The Alabama Shakespeare Festival
2009 Activity Guide for
Adapted from Alexandre Dumas' novel
by Chuck Morey
Director Geoffrey Sherman Activity Guide written by Kristi Wiley
Set Design Paul Wonsek firstname.lastname@example.org
Costume Design Patrick Holt
Lighting Design Phil Monat Contact ASF: 1/800/241-4273, www.asf.net
ASF SchoolFest is sponsored by a major grant from ALFA Insurance
The Three Musketeers
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pre-Performance Activities 3
Post-Performance Questions and Activities 4
Curriculum Connection 5
Map of France Activity (for Curriculum Connection activity) 6
Curriculum Connection (cont.) 7
1. Get Aquainted with The Three Musketeers: writing about this as a follow up.
Ask students if they have ever read the story or • Ask students to look for information on the
seen a film of the story. If any student has, ask Internet about the King’s musketeers at this
them what they remember. time. Get feedback from the whole class.
2. Discuss Background and Themes: 4. Write, discuss and predict:
Historical context: The play is set at the Write FRANCE, THE YEAR 1625 on the
beginning of the seventeenth century in France. board. Tell students that the story takes place in
Alexandre Dumas often mixed historical this period. Ask them to make a list of all the
fact with fantasy. King Louis XIII, Cardinal things they think will be in the play. Give them
Richelieu and the Duke of Buckingham were the example swords. Put the students in small
real people, and the fighting between the French groups and ask them to compare their lists,
Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots did take saying if they agree with each other about what
place. However, many of the characters and will be in the play or not.
plots in the Dumas’ book are products of the
author’s imagination. 5. Relationships:
Who likes / loves / hates who? Work in pairs.
Friendship and loyalty: The rallying cry of the
musketeers, ‘One for all, all for one,’ sums up D’Artagnan The Queen
their relationship. Although very different in Athos The King
character, they form a tightly knit group who Porthos The Duke of Buckingham
rely on each other implicitly. Ask students to Aramis Constance Bonacieux
translate the expression and/or explain it in The Cardinal Rochefort
Intrigue, action, love and blackmail: The play
is full of swashbuckling action, secret and open
love affairs and intrigue. Indeed, it could be
described as a pirate adventure on dry land.
The scheming Cardinal Richelieu and the evil
Milady provide the intrigue.
• In groups, have students find out as much as
they can using books and the Internet about
the Huguenots in France in this period.
Tell them that Cardinal Richelieu really
existed and that they should concentrate
their research on the battle of La Rochelle
in 1627. Get feedback from the whole class
and then ask the students to do a piece of
Discussion: Role Play:
1. Discuss students’ reactions to the play. Who 1. Ask students to work in pairs to role play
were their favorite characters and why? Did a scene in which d’Artagnan is challenged to
they have a favorite part? What important a fight. D’Artagnan does something which
lessons did they learn? Did the show meet makes the other person angry and after a
their expectations? number of insults from one to the other, the
two men arrange a time and a place for the
2. The three musketeers—Athos, Porthos and fight.
Aramis—are often thought of collectively, yet
each of them is a unique individual. Discuss 2. Put the students into pairs and ask them to
their individual differences. think about why the men at the inn laughed at
d’Artagnan’s horse. Then, Student A plays the
3. Discuss the significant occurrences (events, role of one of the men and Student B the role
happenings, adventures, coincidences) which of d’Artagnan. Student A tells Student B why
allow d’Artagnan, a simple young boy, to his horse is so funny, and Student B argues
become a man of position and power. with him.
4. Discuss the correlation between the duke
3. Put students in groups of four to role
of Buckingham’s love for Queen Anne and
play the following scene: Athos, Porthos,
d’Artagnan’s love for Constance Bonacieux.
Aramis and d’Artagnan meet again after 20
5. Discuss Milady as the pure essence, or years. They tell each other what they have
quintessence, of evil. done.
Write: 4. Put the students in groups of three. Tell them
1. Tell the students to imagine they are to act out the conversation between the King,
d’Artagnan. Ask them to write a letter back the Queen and the Cardinal. Remind them that
to his parents telling them what has happened the King is angry, the Queen is happy and the
since he left home. Cardinal is afraid and worried.
From left to right our Three Musketeers
and the young D’Artagnan: Nathan
Hosner (Porthos), Jeffrey de Picciotto
(D’Artagnan), Michael Daniel Anderson
(Aramis) and Chris Roe (Athos).
Foreign Language Geography
Brush up your French! Since The Three Provide teams with the map of France
Musketeers is set in France, there are many provided on page 6, a yellow highlighter, and
French words in the play you might now know. crayons or colored pencils. Follow directions
Define the following words: to mark D’Artagnan’s journey to Paris and
identify regions of France.
mon dieu beaujolais Directions:
merde seigneur a) Write “France” at the center top of the
gascon The Fleur de Lis map.
chevalier monseigneur b) Find Paris, in the north central section
rue carte blanche of the map. Highlight Paris in yellow.
au revoir merde c) Now find Gascony (D’Artagnan’s
the Louvre count to 15 in French home province), in the southwest
section of the map of France.
Highlight Gascony in yellow.
Science d) Draw a line between Gascony and
“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” Paris to show the journey that
“Diamonds are forever,” and diamonds are D’Artagnan made from home to
the world’s hardest substance. Furthermore, Paris. Use the legend to estimate how
diamonds are a huge part of the plot in The many miles and how long it would
Three Musketeers. All of these factoids are have taken by horseback.
common cultural knowledge. But do you e) Find Brittany, in the northwest section
know what a diamond is made of? Take this of the map. Brittany is in the top left of
opportunity to have your students look at the the map. Color Brittany green.
composition and structure of diamonds and f) Find Provence, in the southeast section
basic mineral structures formed by the bonds of the map. Color Provence blue.
in the crystal structures created by nature. g) Find Berry (Athos’ home province),
in the center section of the map.
Color Berry red.
h) Find Normandy, in the northwest
section of the map. Color Normandy
Also, make sure you find and mark the
La Rochelle Amiens
a) Write “France” at the center top of the map.
b) Find Paris, in the north central section of the map. Highlight Paris in yellow.
c) Now find Gascony (D’Artagnan’s home province), in the southwest section of the map of France.
Highlight Gascony in yellow.
d) Draw a line between Gascony and Paris to show the journey that D’Artagnan made from home to Paris.
Use the legend to estimate how many miles and how long it would have taken for D’Artagnan to
get to Paris by horseback.
e) Find Brittany, in the northwest section of the map. Color Brittany green.
f) Find Provence, in the southeast section of the map. Color Provence blue.
g) Find Berry (Athos’ home province), in the center section of the map. Color Berry red.
h) Find Normandy, in the northwest section of the map. Color Normandy orange.
Also, make sure you find and mark the following locales; they are central to the action of the play:
La Rochelle Amiens
Social Studies Athos is always on the “right” side of the law.
Throughout history the story of a secret fan Example 2: Find the area of a right triangle
language has been passed on from generation with a base of 6 centimeters and a height of 9
to generation. During this time period, it was centimeters.
very fashionable for ladies to carry a fan, and
Milady de Winter carries one throughout the
show. Research the secret language of the fan
and then have students pair up and tell a story Solution:
using only a fan. A = · (6 cm) · (9 cm)
A = · (54 cm2)
The examples below will get you started: A = 27 cm2
• THE FAN PLACED NEAR THE HEART: Porthos’ love of chicken makes him “obtuse.”
“You have won my love.” Example 3: Find the area of an obtuse
• TOUCHING THE FINGER TO THE TIP triangle with a base of 5 inches and a height of
OF THE FAN: “I wish to speak with you.”
• LETTING THE FAN REST ON THE
RIGHT CHEEK: “Yes.”
• LETTING THE FAN REST ON THE LEFT
CHEEK: “No.” Solution:
A = · (5 in) · (8 in)
Math/Geometry A = · (40 in2)
Athos, Porthos and Aramis are as different A = 20 in2
as the three types of triangles. Study
triangles Three Musketeers style! English/Creative Writing
2. Write on the relationship between adventure,
Aramis has an “acute” eye for pretty women! intrigue, love, and mystery throughout the
Example 1: Find the area of an acute triangle play.
with a base of 15 inches and a height of 4
A = · (15 in) · (4 in) Anderson
A = · (60 in2) Hosner (Porthos),
and Chris Roe
A = 30 in2 (Athos).
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