Monday, December 27, 2010

Season's Greetings

Extra Credit Assignment: Research the origin and the development of Ancient Greek Theater, and deliver a five to ten minute presentation to your classmates, similar to what Raymond and Brandon did on The Rime of The Ancient Mariner.  Please, contact me by email, a.s.a.p., so I know who wants to do this assignment. I would like the presentation
made to our class very soon after we return from holiday.

A theater in which Antigonie was performed in Ancient Greece

What does the size and the design of this theatre tell you about the
significance drama may have had to Ancient Greek society?
Notice how this theater has been carved out of the mountain,
of which it is a part.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Victor Frankenstein's narrative is bifurcated by the his creature's story. Write an essay in which you discuss, compare, contrast, and interpret both halves of Victor's divided narrative. You may want to use your class notes to recall what was discussed in class today.

Thursday you will be given the short answer Frankenstein Test.  Please be prepared.

Assignments: For Those Who Didn't Do Them

  • PLEASE, write your name and the date on all written work.
  • Enter the blog, explore the postings and comments, and find the posted assignments you were given.
  • Rewrite the entire sonnet test with the correct answers. (Your classmates provided you with them, and they are posted on the blog.)
Saint Crispan's Day Speech
Sonnet 130
Compare Sonnet 18 to Spenser's "One Day I wrote Her Name Upon The Strand"
negation prefixes/words
self-created words from Latin prefixes
"The Passionate Shepherd to His Love" vs. Raleigh's reply
The reply to Raleigh (on our class blog) 
Blake's Chimney Sweeper Poems (from A.P. Test)
Shakespeare's procreation sonnets compare two
Columbia University
"Shooting an Elephant" - annotate and highlight
"Shooting an Elephant" essay
"My Last Duchess" Essay TEST
Sonnet TEST Short Answer
Sonnet Essay TEST
Hamlet Act I
Checking Literature Logs
Hamlet Act Act II Q's
Ophelia Questions
Hamlet Act III Q's
Hamlet Act IV Q's
Hamlet Act V Q's
post high school
Hamlet student written TEST
Hamlet Essay TEST
"Allegory of the Cave"
Compare Walter and Victor's childhoods
College Matrix
Dichotomy in Frankenstein
Frankenstein's creature
Books read by the creature (Internet work)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Creature's Narrative

Be prepared to write answers to the following questions in class tomorrow. I hope you have enjoyed reading Frankenstein this weekend.

1.Why does the creature seek refuge in the cottage?
2.What motivates the creature to spy on the Delaceys? Why is he so interested in them?
3.Why does he at first have such difficulty in understanding the cottagers?
4.What does the creature do to address this problem and to overcome this difficulty?
   5.Why does the creature do what he does for the Delaceys?
6.What disposes and enables the creature to understand the Delaceys?
7.How does he become literate?
8. How many and what language(s) does he master? How does he do this?
9. Why do you think the creature conceals himself from Delaceys?
10.What does the creature’s insatiable interest in learning about and from the cottagers tell us about him?
11. What do you think the creature learns about this family and the concept of family?                       
12. What books does he read?
13. What do the books he reads reveal to him about humanity? (Use the Internet.)
14. Of what are the Delacey’s a microcosm? Explain.
15.How does his understanding of the DeLaceys change during his stay in the cottage?
16.How is he changed (or humanized) by his voyeurism and reading?
17.Why is this transformation for the better or the worse? 
18.What are the qualities that make us human?

Scotland, England, Patagonia and the Creature's Proposal

Returning to Victor's Torment

And from the shore at dawn . . .
The evidence,  image,  memory, and  injustice

Friday, December 10, 2010


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Read "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," extract passages you deem to be relevant  to FRANKENSTEIN, then make an oral report to the class about the poem and how it relates to Mary Shelley's novel. 

  Ever been on a ghost ship? Welcome aboard. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Lines Composed... Tintern Abbey" William Wordsworth 1798

Remember the "romantic ethos" we extracted from this poem in class.  What other things in this poem did we not get to that express ethos? How do you think  Tintern Abbey  relates to the poetry of William Blake or the novel we are currently reading? Remember close relationships existed between many of the poets and authors we are and will be reading.  And remember that the author of Frankenstein was married to the romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, whose poem Ozymandias we read last week.

Tintern Abbey can be considered the succinct precursor, in English literature, of the genre known by the German term Bildungsgeschichte — the development of an individual from infancy through psychological stresses and breaks to a coherent maturity.

                                     Tintern Abbey 1798
Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a sweet inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view 10
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Among the woods and copses lose themselves,
Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees,
With some uncertain notice, as might seem, 20
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire
The hermit sits alone.
                                     Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind 30
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As may have had no trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight 40
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lighten'd:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things. 50
                                                If this
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,
In darkness, and amid the many shapes
Of joyless day-light; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee
O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the wood
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguish'd though[t,]
With many recognitions dim and faint, 60
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was, when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, 70
Wherever nature led; more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by,)
To me was all in all.—I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me 80
An appetite: a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour 90
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man, 100
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half-create,*
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, 110
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
                                     Nor, perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while 120
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, 130
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our chearful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind 140
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; Oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations! Nor, perchance,
If I should be, where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget 150
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came,
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake. 160

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mary Shelley's Letter and Journal Entry

6 March 1815
My dearest Hogg my baby is dead – will you come to see me as soon as you can – I wish to see you – It was perfectly well when I went to bed – I awoke in the night to give it suck it appeared to be sleeping so quietly that I would not wake it – it was dead then but we did out find out till morning – from its appearance it evidently died from convulsions – Will you come – you are so calm a creature and Shelley is afraid of a fever from the milk – for I am no longer a mother now.

A baby girl was born prematurely to the couple in February, 1815, and died twelve days later. In her journal of March 19, 1815, Mary recorded the following dream, a possible inspiration for Frankenstein: "Dream that my little baby came to life again - that it had only been cold & that we rubbed it before the fire & it lived."  A son, William, was born to the couple in January, 1816.

Your essay on the dichotomies in Frankenstein is due tomorrow.  You should read half the novel by Friday and you should complete the novel by next week.