February 2009 Archives

Basilio to Caliban as Basilio to Babo = Basilio keeping his head!


So, a King of Poland to a servant of Prospero results in a King of Poland almost ending like Babo did.

"Although he curses himself for having supplied Prospero with assistance and guidance, Caliban freely offers the same services to the drunken butler whom he has chosen as his new master" (Rupp 4).

This quote reminded me of how Segismundo gave his father Basilio a second chance even though he was punished and tortured by him.

Just as Caliban is mad that he helped Prospero, Segismundo allows Basilio to live instead of resulting in a death like Babo.

I have related many stories together in this entry and I hoped I have passed along some understanding of how psychology can focus on one issue, but is related to many which can result in a blog consisting of intertextuality information.

In addition, take our history and connect it with human reason and doesn't it result in history repeating itself?

Shakespeare shows an audience how characters strive for something just as Segismundo strives for honor and power through torture and pain from Basilio.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Rupp.

What if your Life was a Dream of Reality

"The beast is born, and with its coat patterned with beautiful spots, no sooner is it starred like a constellation than the bold and cruel needs of mankind" (Appelbaum 11 & 13).

Wow, this quote reminded me of how Atufal in "Benito Cereno" came out with chains on.

Both Atufal and Segismundo remind a reader of how slavery was an issue that authors portrayed through characters.

The reference to mankind made me think about how humans (mankind) cause acts of violence such as slavery in order to better theirselves.

So, why do Appelbaum and Melville use characters that represent slavery in a different sense? Segismundo achieves the honor of power in the end of "Life is a Dream" whereas Atufal makes Benito Cereno question his decisions because of his size.

What if these authors are trying to explain that psychology is a way to understand why humans made African Americans be slaves?

This can be referenced to current society. African Americans were forced into slavery in the earlier parts of history, but as time passed "mankind" has made a race, once of no power, into a race with as equal power as any other human.

Is the dream that Segismundo is forced into by Basilio a way of looking at reality? Or does Segismundo use this "dream" to achieve power and marriage in the end?

A person, Segismundo, who was dressed in animal skins and forced into prison, has evolved into a person of dignity, power, and acceptance or is it just a dream?

A question that I will leave you with:

Does Rosaura dress like a man to afford the same treatment that Segismundo has had to endure?

Click here for the course web page devoted to "Life is a Dream."

de propia voluntad es el unico forma!


That means, "free will is the only way." I'm not familiar with Spanish, but I thought that this would be good.

"The process of restoring the "natural" social order of things on which the notion of "free will" is predicated is completed by Segismundo's final decision, one that has occasioned almost as much debate as his rejection of love" (Sears).

I may be relating a lot of information to "The Yellow Wallpaper," but I think it is a great story!

The notion of free will in "Life is a Dream" and "The Yellow Wallpaper" is similar, but is based on a lot of decisions.

So, in "The Yellow Wallpaper" the reader can see how the narrator's free will has been taken away because of her husband, John, and because she is seen as having a sickness that does not allow her to leave the house.

On the other hand, "Life is a Dream" presents the reader with Segismundo who encounters a lot of decisions. These decisions are based on his own free will and what he decides ultimately decides the outcome.

Both characters are controlled by another entity - male or female- in which they have no control over. Or do they?

Segismundo relates to nature in many ways whereas the narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper" relates to a tangible piece of wallpaper.

Is there a connection between the characters or is it because the authors are writting during a period of gender discrimination?

And finally, do you see how the narrator "rejects" John's love and how Segismundo regrets his love?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Sears.

I bet you don't know what a medical paternalistic physician is?


Well, if you do know then this entry will refresh your memory. I did not use a term from Hamilton because I did not find one in the readings that was in her text, but I found something better.

Now lets put our skills together and decide whether this is author intent, mimetic, or psychological criticism?

"Her husband, a censorious and paternalistic physician, is treating her according to methods by which S. Weir Mitchell, a famous "nerve specialist," treated Gilman herself for a similar problem" (Gilbert and Gubar 262).

Wow, did this give you an Ah, Aw moment?

The term that I want to describe to you is paternalistic physician because I did not know what this type of doctor was.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Paternalism is the interference of a state or an individual with another person, against their will, and justified by a claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm" (Dworkin 2005).

The narrator, in "The Yellow Wallpaper," is interfered by her husband, John (or Frank - some people will understand the joke), which went against her will, but is justified by being a doctor and knowing what is best for people.

Is Gilman trying to explain her history to the reader, a reality she was faced with, or is she trying to make the reader understand how psychology and the human mind is different, but alike at the same time?

Why do women fall short in literature, just why?


This entry is based on Gilbert and Gubar's "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Quote #1: "While some male authors also use such imagery for implicitly or explicitly confessional projects, women seem forced to live more intimately with the metaphors they have created to solve the "problem" of their fall" (Gilbert and Gubar 261).

Quote #2: "Women themselves have often, of course, been described as houses" (261).

So, once again, women are being described as a falling part of culture and as houses. Why?

I found these quotes to be very interesting because they describe how women authors differ from male authors. This seems true, do you think?

Take a male author, for example, and how usually they describe women as being not as worthy as them or the male characters in the story. On the other hand, a woman author usually makes the women in the text have a presence in society and/or a role. There seems to be some discrimination between male and female authors.

As I continued to read the text, Gilbert and Gubar describe women as being "houses." I took this quote two ways. First, women, such as the narrator in "The Yellow Wallpaper," are described as becoming insane from a male authoritative house. Secondly, history has presented women as being "house wives" and taking care of the house.

When I began to use my learned psychology on that quote, I thought of something interesting. Maybe women are being described as an image of a house because a house is not moveable and neither were most women during the 18th and 19th centuries. Women grew up in houses, married in houses, worked in houses, and in some cases died in houses. So women were immovable as a house usually is.

Do you believe that Gilman made the narrator lose her insanity in the house in order to give the reader an image of women through history?


Do you think that Gilbert and Gubar use the house metaphor as a way to describe the roles of women compared to males?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Gilbert and Gubar.

...But The Second Mouse Gets the Chesse


"So any psychology, indeed, any systematic view of human behavior, can provide the basis for a mimetic criticism of literature" (Keesey 210).

Now compare this quote with reader-response and what do you get?

This quote tied this introduction essay together for me. I understand that mimetic criticism is a form of psychology, human actions, and reality. If these are the base for mimtic criticism, then how should we build our wall - which do we start with?

Everyday we are living in reality and use psychology whether to read something or understand someone.

Example: If I am watching a play and I focus on the main character the entire time, then I will be watching their actions and motives using my psychology and will begin mimetic criticism. But in this example, where do we draw the line between reality and imagination?

In other words, if we are reading a poem and we begin to picture the scenes in our minds, then are we beginning mimetic criticism or just responding to the text?

As we watch the mouse ponder whether or not to eat the chesse then through our psychology and the mouse's actions we begin to understand that reality and mimetic criticism are similar.

Click here for the course webpage to Keesey.

Beneito Cereno and the Ideal Reader and Character

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"To Captain Delano's imagination, now again not wholly at rest, there was something so hollow in the Spaniard's manner...His next operation was with comb, scissors, and brush" (Melville 512).

I thought that Melville was writing a story with characters that represented how an ideal reader can never hold the true meaning of a text without encountering poetic devices or unforeseen events.

Captain Delano wants to talk with Cereno, but immediately the slave said that Cereno had to shave. This reference stood out to me because it reminded me of how a reader will, most likely, be distracted from the main point of the text due to secondary events.

This blog entry correlated with A Reader Must Stay on Course.

So, is Melville trying to describe how characters in a story cannot be ideal characters because many events change which, in turn, change the scene that the character has initially intended.

I thought the story was very interesting and involved many symbolic scenes which represented how slavery and the African American community were thought of in a different way than today's world.

A Question for you:

Do you think that Melville is showing how an ideal character is similar to an ideal reader because both ideals become distracted due to the story line or author intended distractions (references) such as slavery or racism?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Melville.

A Reader Must Stay on Course


"Actual readers must be astute enough to resist the "temptations" of racism and struggle to stave off of the seductions of the narrator and Delano's self-serving misinterpretations" (O'Connell 191).

I understood this quote as, in order for an audience to gain a full understanding of the text, if they can, they must move apart from their initial assumptions or poetic references and stay focused on the story or text as a whole.

This essay reminded me a lot of Isers because the "implied or ideal" reader that is mentioned in both.

"Benito Cereno" is a text that challenges the reader with its language, but also through its references that many readers refer to quickly. For example, racism is a strong part of the story. There are many slaves and negative connotations being mentioned about the African American community. Melville is using that as a distraction in order to make the reader get off course from the true meaning of the text.

Can anyone be an ideal or implied reader?

When I answer this question, I think that it would be a computer because I do not know of a human that would not focus on a poetic style or reference while reading. A human mind, while reading, navigates through the text looking for learned literary techniques that many authors use.

Is Melville trying to persuade the reader from its true meaning, through references about African Americans and Delano's character, or is their a true meaning?

Click here for the course web page devoted to O'Connell.

Male vs. Female - Who is better...


Now before I even start this blog, I just want to say that I only used this extreme title in order to lure you into reading this very interesting blog. In addition, this blog entry is only examining Kolodny's essay and is not referring to a specific gender. Thanks!

"Immediately upon approaching the place, however, the very act of perception becomes sex coded: the men look at the house only to talk "about what had happened," while the women note the geographical topography which makes it, repeatedly in the narrative, "a lonesome-looking place'" (Kolodny 200).

Gender and literature has always been very interesting to me just as religion and literature has been.

Let me take your memory back a couple weeks when we were discussing The Yellow Wallpaper. Remember how many of the females in the class discussed postpartum depression, but many of the males talked about the husband or in my case, the religious symbolism.

It is interesting that specific gender interpretations are based on how something relates to that person. Take a part of the male culture, for example, and think about how they interpret a piece of literature. Usually we think about things that are familiar to us. This may be technology, science, fantasy, or common symbolism. On the other hand, a female may look towards nature, fashion, the perception of the female character, or simply female actions. I am not saying that one gender is better than another, but only that the male and female cultures are different when it comes to interpreting a text.

Moreover, does a text provide a gender bias reading or is that implanted in the text when the author writes a piece of literature?

It is interesting that Kolodny mentions how Perkins and Glaspell's stories are similar in how the male and female characters notate parts of a scene or event. An example would be seen within the quote that I chose above.

Here are a couple questions that I will leave you with.

Does a text have gender related scenarios in order to attract or conform to specific people/genders?

Also, does the reader’s critical lens lend a hand to why male and female genders look for specific literary devices or is it due to the fast-pace movement of today’s 21st century society and how they portray males and females?

Dr. Karen Droisen mentions gender roles in Glaspell and Perkin's stories. About three short paragraphs from the top of the page she mentions these two authors and gender.

Click here for the course web page devoted to Kolodny.

Comparing Truth with Language - Which do Poems Express?

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Science provides accurate statements about the world; poems supply only 'pseudo-statements'" (Keesey 131).

I found the phrase "pseudo-statements" to be very mind-boggling.

Based on the help from Answers.com and Keesey, I think I have a grasp on this phrase.

So, if science implies that there are only correct answers, either yes/no/true/false, then poetry is the opposite or pseudo-statements.

This would mean that pseudo-statements are what poems are. They use that intriguing language and layered symbolism that does not provide a definite answer. This is why we are studying literary criticism, right?

Reader-response criticism involves a pseudo-statement that makes the reader take a stand on their meaning of the work and support it with details from text to make a claim that an author either intended to portray or not.

Hopefully, I am making sense about this term, but I think it refers to poetry using "words of emotion" instead of yes or no statements or questions.

Click here for the web page devoted to Hamilton.

Which One Fits You?

"There are three types of 'contemporary' reader - the one real and historical, drawn from existing documents, and the other two hypothetical: the first constructed from social and historical knowledge of the time, and the second extrapolated from the reader's role laid down in the text" (Iser 141).

I had some difficulty with this text, but I will try to explain this quote.

The first reader could be a human reader using history as a basis for criticizing a text. A second reader could be someone who uses the social and history of the time period. A third reader could be someone who uses the intended author's role for a reader.

Someone reading a text can use any of these methods, but "the real reader is invoked mainly in studies of the history of responses, i.e., when attention is focused on the way in which a literary work has been received by a specific reading public" (141).

In other words, a reader like you and I would focus on what responses a text has produced in the past, whereas an "implied or contemporary" reader would use history, social interaction, and reader's role.

A suitable question that I will leave you with is, "Do you think that we are a mixture of the contemporary and real reader or are we simply one specific reader?"

Click here for the course web page devoted to Iser.

Is it Formalism or Human Response?


"He pointed out what the words meant, how the sentiments expressed in the poem were or were not appropriate to the fictive speaker and situation, how the imagery developed consistently or inconsistently, how the parts fit or failed to fit together" (Keesey 133).

How do YOU respond to a piece of literature?

Keesey understands that there are many meanings to a text and every person may have a different response.

The quote above shows how someone, such as Keesey, would do a formalist reading of a text.

What I want to know is how do you know when your response is right or wrong?

In other words, if I propose an argument or take a stand on a text and defend it with details then is that a reader response? Is it taking a stand, responding to the text, and using information and details from that work to support my opinion or response?

Another question that I have for you is, if I read a text and have a response then how do I know if it is formalism or reader-response? I know that it would not be structuralism because that is a more solid version of the text whereas formalism is a topic that can have a meaning that fluctuates.

Click here for the web page devoted to Keesey.

The House of Shoes - The Beginning or End of A Soul...


"The indelicate clacking of the men's heels and the shuffling of their soles reminded him that their grade of culture differed from his" (Joyce 179).

"He continued scraping his feet vigorously while the three women went upstairs, laughing, to the ladies' dressing room" (177).

He looked up at the pantry ceiling, which was shaking with the stamping and shuffling of feet on the floor above" (177).

These quotes are very interesting in the story.

The reference to "shoes" and "soles" provides an audience with a diverse culture view. In other words, Gabriel, a main character, provides a reader-response criticism.

So, does the reference to "feet" describe how people of different class statuses are better than other people? Or does it show how Gabriel does not want to be in Ireland because of the culture and actions of the people.

Angela mentioned that his "soul swooned slowly." My first chosen quote mentioned the "shuffling of their soles." Is this a form of reality criticism? This provides an image of how Gabriel's soul or sole on earth is fading away because of the harm that people of Europe or Ireland are creating.

There is symbolism involved in this comparison. Gabriel's human soul is fading along with his shoe sole. Both souls only have a limited amount of time on earth. This is because a shoe sole is being constantly walked upon whereas a human soul fades due to personal hardship, culture, and the constant struggle between an afterlife.

My quotes about "shoes" and Angela's quote about "souls" is similar to watching footprints in snow fade away as quickly as they were made...

Click here for the blog carnival homepage.

Click here for James Joyce's "The Dead" video production trailer. Notice towards the end of the clip that the footprints in the snow appear faint to vivid from right to left as the carriage passes by.

Do these quotes depict an author's portrayal of a person's life fading away on earth or it is only a reader-response criticism?

Blog Carnival - Cover Blog Entry


A unified vote was accomplished, on February 19, and many class members have decided on a topic.

The chosen story is from Dubliners, "The Dead." (Irish literature)

I, Derek Tickle, will be the initial host for this blog carnival.

As we approach the climax of this carnival, I will turn over the host rights to Greta. She will provide a summation paragraph on this blog entry about what criticism we have concluded for "The Dead."

First, please comment on this blog stating that you want to join in this blog carnival.

Secondly, please create your own blog entry that states a quote or something interesting and relate it to one of the criticisms that we have been learning about.

Thirdly, please list your blog address on this blog entry as a comment so all of the members can access the related discussion.

Lastly, please refer back to this blog entry for any updated blogs and continue discussion on the blog entries that our committed peers have created.

Also, if anyone has any confusion please click here and it will link you to the portfolio directions. Refer to #3 on this list for additional links and information on the blog carnival.

My carnival friends and I have requested that you please post your blog entry by Monday, February 23, 2009.

Happy 2009 Blogging Carnival to all!!

Blog Portfolio 1

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Each week, I have written an agenda, posted earlier than required, for each story, essay, or poem. My first intellectual blog was called The Human Struggle between Earth and the after Life. This entry involves Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn” and questions whether the urn represents eternity and if it is similar to an artist’s portrait. Another reading from Eagleton discussed how people use language and how it is perceived. My in-depth and class interaction was entitled Making an Interview a Success - The Role of Language. In this entry, I related Eagleton’s quote involving language to a book entitled Reading in the New Testament. My peers commented on how interesting my entry and comment was and posted a response a few days later.

As we have progressed through this course, I have encountered many new literary words and have been presented with insightful comments from my peers. From A Paradox of the Unknown, to This Entry is Very Ironic, then to Do you know Alliteration, and finally to the question of Comparing Truth with Language - Which do Poems Express all represented my growth among critical terminology and language.

There were two specific, from many, blog entries that resulted in great discussion, interaction, depth of the material, and were posted in a timely manner. My first entry called Verbal vs. Textual Understanding presented the question of what if a reader only understands the textual meaning and not the verbal meaning. This entry resulted in peer comments consisting of language symbolism, multicultural viewpoints, and public norms. At the same time, I posted English: A Gender Bias Profession or Degree which many students found interesting. The class interaction and my comments spanned a period of one week resulting in depth, discussion, interaction, and coverage.

While studying author’s intent, my blog entry entitled Literature Representing a Controlling Past asked if poetic form represented an author’s intention or their history. My peers presented comments and questions that were deemed important in order to continue the discussion. I continued this topic in another blog entitled History Necessary to Write Literature. This entry was submitted very early and the idea of philosophy and a formalist reading occurred in our discussion.

In addition to more than 50 comments so far this semester, a xenoblog entry occurred in Where’s the Truth and resulted in the discussion of literary colleagues and their understanding of the text. Another entry entitled Alert the Pope consisted of my comment first and then a continued discussion from other classmates about Chaucer and history. After all of our blogging we thought that our Mother was Right Again…You need to get Sleep was an appropriate answer at the time. My comment resulted in three other classmates discussing sleep and comparing it to The Yellow Wallpaper. In Animated Shakespeare, I used a grande comment and related it to my blog which resulted in a lengthy discussion. A Tempting Repetition represented the comment primo which allowed my first comment to result in four other opinions. My initial comment on Avoiding the Norm made Bethany Merryman offer a polite disagreement.

In addition to consistent blogging, interaction, depth, and discussion, I initiated a blog carnival about James Joyce's "The Dead." This carnival has resulted in a great discussion between the group members. It has also already attracted an outside reader that offers a question to Greta. As a group, we decided to create blog entries that were specific to booths that may or may not be seen at a carnival. My lengthy comments and discussion has included The Horror House, The House of Mirrors, The House of Shoes (mine), The Illusionist, and The Dead. I, also, have presented questions about Ireland's history and how they are trying to achieve their personal/national identity. Lastly, I have learned a lot of knowledge about how Ireland and James Joyce are both struggling between their culture and the events that have occurred. So, Come One, Come All to Our Carnival of "The Dead," but beware because this carnival may make you think about every event in your life - what is true?

As a blogger of criticism, I feel that I have grown within the literary criticism field and have a much better grasp of how to critcize a work based on a specific critical view. As I read the assigned essays, I notated questions and presented my classmates with my initial viewpoint and asked them, as always, a question or two based on the topic. In A Reader Must Stay on Course, Angela and I bounced ideas, back and forth, about an ideal and implied reader. This discussion allowed me to understand why an author uses specific words or scenes in a work to potentially "distract a reader."

My wildcard entry (which shows my greatest potential) entitled Male vs. Female - Who is better... consisted of outside information and peer comments that supported my initial stance on gender bias in The Yellow Wallpaper. This entry, along with all of my other ones, was posted early, offered questions, gave an in-depth look at the topic, and resulted in a discussion with links.

Words vs. Criticism


"What semiotics represents, in fact, is literary criticism transfigured by structural linguistics, rendered a more disciplined and less impressionistic enterprise which, as Lotman's work testifies, is more rather than less alive to the wealth of form and language than most traditional criticism" (Eagleton 90).

The "linguistics" of literature is more important to the "language" than traditional criticism.

So by studying the language which represents a variety of symbols and interpretations a reader is better off than using traditional criticism.

Moreover, I believe that the structure of the text gives us insight into the semiotics which then allows us to analyze the language which provides us with symbols and then the end result is a critical review of a text based on semiotics rather than traditional criticism.

This has been an interesting chapter by Eagleton, but makes me question myself because where do you start first when reading literature.

Do you start with the structure, semiotics, language, word choice, symbols, or traditional criticism?

Click here for the web page devoted to Eagleton.

Will the Poem have to Pay Taxes?

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"'The status of the poem as an 'object,' as something that exists independently of its creator and independently of any of its readers, is a key concept in formal theory'" (Keesey 77).

Now do you think that my title makes sense?

It is interesting to me how all of these critical essays explain how readers understand words in a text differently, but there is no specific answer until you fully understand that specific work.

When referring to "objective criticism," I analyze that piece of text as a medium or actual object (person). When you begin to think of a work as an object or someone instead of something then you will understand that work with deeper meaning.

If, for example, we simply review a text because we have to and only think that it is a document without any living ability, then we begin to not appreciate it with great meaning.

We should read a text as an object -apart from the author - because it will let us be a formalist who reads the words and not everything around it.

I think that we need to read the words for what they are on paper and not for what they mean in history or to the author.

Click here for the web page devoted to Kesey.

A Formalist Approach or a Reader-Response?


"'Rayan has more recently claimed that the repetitions in the stanza charm the reader 'into forgetting the main argument' of the ode'" (Kent 113).

Is it the repetitions that try to distract the reader or is it the reader’s response of the text?

Another statement that I found important was "Keats exploits present participles in the second half of the stanza ("panting," "breathing," "burning," and "parching") [Kent 114].

Is it Keats that is "exploiting" the words or is it th words that a Formalism would study?

Both of these previous quotes are great questions. Another words, what is the author trying to intend for us.

I thought that it was important to explain to you that Keats is trying to use repetition to make readers appeal to a certain meaning. On the other hand, the specific words used by Keats are making an urn represent humanistic qualities.

So, formalists are people who study the text on a page, but are they the type of critic who relates words with objects or phrases to distract the reader.

Do you think that a Kent is trying to give us a strict formalist reading critique or is he trying to explain his own understanding of the poem?

Click here for the course page devoted to Kent.

What is the MEANING- You might want to read this

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"'What is the meaning of 'Men wash their hands, in blood, as best they can'? It can mean: Since my own hands are bloody, I have no right to condemn the rest. It can mean: I know that man can love justice, even though his hands are bloody, for there is blood on mine. It can mean: Men are essentially decent: they try to keep their hands clean even if they have only blood in which to wash them'" (Brooks 91).

I'm sorry for listing such a long quote, but I believe that it is important since we have just written two papers on author's intent.

Hamilton defined irony as "the broadest class of figures of thought that depend on presenting a deliberate contrast between two levels of meaning" (44).

Now, after reading the quote from Brooks and the definition of irony from Hamilton everyone has a different opinion or understands something in a different way.

It seems as though the irony is created through the reader. Take yourself for instance when reading and trying to understand a quote or text. Your personal perception and knowledge create that understanding or meaning.

So what does this have to do with author's intent? While let me try to explain. When a reader tries to understand the author’s intent in literature then they usually look to the history or background of the author. This provides a "level of meaning" between the text and the reader. If you think that a text means something without looking to a secondary source then you may be right. WHO is to say you’re wrong or right? It is your understanding of the text that provides you and other people with the meaning.

Everyone's meaning of a text contributes to the greater good or most likely final meaning. As a class, we discuss what a text is trying to mean and we take each other's answers and combine them together to establish an educated and meaningful meaning.

Do you think that there is only one meaning to a text and it is what the author intended it to be? Then again how do we know the author's intent or meaning of a text if they are not living?

Click here for the web page devoted to Brooks.

Do you know Alliteration?


"Alliteration, is the repetition of sounds in nearby words or stressed syllables, is frequent in both poetry and prose" (Hamilton 217).

McDonald mentioned the term "alliteration" and I thought it would be important to explain it again.

An example that Hamilton uses is, "We / Lurk Late. We / Strike straight" (217).

These lines explain how the syllables are stressed to emphasize a particular setting or atmosphere.

An example that I thought of was:

"A rosy row of American beauties."

If anyone has another suggestions please feel free to provide them on this blog.

Click here for the web page devoted to Hamilton.

Language and History (There seems to be a theme occurring)

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Antonio - "Thus, sir: / Although this lord of weak remembrance, this, / Who shall be of as little memory / When he is earth'd, hath here almost persuade,-- / For he's a spirit of persuasion, only / Professes to persuade,--the king his son's alive, / 'Tis as impossible that he's undrown'd / And he that sleeps here swims" (The Tempest).

What a great quote!

This reminded me of the essays that were assigned for the week about historical context and criticism. I thought that this quote was referring to how the Lord of the time persuaded the people of his land. Do you think so?

The ending is important to the story, as a whole, because it references the King's son swimming and the shipwreck at the beginning. Antonio may want to remove the King's son from the story because he will be in control next (Once the King passes, his son will take control).

I also wanted to mention that the language that the characters use is very important. How come we don't write this in-depth anymore? The great Shakespeare writes with such detail that the reader may question his intent. I think that he is trying to refer to the history of his time. This can be seen through the language that he uses in the quote above.

Click here for the web page devoted to Shakespeare

History Necessary to Write Literature - Do you think?


"I want to suggest that the The Tempest, at the historical moment of its production and reception, should be seen in terms of both the freedom to consider vexed political issues and the freedom from authorial policing of the production of meaning which are characteristic of texts inscribed in the literary field" (Yachnin 37).

A lot of literature represents a form of history and it is important to analyze it when trying to determine what a text means.

Shakespeare was writing during a time that society was beginning to develop, but this play represents a political and controlling viewpoint. Yachnin is trying to tell readers that these are parts of literature that are necessary. Take for instance, a doctor trying to do surgery. If that doctor does not know what is involved or the tools he/she needs to complete it then that's not good. The same rule seems to apply to literature and what it contains. The author uses specific tools (such as history, power, or poetic form) to describe a text that will be used for generations.

Do you think that the audience that Shakespeare was writing for was much different than the audience today?

We may have more knowledge of that time in history, but we are still readers like they were.

Click here for the web page devoted to Yachnin

Literature Representing a Controlling Past


"Moreover, the style and form of The Tempest engage the audience textually with the same issues of control and mastery-the problem of power-that are brought into sharp focus by considerations of historical context" (McDonald 101).

Shakespeare's plays are, as I would say, the best of the past. These pieces of literature show how history had a controlling force upon people. This quote states that "the audience connects with the text and also with power." Many parts of history show how rulers controlled many people. For example, Hitler controlled how he wanted society to look and run. These plays, such as The Tempest provide us with details of how that time period was.

McDonald adds that "From the confused echoes of the first scene ("We split, we split!") through Prospero's re-creation of the past ("Twelve year since, Miranda, twelve year since") to the pleasing assonantal chiming of the Epilogue, aural patterns impart a distinctive texture to this text" (101).

This type of language may provide the reader, based on a textual viewpoint, with supporting details of how the people during his time period were feeling. This type of repetition may mean that people were trying to emphasize certain words so the reader could understand specific points.

So a question that I thought of was:

Do you think that poetic form (such as repetition and rhyme) is used so that the reader can take a view of history or is it only because it makes that piece of literature better?

Click here for th web page devoted to McDonald

Do you understand Literature?


"'the real 'meaning' of literature results from the interaction of audience and work'" (Kessey 3).

The only way that I learn what an author's text is assumed to be is through discussion with other people. Our classroom discussion, for instance, helps each other connect ideas that we may be thinking about. The meaning of an author is how we read a piece of literature and interpret it.

We will, once again, never know exactly what an author has intended their literature to mean, but we can come to an understanding based on interaction.

There are different ways to understand a work and Keesey mentions "Author, Reality, Literature, and Audience" (3). These are ways to guide our mind into thinking of different possibilities of a work and then we can collaborate with other people to determine a possible meaning.

On the other hand, what we take from a piece of literature can open many reading possibilities for some people. If we are the "real meaning" of literature then we may read a poem and think of something opposite of what that author may have intended it to mean (we won't completely know what the other meant unless we were to talk to them).

Click here for web page devoted to Keesey.

What is the Author trying to Portray?

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"What did the poet intend it for?" --whether stage or study, whether court audience or popular-- the answer seems in principle likely to be useful to the extent that it is accurate" (Watson 31).

After reading this quote, I immediately thought that it related to this class. As we progress, week by week, in this course we are trying to determine what the author's intent was. An author may only intend for a poem to be written, but someone in the 21st century may turn it into a film play.

This quote also dives into the topic of why an author chooses a particular format for their work. For example, if I wrote a poem about family and only intended for it to be read from paper, then my intention is specific. Now say that someone, 20 years later, reads my poem and turns it into a play or movie theme, then my intention is mis-interpreted. The idea of author intent has a fine line that consists of many questions.

As a result, we will never know the true intent of an author's work if we are not able to talk to that person. We can make assumptions and educated interpretations for an author's work, but we will always be asking questions. This would include why did the author use this semi-colon or exclamation mark?

I will leave you with a question that I thought of while reading this critical essay.

If an author states their intention for their piece of literature then should we believe the words on the paper or should we question them because the author may be trying to mislead us into thinking in a different mindset?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Watson

This Entry is Very Ironic!


"It is interesting to contrast Empson's famous 'ambiguities' with New Criticism's 'paradox, 'irony' and 'ambivalence' (Eagleton 45).

After reading the chapter about "The Rise of English" I thought that we needed to be refreshed on what irony is.

According to Hamilton, "Irony is the broadest of figures of thought that depend on presenting a deliberate contrast between two levels of meaning...the major types of irony are verbal, structural, dramatic, tragic, and cosmic" (44).

An example of verbal irony:

Tom and his cousin Ashley were fighting. Tom said, "Ashley, your hair looks SO NICE." She knew that he was using sarcasm and quickly replied, with tears streaming down her cheek, "I knew I had a bad hair day, but did you have to emphasize the point." As a result of this discussion, they both went their own ways.

I think that this offers an example of verbal irony because Tom is expressing one meaning of Ashley's hair, but really means another.

If anyone has any examples of irony, please feel free to post them.

Click here for the web page devoted to Hamilton.

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