Friday, October 14, 2016

Reading Period 7: October 14 - 20: King Lear

Long Read:

King Lear by William Shakespeare, Act 2


A few weeks ago we learned about 25 Steps to Understanding Poetry.
This week we're going to break up the poetry so each person is assigned a poem. These poems are found in the section on Metaphysical Poets and Cavalier Poets, pp. 263-293.

Metaphysical is better.
Metaphysical Poets:
Rachael: Song by John Donne
Martina: A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning by John Donne
Sarah R: Holy Sonnet 6 by John Donne
Sarah M: Virtue by George Herbert
Petra: Easter Wings by George Herbert
Carrie: The Retreat by Henry Vaughan
Nicholas: To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell

Or naw. Cavalier is better.
Cavalier Poets:
Jasper: Why So Pale and Wan by John Suckling
Benny: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick
Gerry: On My First Son by Ben Jonson
Jared: Song: To Celia by Ben Jonson

BONUS POEM UP FOR GRABS!: To Althea, from Prison by Richard Lovelace

Read your poem, do your 25 steps, and post the results on the Google+ Community. Clearly label your post with your poem's title and author. You must also read one of your teammates' poems, and comment on that person's post. Find some aspect of the analysis that they missed or suggest some further step they could take in using the 25 steps. If someone has already commented on a post, move on to one that doesn't have a comment yet.

Creative Assignments:

George Herbert's poem "Easter Wings" (p. 274) uses the shape of the words on the page to relate to the meaning of the work. See also his poem, "Altar," which does the same. 

The Altar
A broken ALTAR, Lord thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with teares:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workmans tool hath touch'd the same
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow'r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy Name:
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctifie this ALTAR to be thine.
Concrete poetry is a 20th century genre where writers used the shape of their poems on the page to reflect the content. Do a Google Image search on "concrete poetry" and then make your own concrete poem or "shape poem" in the style of George Herbert.


Create a Rage Comic depicting a specific interaction between Oswald and Kent, from the beginning of Act 2 Scene 2. You must use actual Shakespearean dialogue. You may use a site like to make your comic, and post it to the Google+ Community. If you prefer to draw your own comic in this style, go for it!

Writing Assignments:

How do you, personally, respond to the speaker in “To His Coy Mistress"? What about "To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time." Is there anything here that you can relate to? Do you find these poems to be pushy and repugnant? Poems that urge you to seize the day -- do they inspire you or make you feel resentful and belligerent? Write about the concept of "carpe diem" with regard to these two poems. Make the essay personal, and talk about how you feel about the concept. You can also write about how effective or ineffective it is to use a poem to argue a point.


Choose any of the "Write About It" exercises in your King Lear book for the second act. You'll find them on pages 70, 78 82, and 88. 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 this week is over the materials in pages 263-293. Send me an email with your answers, using the subject header Quiz Zombie Hotsauce Reading Period 7.

1.Who coined the term "Metaphysical Poets"?
 A. Samuel Johnson
 B. John Donne
 C. King James
 D. Plutarch

2.Which are the metaphysical poets NOT known for using in their work?
 A. Themes of love and religion.
 B. Metaphors and paradoxes.
 C. Clever language.
 D. Emotional confessions.

3.John Donne went through two phases of life. Which bests describes these phases?
 A. Soldier and diplomat.
 B. Poet and priest.
 C. Adventurer and poet.
 D. Priest and preacher.

4.What's that thing around John Donne's neck in the picture on page 264?
 A. A travel pillow.
 B. A neck brace.
 C. An Elizabethan ruff.
 D. A gym sock.

5.In the map of the universe on page 268, what error do you see?
 A. The North Pole is omitted.
 B. Africa is backwards.
 C. They left off the constellation of Capricorn.
 D. The earth is the center of the universe.

6.What vocation did John Donne and George Herbert have in common?
 A. They both preached.
 B. They both did oil painting.
 C. They both studied law at Oxford.
 D. They both wrote translations of Homer.

7.Which is a translation of Carpe Diem?
 A. Fish is god.
 B. Seize the god.
 C. Seize the day.
 D. The day of fish.

8.Who was NOT a member of the "Tribe of Ben"?
 A. John Suckling
 B. John Donne
 C. Robert Herrick
 D. Thomas Carew

9.How did the Cavalier poets get their names?
 A. They fought on the side of Charles I in the Civil War.
 B. They rode horses and wore feathered caps.
 C. They were very nonchalant about tradition and formality.
 D. They only carried luggage on Thursdays.

10.What do Suckling and Lovelace have in common?
 A. They both inspired clothing lines in Renaissance Paris.
 B. They both died as martyrs during the time of the Puritan Commonwealth.
 C. They both taught the poetry of John Donne at Oxford.
 D. They were both actual soldiers during the Civil War.


Watch the "Stuart" episode of this completely wonderful show, Worst Jobs in History. If you want to (and you know you do) you can go back through and watch all the episodes you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment