Saturday, October 29, 2016

Reading Period 8: October 28 - November 3: King Lear

Due Dates: (Adjusted for Halloween)
Quiz: Wednesday, November 2
Creative and Writing Assignments: Friday, November 4
History: Friday, November 4

Long Read:

King Lear, Acts 3 and 4

Short Read: 

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."

Creative Assignment: 

Create an illustration of lines 242-263 of Paradise Lost. 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. Must use unlined paper.


Memorize either Lear's speech at the beginning of Act III Scene II, or Satan's famous speech in Paradise Lost.

First choice:
Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!      
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, all germens spill at once      
That make ingrateful man!

Second choice:
`Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,’
Said then the lost archangel, `this the seat
That we must change for heav’n, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who now is sovran can dispose and bid
What shall be right: furthest from him is best
Whom reason hath equalled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell happy fields
Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new possessor: one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what I should be, all but less than he
Whom thunder bath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.

When you have memorized it, record yourself delivering it with gusto and enthusiasm, and post the video. Make sure you've actually memorized it, and aren't just looking at the words in some clever way, while making the video, because your fellow students and I will know. And we are judgmental.

John Milton don't care much
for the Church of England, see?
Writing Assignment:

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. Since the due date is Friday, you do not need to turn in your assignments on paper this week.


Choose any of the writing assignments on the left hand page of King Lear, Acts 3 and 4. Write at least 250 words. Since the due date is Friday, you do not need to turn in your assignments on paper this week.


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.


Watch this lecture on Milton's Paradise Lost, and answer the following questions. 

1. What was the source of Milton’s anxiety with regard to Shakespeare?
2. 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?
3. 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 ____.”
4. According to the speaker, who is the first “American voice” of rebellion and liberty?
5. In the dichotomy between Classicism and Puritanism, which one is human-centered and which is god-centered?
6. Look up “iconoclast.” What does it mean?
7. 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?
8. What is the religion of the professor in this video? If you need help, try Googling Bar Ilan University.
9. What is the tick and what is the tock, in the Christian tradition?
10. Look up “Midrash” -- what does the word mean?
BONUS: What is chutzpah and why does the speaker say Milton has it? 

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.

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.