Frankenstein on Trial in English 10
Marielle Newton’s sophomore English students morphed into lawyers and the characters of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in mid-March, as part of Newton’s third-quarter assessments for literature. Observed by a jury of faculty, the lawyers asked each characters from the book three questions in a timed fashion, essentially presenting and proving a thesis. As part of the production, the prosecution had five witnesses all played by students, Dr. Frankenstein, Robert Walton, Justine Moritz, Elizabeth Lavenza, and Henry Clerval. The defense also had five witnesses, all played by students—Dr. Frankenstein, Robert Walton, Mr. DeLacey, and Mary Shelley, and Frankenstein’s monster. Newton, who portrays the judge in the proceedings, is taking a unique approach to teaching literature by asking her students to play the roles of a number of characters in Mary Shelley’s classic work.