really overemphasise on the vowel sounds.

And the line we're going to use is, "If music be the food of love." I'm going to say it just as a demonstration to begin with.

"If music be the food of love." So really just emphasise the vowel sounds.

Say it with me, say along with me.

"If music be the food of love, play on." Excellent.

And this time I want you to say it louder than the last time we said it.

So take a deep breath before you say the line.

"If music be the food of love, play on." Excellent.

Actually this time, I want you to say it louder than the last time you said it.

You ready? Let's go.

"If music be the food of love, play on." Excellent.

But you know what? I think we can be louder.

So this time I want you to say it as loud as you can.

But remember, we're not shouting, we're taking a big deep breath before we say the line.

The reason why we're doing that is to be able to fill our lungs with enough air to say the line loud enough without shouting.

So one last time, let's take a deep breath in.

"If music be the food of love, play on." Excellent, well done.

Doing a vocal warm up is really important, but it also can feel a bit hard sometimes, but it's really good to warm up our voices before we start the lesson, well done.

So let's just find out a little bit more about the play "Twelfth Night".

Now "Twelfth Night" is a romantic comedy and it has several plots, all of which interweave with each other.

The play is set on a fictional island called Illyria.

And the central plot, which is what we're going to look at today, follows the romantic relationship between the characters of Olivia, Orsino and Viola.

So let's take a look at that central character of Orsino.

Now Orsino is the Duke of Illyria.

And he's in love with Olivia, he is hopelessly in love with Olivia.

The trouble is Olivia has not yet declared her love for him.

So he is pining for her.

And as a character, he's self-indulgent and fanciful.

And so his feelings and emotions are exaggerated and taken to the extreme.

And he opens the play with a monologue, quite a famous monologue, one of Shakespeare's most famous monologues.

And it goes like this.

"If music be the food of love, play on; "give me excess of it, that surfeiting, "the appetite may sicken, and so die.

"That strain again, it had a dying fall.

"O, it came over my ear like the sweet south, "That breathes upon a bank of violets, "stealing and giving odour.

"Enough, no more.

"'Tis not so sweet now as it was before." Have you heard that before? Certainly, most people have come across that first line, "If music be the food of love, play on." It's used quite a lot in a variety of different ways.

This is a very important monologue.

Important because it is the very first thing that we, as the audience of the "Twelfth Night", see and hear about the play.

And so it tells us one of the key themes of the play which is love.

But also important because it tells us a lot about one of the key characters Orsino.

Now, remember we described Orsino earlier as being self-indulgent and prone to suffering from emotions in extreme ways.

And as I go through the monologue to explain it to you, perhaps you can be able to begin to see the connections between those characteristics and what he's saying.

Now let's start by examining the section which I've put into bold.

"If music be the food of love, play on.

"Give me excess of it, that surfeiting, "the appetite may sicken, and so die." Now here, Shakespeare's using a metaphor.

He saying that love is like food.

And if love is like food the music is like the food to complete our appetite.

And so he's saying that what he wants, what Orsino wants, is to get excess of it.

And that he is so hungry that he wants to just eat and eat and eat and eat and eat so much that his appetite will go and die.

In other words surfeiting, means to have too much of something.

Now, remember, Orsino is desperately in love with Olivia, like really, to an extreme in love.

So in love and it's actually hurting him.

And so in this metaphor between love and food he's saying that he loves Olivia so much, just so much that it is hurting him.

And then there's only two ways to go.

And that is to do something about it or for it to hurt him so much that it will end up killing him.

And so let's have a look at that second section which I've underlined.

"That strain again, it had a dying fall.

"Oh, it came over my ear like a sweet south "that breathes upon a bank of violets, "stealing and giving odour." Now imagine this for a moment.

Orsino is sat listening to some musicians sing a song or play music, and he's contemplating his love for Olivia, and just how much it hurts, and he's using this clever metaphor between food and love.

And he hears that strain of music, a piece of music and it's beautiful in his ears.

And it reminds him just how much he loves Olivia.

And it's got that dying fall, a descendant in the music, and he wants to hear it again.

Because as he heard it it came across like a south wind, a beautiful hot breeze that breathed like a bank of violets, like a beautiful bank of flowers.

Stealing and giving beautiful odours.

So again, he makes that connection between the music and his love for Olivia and his desire for Olivia.

And then that brings us up to the last bit of the monologue.

"Enough, no more.

"'Tis not so sweet now, as it was before." Which I think is my favourite bit because it just shows just how short of attention span he's got.

Here he is, Orsino sat listening to some music, thinking and contemplating about how much he loves Olivia, how beautiful she is, how much his love for her hurts him, hearing this beautiful music.

And then, "No yeah, no that's enough.

"It's not so sweet now as it was before now.

"Let's move on." And it just shows how short of attention span he's got and how quickly he gets bored of something.

But before we can start writing the character out, we want to really think about our interpretation of the character and use those describing words, that's words of self-indulgent, extreme emotions, short attention span, and help us form the character's motivation.

But before we can do that we just need to quickly check our understanding of what the key word motivation means.

So tell me now, what does the key word motivation mean? That's right.

So motivation is the term we use to describe why a character does something on stage.

Now every time you see a character on stage or in screen, in television or in film, the character is there to do something, to say something and that has a purpose.

And that is what we call motivation.

So pause the video now for a moment and consider what is Orsino's motivation in delivering this speech? What does he want to get out of it? So pause the video now, write your thoughts down on your piece of paper, or your worksheet and resume when you're ready.

Now, we want to start thinking about how to act this monologue out.

And Shakespeare gives us a great way of helping us with that.

And that is through iambic pentameter.

So let's just quickly check our understanding of that key term.

So tell me now, what is iambic pentameter.

That's right.

Iambic pentameter is the name of a widely used rhythm of speech that contains five beats on each line.

And it looks like this.

Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Bah BOM! A bit like a heartbeat.

Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Bah BOM! Be where you rest, and then you emphasise, rest, emphasise, rest, emphasise, rest, emphasise, rest, emphasise.

And when we look at the first line of our monologue that we're working with, and we placed that same rhythm onto it, we can see it really clearly.

If music be the food of love, play on.

Bah BOM, bah BOM, bah BOM, bah BOM, bah BOM.

And you will notice straight away that by applying this rhythm, the key words of the line are suddenly emphasised and highlighted.

Music, be, food, love, on.

"If music be the food of love, play on." It's a lovely way of highlighting and emphasising the key words in the line.

So it's over to you for a moment.

What I'd like you to do is I'd like you to identify where you think the iambic pentameter might be in this monologue.

So pause the video now, and either pointing at it on the screen, or using the copy of it on the worksheet, highlight where you think the iambic pentameter falls in this opening monologue.

Pause the video and resume once you've finished.

Now, how did you find that? I've got here one of the work that I've done with it, and you're more than welcome to copy this down onto a piece of paper or onto your worksheet that you're working with, but it goes something like this.

"If music be the food of love, play on.

"Give me excess of it, "that surfeiting, that appetite may sicken and so die.

"That strain a gain, it had a dying for.

"O, it came over my ear like the sweets south, "that breathes upon a bank of violets, "stealing and giving odour.

"Enough, no more.

"'Tis not so sweet as it was before." So pause the video now, you might want to write this version of it down on a piece of paper, or you might want to annotate your own version on the worksheet.

When you're ready, resume and we will carry on.

Now, before I ask you to act this monologue out I'm going to demonstrate my interpretation of it.

But before I do that, I just want to talk you through some of the processes that I've gone through, and what I'm trying to communicate to you as my audience.

So we've identified Orsino's character as being quite self-indulgent, as experiencing quite extreme emotions, as well as getting quite bored quite easily and having a short attention span.

So I feel using that, that the character's motivation in this monologue is to wallow in that self-pity, is to slightly enjoy the fact that he's really upset and quite sad, but also that at the end of the monologue, he's got bored of it by then and wants to move on to something else.

Now, I also want to experiment with gesture and movement to emphasise some of those things, as well as trying to pick up on the iambic pentameter.

So here we go.

"If music be the food of love, play on, "Give me excess of it.

"That surfeiting the appetite may sicken and die.

"That strain a gain, it had a dying fall.

"O, it came over my ear like a sweet south "that breathes upon the bank of violets, "stealing and giving odour.

"Enough, no more.

"'Tis not so sweet as it was before." And so this brings us up to our next task which is for you to perform the monologue.

So I want you to act out the monologue using the flow of the iambic pentameter.

And to show the use of words and the motivation of the character.

And also see if you can experiment with movement and gestures to add depth to performance.

So using the monologue, as you see it on the screen here or the one on your worksheet, I want you to rehearse the monologue and then perform it.

So pause the video now and resume once you finished How did that performance go for you? What was your interpretation of Orsino? Were you able to communicate your character's motivation to the audience, do you think? How well did you use gestures and movements to emphasise what you wanted to communicate? So before we go, let's just check on some of our understanding of iambic pentameter.

So which one of these statements is correct? Option one, iambic pentameter is a rhythm where each line has six beats.

Option two, iambic pentameter is a rhythm where each nine has five beats.

Option three, iambic pentameter is a rhythm where each line has four beats.

Or is it option four, iambic pentameter is a rhythm where each line has three beats? Points to your answer on the screen now.

That's right.

Iambic pentameter is a rhythm where each line has five beats.

Before we go today I want to say one last thing, and that's well done.

I know that performing can be really, really hard, so well done performing today.

You've done a good job.