... or something like that.
It was then I took a literal and figurative step back and wondered...."what was really the point of the Macbeth unit?" Was my goal to inform the students of the plot of a long dead Scottish King? Was I to be outraged or hurt that the original text was glossed over or ignored? Was it really important that each child know the meaning of the famous "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow" speech?
While these are all culturally enriching details, the answer is, of course, a resounding "No." Teaching Macbeth, or any text, is not about Macbeth at all. It's about the ability to think. The ability to ask new questions in academic, honest, open, and often hotly debated settings. It's about the ability to expand one's mind, just for a moment, to think beyond the social constructs.
As the new school year stirs and the standards-mongers and curriculum chieftains ready their new decrees, it's vitally important to keep the real, lasting, authentic goal in mind:
"To lead you to that overwhelming question...
Oh, do no ask 'What is it?'
Let us go and make our visit."
-J. Alfred Prufrock (T.S.Eliot)