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February 28, 2006

oh what a sexual female....

After I was done reading this academic article, I confirmed the fact that Cleopatra is a very sexual character throughout the play Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra tries to make everyone fall in love with her and the drama/fantasies she brings to the table. I agree with Mike when he says that "It really all comes down to Cleopatra's sexual advances and trickery with Caesar, and his intense focus on politics and business. While Cleo may make references to sex and orgasms, Caesar is more concerned about destroying her and taking over what remains of the civilized East." The play isn't solely about Cleopatra being a sex symbol/goddess...if it were, the play wouldn't be called "Antony and Cleopatra". After reading this, I still feel that Cleopatra is one of Shakespeare's strongest female characters...

Posted by ElyseBranam at 07:20 PM | Comments (2)

February 26, 2006

Foster (11-13)

Foster (11 and 13) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Is it a symbol?
This is a question my english teachers in highschool frequently asked. My senior English teacher, especially, studied symbols and knew what many of them ment like the back of her hand. Whether it was Shakespeare, another poem or any kind of story, she understood all the symbols. A few times, however, her opinion of a symbol was different then my idea of a symbol. I never raised my hand to ask why her symbolism was the right one, but I now understand that there are many different opinions for what symbols may mean. Sometimes they may not mean anything! Isn't that weird? A symbol that doesn't mean anything such as the color "black." I always thought the color black symbolized death, hatred or something bad is going to happen. Or what about water? Doesn't that ALWAYS symbolize cleansing and washing things away? Give me an instance when water didn't symbolize something! Because all of the poems and stories I am thinking of, water is DEFINATELY a symbol!

Posted by ElyseBranam at 08:58 PM | Comments (1)

Claim, Data, Warrant

When reading "All Joy O' The Worm' Or, Death By Asp or Asps Unknown In Act V Of Antony and Cleopatra". I found a few claims, data, and warrants however, I chose to go with the first one I found because it was pretty much set in stone.

Claim: North's account of the circumstances surrounding her end made free use of the industrious Jaques Amyot's 1558 translation. Plutarch himself left room for doubt and offered several hearsay explanations involving the asp.

Data: His source was supposedly her physician's memoirs, but these are not extant. He describes the Queen as an experimenter with poisons who had tried them out on condemned prisoners and had also heard that she concealed the poison in a hollor comb, a story which eliminated the asp altogether.

Warrant: The plethora of accounts is confusing but the consistent presence of the serpent, an age-old symbol of healing as well as of evil, has ensured popular preference for this most powerful version.

Is this correct? Let me know :)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 07:54 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2006

Blank Verse

Ex 1-4c: A Clever Blank-Verse Entry on Your Blog (10pts) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Title: I'll Forget

And you just walk away. Not looking back
The words "I need you" are not being said
I recognize I can't let you go now
I have a sense I can not find in me

For only you can find it inside me
I'm ever swiftly moving; no let go
I'm yearning to be near you at this time
However, I know I can't be with you

Believing in you was so hopeless
And why did I get myself into this?
A bad situation dealing with love
Now I feel I have nothing left to give

Forgetting you is not easy to do
But I'll forget to tell you "I love you"

Posted by ElyseBranam at 03:25 PM | Comments (2)

Elyse Marie's Blogging Portfolio Numero Uno

Good day! My name is Elyse Branam and I am freshman at Seton Hill University. I am majoring in English Literature and am planning on obtaining my Elementary Education certification along with a Special Education certification. I was assigned to make a blogging portfolio throughout this semester for my professor, Dennis Jerz. I am in his Intro. To Literary Studies class. Enjoy! :)

The entries you are about to read are things that Professor Jerz discussed in my EL 150 class. The blogs are posted to the public and the following areas will be discussed in my portfolio:

Elyse Marie's Collection:
I chose quite a few coverage and depth entries to discuss. My first blog entry deals with the quote "'Always' and 'never' are not words that have much meaning in literary study." This quote was in the book How to Read Literature like a Professor. I added my own feelings towards this quote...

My second coverage/depth entry deals with the author E.M Foster. Professor Jerz gave us an assignment to read The Machine Stops by Foster. In my entry I described different quotes that were in the passage and I described them along with how I felt about the quotes. I related some quotes to symbolism and asked a few questions to get more students involved...

My third coverage/depth blogging entry was blogged on February 3rd, 2006. Professor Jerz gave us the assignment to read chapters 10-12 in How To Read Literature like a Professor. I talked about symbols and allegories. I related these chapters to my highschool english classes and realized that I was thankful that Professor Jerz re-explained everything to his students!...

My forth coverage/depth blogging entry was written about the quote "The world is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings."
I explained that I didn't know if a king was truly happy...

My fifth and final coverage/depth blogging entry was written about the poem "Because I Could Not Stop For Death." I related this poem to my grandfather who passed away from cancer last June. This poem was not only emotional to me, but I noticed that it was well written, very descriptive, and made the reader feel as if he or she could feel death, itself...


Elyse Marie's Other Entries:
When I was reading How To Read Literature like a Professor, I had a few questions when reading chapters nineteen and twenty. I chose to talk about how geography could develop or even define a character. I know I wouldn't be the same if I lived somewhere else growing up...

Recenty, Professor Jerz started his students in reading Antony and Cleopatra. The play will be showing at Seton Hill University so if you are reading this blog and do not go to Seton Hill University or did not hear about the play, you should check it out on Seton Hill's website for further details! In this blogging entry, I discussed how my favorite character was Cleopatra because she seems to be one of Shakespeare's strongest characters that I have ever seen...

After reading the poem "The Raven", we discussed in class that we didn't know if the Raven was a positive or negative thing in this poem. This blog entry simply states how I feel about the Raven and whether it is a positive or negative object in this poem...


Elyse Marie's Blogged Class Papers:
The only paper I chose to blog was the paper about my literary hero. My literary hero is Jack Kerouac who wrote On the Road. This book was an autobiography. Although he became a depressed drunk, he had written a lot of worthwhile readings...


Elyse Marie's Xenoblogging:
::Comment Informative:: Denamarie asked why the author decided to write about a turtle in one of the poems we read in class. I simply answered her question and gave my own opinion.

::Comment Primo:: I was the first student to write on Denamarie's blog. She created a blank verse and it was about English literature. I related to the poem because I too, am an English literature major and we DO have to write a lot of papers! I asked Denamarie a question about her blank verse...

::Comment Grande:: I commented on Sara's blog when she blogged about Bernice and Marjorie, a story we read for an assignment. I agreed with Sara about what she blogged about and I also suggested a book that she might like.

-:The Link Gracious:- I chose to relate a book (Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging) that I had read over winter break to a story we read in class about two teenage girls. It was quite amusing and both stories were along the same line.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

February 21, 2006

Antony and Cleopatra (Acts I & II) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

okay, this is my second time blogging...and it won't save. Im flipping out here! Im not going to lie...I don't ever understand Shakespeare's work until I hop on the internet and read good ol' Sparknotes. This would have to be one of my favorite plays though.

My favorite character is none other but CLEOPATRA herself! I love her and how she is portrayed throughout the first two acts. I have a few questions...It seems like she is just throwing herself at Antony. And i KNOW she knows that he has/had/has again a wife but yet, she still sends out messengers to find out what the new wife looks like and she is still trying to win over Antony's heart. Is she considered to be the "slut" of the play? She seems like this exotic beauty who everyone wants. Shakespeare appears to make her a strong female and possibly a feminist...? (just takin' a stab at that folks...)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 05:16 PM | Comments (2)

February 16, 2006

Sonnets -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

I really enjoyed reading this poem. Death isn't something that a person can stop. Many people are afraid of death while some people have no fears of dieing. "Much pleasure"...does this mean that death causes much pleasure? Does that make sense? And death does kill someone..."nor yet canst thou kill me." A little confusing but i'm sure it will be explained in class... :)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 05:40 PM | Comments (0)

the raven isn't a NEGATIVE thing...!!

Hácová, ''Love, Life and Death in Coleridge's Poem 'The Raven''' -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

The raven, a conventional sign of something rather negative or pessimistic, is hereused as a symbol of tragic anticipation.

Throughout this four page explanation of what the raven is and what it is supposed to symbolize, I have thought of the raven as something different. Usually, yes, the raven is supposed to symbolize something that is negative. However, the raven did not truly do anything NEGATIVE in this poem. The woodsman who cut down the tree was negative. The raven, who planted a seed only to come back and have his tree destroyed, is not a negative character. The raven did not kill the sailor and as a matter of fact, he really had nothing to do with the sailor's death. What do you think?

Posted by ElyseBranam at 05:00 PM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2006

Coleridge,''The Raven'' -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

This poem shows that revenge, although it MAY be sweet, I'm sure the man (*Note that it was a man...and not a woman) who cut the tree down was not thinking about other animals and had no intention of damaging their homes. I also couldn't stop thinking of Jerz's son reading this poem aloud to our class while making his hand gestures. How cute :)

Posted by ElyseBranam at 11:19 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2006

Happy Thoughts.

Poetry Selections -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

THE WORLD is so full of a number of things,
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.

I enjoyed all of these poems, however this is one that I can see a contradiction. Yes, the world is FULL of a number of things...materialistic things. Materialistic things do make people as happy as kings. When I think of a "king" I tend to think of people giving him materialistic things and not emotional items such as love. I believe that materialistic things shouldn't make a person happier, although it can DEFINATELY help! Secondly, how happy is a King? I have never met a King before therefore, I have not the slightest clue as to whether a King is cheerful or gloomy. The only King I can think of is right now is the Lion King...Perhaps because I'm listening to "the Lion King" soundtrack. (hahaha) I think every poem has contradiction and personally, I don't mind playing the Devil's Advocate! :) Let me know what you think about this poem!!

Posted by ElyseBranam at 02:03 PM | Comments (1)

February 09, 2006

Because I Could Not Stop for Death

Throughout highschool, my teachers immensely focused on poetry. At first, I dreaded the thought of walking into a classroom to read "stupid poetry." After graduating, I realize that I am in love with poetry. The emotions that are felt, the memories it brings...it's amazing that a few words can do so much to a reader.

I really enjoyed the poems on pages 43 and 107. I did not understand the other one and I could not relate it to anything that I had experienced in my life. I could relate to Because I Could Not Stop for Death. I picture my grandfather (who died on July 3rd due to cancer) to be carried by a carriage as "death" takes him to his destination, Heaven. This poem brought tears to my eyes when the author states, "And I had put away My labor and leisure too-" because, although my grandfather is no longer in pain, his leisurely activities are gone such as spending time with the people who love him most. I am not going to lie, I miss my grandfather. I realize as he was traveling to his destination, he had many memories from "school" and he understands that he was taken to the "holy place" and buried infront of the people who loved him most. How did you, my classmates and Professor Jerz, relate to this poem?

Posted by ElyseBranam at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2006

The Machine Stops by E.M. Foster

"And in the armchair there sits a swaddled lump of flesh- a woman, about five feet hight, with a face as white as a fungus." I really enjoyed reading this sentence. Because of its details and strucute, it made it fun to read it.

Just a few comments... "You talk as if a god has made the machine." I disagree with this quote and how it is used in the context of the paper. I kind of believe that we, human beings, are God's machines and he is operating our life. He has created us through a miraculous event. So, technically, a god HAS made a/the machine.

"Men carried swords about with them, to kill animals and other men." Is this sentence trying to make people in general seem mean and "killers."

"As for Vashti, her life went peacefully forward until the final disaster. She made her room dark and slept..." It seems like black and darkness equal death yet comfort. I found this symbol to be ironic because people do not necessarily match black with comfort. However, these weren't people, they were machines.

*I also noted that anytime the word "blue" was mentioned in the story, the word "isolation" followed right after. It seemed that both words seemed to be connected.

I don't know if I truly enjoyed this story because I do, too, do not agree with machines and technology taking over society. Since when did we, as humans, get soooo lazy that we needed to use machines to make our lives easier? Everything is becoming simpler yet no one seemes to be complaining. I am scared with what the future may provide us with.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 04:12 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2006

Chapters 10-12

It's never just rain.

"Out! Out! Damned spot!" This is from Macbeth, correct? (I was reading the text and I knew I had heard of it from sometime before.) Here, the female is trying to rid away a spot and I believe she is washing it away with water. Anyway, my twelth grade english teacher would always make references to water and rain and how the liquid seems to "wash away the bad" or "purify" someone or something. This is crazy to think of because I love looking at something in depth. *This also happens with the color black...or the color red. (Think of the sixth scent...) WeIrD!!


After reading this, I realize that was confused about symbols and allegories in highschool. I thought everything had to have a hidden meaning...is this book saying that that's not always true? Hmmm...maybe my blonde is showing trhough a little too much tonight. Let me know! Or, is this chapter saying that one symbol can mean several things to different people? We discussed this, as well, in my English class and we all thought something different about symbols. Therefore, I'm guessing I'm right with my proposal.

Posted by ElyseBranam at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)