Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Reading Period 14: October 30 - November 5: Jonathan Swift and Alexander Pope

READING

In your textbook, read about Jonathan Swift, read the Gulliver's Travels excerpt and "A Modest Proposal." Read about Addison and Steele and the newspaper essay excerpts. Read about Alexander Pope and read *about* "The Rape of the Lock." You do not actually have to read "The Rape of the Lock" but you should know about it and what it is.

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection: 

Draw a bestiary of at least four panels to illustrate the different exotic species (maybe even including humans) that Gulliver encountered. Your bestiary can include labeled illustrations and a brief description of each "beast."

History Connection:

Create a Prezi to explain one of the following objects of Swift's satire: England's oppression of their colony of Ireland, the feud between the Whigs and the Tories, or the feud between the Catholics and the Protestants.You can find out what a Prezi is and how to make one at http://prezi.com/

Writing Connection:


Write "A Modest Proposal" of your own, pretending to recommend some outlandish exaggeration to correct a current problem. You might advise putting shackles on school desks or muzzling children to stop them from talking. If you want extra credit, write in dactylic hexameter, like the original master of Latin satire, Horace.

QUIZ:

The quiz is over pages 372-401 in your textbook. 

1.How did Jonathan Swift get involved in political writing?  
A. The Tory administration found his talent for argument useful.
B. Sir William Temple helped his political career.
C. He switched from being a protestant to being a catholic.
D. He switched from being a Tory to being a Whig.

2.What was the overall theme of Swift's work.  
A. He wrote in support of the church and its clergy.
B. He wrote in artistic defense of the powerful politicians of the time.
C. Humans are a brilliant evolutionary triumph.
D. Humans are fairly disgusting, irrational, and base.

3.What is the point of the name Lemuel Gulliver?  
A. It signifies a flight of fancy, as a seagull.
B. It evokes the idea of being gullible.
C. It was the name of one of the members of parliament.
D. It is a reference to Homer's Iliad.

4.What was Swift's name for the filthy, brutish humans who were governed by the noble horses called Houyhnhnms?  
A. Yahoos
B. Whigs
C. Googles
D. Tories

5.Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal" as a way of drawing attention to the treatment of what group of people?  
A. London orphans.
B. The Irish poor.
C. The Scottish widows.
D. The Welsh working class.

6.Paraphrase the last paragraph of "A Modest Proposal."  
A. I'm happy to entertain others' ideas that present equally cheap and effective solutions.
B. If food for one year cannot be harvested from a one-year-old, then politicians can reject my overture.
C. Only people with children would be interested in this proposal.
D. Don't worry, I'm not trying to make money off this myself. I don't even have any kids.

7.Why did Richard Steele use the pen name "Isaac Bickerstaff"?  
A. It was the name of a serious 15th century playwright, and the joke was that he was back from the dead.
B. It showed that he was a good religious man, only seeking to edify his peers.
C. It was already a famous name, because Jonathan Swift used it to play a practical joke.
D. It was the famous name of a Leicester barkeep, so the joke was that this person was now publishing a paper in London.

8.Based on what you read about the Tatler and the Spectator, Steele and Addison, what is the "familiar periodical essay."  
A. An essay in a book, focused on a familiar topic.
B. An essay with a familiar, casual tone, published in a newspaper.
C. An essay about a familiar time period.
D. An essay written by someone familiar, published in a pamphlet.

9.What is the point of Pope's "The Rape of the Lock"?  
A. To satirize the epic poem, and show that Homer and Virgil were really silly, pompous fools.
B. To describe an epic, heroic event in trivial terms, to downplay its significance and increase its impact.
C. To shed light on the problem of haircutting violence in 18th century England, through satire.
D. Describing something trivial in grand, epic terms, to make fun of how a trivial thing is being taken seriously.

10.In "The Rape of the Lock" what is being compared to an epic battle?  
A. A card game.
B. A fashion show.
C. A dance off.
D. A musical performance.

BIG PICTURE:

The next thing I want to see from you on your paper is your first draft! This is very exciting. Bring TWO copies of your first draft: one for me and one to exchange with another student for peer review.

Reading Period 13: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe: Supplemental Posts / Lessons

Here are some of the assignments and discussions from our Google+ community:

1. READING THE PREFACE: What do you think Defoe was trying to accomplish in the preface? It almost seems like he's trying to deflect an argument that he anticipates or counter an attack that he expects to come -- what would that be? 

2. Here's a critical passage that's a little hard to understand. Anyone want to take a crack at paraphrasing it? 

"Thus I gave up myself to a readiness of being ruined without the least concern and am a fair memento to all young women whose vanity prevails over their virtue. Nothing was ever so stupid on both sides. Had I acted as became me, and resisted as virtue and honour require, this gentleman had either desisted his attacks, finding no room to expect the accomplishment of his design, or had made fair and honourable proposals of marriage; in which case, whoever had blamed him, nobody could have blamed me. In short, if he had known me, and how easy the trifle he aimed at was to be had, he would have troubled his head no farther, but have given me four or five guineas, and have lain with me the next time he had come at me. And if I had known his thoughts, and how hard he thought I would be to be gained, I might have made my own terms with him; and if I had not capitulated for an immediate marriage, I might for a maintenance till marriage, and might have had what I would; for he was already rich to excess, besides what he had in expectation; but I seemed wholly to have abandoned all such thoughts as these, and was taken up only with the pride of my beauty, and of being beloved by such a gentleman. As for the gold, I spent whole hours in looking upon it; I told the guineas over and over a thousand times a day. Never poor vain creature was so wrapt up with every part of the story as I was, not considering what was before me, and how near my ruin was at the door; indeed, I think I rather wished for that ruin than studied to avoid it." 

3. When Moll was a child, she was trying at all costs to avoid having to go "into service" and work as a drudge for a cook or maid. It's surprising to our modern ears that an 8 year old would be expected to get a job and earn her own food, but in the 18th century child labor was the norm, and into the early 20th century it was still common practice in England and America, and even now it is still a horrific problem around the world. Take a look at this article about domestic servants. Moll would have been taken on as a scullery maid. Look through the list of duties for each type of servant, and leave a comment saying which of these tasks you have at some point performed. 

4. Women in Moll’s time could either be a wife, a mistress, a servant, a criminal, or a prostitute. Given these choices, do you blame Moll for participating in prostitution, thievery, and strategic marriages? Really think about your answer, because it's easy to say "No, I don't blame her!" But do you really? Didn't she have alternatives? Was she really without options?

5. Watch this second episode of Harlots, Housewives and Heroines, a documentary about women in the time of Moll Flanders. There are five videos that show us this episode -- they're labeled 1/5, 2/5, etc. Watch all five and answer these questions: HHH: At Home 1/5

6. WEEKEND CHALLENGE: Watch a movie version of Moll Flanders. The one that seems to stick closest to the actual plot is a Masterpiece Theater production called "The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders" and stars Alex Kingston as Moll Flanders. The theatrical one with Robin Wright Penn and Morgan Freeman seems to have departed a long way from the original story. So let's look for this one: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders

7. In three words, describe the tone of the novel, Moll Flanders, in the parts where Moll is supposedly telling her own story.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Reading Period 13: October 23 - 29: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

READING: Choose your own excerpt!

The unfortunate thing about reading just an excerpt of Moll Flanders is that the least interesting part is at the beginning, and the most interesting parts are near the end. Therefore you are authorized to find a chunk of the novel to read, and read it. 

Here is a link to the full text of the novel. 

The first husband (the younger of two brothers in the family she lives with after her foster mother dies) is the least interesting of all. Skim that part. If you can make it down to the part where she goes to Virginia and realizes she's married to her half-brother, and the part where she ends up in prison, do read that. Here is a summary on Shmoop. Shmoop helpfully divides the novel into eight sections and summarizes each one. Use the links on the left to locate the bits you find more interesting to read in full. 

ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection:


The Least Provocative Cover Ever
Do a Google image search on Moll Flanders and take a look at the myriad book covers that have been created for this novel. Now make your own book cover. What will you show potential readers, to accurately portray what the novel is about?

History Connection:

Read this article about British convicts being transported to the colony of Virginia in the early 1700s. Write 250 words about this practice. You may include info about Moll King, the possible inspiration for the character Moll Flanders, and anything you find about Newgate Prison, where Moll was supposedly born. 

Writing Connection:

Write the beginning of a fake autobiography, from the point of view of someone very different from you. If you're a woman, make it a man. If you're a man, make it a woman. Try to develop a unique voice and style that sounds different from the way you talk in 250 words.

QUIZ:

The quiz for this week covers the readings from last week: Dryden, Pepys, and Defoe, pages 349-371. The questions for the quiz are located in the "Reading Check" boxes in the textbook. There are no quiz questions for Moll Flanders, since we may all be reading separate chunks of the book. You are reading on your own recognizance. Read responsibly!

1.At the time Dryden was writing, whose plays were most frequently performed on stage?   
A. Ben Jonson
B. Beaumont and Fletcher
C. William Shakespeare
D. Christopher Marlowe

2.According to Dryden, where did Jonson's poetic genius lie?   
A. Humor
B. Love
C. Passions
D. Tragedy

3.Whom does Dryden consider the most learned of Shakespeare's contemporaries?   
A. Asworth Hornsbottom
B. Mr. Hales of Eton
C. Ben Jonson
D. John Suckling

4.Which playwright does Dryden believe to have had the greatest natural gifts?   
A. Toadsworth
B. Beaumont
C. Fletcher
D. Shakespeare

5.Which classical authors did Dryden translate before turning to Chaucer?   
A. Homer
B. Ovid
C. Boccaccio
D. All of the above

6.According to Dryden, which poet does Chaucer resemble?   
A. Ovid
B. Shakespeare
C. Homer
D. Virgil

7.Dryden calls his readers "the jury." What are they to judge?   
A. Whether Chaucer actually wrote The Canterbury Tales.
B. Whether Chaucer should be translated or not.
C. Whether Chaucer is greater then Ovid.
D. Whether Chaucer is greater than Shakespeare.

8.What aspect of The Canterbury Tales most impresses Dryden?   
A. The way he was loyal to the monarchs of England.
B. The way he spread good ideas to the world.
C. The way he accurately represented his many characters.
D. The way he wove a compelling and pulse-pounding plot.

9.For which crime was Major General Harrison hanged?   
A. For his involvement in the death of Charles I.
B. For incorrectly translating Ovid.
C. For supporting Charles I against the Puritans.
D. For stealing a loaf of bread to feed a child.

10.Where did the coronation of Charles II take place?   
A. The Ceremonial Arch of Piccadilly
B. The Tower of London
C. Westminster Abbey
D. Whitehall Palace

11.What chivalric ceremony did Pepys observe at Charles II's coronation?   
A. The king's cook threw down her apron.
B. The king's footman threw down his hat.
C. The king's squire threw down his jacket.
D. The king's champion threw down his gauntlet.

12.According to Pepys, where did the London fire of 1666 begin?   
A. In the king's orator's house in Speeches Street.
B. In the King's baker's house in Pudding Lane.
C. In the King's shoemaker's house in Sole Road.
D. In the King's groom's house in Saddle Boulevard.

13.How did the Londoners try to bring the fire under control?   
A. Pulling down houses to stop them from fueling the fire.
B. Using water from the river to quench the fire.
C. Using chemical fire extinguishers to put out the fire.
D. Praying in the chapels for rain.

14.What precautions were taken by Londoners to avoid contracting the Plague?   
A. Cover their mouths and noses with masks.
B. Take vaccinations to create antibodies.
C. Burn or wash objects that might be infected.
D. Use alcohol to purify their hands and tools.

15.How were sick people restrained by the magistrates?   
A. They were tied up in their beds and chairs.
B. They were thrown in jail.
C. They were collected together and locked into cellars.
D. They were made to sit on the roofs of the city.

16.What was the function of the Examiners?   
A. To determine which medicines were suitable for human consumption
B. To determine which patients were qualified to receive treatment.
C. To determine which houses had been infected by the plague.
D. To determine which families were treating infected members with dignity.

17.Why did public officials stop enforcing regulations?   
A. The plague overwhelmed them, and they despaired.
B. Everyone was dead.
C. Everyone was cured.
D. People developed an immunity to the plague.

BIG PICTURE:

Your revised outlines are due on Tuesday! Read your source material, harvest quotes, facts and ideas, and beef up those outlines!

Reading Period 12: Supplemental Posts / Lessons

Here's the stuff we addressed on our Google+ Community this week:

1. Watch this video on life in the Restoration era court. Then answer these questions from the first half of the video, and come up with one more question from the second half of the video. Subsequent commenters should answer the new question above and add one of your own. 



A) What was the quickest way to the top for a woman in the court of Charles II?
B) What was the name of Barbara Villiers’ home when she was married to Roger Palmer?
C) Why was Barbara Villiers sent to tell Charles II to come back from France?
D) Describe the way the narrator dressed to illustrate the Puritan costume
E) Where did Charles II get his enlightened ideas about mistresses and court life?
F) Name one element common to all the portraits of Charles II’s mistresses.
G) Catherine of Braganza brought Charles II money and power, as his wife. What social institution did she bring to England? 
H) What poisonous chemical did women put on their faces as makeup?

2. Read about the Great Fire of London on the web site of the London Fire Brigade.
A) Who was credited with figuring out how to put out the fire? 
B) Which picture did you find most interesting and why? 
C)In a sidebar, the site tells us that what spies were suspected of starting the fire?

3. Stretch your Google-fu, and name three plays written by Dryden.

4. True or False? Samuel Pepys is pronounced "Samuel Peeps." 

5. Play the game, The Great Fire of London

6. Read about the Plague of 1665.
A) What caused the plague?
B) What employment opportunities did the plague present to Londoners? 
C) How did the fire in the following year actually help the situation?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Reading Period 12: October 16-22: Dryden, Pepys, Defoe

READING

Read the section titled The Restoration, read the entry on Dryden, read Dryden's "An Essay on Dramatic Poesy," read the entry on Samuel Pepys, read the excerpt from Samuel Pepys' diary, and read the excerpt from Defoe's "Journal of a Plague Year." 

This week's reading assignment represents a wig-off between these three Restoration-era writers. Who has the best wig? You be the judge:


John Dryden: Cool wig bro.

Samuel Pepys: Wig may have fallen victim to smoke damage.

Daniel Defoe: Wig master. Master of wigs. 


ASSIGNMENTS:

Art Connection:

Find a map of London that you can print out, and use it as a canvas to make an art piece about the great fire of 1666. You can paint on it, collage it, use pen and ink to add illustrations, or whatever you choose. You can also digitally alter a digital image, if you would rather work on the computer.

History Connection:

Write 250 words about how disease prevention has changed from 1665 to now. Consider what the doctors of 17th century London would have done to ease or prevent the plague compared to what is done now successfully and unsuccessfully to stop the spread of diseases like flu, rhinovirus, AIDS, etc.


Writing Connection:
Write a daily diary for 5 days, just like Samuel Pepys. You can focus on buying fabric for a waistcoat or fiddling for a dance, if you like, or you can include the normal details of your own life. Keep in mind that writing a diary gives future humans insight as to the daily happenings of people living in our time. 

QUIZ

This quiz covers the historical material about The Restoration in the textbook pages 327-347 and the questions can be found in the "Review" box on page 347.

1.What does the term "Restoration" refer to?
A. A progressive time of great revolutionary changes in England.
B. The Stuart royal family was reinstated on the throne after being in exile in France.
C. When a painting is damaged by age or wear, an artist can clean and restore it.
D. The Puritans were restored to power after the Civil War.

2.What published work marks the end of this literary period?
A. An Essay of Dramatic Poesy, by John Dryden
B. Love's Labors Lost, by Shakespeare and Bacon
C. Paradise Lost, by Milton
D. Lyrical Ballads, by Wordsworth and Coleridge.

3.Which Monarch was expelled in the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688?
A. Charles II
B. Charles I
C. James II
D. James I

4.Why was the House of Hanover invited to the British throne instead of the Stuart heir?
A. He was a Catholic.
B. He was a Protestant.
C. He was a Lutheran.
D. He was an Anglican.

5.What interests were represented by each of the two political parties, the Tories and the Whigs?
A. The Whigs represented the conservative, monarchist faction, the Tories represented the progressive parliament faction.
B. The Whigs represented the Stuart heir who was harbored in France, the Tories represented those in favor of George I.
C. The Whigs represented banks and merchants, cities and towns. The Tories represented country squires and their folk, who favored old traditions.
D. The Whigs represented the peanut butter, the Tories represented the jelly.

6.Who are the "Dissenters"?
A. Those who thought that cities shouldn't be allowed to get so big.
B. Those who remained outside the church during the highly religious 18th century.
C. The country people and farmers.
D. Those who opposed the prevailing political party of the time.

7.What became the social center for the middle class?
A. The coffeehouses.
B. The churches.
C. The theaters.
D. The bars.

8.What type of drama was most characteristic of Restoration theater?
A. Domestic dramas.
B. Historical tragedies.
C. Tragedies.
D. Comedies of manners.

9.What happened to the system of literary patronage during this period?
A. Writers had to earn their living without a government pension.
B. Patronage expanded and writers were kept in riches.
C. Patronage diminished and writing and publishing stopped.
D. Writers became their own patrons and paid themselves from collective stores.

10.What two revolutions were instrumental in changing the social order and ideas of 18th century England?
A. Industrial and Glorious.
B. Industrial and Italian.
C. French and Italian.
D. Industrial and French.
E. Intellectual and Industrial.



Reading Period 11: Supplemental Posts / Lessons

Here's what's been going on with the Google+ Community in the last week.

1. Watch this lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost and answer the following questions:




A. What was the source of Milton’s anxiety with regard to Shakespeare? 
B. The speaker shows a slide of a frontispiece from a 1695 edition of Paradise Lost. The publisher was trying in two ways to depict Milton as a classical poet. What two things did the publisher do to affect this portrayal?
C. Milton was “Sunday reading” along with the King James Bible in 17th and 18th century England. But the speaker talks about a duality to Milton. Finish the quote from 19th century poet William Blake that suggests Milton’s darker side? “He was a true poet and of the ____.”
D. According to the speaker, who is the first “American voice” of rebellion and liberty? 
E. In the dichotomy between Classicism and Puritanism, which one is human-centered and which is god-centered?
F. Look up “iconoclast.” What does it mean?
G. The textbook tells us that Milton studied at St. Paul’s School -- the speaker in the video tells us who the dean of the school was at the time. Who was it? 
H. What is the religion of the professor in this video? If you need help, try Googling Bar Ilan University.  
I. What does a clock sound like? 
J. What is the tick and what is the tock, in the Christian tradition? 
K. Look up “Midrash” -- what does the word mean? 
L. What is chutzpah and why does the speaker say Milton has it? 

2. Listen to this section from Book IV of Paradise Lost, where Satan is standing at the gates of paradise. 
(Here’s a transcription, if you need it:http://www.literaturepage.com/read/paradise-lost-40.html)



How are we, as readers, meant to feel about Satan at this point? How do you feel in response to this passage? Do you think it was okay for Milton, a Puritan, to make readers respond to Satan like this? 

3. Take a look at “On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three” on page 303. Milton writes about proud individualism subverted to the will of God. How does this poem reflect that? Use quotes to support your answer. 

4. Here's a quick one -- let's see who can be the first one to get this. What was the full title of Milton's pamphlet on the subject of divorce?

5. Read Milton's poem, “On His Blindness,” on page 303. Conquer this poem with a succinct paraphrase. Go!

6. Another quickie for those who are paying attention this weekend: What was Areopagitica about?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reading Period 11: October 9 - October 15: John Milton and Paradise Lost

Midterms are done! Every one of you got over 95%! Amazing and wonderful. On we go to the second half of the semester. Your next big test will be the final, and it will NOT be open book. In fact, it will be given in class.



Yes! It will be given in class and you will not be able to use your book and it will cover material from the entire semester! The good news is that you won't have to know a lot of dates. But you might have to know some.

READING: 

Read p 301-317 including the biographical info on John Milton, the two poems, the excerpt from Paradise Lost, and "The Language of Paradise Lost."

ASSIGNMENTS: 

Art Connection: 

Create an illustration of lines 242-263. Show whatever parts of the scene you need to show in order to communicate what Satan is saying. Use whatever medium you like, including digital paint, pen and ink, pencil, paint, chalk, whatever. 

History Connection:

Write a letter from Milton to a Puritan who is leaving England for America. Include, in at least 250 words, the reasons why Milton was against the Church of England, and against the monarchy. You may choose to place your letter at any point in Milton's life, but make clear from the content of your letter when it is being written.

Writing Connection:  

Write a 250 word description of "heaven" as you imagine it -- paradise in whatever religious or pagan vision strikes your fancy. Include all the senses in your description.

QUIZ:

The quiz will cover the 17 assigned pages and all the material therein.

1.What was the most important thing about Christianity for John Milton?   
A. The symbols and iconography of the church.
B. The close relationship of the individual Christian with God.
C. The priest as mediator between God and man.
D. The position of the church as a political power in England.

2.In 1649, Charles I was executed and the Puritans took over. What job did he have in the new Puritan government under Cromwell?   
A. Literary Secretary
B. Defense Secretary
C. Latin Secretary
D. Diplomat in Europe

3.What three words describe John Milton when he began to write Paradise Lost after the monarchy was restored in 1660?   
A. Blind, poor, secluded.
B. Blind, rich, politician.
C. Blind, respected, teacher.
D. Secluded, rich, poet.

4.What was the sequel to Paradise Lost called?   
A. Paradise Returns
B. Paradise Grilled
C. Paradise Found
D. Paradise Regained

5.What is the best paraphrase for "On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three"? Keep in mind that this was written just after Milton had graduated from Cambridge.   
A. I'm getting old, and may soon die, because the life expectancy in the 1600s is 30.
B. I'm happy to be so young, and young people are favored by God.
C. I'm already twenty-three, so look out, because God has big plans for me.
D. I may seem young, but inside I'm mature, and anyway I'm aging exactly as God intended.

6.What literary device is at work in these two lines? How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year!   
A. Personification
B. Metaphor
C. Simile
D. Synecdoche

7.What is the meter of the poem, "On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three"?   
A. Iambic Quatrameter
B. Iambic Pentameter
C. Blank verse
D. Scotch Diameter

8.According to the intro on page 305, which of these works did NOT have a strong influence on Milton's Paradise Lost?   
A. Shakespeare's The Tempest
B. Virgil's Aeneid
C. Homer's Odyssey
D. The Book of Genesis

9.What is the beginning of the poem, when Milton says "Sing, Heavenly Muse!" called?   
A. Prelude
B. Evolution
C. Invocation
D. Absolution

10.Just like Homer, Milton begins the action "in medias res" -- what does this phrase mean?   
A. In the distant past.
B. At the beginning of the action.
C. Looking back on the past.
D. In the middle of the action.

11.What literary device is going on in this passage? (lines 178-179) Let us not slip the occasion, whether scorn Or satiate fury yield it from our Foe.   
A. Metonymy
B. Assonance
C. Alliteration
D. Oblique rhyme.

12.Paraphrase the final lines of the excerpt in your book: "Here may we reign secure, and in my choice To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."   
A. Better to be your own boss in adversity, than to be an employee in comfort.
B. Better to reign over darkness than work for goodness.
C. Better to do evil than to do good.
D. Better to be secure and not worry, than to fight for freedom.

13.Milton messed with word order to create great sounds and complex meanings in his poems. What language did his writing sometimes emulate in word order?   
A. German
B. French
C. Italian
D. Latin

14.Who was the first being Satan saw, having been hurled out of heaven and landed in the lake of fire?   
A. Beelzebub
B. Mephistopheles
C. The Grinch
D. The Archfiend

15.What is Satan doing in lines 221-230?   
A. Falling down from heaven into hell.
B. Rising up on fiery wings to heaven.
C. Rising out of the lake of fire to fly to solid ground.
D. Rising out of the lake of fire to challenge God in Heaven.

BIG PICTURE:

Next week your outlines are due. 

Schedule your presentation as soon as possible. We need two presentations next week.

Make sure during light reading weeks like this one (You only have to read 17 pages! That's light!) you are spending time reading your longer works. Soon I will post a form that your mother can fill out confirming that you really read these. Don't be stuck reading Frankenstein over Thanksgiving!

Reading Period 10: Supplemental Posts / Lessons

Here are the things we discussed this week over on our Google+ Community.

1. Read this poem from John Donne, The Flea, not found in the book. Based solely on your reading of the poem, answer these questions:

A. Do you think this poem was written during Donne’s earlier period where he wrote clever, sometimes satirical pieces, or his later period where he wrote serious, often religious pieces?B. A metaphysical conceit takes two disparate ideas and combines them into one meaning, using imagery. For example, the conceit in “A Valediction” in our textbook compares two lovers to legs of a compass. What is the metaphysical conceit of this poem?C. Paraphrase The Flea in a few sentences. D. What do we know now about fleas that they didn’t know in the 17th century, that makes the message of this poem sort of ironic? E. What do you think of the fact that a lot of the poems that have been canonized as literature are essentially attempts by the poets to get women to sleep with them?



2. Read John Donne’s sermon, Death's Duel, called his “funeral sermon.” It was delivered by him to a congregation including the King of England, in the Palace of Whitehall, just before his death. How would this piece be different if you removed the occasion of the work and the biographical info about the author, and it was just an essay in a book? 

3. After reading Meditation 17, think about a situation in your life where you can apply this idea: Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

4. How do you, personally, respond to the speaker in “To His Coy Mistress.” Is there anything here that you can relate to? Do you find him to be pushy and repugnant? Do you find him to be logical and have a good point? How does this function as a pick-up line? If you’re a girl, would you buy it? If you’re a dude, would you use it?

5. Let’s practice biographical criticism on Ben Jonson. Using the internet and the textbook to learn more about his life, post a detail or fact that would be relevant to the interpretation of his poems.

6. There is a long tradition of writing poems that instruct people on how to live a “good life.” Which two poems, from our examples of Cavalier poetry in the textbook, engage in this work? If you were to write a poem telling people how to live a good life, and giving advice, what would you call it?