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Thread: Recitation Question

  1. #1
    In Week 3, there is a recitation for two students that is appropriate for discussing dramatic dialogue. My question is this...should the narration portion of the text also be read aloud? If so, by of the students reading for the characters or the teacher? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    As a Rhetoric student, I can say when we've done recitations with two students, we read our own speech tags (speech tags are the "he said" "she exclaimed doubtfully" etc. of the dialogue).

    So extending that for these specific recitations, for "Those Two Young Men" having Student A read Elizabeth's part and Student B read Jane's part, I might have A read the first paragraph on what Elizabeth was thinking, then B read the second paragraph on what Miss Bennet was thinking and have B also read Jane's following dialogue and speech tags.

    Austen often summarizes what people say without actually spelling it out as dialogue (Ex. "Then she spoke of the letter...") so I would suggest having whoever has that person's role read that section. So, A would get that line in parenthesis since Elizabeth is the "she" in that sentence. Does that make sense?

    Similarly for the “Disdain of All Restraint” recitation. One student would get Elizabeth and one Mr. Bennet and each would read their own dialogue in quotations, speech tags, as well as narrated thoughts and summaries of speech. Sometimes it divides clearly by paragraph, sometimes not, but it's not difficult to tell that when Elizabeth is done talking and a line says "He heard her attentively and then said..." should be Mr. Bennet's line.

    It might be helpful for the students to go through the recitation ahead of time together and figure out who would get which line and underline/highlight/otherwise mark their different parts of the recitation so they don't have to figure it out as they read or, if memorizing, end up both memorizing the same line or neither memorizing one line.

    Hope that helps, but for recitations it's pretty much however you want to do it - you could assign yourself as teacher all the non-quoted text, you could have another student read that, you could have them just do their own speech tags and another do the narrated text, etc., but I would suggest the way I mentioned.

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