Friday, November 10, 2017

Reading Period 10: November 10-16: The Odyssey

Good luck, Odysseus!
Long Read: 

The Odyssey by Homer, books 1-4 (The Telemacheia)

Poem:

"Odysseus to Telemachus"
Joseph Brodsky

 My dear Telemachus,
                   The Trojan War
is over now; I don’t recall who won it.
The Greeks, no doubt, for only they would leave
so many dead so far from their own homeland.
But still, my homeward way has proved too long.
While we were wasting time there, old Poseidon,
it almost seems, stretched and extended space.

I don’t know where I am or what this place
can be. It would appear some filthy island,
with bushes, buildings, and great grunting pigs.
A garden choked with weeds; some queen or other.
Grass and huge stones . . . Telemachus, my son!
To a wanderer the faces of all islands
resemble one another. And the mind
trips, numbering waves; eyes, sore from sea horizons,
run; and the flesh of water stuffs the ears.
I can’t remember how the war came out;
even how old you are--I can’t remember.

Grow up, then, my Telemachus, grow strong.
Only the gods know if we’ll see each other
again. You’ve long since ceased to be that babe
before whom I reined in the plowing bullocks.
Had it not been for Palamedes’ trick
we two would still be living in one household.
But maybe he was right; away from me
you are quite safe from all Oedipal passions,
and your dreams, my Telemachus, are blameless.

Creative Assignments:

Read "Odysseus to Telemachus" by Joseph Brodsky. In it, Odysseus addresses Telemachus from the island of Calypso, where he is losing track of time and his identity. Write a poem from one character mentioned in the Odyssey to another. You don't have to choose a central figure. It might be from Clytemnestra to Helen, for example. As with Brodsky's poem, make sure your poem clarifies the rhetorical moment. Who is speaking, who is being addressed, what the constraints of time and place might be, and what is the exigence or reason for writing in this moment.

OR

Mentor: "I'm not short, I'm a goddess." 

In book 2, Athena appears to Telemachus in the disguise of Mentor, Odysseus' old friend and Telemachus' mentor. Yes, mentor means "mentor" because of Mentor! This image is a famous illustration of the very popular French book Les aventures de Télémaque, written in 1699 by François Fénelon, archbishop of Cambrai. At the time, it was a political criticism of Louis XIV, and earned Fénelon some nice tasty exile. However it was a best-seller and even Thomas Jefferson loved it and read it multiple times. In this exciting tale, Telemachus and Mentor have wondrous adventures, until Mentor is actually revealed to be the goddess Minerva. Poor Mentor -- did he ever get a chance to just be himself? For your assignment, reproduce this illustration as accurately as you can.

OR

FRENCH STUDENT OPTION: Attempt a translation of the following bit from Les aventures de Télémaque:

Calypso ne pouvait se consoler du départ d’Ulysse. Dans sa douleur, elle se trouvait malheureuse d’être immortelle. Sa grotte ne résonnait plus de son chant ; les nymphes qui la servaient n’osaient lui parler. Elle se promenait souvent seule sur les gazons fleuris dont un printemps éternel bordait son île : mais ces beaux lieux, loin de modérer sa douleur, ne faisaient que lui rappeler le triste souvenir d’Ulysse, qu’elle y avait vu tant de fois auprès d’elle. Souvent elle demeurait immobile sur le rivage de la mer, qu’elle arrosait de ses larmes, et elle était sans cesse tournée vers le côté où le vaisseau d’Ulysse, fendant les ondes, avait disparu à ses yeux.
Tout à coup, elle aperçut les débris d’un navire qui venait de faire naufrage, des bancs de rameurs mis en pièces, des rames écartées çà et là sur le sable, un gouvernail, un mât, des cordages flottant sur la côte ; puis elle découvre de loin deux hommes, dont l’un paraissait âgé ; l’autre, quoique jeune, ressemblait à Ulysse. Il avait sa douceur et sa fierté, avec sa taille et sa démarche majestueuse. La déesse comprit que c’était Télémaque, fils de ce héros. Mais, quoique les dieux surpassent de loin en connaissance tous les hommes, elle ne put découvrir qui était cet homme vénérable dont Télémaque était accompagné : c’est que les dieux supérieurs cachent aux inférieurs tout ce qu’il leur plaît ; et Minerve, qui accompagnait Télémaque sous la figure de Mentor, ne voulait pas être connue de Calypso.
Cependant Calypso se réjouissait d’un naufrage qui mettait dans son île le fils d’Ulysse, si semblable à son père. Elle s’avance vers lui ; et, sans faire semblant de savoir qui il est :
— D’où vous vient - lui dit-elle - cette témérité d’aborder en mon île ? Sachez, jeune étranger, qu’on ne vient point impunément dans mon empire.
Elle tâchait de couvrir sous ces paroles menaçantes la joie de son cœur, qui éclatait malgré elle sur son visage.
Télémaque lui répondit :
— O vous, qui que vous soyez, mortelle ou déesse (quoique à vous voir on ne puisse vous prendre que pour une divinité), seriez-vous insensible au malheur d’un fils, qui, cherchant son père à la merci des vents et des flots, a vu briser son navire contre vos rochers ?
— Quel est donc votre père que vous cherchez ? — reprit la déesse.
Here's the entire thing, from Wikisource, if you want to try a different passage.

Writing Assignments:

Your writing assignments this week are from the midterm. They're due on Tuesday in class. Here's a link to the midterm so you can look back over the essay in which you identified the 12 elements.

MIDTERM: Now you write an essay (at home) of 500 words in which you utilize and label all twelve of these elements yourself. (36 pts) Description, Narration, Warrant, Cause/Effect, Induction, Analogy, Common Ground, Example/Illustration, Process Analysis, Classification, Definition, Policy claim. Remember to label your work -- you can do this after printing it, with a pencil or pen, or you can label it within the document. You may choose one of the following topics:
Production and sale of tobacco must be made illegal.
Monarchy is better than democracy.
Comments should be eliminated from YouTube videos. 

Penelope: "I'm just a REALLY slow weaver!" 
AP LANG: Write an additional essay of 500 words in which you take a clear position on the following issue: Does the author’s identity and biographical info validate or invalidate the content of the essay, or is it possible for the writing to stand on its own? As examples, use “Civil Disobedience” and “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Does King’s identity make his writing more valid? Does Thoreau’s identity invalidate his?

OR

Oedipus, Antigone, and Creon all break laws. Write an additional essay of 500 words in which you identify which laws they break. Explain who made the laws and analyze the respective characters’ reasons for disobeying them. What do the characters think of these laws? What does Sophocles think? Are these laws still applicable today? Is there still controversy over these laws?

So, to clarify: All of the students need to write a midterm essay, as assigned above, to be turned in on Tuesday in class. AP kids need to write the midterm essay to turn in to me on Tuesday, and an additional essay done in blue or black pen in your composition books (or looseleaf, whatever) chosen from one of the two AP options above. Time yourself at 40 minutes.

Paper:

Due Thursday November 16:
1. Outline Draft
2. Outline Revision
3. Half Draft with comments
4. First Draft with comments
5. Peer revision worksheet and marked up copy from your partner
6. Final draft

Please put everything in a folder or binder or in some way hold it all together, and make sure the folder and every individual element are all labeled clearly with your name.

Quiz:
1. When the Odyssey opens, how many years have passed since the end of the Trojan war?
2. How old was Telemachus the last time he saw his father, and how old is he now?
3. What goddess visits Telemachus disguised as Mentes, and what does she tell him to do?
4. Penelope is tricking the suitor into being more patient. How?
5. What sign appears from the gods during the assembly, and how is it interpreted?
6. According to Nestor, why did the Greeks split up after the fall of Troy?
7. Which brother did Odysseus go with?
8. According to Nestor, what happened to Agamemnon when he got home from the war?
9. What happy couple does Telemachus find in Sparta?
10. What news does he receive there about his father Odysseus?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Reading Period 9: October 27 - November 2: The Iliad

Long Read:

The Iliad of Homer, books 21-24

Midterm: NOVEMBER 9
Final: DECEMBER 14

Creative Assignments:

We are going to create a "monster manual" for a role-playing game involving heroes of the Trojan war. Choose ten characters from the war, and then choose whether you want to illustrate them graphically, or figure out their character stats. Don't limit yourself to just mortals. Remember, the river Skamandros becomes a character in book 21, and then there are the gods.

If you choose graphic illustrations, create square drawings or paintings of the sort you might find on card games like Magic: The Gathering. Heroic pose, action shot, or portrait. No stick figures, please.

OR

If you choose to write the stats, consider the following elements: size, alignment, stats (STR, DEX, INT, WIS, CON, CHR) hit points, skills, special senses, languages, special attacks, what weapons/armor/money/items they drop when killed, and a useful description of how they would behave in battle or negotiations. Don't get TOO wordy, but give whatever info would be needed. If you're stumped, here's an example of a Monster Manual entry from D&D. If you aren't familiar with RPG gaming, do the best you can. :)

Writing Assignments:

The Iliad is a popular subject for adaptations, such as the poem by Alice Oswald. Consider this list of novels and plays that have been written using The Iliad as source material. If you were to create a novel about some aspect of the story, for any audience, what would you choose to write about? You could pitch a children's book based on Xanthos, Achilles' horse. You could pitch a novel that focuses on the relationship between Zeus and Hera, with the Trojan war as a backdrop. Write a 300 word "pitch" in which you tell what your story would be about, what audience it would appeal to, who the main characters would be, any key scenes you can imagine, and your title. Make it sound great, as if you are trying to convince a publisher to buy it.

OR

Achilles' behavior throughout the Iliad is pretty questionable, but nothing is more questionable than his treatment of Hektor before, during, and especially after his death. Choose a side and argue persuasively whether Achilles is an arrogant jerk for mocking Hektor in death and defiling Hektor's body, or whether his actions are justified either by revenge or the emotions surrounding losing Patroklos. If you had to stand up in court and either defend or accuse Achilles, what would you say? Write a 300 word persuasive essay in which you definitively choose a side, and argue with recognizable rhetorical strategies.

Paper:

Your first draft is due next Tuesday, October 31. Bring two copies printed out to class. If you do not bring two copies printed out to class, you will not only lose points for not having a first draft, but you will also lose points for not being able to do peer editing. Partners will be assigned based on who shows up with a paper in their hand. If you're concerned that your printer might break on Tuesday morning, finish it and print it on Monday, or even Sunday.

AP Lang:

Read "Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau and come ready to discuss. Also do "Drill 2" that was passed out in class, giving yourself 12 minutes to complete it.

Quiz: 

1. Why does Patroklos say 3 people killed him?
2. How does Achilles react to Patroklos' death? Give two specific things he does.
3. Even though Achilles wants to fight Trojans after Patroklos dies, what problem does he have that means he can't fight?
4. Achilles' horse Xanthos gets to talk briefly. What does he say?
5. Why does the river Skamandros get ticked off at Achilles?
6. Hektor has been boasting about what he'll do to Achilles, but what does he actually do when they finally face off?
7. How does Achilles defile Hektor's body, and what is the reaction of his family members?
8. What does the ghost of Patroklos want to happen to his ashes?
9. Who goes to retrieve Hektor's corpse?
10. Which book of the Iliad contains the story of the Trojan horse?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Reading Period 8: October 20-26: The Iliad

Long Read:

The Iliad, by Homer, books 16-20

Poem: 

"Hector and Andromache" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She called this a "paraphrase" and if you flip around in this book, you'll find other paraphrases, including one of Anacreon, whose poem we read the other day.

Creative Assignment:

Create a portrait of one of the female gods mentioned in the Iliad: Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, etc. Use unlined paper and some sort of color medium (no digital!). You can imagine them in a traditional Greek goddess sort of way, or you can imagine them in business attire, or as part animal, or as an abstraction, or whatever you like, but tie in visuals from the nature of their godliness. Of beauty, or wisdom, or war, or whatever.

OR

Hector and Andromache
by Georgio de Chirico
Write a short first-person personal essay from the point of view of one of the Trojan women in The Iliad. Start with the word "I" and include confessions, thoughts, emotions, demands, and/or explanations. You can "place" your essay at any point in the story, but make sure you indicate in the title at what point it would have been written.

Writing Assignment:

In the ancient world, motherhood was a matter of survival, as the population was dependent on each woman having lots of kids so a few could survive and the state could flourish. In the world of Homer, women are treasured and respected, and while Zeus is a male, female gods are powerful too. On the other hand, women lead mostly separate lives from men, and though equal under the law, they could be passed around as war loot, or disappear into their husbands' identities. Consider one of the mortal Trojan women in the book, either Chryseis, Briseis, Andromache, Helen. With evidence from the poem, and possibly a bit of research into the roles of women in Ancient Greece, write a 300 word essay explaining her role in the novel. Use quotes, give plot summaries, and bring in your research as needed. Was she just a pawn, or did she have power? Was her personality or opinion important to the plot, or could she have been replaced by a treasure chest? If you do use any research, include a citation at the end of the essay.

OR

Given the following pieces of evidence, construct a 300-500 word argument that the Ancient Greeks and Romans actually made contact with the Americas well before Columbus. You don't have to use all these things. NONE of these things are universally accepted as truth, by the way.

1. A small terracotta head sculpture with a beard and European features, similar to 2nd century Roman sculptures, was found in an archeological site under a building that was built in 1476.
2. Pineapples, a new world plant, show up multiple times in Roman sculptures and art.
3. In the Bay of Jars in Brazil, ancient clay storage jars resembling Roman amphorae were found.
4. In 1513, mapmaker Piri Reis accurately mapped much of South America, and claimed that Columbus had a book that told him about lands on the western side of the Atlantic, which inspired him to explore there.
5. Pliny the Elder reports that a ship full of Indians washed up in Germany, having been blown off course by a storm.
6. The Olmec heads have African features.

Aphrodite, as a subject, has been done before. 
Quiz:

No quiz. Spend the time you would have spent on a quiz on writing your half draft, due Tuesday.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Reading Period 7: October 13-19: The Iliad

Long Read: 

The Iliad by Homer, Books 11-15

Creative Assignments:

While the hoards of Greek and Trojan fighters are compared in their number to swarms of bees, a lot of that swarm gets left on the field, dead. Write a elegy for one of the dead warriors. Use bold metaphors and stark imagery like Homer, and follow Homer's mood and tone as closely as you can.

For brave souls who would like to suffer formal constraints, write your elegy in the form of elegiac couplets. (Note: Not all elegiac poems are elegies for the dead, but yours will be.) Dactylic meter, in couplets of a line in hexameter followed by a line in pentameter. Good luck.

OR

The artist Matt Kish is currently at work on creating a collection of images representing all the people who died in The Iliad. You might remember Matt Kish from his illustrations of Heart of Darkness that we studied last year. You can see this ongoing project, called "Only the Dead," in this public Facebook album. He was inspired by Alice Oswald's version of The Iliad, which is called Memorial and boils down the poem to only the deaths. You can read more about Memorial in its NYT Review, which calls it "a poem that blooms out of slaughter" and I will bring my copy of this book to class for you to examine and read.

Here is Matt Kish's statement about his work: "My aim with these has been to juxtapose images of death and violence with text from comic books which promote a kind of toxic adolescent male power fantasy and to hopefully create visual tension between what the imagery communicates and the collaged text conveys. It's a kind of propaganda that will hopefully encourage the viewer to consider what is promised by those who want our young men and women to go to war, what the reality of war is, and the vast gulf between the two." Your assignment is to create an image in the style of Matt Kish, memorializing one of the dead in The Iliad, using newspaper clippings or other found words to augment your illustration. Here are a few examples of his work from "Only the Dead."





Writing Assignments:

Consider our civilization's fascination with war stories. The Iliad is one of the goriest, with the highest death count, and is by certain metrics the most popular of all time. Movies like Saving Private Ryan, Dunkirk, and Apocalypse Now, books like Catch-22, The Things They Carried, and War and Peace are among the most popular books and films ever created. Write a 500-word persuasive essay in which you answer the question: Why are war stories so enduringly popular? To answer this you will need to establish a warrant: what makes stories popular with readers? You don't need to specifically identify your warrant in the essay, but you should know what it is. You can use The Iliad as an example, or any other specific book or movie that you have read or seen. If you use other essays or articles to get ideas, make sure you reference your sources clearly. Your task is primarily to argue your own position, not to reference others. Figure out what you think about this question, and then construct an essay to support that idea.

OR

Same as above, but answer the question: How should war stories be told? You can find movies and books that gloss over the harsh realities of war, and you can also find movies and books that show war with gritty realism. In arguing this point, you will have to establish a warrant: what is the purpose of war literature? Should it be to glorify and ennoble warfare, or to warn against it? You don't need to clearly state your warrant in your essay, but you should know what it is. You can use The Iliad as an example, or any other specific book or movie that you have read or seen. If you use other essays or articles to get ideas, make sure you reference your sources clearly. Your task is primarily to argue your own position, not to reference others. Figure out what you think about this question, and then construct an essay to support that idea.

AP Lang:

Print out and fill out as much as you can of the data sheet for "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by MLK. Please make sure you've ordered the practice book, as we are soon going to begin tackling multiple choice questions in class.

Quiz:

1. What do Bienor, Oileus, Pisander, Hippolochos, Iphidamas, and Koon have in common, and what is different about Koon?
2. At the end of book 11, Nestor gives a big speech to Patroclus to inspire him to get the Myrmidons fighting. Give an example of one rhetorical strategy he uses.
3. When an eagle flies on your left, carrying a snake, what does this mean? (According to the Trojans)
4. Before Hektor smashes the gates of the wall the Greeks have built, another Trojan rips a hole in it. Who?
5. What god takes on various disguises to try and inspire the Greeks to battle in book 13?
6. When an eagle flies by on your right, what does this mean? (According to the Greeks)
7. Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Diomedes are all wounded. Agamemnon wants to leave, Odysseus thinks there's no way to get out safely. What does Diomedes think?
8. Why is Zeus sleeping through the battle, at the end of book 14?
9. Hektor leads the Trojans to fight the Greeks all the way back to what location?
10. What god is helping the Trojans make this furious attack?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Reading Period 6: October 6-12: The Iliad

Long Read:

The Iliad, by Homer, Books 6-10

Short Read:

1. Letter from Mo Willems, Lisa Yee, and Mike Curato to the Springfield Children's Literature Festival, October 5, 2017. Available linked from this Tweet from Mo Willems. You may also find it interesting to read the replies to the Tweet.
2. The response from Seuss Enterprises, embedded in this blog post (scroll down to "The full statement read:")
3. Responses of the authors, linked from this Tweet.
4. "Dear Mrs. Trump" by Liz Phipps Soeiro.
5. A Washington Post story that links all of these items together.


Creative Assignment:

The Iliad is full of excellent and exciting fight scenes between heroically epic characters. It's almost like a comic book about superheros, where you can hear the POW! and WHOOSH! and ZAP! Illustrate one of the fights (identify by book and line number which fight you are working on) in comic book style, including sound effects.

OR

A Pindaric Ode is a poetic form named after the Greek poet Pindar. (Read more about him here.) While Pindar wrote most of his work about victorious athletes at the various Olympic-style games in Ancient Greece (example here), you can write a Pindaric Ode praising anything. Try your hand at this form, taking for your topic any of the Greek or Trojan warriors with their flowing hair, godlike character, warlike demeanor, etc. Write as Homer would have approved, with exciting metaphors and thunderous sounding words. Your poem, like a good Pindaric Ode, should have a three-part structure: a strophe, an antistrophe, and an epode. (Read more about that here.) Dactylic hexameter not required.

Writing Assignment: 

After reading all the materials in the "Short Read" list, write a 500 word paper in which you analyze the rhetoric of any or all parts of this exchange around the offensiveness of Dr. Seuss. You might dissect each one of these documents, or you might compare the successful letter from the three authors from the widely criticized letter from the librarian. Note: This is NOT a paper where you argue a point or respond to the ideas in these letters. This is a paper where you analyze the rhetoric of the letters and responses. However, your intro should demonstrate that you have an understanding of the controversy and the events surrounding it, and the writers of the various documents. Words you might want to use: consensual/adversarial. Text, reader, author, constraints, exigence. Narratio, exordium, confirmatio, refutatio, peroratio. Ethos, logos, pathos.

OR

AP Lang Choice: In a 500 word essay, answer the prompt for the argumentative paper from the 1999 test that you were given in class on a piece of paper. You can also find it here -- it's question 3. Don't worry about the time limit right now, but do try to hit 500 words, and please write it by hand. If you have a composition book from AP Lit, please use that to write and turn in. If you don't, any paper will do.

AP Lang: Read "The Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx in your textbook, A World of Ideas.

Quiz:

Book 6
1. On what point do Menelaus and Agamemnon disagree, in the beginning of book 6?
2. How are Diomedes and Glaucos related?
3. What strategy does Andromache urge Hektor to adopt?

Book 7
4. We have another one-on-one fight! Who are the combatants this time and what weapons do they use?
5. Priam sends a message to the Trojans offering something and asking for something? What is he offering and for what is he asking?
6. Nestor has a clever idea for building fortifications. How will they be built, and who do they irritate by doing so?

Book 8
7. Zeus forbids the gods to meddle in the war any further, then almost immediately does what?
8. What sign does Zeus send to the Achaians when they're losing the battle?
9. How will the Trojans make sure the Greeks don't flee or raid them at night?

Book 9
10. What rhetorical strategy does Odysseus employ to get Achilles to come back to the war?
11. Does Achilles take the Greeks up on their offer?
12. Who stays behind with Achilles in his tent after the others leave and why?

Book 10
13. What trick do Diomedes and Odysseus play to capture the Trojan scout Dolon?
14. What do they do to him after they get their info?
15. What prizes do they bring back from their raid?

Friday, September 29, 2017

Reading Period 5: September 29 - October 5: The Iliad

Long Read:

The Iliad of Homer, Books 1-5

Note: Don't read the intro. We'll read it later. Let's read the actual thing first. You can read the translator's note if you like -- it's only two pages.

Poems:

"On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer" by John Keats

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

From Chapman's translation of The Iliad of Homer, Book 1

ACHILLES’ baneful wrath resound, O Goddess, that impos’d
Infinite sorrows on the Greeks, and many brave souls los’d
From breasts heroic; sent them far to that invisible cave
That no light comforts; and their limbs to dogs and vultures gave:
To all which Jove’s will gave effect; from whom first strife begun
Betwixt Atrides, king of men, and Thetis’ godlike son.
What god gave Eris their command, and op’d that fighting vein?
Jove’s and Latona’s son: who fir’d against the king of men,
For contumély shown his priest, infectious sickness sent
To plague the army, and to death by troops the soldiers went.
Occasion’d thus: Chryses, the priest, came to the fleet to buy,
For presents of unvalu’d price, his daughter’s liberty;
The golden sceptre and the crown of Phœbus in his hands
Proposing; and made suit to all, but most to the commands
Of both th’ Atrides, who most rul’d. “Great Atreus’ sons,” said he,
“And all ye well-greav’d Greeks, the gods, whose habitations be
In heav’nly houses, grace your pow’rs with Priam’s razéd town,
And grant ye happy conduct home! To win which wish’d renown
Of Jove, by honouring his son, far-shooting Phœbus, deign
For these fit presents to dissolve the ransomable chain
Of my lov’d daughter’s servitude.” The Greeks entirely gave
Glad acclamatións, for sign that their desires would have
The grave priest reverenc’d, and his gifts of so much price embrac’d.
The Gen’ral yet bore no such mind, but viciously disgrac’d
With violent terms the priest, and said:— “Dotard! avoid our fleet,
Where ling’ring be not found by me; nor thy returning feet
Let ever visit us again; lest nor thy godhead’s crown,
Nor sceptre, save thee! Her thou seek’st I still will hold mine own,
Till age deflow’r her. In our court at Argos, far transferr’d
From her lov’d country, she shall ply her web, and see prepar’d
With all fit ornaments my bed. Incense me then no more,
But, if thou wilt be safe, be gone.”

Creative Assignments:

Choose one of the thunderously beautiful images in the first five books of The Iliad to sketch in pencil and then illustrate in color. Use watercolor or acrylic paint. Some options:
the lines about the army being like bees, lines 87-92
"the shadowy mountains and the echoing sea"
"the rose fingers of dawn"
the description of Athene, lines 733-747
"the dark of the deep forest"
Helen's embroidered robe, lines 125-129
"within his shaggy breast the heart was divided two ways"

OR

Choose one of Achilles' angry speeches (like the one in lines 149-171, or 225-244) and think about Achilles' frustration with Agamemnon's judgment. How is that reflected in the text? Achilles is the last person to make concessions or try to appear neutral -- in fact words like "must" and "never" and nothing" tell us how absolute is his thinking. Write a poem that expresses undiluted passion such as this using this kind of vocabulary (never, always, must, nothing, etc) to make a defiant statement. You might start with one of the following lines, taken from The Iliad:

So I must be called
You shall take nothing
Never once have you

Writing Assignments:

The Iliad begins ten years into the siege of Troy. In a succinct essay of 300 words, give the backstory up to this point. You'll want to talk about Helen, Paris, Menelaus, Agamemnon, and Achilles. You'll want to explain who the Achaians are, and the Danaans. In short, catch yourself and then your reader up on the action so far. You'll maybe need to do a bit of research for this -- at least look it up to confirm your information, even if you know. Cite one source.

OR

Compare the beginning of Chapman's translation with the beginning of Lattimore's translation. The lines quoted above correspond to lines 1-33 in the Lattimore. Write a 300 word essay in which you compare the two translations on specific points of language -- word choice, diction, meter -- and also general impressions or mood/tone. Think of an interesting intro to hook in your readers, maybe referring to the Keats poem or to the events referred to in the passage. Remember to take your reader to a new place in the conclusion -- this could be an opinion/judgment in this case.

AP Lang:



Read "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King Jr., in your textbook. Then watch the above video and read the letter referenced therein, from Francois Truffaut to Jean-Luc Godard. You can read the letter here in a version that has some of the french words in parentheses.

These two letters are obviously quite different. Be prepared to discuss in class the rhetorical differences between the two letters, and connect them to the author's purpose and the author's intended audience. No writing assignment for this week -- just make sure you're ready for a robust discussion on Tuesday.

Quiz:

1. Who is the son of Atreus, and who is Atreides, and who is Agamemnon?
2. What has Agamemnon done to upset the priest of Apollo, and what did Apollo do in retaliation for this?
3. Kalchas is a "bird interpreter" who see the future, present and past by observing flights of birds. What is the name for this practice? (You'll have to look it up)
4.  What are hecatombs?
5. When Achilles says that Agamemnon "has taken away my prize and keeps it," to what prize is he referring? (line 356)
6. What do you notice about line 22 and like 376?
7. What favor does Thetis ask from Zeus?
8. Why did Hera get annoyed with Zeus for talking to Thetis?
9. Who comforted Hera?
10. Who did Zeus send down to deliver a message to Agamemnon, and what was the message?
11. What hero takes up the cause of arguing for staying to fight, urged on by Athene?
12. What two metaphors are used to describe the marching army of the Achaians, after the feast in book 2?
13. What message did Iris bring to the Trojans, and what metaphors did she use?
14. What does Hektor propose to the Achaians, in lines 86-87 of book 3?
15. What is Helen's response to Paris, after the duel?
16. The gods are wondering whether to keep the peace or start up war again. Who advocates for starting up the war?
17. How do the gods get the fighting going again, and what is the result?
18. Which gods are on the Greek side and which are on the Trojan side?
19. What special help does Athene give to Diomedes in the battle, and how does he use it?
20. What is ichor?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Reading Period 4: September 22-28: Oedipus the King

Long Read: Oedipus the King, rest of the play.

Short Read:

"Safety and Structure: The Debate About Homeschooling" by Charles St. Martin

"Every Little Girl Wants to Be a Princess, Right?" by Mariah Jackson

"Time for a Change: Legalizing Marijuana in the State of Texas" by Ronald Cummings

Please note: you should watch the play on YouTube whether you choose to write a creative assignment about it or not.

Paper:

Your topic is due on Tuesday in class!

Write a paragraph telling me what article or essay you intend to argue against, and what your position will be. Give me as much detail as you have about your plan of attack -- Rogerian, Toulmin, Aristotelian? Fill me in on the cunning rhetorical strategies you intend to use to win the argument against this article you've chosen. You don't have to give the article in full, but do link to it. If you can't link to it, describe it well including the publication in which it appears.

Creative Assignments:

Draw Oedipus' family tree and, below each person's name, do a little drawing to illustrate how they were killed/mutilated/plunged into the depths of despair. This tree should include Laius, Oedipus, Jocasta, Creon, Antigone, Ismene, Polynices, Eteocles, Haemon, and Eurydice. If you feel extra confident you can even include other figures not dealt with in the plays, like Oedipus' grandfather Labdacus.

OR



Watch the Oedipus Rex film version by the BBC, 1957. Please write a short response addressing at least three aspects which really struck you about the performance. Hopefully the visual and auditory presentation will accentuate certain elements of the play which couldn’t be expressed with a simple reading of the text. After all, this is theatre!

Writing Assignments:

The three essays you've been assigned as short reads are examples of the Toulmin, Rogerian, and Aristotelian argument structures. Read them carefully and think about the steps in creating arguments that we discussed. Create an outline for each one, labeling your outline with the vocabulary we discussed, and explaining the purpose of each paragraph in all three essays.

OR

Is Oedipus’ hamartia, or “tragic flaw,” his incestuous marriage and parricide? If not, what is his hamartia, if he has one? Aristotle said a tragic hero like Oedipus is one “not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty.” Does this hold true for Oedipus? Explain why or why not.

AP Lang:

Logical fallacies are bad rhetoric! You have had 5 logical fallacies assigned to you. Your job is to look up what the logical fallacy is, and give an example of it. Make sure you do your part so we can learn to recognize all the logical fallacies on this heinous list. You don't have to be super serious about your logical fallacy examples as long as the example teaches us what the fallacy is.

Evan:
Ad Hominem
Appeal To False Authority
Appeal To Emotion
Appeal to Fear
Appeal To Force

Benny:
Appeal To Majority
Appeal To Novelty
Appeal To Numbers
Appeal To Tradition
Complex Question

Nicholas:
Argumentum Ad Nauseam
Begging The Question
Burden Of Proof
False Dilemma
False Premise

Martina:
Gambler's Fallacy
Guilt By Association
Non Sequitur
Post Hoc/False Cause
Red Herring

Jasper
Relativism
Slippery Slope
Special Pleading
Appeal to Flattery
Appeal to Pity

Rachael:
Bandwagon Appeal
Biased Sample (Texas Sharpshooter)
Appeal to Ignorance
Division
Equivocation

Sarah:
False Analogy
Hypostatization (personification)
Denying the Antecedent
Affirming the Consequent
Straw Man Argument

Nathan:
Tu Quoque
Ambiguity
Anecdotal
Loaded Question
Genetic


Quiz:

1. How does Jocasta kill herself?
2. What does Oedipus do to himself?
3. Why does he do that specifically? Why is it ironic?
4. What is Oedipus' punishment?
5. Why does Oedipus have a limp?
6. Who found Oedipus in the wilds?
7. What is Oedipus' reaction when the chorus tells him it were better he had died?
8. What good news does the messenger bring from Corinth?
9. Why does the messenger's news at first seem to be such good news for Oedipus?
10. What does Jocasta think of the oracle's prophecy?