Thursday, January 31, 2013

Black Boy--chapters 5 & 6

Poverty, religion, racism, family: each of these forces plays a large role in Richard’s upbringing. Arguably, each is a source of oppression for him, an active presence which keeps him from developing as an independent, functional human being. For today’s entry, write a one- to two-page essay in your journal explaining briefly how TWO of these forces restrict Richard’s life. What effect do they have on him personally?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A few notes on Satire

Definition: a genre of literature, art, drama, film, song lyrics, or other media which points out the follies of the human race. Any abuses, corruptions or shortcomings found in politics, religion, social institutions, or human nature itself are appropriate objects of satire.


Goal: To hold up to scorn and ridicule those conditions in the world most in need of reform. In this sense, satire has a moral, didactic, or corrective purpose. To portray as shameful those aspects of human life and behavior which fall short of an implied moral standard of conduct.


Methods: To reach its goals, satire employs many devices of language:


First, irony: what is said in a satire almost always has another meaning.


Second, sarcasm: sarcasm and verbal irony are not identical but are usually closely related. In satire, the tone of the language is often cutting, scornful, in a word, sarcastic.


Exaggeration, understatement, and double entendre are also useful tools of the satirist. Wit and derisive laughter are used to shock the reader into recognizing the problem (even when the problem is ourselves), laughing at those who represent or embody this problem, and seeing a better alternative. Thus, satirists seek to mend or improve a fallen or corrupt human race or its institutions. Satire is therefore inherently moral, a literary offshoot of moral philosophy.


History: the term itself and early practitioners trace back to the writing of Roman authors such as Horace and Juvenal. In English, the first half of the 18th century is often referred to as the Age of Satire, because of the importance of two of its greatest practitioners, Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shakespeare--schedule for February

Thursday, January 31--Papers due, Merchant of Venice (+rehearsal time)
Monday, February 4--subtext due for performance scenes (rehearsal)
Tuesday, February 5--memorization quiz for scenes (+rehearsal)
Thursday, February 7--perform scenes, receive notes for final performance
Monday, February 11--final performance
Thursday, February 14--King Lear, act 1
Tuesday, February 19, Lear, act 2
Thursday, February 21, Lear, act 3
Monday, February 25, Lear, act 4
Wednesday, February 27--Lear, act 5
Thursday, February 28--final discussion of King Lear, choose performance pieces, work on subtext
Monday, March 4--work on performance scenes, memory quiz
Wednesday, March 6--perform scenes for notes
Friday, March 9--perform scenes for evaluation
Monday, March 11--??
Wednesday, March 13--in-class essay test on King Lear

Monday, January 28, 2013

Shakespeare--memo for Tuesday January 29

2 reminders:
Bring a list of 3 possible monologs or dialogs for your performance assignment; at the beginning of class we would like to get those scenes assigned.

Bring the file you are working on for your essay due this week (either bring your laptop or email it to yourself). We will give you some work time and want everyone to be able to use that time productively.

Thanks, KB & LCC

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shakespeare--Writing and performance assignments


Messrs. Burns & Coon

January, 2013

Paper Assignment: Close reading of a scene


TOPIC:           Choose a scene from The Merchant of Venice for a close reading. Once you have chosen your scene, look carefully at the dialogue and language in order to draw conclusions about the importance and meaning of the scene.


CHARACTER ANALYSIS:   Look for evidence of the characters’ deepest motives, the nature of their relationships with each other, the existence of any doubts or inner conflicts, how the play helps us understand their wishes and desires, how Shakespeare steers our sympathies as audience either in favor of or against specific characters.


STYLE & LANGUAGE:     As you identify the key aspects of the scene, also make mention of how the language itself furthers the scene. How do particular words, images, and metaphors help bring out the desired effect and enhance the meaning of key aspects of the scene.


LENGTH:      2 ½ to 3 pages (approximately 800 words), typed, double spaced, 12 point serif font, one-inch margins all around.


RESOURCES:  None, please. Read your scene several times, making notes of the patterns you identify as you go, then write your paper solely from those notes.


DUE: Thursday, January 31 (day 6 schedule) title: Merchant of Venice scene study.

Your other final assignment for this play is to select a monolog (20+ lines) or dialog (40+ lines) to perform dramatically. It's not a requirement that your performance choice come from the scene you discuss in your paper, but the two assignments could certainly be linked. We will give you more information, and time to work on both assignments, during Tuesday's class.


Readings--Black Boy

Chapter 1--due Thursday, Jan 24
Chapter 2--Monday, January 28; also vocab 17/18
3 & 4--due Tuesday, January 29
5 & 6--Thursday, Jan 31
7,8,9--Monday Feb 4; vocab books
10, 11--Wednesday Jan 6
12 & 13--Thursday, Jan 7 (vocab 19,20)
14 &15--Monday Feb 11

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Books for African-American Literature

Please purchase either a paperback or e-book of the following texts. When I browsed Amazon, they were all available at prices ranging from $7 to $11 each.

1. Black Boy, Richard Wright
2. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
3. A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry

4. We will choose one additional text to read together.
5. I will ask each of you to choose one final piece to read individually.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Books for Shakespeare class

If you have not already ordered your books from MBS, please order them right away from Amazon, B & N, or a source that can deliver quickly. We want you to have all your books by one week from today (January 11). Also, it's much more convenient if we all use the same editions; therefore, we recommend the Folger editions as portable, easy to read, and inexpensive.

The Merchant of Venice, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington Square Press
ISBN 0-7434-7756-1

Much Ado About Nothing, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington Square Press
ISBN 0-7434-8275-1

King Lear, Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington Square Press
ISBN 0-7434-8495-9