Friday, March 11, 2016

Reading Period 21: March 11-17: Italy

Long Read: 

Don Quixote, chapters 15-27 (Part 3)

Short Read (and Poem):

The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, The Inferno, Cantos 1-4

Creative Assignment:

Write an ekphrastic poem based on the painting by Matisse that we reproduced in mosaic form in class, "The Dessert: Harmony in Red." You can consider the painting itself, the process of breaking it into pieces, the feeling of painting it, the task of putting it back together, the experience of working collaboratively with your partners, etc. You can also consider the woman in the painting, putting your poem in her point-of-view or writing about her life.

If you would prefer, after reading Dante's Inferno excerpt, you can write an ekphrastic poem about Rodin's sculpture inspired by Dante, the Gates of Hell. Check out this information about the Gates of Hell, including the image of a bronze cast, to inspire your poem.


The Italian artist Sandro Botticelli was inspired by Dante's Inferno to create his "Map of Hell." It shows the famous levels of Hell that Dante described, in circles of decreasing size, down to the ninth level, which was for traitors. Take a look at Botticelli's map, and also the more modern map, from Infografika (scroll down the page to see.) Then create your own map of Hell with nine levels, illustrating the sins being punished on each level in whatever style you choose -- cartoon, video game, in the style of Dali or Picasso or Matisse, anime, or... stick people.


Trevi Fountain
Create a map of Rome like you did a map of Paris. You should start with the Tiber River and add the following landmarks. Search for images of each one before you draw them in, and find their location on a real map of Rome:

The Coliseum
The Roman Forum
The Trevi Fountain
The Spanish Steps
Piazza Navona
The Pantheon
Circus Maximus
St. Peter's Basilica
Villa Borghese
Castel Sant'Angelo

Writing Assignment:

You will write a short essay giving essential information about three things. You can either choose to write about the three Italian masters of the High Renaissance, or three regions of Italy. Your challenge in this assignment is economy of language, as you only have 250 words to give whatever information you feel is absolutely critical. You won't be able to include everything you find out about your topic, so you must be strategic and succinct. You must include a short intro and conclusion, and you much touch on all three of either of the following sets:

Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael

Tuscany, Lombardy, Lazio

It's perfectly fine to use Wikipedia as a source for this, since you won't have room to drill down into specifics and details. I will be checking your word count to make sure you don't go over.


Continue to read in your research materials, and make more note cards for your own use. Allow yourself to divert from your original topic and plan, if you find interesting information that leads you in another direction! Part of research is discovery. Allow that to happen, and if you need to change your topic, acquire new materials, pursue a different question, that's fine! The first draft of your outline will be due March 22, so you have some time to dig into your research.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the Mountains, by Honore Daumier

1. Whose fault is it that Don Quixote and Sancho find themselves in a fight with the Yanguesans?
2. Describe the confusion that happens in the attic of the inn. What mistake does Don Quixote make?
3. What are the physical effects of the balm of healing that Don Quixote concocts and shares with Sancho?
4. Don Quixote observes a glorious battle between knights. What is actually happening on the plain?
5. Who killed the dead man that's being carried by the soldiers to Segovia? And how?
6. How does Sancho trick his master into waiting until dawn to attack the waterfall?
7. What noise does Sancho inadvertently make that alarms Don Quixote in the dark, causing him to say, "What sound is that, Sancho?"
8. Don Quixote sees a knight wearing the helmet of Mambrino. What is the reality? And what does Don Quixote do with the "helmet"?
9. What does Don Quixote do about the prisoners he encounters, and what is their reaction?
10. What lie does Sancho Panza tell the goatherd about the saddle pad and traveling bag they find?
11. What does Luscinda have in common with Don Quixote?
12. Don Quixote wants to go mad and wander in the mountains. Give two things he believes are critical parts of this process.
13. What does Don Quixote use for a rosary, and what does he use as paper to write down his poems?
14. The priest and the barber plan what deception to trick Don Quixote to come down out of the mountains?
15. Who do they run into instead of Don Quixote?

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