Instructions: Make copies of the sheet below for every participant. Divide the participants into groups of 5-6. Instruct each group to "modernize" the scene as instructed below. Separate the groups so they don't see what the others are doing, then call them back together to perform for each other. Have each group "defend" its choice of modern setting, with its pluses and minuses. Then discuss the range of choices generally as "opening up" Shakespeare's scene to interpretation.
Instructions: “Modernize” the scene below by giving it a contemporary setting; you may fiddle with the language some, but not too much. Be prepared to discuss what the new context contributes to the scene and what gets lost in the change.
Enter three MURDERERS.
FIRST MURDERER: But who did bid thee join with us?
THIRD MURDERER: Macbeth.
SECOND MURDERER: He needs not our mistrust; since he delivers
Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.
FIRST MURDERER: Then stand with us.
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day:
Now spurs the lated traveller apace
To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
The subject of our watch.
THIRD MURDERER: Hark! I hear horses.
BANQUO: [within]. Give us a light there, ho!
SECOND MURDERER: Then 'tis he: the rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i' th'court.
FIRST MURDERER: His horses go about.
THIRD MURDERER: Almost a mile: but he does usually,
So all men do, from hence to th'palace-gate
Make it their walk.
SECOND MURDERER: A light, a light!
THIRD MURDERER: 'Tis he.
FIRST MURDERER: Stand to't.
Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE, with a torch.
BANQUO: It will be rain to-night.
FIRST MURDERER: Let it come down. [They assault BANQUO.]
BANQUO: O, treachery!- Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou mayst revenge.- O slave! [Dies. FLEANCE escapes.]
THIRD MURDERER: Who did strike out the light?
FIRST MURDERER: Was't not the way?
THIRD MURDERER: There's but one down; the son is fled.
SECOND MURDERER: We have lost
Best half of our affair.
FIRST MURDERER: Well, let's away, and say how much is done. [Exeunt.]