Monday, April 22, 2013

Do you remember when . . . ?


Endgame is both a dark, sordid tragedy and a witty, ironic parody of life itself; as such, it has a little something for everyone. I hope that – at the least – some parts of this story spoke to you directly. Considering this, what are some of your favorite quotes or passages from the text? Why do these excerpts resonate with you?

The tension is KILLING me!


Any worthwhile story has a source of tension that propels the characters, and usually a central protagonist who must confront the problem and overcome obstacles en route to a discovery of self or other. Endgame is a classic drama – but one which avoids some of the trappings and traditions of pre-twentieth-century literature. What is the tension at play in this work? Who is the “hero” and what is his journey and discovery?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

OMG!


Finish one of the sentences and then elaborate on your thoughts and ideas:
"If Victor has become GOD, then . . . ."
"If Nietzsche had met Victor, and heard his tale, the philosopher might have said . . ."

Who needs Cliffs?


Cliffs notes are over-rated.  Who needs them when all of you start plying your critical reading skills to the text at hand?  So here we go . . .
What is the key, central passage in Frankenstein that works to reveal the theme of the work, or a central tenet, or a major understanding of character?  While you needn't quote the entire passage, refer to it specifically, along with the page number, and include some commentary on why you believe this passage to be so significant and indispensible to the work.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Who's on first? What's on second?

Where does Language and typical human behavior fail us in Much Ado? Note a specific scene or two where the characters fail to understand each other.  What is the cause or result of this misunderstanding?  With these examples in mind, what is Shakespeare noting about human nature and the facility of language?

The James Dean of his day

Shakespeare was a rebel, a mover and shaker, and an instigator who enjoyed turning convention on its ear.  With this in mind, what typical conventions does he introduce and fiddle with in Much Ado?  Consider stock characters, social rank and status, gender roles, marriage, love, cultural fears and taboos, and even the comic structure itself.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Contrasts meant to lift an eyebrow or two. . . .

What contrasting images and ideas (or elements, including character) do you see at work in Much Ado?  And because we can't possibly leave our understanding at the doorstep of mere observation, What SIGNIFICANCE do these contrasting images serve?