Friday, October 7, 2016

Reading Period 6: October 7 - 13: King Lear

Long Read: 

King Lear, Act 1

Poetry: Sonnets

Sonnets by Spenser and Sidney: pp. 154-159
Sonnets by William Shakespeare: pp. 164-173

Read the poems and watch these videos:

Guess what? You're going to choose one of these sonnets to memorize. Yes, you. Yes, memorize. Already have one memorized? Good for you! Pick one you DON'T have memorized. If you don't have one chosen when you come to class, one will be assigned to you. You have until the last day of this semester to memorize it. GO!

Creative Assignments:

You've read some sonnets. You've learned about meter and rhyme scheme. You know what's next! Write a sonnet! Use the English form: Three quatrains and a couplet. ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Need inspiration? Try starting with any random line that strikes your fancy in one of Shakespeare's sonnets. Try dedicating a sonnet to your favorite food. Try writing, instead of a love sonnet, a loathing sonnet. Have fun with it and learn about the form from the inside out.


Create a full color illustration for one of the sonnets in the book. Can be any sonnet, pages 152-169. Incorporate the text of the sonnet into the illustration. Use as your inspiration the book Shakespeare's Love Sonnets, illustrated by Caitlin Keegan. 

Writing Assignments:

Read a bit more about The Great Chain of Being, an idea presented in your textbook (p. 139) as part of the Elizabethan World Picture. Using this article as well as the Wikipedia article and your textbook, write a 250 word essay explaining why the sonnet form was so attractive and satisfying to the Renaissance thinkers and artists. Your essay should explain the Great Chain of Being, explain the sonnet form, and then connect the two. A place for everything and everything in its place, right? Hey, Dante even ordered Hell!


Choose any of the "Write About It" exercises in your King Lear book for the first act. You'll find them on pages 12, 26, 28, 40, and 50. When  you post your assignment to the Google+ Community, please clarify which writing assignment you did. It would be helpful to give the assignment first, before you show your work. Make sure you remember to print a copy to turn in on Thursday.


The quiz is OPEN BOOK! The material covered by this quiz appears in your textbook on pages 164-165, in the video on Shakespeare's page on, and in the five pages of text on that site. Here is the link.

I recommend that you read the material, read over the quiz questions, then start the video and take the quiz using the pause button.

1.What was Shakespeare's education?
 A. Attended university at Oxford.
 B. Educated in a local grammar school.
 C. Educated at a monastery and divinity school.
 D. Educated at Eton and Cambridge.
 E. Attended a trade school for actors and theater managers.

2.How do we know that by 1592 Shakespeare was in London, working as an actor and playwright?
 A. In that year he started his theater company, The Lord Chamberlain's Men
 B. In that year he sold his house in Stratford.
 C. In that year another playwright rival wrote something critical of him.
 D. In that year, the plague broke out.
 E. In that year, he published a play: The Comedy of Errors.

3.Why did Shakespeare's acting company change its name from The Lord Chamberlain's Men to The King's Men?
 A. James I came to the throne in 1603 and took over the company as his own.
 B. The Lord Chamberlain died.
 C. Queen Elizabeth demanded it.
 D. The Lord Chamberlain's Men was too long to fit on playbills.
 E. They admitted women into the company.

4.Refer to the list of Shakespeare plays in your textbook to answer this question. Which of these plays did Shakespeare NOT write?
 A. Love's Labor Lost
 B. The Merchant of Venice
 C. Julius Caesar
 D. Henry VIII
 E. Dido Queen of Carthage

5.What was the first publication of 36 of his plays called?
 A. Shakespeare's Greatest Hits
 B. The First Folio
 C. 36 Plays for Elizabethans
 D. Dramatis Personae
 E. The First Collection

6.In the textbook, Shakespeare's plays are divided into three types: tragedy, comedy, and romance. But in the video, the scholar says Shakespeare's plays can be separated into what four types?
 A. Mystery, romance, science fiction, horror.
 B. Historical comedy, historical tragedy, comedy, tragedy.
 C. Morality plays, romances, tragedies, and comedies.
 D. Histories, comedies, tragedies, and tragicomedies.
 E. Histories, horror, romance, comedy.

7.What was the name of Shakespeare's son who died at age 11?
 A. Harnet
 B. Macneth
 C. Macbeth
 D. Hamlet
 E. Hamnet

8.Why did Shakespeare dedicate his poems "Venus and Adonis and "The Rape of Lucrece" to the Earl of Southampton?
 A. Because he was trying to entice the Earl to come to the theater.
 B. Because he needed money, and the Earl was his patron.
 C. Because he and the Earl were friends in London.
 D. Because his rival, Christopher Marlowe, had dedicated poems to him.
 E. Because the Earl was from Shakespeare's hometown, Stratford.

9.Shakespeare and his partners opened a theater on the south bank of the Thames river. What was it called?
 A. The King's House
 B. The Rose
 C. The Friar
 D. The Globe
 E. The Bob and Wheel

10.Page 4 of the essay on brings up questions about the actual authorship of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. Which of these is NOT a reason that people suspect that William Shakespeare from Stratford did not write the plays?

 A. The language style of his letters does not match the style of his plays.
 B. He only had a grammar school education.
 C. Official records of him don't mention him being an actor or playwright.
 D. There are similarities between his poems and the works of Edward de Vere.
 E. He hadn't been exposed to aristocratic society.


Read pp. 247-309 in Rebecca Fraser's The Story of Britain. Answer the questions here, and send them to me in an email with the subject header History Zombie Hotsauce Reading Period 6.

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