As students read, a storyboard can serve as a helpful character reference log. This log (also called a character map) allows students to recall relevant information about important characters. When reading a play, small attributes and details frequently become important as the plot progresses. With character mapping, students will record this information, helping them follow along and catch the subtleties which make reading more enjoyable!
Using a character map for Shakespeare is often even more beneficial. It also allows students to record the nuances of characteristics which create "foil" characters. The information that they record will help them to return and review personalities that contrast. The ability to visually see this helps students create connections and makes understanding concepts easier.
|King Hamlet||The Ghost|
|Prince Hamlet||The Protagonist|
|Claudius||Hamlet's uncle and current King of Denmark|
|Horatio||Hamlet's best friend, they studied together at the university|
|Polonius||Lord Chamberlain, Laertes and Ophelia's father|
|Ophelia||Polonius's daughter, courting Hamlet|
|Rosencrantz and Guildenstern||Courtiers and former friends of Hamlet, who spy on him for Claudius|
|Osric||A servant, summons Hamlet and Laertes to a duel|
|Frotinbras||King of Norway|
|Reynaldo||Polonius’ servant sent to France to spy on Laertes|
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a character map for the major characters.
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
Character Picture & Scene
The characters and scenes are both appropriate for the book's characters.
Many of the characters and scenes match the book's characters.
More than half of the characters and scenes do not match the characters in the book.
Accuracy of Notes
Most of the information of the notes is correct.
Many of the notes have correct information, but some are incorrect or missing.
Less than half of the information of the notes is correct and relevant.
Work is complete, thorough, and neat.
Most of the sections of the character map were at least attempted and work is presentable.
Character map is unfinished and/or disorganized.
Teachers can begin by explaining the concept of foil characters and character maps. They can also introduce the significance of both concepts and how they can be used to gain a deeper understanding of fictional characters in literature.
Divide the class into groups and ask them to pick a pair of foil characters to represent from the selected text. These characters ought to be distinctly different from one another in a way that adds to the story's themes, conflicts, or takeaways.
Analyze each foil character separately to start. Focus on the characteristics, drives, connections, and momentous occasions that shaped each character's personality and behavior as you fill in their parts on the character map.
After you've finished analyzing each character individually, list the precise differences and similarities between the two characters. Talk about how these distinctions bring out important facets of each character and how they impact the themes or conflicts of the novel. These differences and similarities will be visible throughout the character map.
Synthesize the results from the character map to conclude the analysis. In light of the story's wider themes, messages, and character relationships, discuss the significance of the foil character duo.
Hamlet and Laertes, Hamlet and Fortinbras, and Hamlet and Claudius are some good examples of foil character pairs for character map analysis in "Hamlet." The investigation of concepts like vengeance, power, and morality is made richer by these pairs' dissimilar traits and motivations.
A character map for "Hamlet" can be used to examine character changes, motivations, relationships (such as Hamlet's interactions with Ophelia and Gertrude), and the influence of the cultural setting on character behavior in addition to contrasts between foil characters.
Themes from "Hamlet," such as the intricacy of human nature, retribution, betrayal, and the effects of inaction, are intimately related to character map analysis. Students can better comprehend how these ideas are developed and expressed throughout the play by analyzing the traits and behaviors of the characters.