Lesson Plan

Dramatic Perspective in Moby Dick

A instructional activity on Herman Melville's Moby Dick asks readers to compare the first person point of view of Ishmael in Chapter 1 to Captain Ahab's dramatic monologue in Chapter 37. Readers cite evidence from the chapters to support their analysis of Ahab as a foil to Ishmael.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Begin the lesson by asking class members to brainstorm a list of character foils in other works they have read (Gene and Phineas, Othello and Iago, etc.)
  • If pupils are unfamiliar with dramatic monologues, conduct a mini-lesson using either Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess" and/or Shelley's "Ozymandias" to introduce the conventions of the form
Classroom Considerations
  • The second of three lessons in a Moby Dick unit
  • Requires copies of two worksheets
  • Includes teacher versions of the two worksheets
  • None
Common Core