all the worlds a stageThe advent of feminism and psychoanalytic criticism in the 20th century has forever influenced the way we look at Hamlet; therefore, we’ll be looking at the women of Hamlet through these lenses and discussing the retroactive interpretation many directors have placed on the play as a result.

We’ll be looking at the 1990 Zeffirelli, 1996 Branagh, and 2010 RSC/Doran versions of act 3, scene 1, “Get thee to a nunnery”; act 3, scene 4, Gertrude’s closet; and act 4, scene 5, Ophelia’s madness.

Hit more to see the handout and some of the videos.

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Ophelia Drowning by Paul Albert Steck

In addition to the Depicting Ophelia Power Point we saw in class, there are numerous depictions of Ophelia in art and pop culture — in fact, one could argue that her watery death has become a common trope.

Here are a few links for those of you who might be interested in looking into it further:

Shakespeare Illustrated, Ophelia

Ophelia and pop culture: tons of cool stuff here including video slide shows

a possible source story for Ophelia’s death (spoiler alert, it may have been Shakespeare’s cousin!  What a way to be immortalized)

Then there’s this scholarly article, “Reading Ophelia’s Madness”

. . . And that’s just scratching the surface.


Posted: March 27, 2017 in English 11 Honors

If you missed a day and need the Clue activity from class, here it is: Clue Murder Suspects.  Don’t forget to differentiate between fact, conjecture, and bias when building your arguments.  Click below for the further clues that were revealed in class each day. Read the rest of this entry »

insantiyAs we begin reading Hamlet, I thought I’d highlight just a few of the numerous resources on the play:

Chop Bard is an entertaining podcast (well, at least to lit nerds like me) that you can listen to online or download in itunes.    If you’re looking online, scroll down to Hamlet, which begins with episode 21.


Another great audio source is  Librivox has hundreds of open source titles available as audiobooks for free.  The readings are by volunteers, so some are better than others.  The three versions of Hamlet they offer aren’t the greatest recordings I’ve found on Librivox (Elizabeth Klett’s Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Turn of the Screw are fantastic), but they might be helpful.

Listening while reading can really help speed up annotations.  Click through the page break for more:

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English 11 Persuasive Essay

Posted: March 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

The culmination of our rhetoric and persuasion unit is the Persuasive writing essay assignment.  If you’re still struggling with MLA format, look back to your Essay Writing Overview and Purdue OWL.  You must bring a first draft to class on Monday, 3/27 (it may be handwritten) for peer editing and a typed, revised final draft must be submitted to turnitin by April 3rd.  We will be in the lab on Monday, March 20th and Tuesday, March 28th, but that is all.  You will have to work on this outside of class.  Computers are available after school in the library or at Perk in the computer lab if you need them.

Your next two assignments involve writing about poetry.  First we’ll look at how they want you to respond on the AP exam with Tackling the AP Poetry prompt 2017.  In preparation for this, be sure to read, summarize each poem, and characterize the relationships explored in each poem by class on 3/14.

Then, which is much more fun, we’ll write about poetry a bit more openly and less mechanically with our Poetry Reflection assignment.  For this, do some exploring. Sure you can check out canonical poetry like the stuff in our book, but I think Poetry Foundation is much more fun.  (I mean, just listen to one of the recordings of the Douglas Kearney poems:).)  They have a nice list of women’s poetry for Women’s History Month and lots of other classic and current stuff.  Try to find something you like, even if you don’t understand it.  Wait, then I might be wrong.  Well, like Emerson said, “Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”  Support your ideas, but don’t be afraid of them.

Still worried about things like “What if this isn’t what the author meant?”  click below.

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AP 12 Poetry!

Posted: March 3, 2017 in Notes and Literary Terms, Poetry

BanksyTypes of poetry notes can be found here: Types of Poetry  and the identification examples we did can be found here: Poetry Identification Practice (2)

Sound devices and figurative language notes can be found here and here and here

We’ll be doing oodles of awesome poetry the next few weeks, so you’re not going to want to miss class, but in case you do, check the Google calendar and read those poems, any of which could be found pretty easily with a web search.  We’ll typically be doing a poem with M/C, a poem with short answer, and a poem with discussion each day.  For each type of poem we do, you may alternately write your own in that style instead of the short answer questions.  For example, we’re doing sonnets for three days, but if write one, you don’t have to do the short answer questions for those three days . . .