1. Read this wonderful essay by British scholar Keith Sagar. It's a PDF, and should show up in your browser just fine. When you've read and understood the essay, give me three examples of dualistic thinking in our contemporary society that might have been called out by Blake. If you have any questions on the essay, please ask!
2. Watch this documentary about our friend William Blake (read the Blake part of the assignment in the textbook first!) and then answer true or false on the following statements.
3. Based on Johnson’s definition for “tory” and “whig,” which one do you think he was? Does this reflect a bias in his dictionary that throws the rest of the work into suspicion?
4. Samuel Johnson wrote definitions for words that reflected the usage of his times, but aren't necessarily useful to us now. What new words do we have to put in dictionaries that he wouldn't have known about?
Define the following terms, in the style of Johnson's dictionary, giving example sentences for each.
Add your own word to the list for the next person to define...
5. Comparing Burns’ use of casual Scottish dialect with the refined, intellectual discourse of Pope and Swift, which do you prefer?
6. Do you think it’s possible for a non-Scottish person to read Burns’ poems out loud? Do you think that this limits or enhances their effect? Do you think this limits or enhances his importance as a poet?
7. Based only on the names of the two collections, which do you think you will prefer: Songs of Innocence or Songs of Experience? And why?
8. Without looking it up, say which collection you would expect to find each of these poems in -- Songs of Innocence or Songs of Experience?
A) The Angel
B) My Pretty Rose Tree
C) The Schoolboy
E) On Another’s Sorrow
F) The Little Boy Lost
9. CHALLENGE: Tomorrow, anyone who will agree to read a Robert Burns poem aloud will receive candy. Here's some inspiration -- one of Robert Burns' most famous poems read aloud.