Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reading Period 4: Supplemental Posts / Lessons

Here are some of the discussions we took up on our Google+ Community.

1. First person to leave a comment: Divide the characters of The Canterbury Tales into their three groups: Feudal, Ecclesiastical, and Urban. Following people: Look at the list. Is it correct? If yes, +1 the comment. If no, enter a new list.

2. In this documentary, British poet Simon Armitage takes a journey through the real life settings of this medieval work, and the result is fascinating! Watch this BBC documentary about Gawain and the Green Knight and answer the following questions:

1. The narrator of this documentary is himself a poet. He says the ancient Brits were “causing trouble and tormenting turbulent times.” This line is an example of what poetic device?
2. Into how many acts (or sections) is Gawain and the Green Knight divided?
3. What is the Green Knight’s challenge to the knights of King Arthur’s court?
4. What does Simon Armitage say is the difference between his translation and other modern translations?
5. Armitage compares the “noise” of Middle English to what other noise?
6. Armitage speculates that the “giants” hard on Gawain’s heels might have been a metaphor for what?
7. Where does the village of Holywell get its name? (You can find out more about this here (http://www.saintwinefrideswell.com/) and actually follow St. Winefride’s well on Twitter.)
8. What experience does the Green Knight share with St. Winefrides, that leads Armitage to believe her story may have inspired the idea of the Green Knight's challenge?
9. Gawain may have found shelter at Beeston Castle, overlooking the Cheshire plain. It’s now an English Heritage Site. Find a picture of it on the internet and post the link.
10. While Lady Bertilak is attempting to seduce Gawain in the castle, what is Lord Bertilak out doing?
11. What does Lady Bertilak give to Gawain?
12. What natural landmark is mentioned in the poem that allows modern scholars to place it exactly in a particular valley in England? (Hint: Here’s a page that gives a climber’s guide to exploring the region, including a photo or Rockhall Cottage, where Simon Armitage stayed overnight, and Lud’s Church where the chapel is thought to be. http://jimjarratt.co.uk/follies/page61.html)
13. What other feature of the language itself places the poem geographically?
14. How many times does the Green Knight hack at Gawain’s neck?
15. What do you think of the rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack of this documentary? It’s a little different from the harps and flutes and “medievally” music you might expect. Do you think it works?

3. Listen to the first 18 lines of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English in the following videos. Tell me a rule of pronunciation you can deduce from listening to the videos and looking at the Middle English written out on p 58.

Here's one version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QE0MtENfOMU

Here's another version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lGJntNFFqo

4. How does Arthur’s behavior in the Morte D’Arthur excerpt compare with Chaucer’s description of The Knight’s behavior in The Canterbury Tales?

5. Do you think it’s wise for Arthur to promise The Lady of the Lake a return gift without specifying any parameters for what this gift might be? What do you think it will be? Does this remind you of any other folk tale?

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