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Shakespeare Dramatic Foils
Picture Brainstorm • In a moment, I will present you with a short series of images. • You will have one minute per photo to write down your general impressions: what strikes you as interesting about the picture? What does the image remind you of? Etc. • Be prepared to share your responses.
Photo Discussion • General Impressions? • What was noticeable?
What is a Dramatic Foil? • The name “foil” refers to the bright metal placed under a jewel to increase its brilliance. • In regards to literature, a “foil” is any person who through contrast underscores the distinctive characteristics of another.
What is a Dramatic Foil? • A type of character who sets off--or highlights--aspects of the protagonist in a play. • A foil character usually has the opposite traits of the protagonist. • A foil is much like the twin character in class, rank, and background but has opposing characteristics that provide a mirror to those of the paired character.
Examples • Sherlock Holmes vs. Dr. Watson • Batman vs. Robin • Romeo vs. Friar Lawrence • Riggs vs. Murtagh (from Lethal Weapon) • Any others?
Activity • The FOIL Method (First, Outer, Inner, Last) is a process used in algebra to multiply expressions in two sets of parenthesis. • Apply those questions to Romeo and Mercutio: • a. What is the FIRST thing that you notice about the two characters? • b. What OUTER characteristic is most noticeable about the two characters? (i.e., what is less noticeable at first but apparent over time?) • c. What INNER characteristic is most noticeable about the two characters? (i.e., how would you describe their inner feelings?) • d. What is the LAST thing that you notice about the two characters? (what impression do you have of Romeo/Mercutio at the end of Act I, Scene iv?)