Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jane Austen's style--class exercise

Locate a passage which illustrates one aspect of Jane Austen's style: look for one of the following:
  • significant diction (vocabulary choice);
  • syntax (e.g. parallel structure within balanced sentences, use of relative clauses)
  • verbal irony used for satiric effect, esp toward a character
  • character revealed through dialogue
  • character revealed through narrative statement
  • a passage whose tone you can identify and comment upon
  • figurative or rhetorical devices
Create a brief comment on the significance of the passage you have chosen. How does it add to the overall "effect" of the writing at this point in the novel?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Final options--Hamlet

Final options

1. Test—of the kind you’ve seen from me before: ID’s, passages, short essay.

2. Essay—three pages on a topic chosen from one specific aspect of the play: a discussion of the stages and phases of Hamlet’s state of mind, drawn from his soliloquies; the purposes and functions of the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet’s relationship with Ophelia, the significance of one scene to the play as a whole, or a similar topic of your devising, chosen in consultation with me.

3. Performance—EITHER a monolog memorized and performed for the class, approximately 25 lines: one of Hamlet’s soliloquies, Claudius’ prayer, the Player King’s monolog during the play-within-the-play, Gertrude telling Laertes of Ophelia’s death. OR a video of a scene (20-25 lines times the number of characters), with approximately equal measures of dialog for each of the participants. The only caveat for this option is to avoid turning tragedy into comedy by creating a deliberately exaggerated or distorted version of your scene. In either case, the performance must be accompanied by a written copy of the scene, with subtext identified to show the goals of the performance.

Due Day 1 of next week for tests and essays (Monday for sections 1, 2, & 3, Tuesday for section 4), day 2 for performances.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Subtext Assignment--Hamlet

English IV & AP
Hamlet subtext assignment
January 2011
After reading Kenneth Branagh’s screenplay and viewing the scene between Hamlet and Ophelia, write the subtext for Act 3, scene 4 of the play.

Full text of the play may be found on the internet. Go to Google and enter something like Shakespeare MIT (here’s the link ). This will take you to the MIT website directly to Act 3, scene 4 of Hamlet. Download the scene onto a word-processing document and change the name of the queen from Margaret to Gertrude. You are responsible for the portion of the scene beginning with “enter Hamlet” and ending with “exit ghost.”

The goal of your notes is to make the subtext explicit. Subtext refers to all those elements of a scene’s meaning which are implied but unspoken in the text. It includes the characters’ motives, thoughts, emotions, gestures, movements, and tone of voice. (See handout defining subtext).

Add your subtext to the scene. Put your notes in a different type style from the text itself (italics / roman, boldface / roman, etc) to make them easier to identify and read.

Due Friday January 14.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two Hamlet links

First, the more serious, about a juvenile prison in South Africa where young inmates are performing Hamlet;

And second, an old comedy skit by the British group Blackadder (House fans will recognize Hugh Laurie), in which Shakespeare negotatiates with his producer over a new play he is writing.

Assignments, January 2011

Week 1: January 4 - 7
Day 2: Hamlet, act 1, scenes 1 & 2
Day 3: Hamlet, act 1, scenes 3, 4, & 5
Day 4: Multiple choice quiz, begin Hamlet act 2

Week 2: January 10 - 14
Day 1: Hamlet, finish reading act 2
Day 2: Hamlet, act 3, scenes 1 & 2
Day 3: Hamlet, act 3, scenes 3 & 4
Day 4: Vocab quiz lessons 13 - 14, Hamlet subtext assignment due for act 3, scene 4, hard copy and turnitin. com (title: Hamlet subtext)

Week 3: January 17 - 21
No school Monday January 17--MLK holiday
Day 2: Hamlet, act 4, scenes 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5
Day 3: Hamlet, act 4, scenes 6 & 7, act 5, scene 1
Day 4: Hamlet, act 5, scene 2 (can you guess in advance which characters won't die?) Multiple choice quiz

Week 4: January 24- 28
Day 1: Hamlet test, paper, or project (your choice)
Day 2: Pride and Prejudice, chapters 1 - 6 (please use the Norton Critical edition,
    ISBN 0-393-97604-1, as it contains background material we will use for
    class presentations.
Day 3: Pride and Prejudice, chapters 7 - 11
Day 4: P & P, chapters 12 - 17; vocal quiz, lessons 15 - 16

Week 5: January 31
Day 1: P & P, chapters 18 - 23

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Second semester readings

1. Hamlet, William Shakespeare (purchase a paperback copy today, if possible)
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (you should have received a copy with your books in August)
3. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad (in anthology, volume 2)
4. Waiting for the Barbarians, J.M. Coetzee (paperback)
5. Lyric poetry (in anthology, volumes 1 & 2)
6. The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde (in anthology, volume 2)
7. Selected novels for final paper (list will be provided prior to spring break)