How are individuals’ identities revealed? Are they static or fluid? Can elements of an individual’s identity contradict one another? How are these identities shaped by others? To what extent can people control the construction of their own identities? When individuals reveal different, unexpected sides of themselves, how can we discern between what is one’s true identity and what is simply role-playing? These questions are of great importance to high school students, who frequently grapple with issues of trust and consistency (in others and themselves) during a time in life which, for many, is chaotic, painful, and even potentially traumatic. I plan to use Shakespeare’s
as an anchor text in this unit to allow high school freshmen to explore, appreciate, and celebrate the ideas that no one person can be easily classified, that every identity contains layers of definition, and that these layers may contradict each other.