Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Reading Period 4: August 21 - 27: The Canterbury Tales, Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte D'Arthur

Another one of Cameron's illustrations.

The Canterbury Tales Prologue, by Geoffrey Chaucer. Intro and excerpt in Textbook. (Here it is read in Middle English.)

Gawain and the Green Knight, by Unknown. Intro and excerpt in Textbook. (Here's a theatrical interpretation that some students made as a class project. It's pretty awesome.)

Le Morte D'Arthur by Sir Thomas Mallory. Intro and excerpt in Textbook.



Julia Margaret Cameron was an art photographer who lived and worked in the mid-1800s. She was commissioned by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to create photographs to illustrate his Idylls of the King, a collection of 12 poems with an Arthurian theme. She also took photographs of Tennyson himself. Go to this web site and read an article about Julia Margaret Cameron's techniques and the materials she worked with. Look at her illustrations of Merlin and Vivien, Parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, King Arthur, and Lady Elaine.

Now take a look at this more famous collection of illustrations by Gustave Dore, created for the same set of poems.

Which do you think is a more effective method of illustration -- photography or drawing? Why? Write a 250 word essay explaining your opinion.


Use the internet to do some research on Myrddin Wyllt. Check out Geoffrey of Monmouth's Vita Merlini. Read about King Vortigern and the two dragons. Find out who Ambrosius Aurelianus was. Now write a 250 word paragraph speculating on the origins of the character "Merlin" in Arthurian legend.


Chaucer begins his prologue by listing people by profession that he saw on the road. What list might you make of people you pass on the road, by profession? List and describe at least ten, with descriptions. Your assignment should total 250 words.


Note: This quiz has fancy buttons that do nothing. You will still need to email your answers.

Which of these jobs did Chaucer do in his lifetime? Choose all that apply.   (Choose all that Apply)
A.Foreign diplomat.
C.Justice of the Peace.
D.Clerk of the Works at the Tower of London.
E.Sub-forester of the king's forests.
F.Horse trainer to the Duke of Lancaster.

Which language was mostly spoken among the upper class in Chaucer's day? (Hint: This was due to the Norman invasion.)   


What is the framing story for Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales"?   
A.People making a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral.
B.The murder of Thomas a Becket.
C.Citizens escape from the plague in the city of Canterbury.
D.Applicants are interviewed for jobs in Canterbury.


Which character is pictured here?   
A.The Knight
B.The Prioress
C.Chaucer himself
D.The Squire


Which character is pictured here?   
A.The Merchant
B.The Monk
C.The Nun's Priest
D.The Clerk of Oxford
E.The Friar


Whose shrine are the pilgrims visiting at Canterbury?   
A.Thomas a Becket.
B.Alfred the Great.
C.William the Conqueror.
D.Geoffrey Chaucer.
E.Phillip Mountbatten.


Which pilgrim is particularly concerned with table manners?   
A.The Pardoner
B.The Merchant
C.The Prioress.
D.The Yeoman


Which pilgrim has a natural gift for begging?   
A.The Physician
B.The Shipman
C.The Cook
D.The Friar
E.The Parson


What is a reeve, according to Chaucer's description?   
A.An estate manager.
B.A seller of pardons from the Pope in Rome.
C.Someone who summons sinners to a church to be judged for their sins.
D.The person who purchases food for a church, court, or college.
E.A ditch digger.


Explain what is meant by lines 731-748. Which of the following sentences correctly paraphrases Chaucer's meaning?   
A.I apologize for how rude some of these tales are going to be.
B.These tales are not rude; they're honest stories from real people.
C.Don't blame me if the tales are rude; I'm only retelling them as exactly as possible.
D.I'm making up these tales myself, and am solely responsible for the contents.


What is the genre of the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight?   
A.War epic.
B.Medieval romance.
C.Folk ballad.
D.Morality poem.

1 pts.
Each stanza (or strophe) of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight ends with a short line followed by four rhyming lines, illustrated here with lines 37-59. What do you call the last five lines here?   
A.Skip and purple.
B.Bob and wheel.
E.Frisk and whistle.


1 pts.
Why was the Green Knight testing Gawain?   
A.To see if he was as honorable as Arthur.
B.Gawain was rumored to be invincible.
C.His green girdle was stolen.
D.Gawain kissed the Green Knight's wife.


Where was Thomas Malory when he wrote Morte D'Arthur (Death of Arthur)?   
A.In the hospital
B.In Camelot.
C.In France.
D.In jail.
E.On a boat.


What change came over Arthur and his knights between their stories' origin and the writing of Morte D'Arthur?   
A.They greatly decreased in number as tales were lost to time.
B.They went from sitting in a Viking meeting hall at a long table to sitting in a castle around a round table.
C.They went from being commoners to nobles.
D.They went from being religious and pious to being bloodthirsty killers.
E.They went from being rough heroes like Beowulf to being romantic figures of chivalry.



It is very important to get a jump on your participation early in the week. When the weekend rolls around, I have been emailing those students who haven't piped up on our Google+ Community, to see if they are on hiatus. If I have to email your parent to see if you're on hiatus, you won't get higher than a 7 for participation that week. Squeezing in all your discussion to the final hours before the reading period ends at 1:30 is not a good way to engender lively discussion! To get the most out of the class, log on for a few minutes every day. Jolly good!

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