February 28

Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.

Romeo and Benvolio

Tonight, please finish reading Act I, scene i, (pp.17-25).  Then write a response here.  Consider the following question:

What do you think we are supposed to learn about the character of Romeo based on his conversation with Benvolio? Consider his speech, lines Act I, scene i, lines 181-185:

Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;

Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;

Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.

What is it else? A madness most discreet,

A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.

Be sure to use many text-based details in your response and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog #3
February 27

Throw your mistempered weapons to the ground, / And hear the sentence of your movèd prince.

Tonight you should read the first four pages of Act I, scene i, of Romeo and Juliet,  (lines 1- 105).  Please be sure to check out the verso (the left side of the page) for the summary of the scene and extra information about specific words, as you read.  Also, be sure to ANNOTATE, but keep it useful for you as we discussed in class.   Be sure to note special parts of the text that you found interesting, unusual, or surprising;  please also keep a list of questions you would like to bring up with the class.

Then, write your response here.   For the response you MAY want to consider the following questions:

  • How does the fight start?  develop?  conclude?
  • What does this tell us about the overall conflict?
  • How does this part of scene i establish the setting for the play?
  • What predictions or theories do you have based on the events so far?
  • How was reading the play different from the movie version we saw together?
  • How did seeing the movie version first change your understanding of the text?
R&J blog #2
February 26

“…the two hours’ traffic of our stage.”

Tonight, you will do some additional analysis about word choice in the prologue of Romeo and Juliet, but first please do the following activity. You will need your copy of the prologue and three different colored pens or three highlighters.

  1. With one color, underline all words having to do with love.
  2. With a second color, underline all words having to do with hate or fighting.
  3. With a third color, underline all words having to do with two or pairs.

Once you have completed this activity, please write an analysis of your findings by answering the following question:

In the Prologue, what relationship does Shakespeare establish between love and hate and the number or idea of two? How do his specific word choices illustrate this relationship? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

R&J blog #1
February 25

Shall I compare thee?

Tonight, please explain how memorizing your sonnet changed your understanding of  it.  In other words, you already wrote a blog explaining what you understood about both sonnets, but tonight you should explain how the experience of memorization and recital changed that understanding.  What new insights have you had?  What do you now understand?   In addition, however, you must respond to at least one comment on the sonnet that you did memorize.

Some questions to consider for your analysis:

  • What literary elements, such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, word choice, etc., do you notice and what effect do they have on the overall sonnet?
  • What is the most important underlying message of your sonnet?

As always, you MUST provide specific evidence from your text, proofread your writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  Please also respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Sonnet blog #2
February 15

Shall I compare thee to my mistress eyes?

 

Tonight, please write your response to the sonnets we looked at in class.    One idea for your response could be compare and contrast.  How are they similar and how are they different?

Some more questions you may want to consider for your analysis:

  • What literary elements, such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, etc., do you notice and what effect do they have on the overall sonnet?
  • What is the most important underlying message of your sonnet?

As always, you MUST provide specific evidence from your text, proofread your writing for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  Please also respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

Sonnet blog #1
February 1

Lennie, who had been watching, imitated George exactly.

Dear Students,

On Tuesday you will write a flash draft essay on Tuesday in class, after the vocabulary quiz, about one aspect of author’s craft that you have noticed in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.   So, please make sure you have re-read the ENTIRE novella before you write this blog post. Then write a paragraph or two exploring the ideas and evidence you plan to discuss in your essay.  Remember, it is not enough to have noticed a particular craft tmove, you need to develop a theory about why Steinbeck employed that move.  What lesson is he teaching?  What concept about human nature or the human condition is he highlighting and to what purpose?  Keep asking, “So what?” until you’ve come to some kind of realization you can share in your essay.

You may be wondering what I mean by realization, so let me show you what I mean in the next paragraphs.

I’ve shared with the class that I have thought a lot about the concept of hands and how often hands are discussed in this short text.  Not only hands, actually, but damaged hands or the lack of hands come into focus as well.  Well, so what?  Who cares?

A realization that I might discuss in an essay is that our hands are symbolic of our humanity. I believe I mentioned that what is often cited as an aspect of our anatomy that sets humans apart from the animals is our hands’ opposable thumbs (with the exception of apes — but there are no apes in California or in Steinbeck’s novel).  So, I would examine what each character uses is hands for and how he uses them.  I’d also look carefully at the scenes where Candy describes how he lost his hand and where Lennie destroys Curley’s hand, to see if I can find any further insight.  It seems to me that Curley is so nasty that perhaps he is punished by losing part of his humanity?  Or perhaps his manliness?  Oh!  And I have to examine that disgusting part about the vaseline again.   Anyway, if hands represent our humanity, does that mean that Curley is inhuman?  But he seems pretty realistic to me.  There are people  like that:  mean, nasty, always picking a fight.  So maybe it’s not his humanity, but his masculinity, in that sort of macho sense of masculinity?

In all honesty, I’m not sure that I will stay with this realization or theory, but I am going to start with it and keep asking questions like, “But what about…?” “Or could it be…?” until I find a theory I think fits the whole novel best.  And I want you to do the same thing!   (See the quotation above.)

But don’t forget the vocabulary.  I’ve made the quiz and it will be the same format as all the others we’ve had.

Have a lovely three-day weekend with lots of reading and lots of deep thinking.

With all good wishes,

Ms. Quinson

OMM#7