A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Success Stories: Life Skills Through Literature, January 1997

Appendix A:
Reading Matrix


Text and Author



The Doll's House

by Henrik Ibsen

A wife finds herself subjugated in marriage, leaves in order to grow. A serious play with themes of marriage as a force for change, the female role, and male-female relationships.

Elicits great discussion of independence and marriage.

The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

Themes of justice, religious/racial intolerance. When his ships are reported lost at sea, a merchant falls into debt to a Jewish moneylender, who then insists on the collateral the merchant has pledged: a pound of flesh.

Showing film clips of different interpretations of the roles (especially Shylock's) encourages students to view the situation from more than one angle.

The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

Funny, bawdy comedy of Kate and Petruchio finding love; who really is tamed? Themes of the war between the sexes, power in relationships.

Read aloud and get class to try acting a scene; then show two different film clips of that scene.

[Appendix A: ShortStories] [Table of Contents] [Appendix B: Bibliography]