Freshmen: wrapping up our reading

Today we spent class trying to make a lot of progress in our graphic novels. In 9A and 9B students were encouraged to get in a position to finish their books. Tomorrow, especially for 9B, will be a Socratic seminar prep day. Students left class giving me three deep questions about the text that could inspire conversation with other group members. I’ll type those up and give them out tomorrow to work on in order for everyone to prep for the seminar on Thursday.

For 9A, I’d love to do the seminar on Thursday too, which means we’ll need to finish our books tomorrow and maybe spend part of Thursday prepping for the seminar before launching into it.

Seniors: Learning and applying literary theory

Hi seniors,

Here’s the post from last week that explains what needs to be done for tomorrow. Here’s a copy of the rubric as well:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hm4ofjn9259uruj/Lit%20theory%20presentation%20rubric.docx?dl=0

We’re beginning our presentations right at the beginning of class tomorrow. We’ll go in alphabetical order.

_____________________________________

For next week your group will need to present on a specific literary theory and how it applies to Macbeth and the short story we read in class today: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth” by John Updike.

Like I demonstrated in class today, you’ll need to explain to the class the tenets of your literary theory, lead us in a guided reading of the short story, and explain how we can apply this theory to Macbeth. (Give a couple specific examples but don’t feel like you need to talk about every instance in the book.)

Finally, explain to us why this theory works well for viewing Macbeth, or if it’s a bit of a stretch.

The resources I handed out in class can be found here, but you’ll need to do your own research too and dive deeper into the theory.

I’d like to do the presentations on Tuesday.

Here are the groups once again:

Gender/Queer theory
Vanessa, Kayden, Vivian, Phuong, Nelson

Feminist
Liz, Ludwing, Amanda, Christian

Post-colonial
Yen, Kendrick, Dat, Brittany

Marxist
Elvin, Alex, Duc, Sarah C.

Psychoanalytic/Freudian
Peter, Nikolle, Sabrina, Sashary, Nishali

Jungian
Leslie, Emmy, Sara V., Brianna

Seniors: Learning and applying literary theory

For next week your group will need to present on a specific literary theory and how it applies to Macbeth and the short story we read in class today: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and So Forth” by John Updike.

Like I demonstrated in class today, you’ll need to explain to the class the tenets of your literary theory, lead us in a guided reading of the short story, and explain how we can apply this theory to Macbeth. (Give a couple specific examples but don’t feel like you need to talk about every instance in the book.)

Finally, explain to us why this theory works well for viewing Macbeth, or if it’s a bit of a stretch.

The resources I handed out in class can be found here, but you’ll need to do your own research too and dive deeper into the theory.

I’d like to do the presentations on Tuesday.

Here are the groups once again:

Gender/Queer theory
Vanessa, Kayden, Vivian, Phuong, Nelson

Feminist
Liz, Ludwing, Amanda, Christian

Post-colonial
Yen, Kendrick, Dat, Brittany

Marxist
Elvin, Alex, Duc, Sarah C.

Psychoanalytic/Freudian
Peter, Nikolle, Sabrina, Sashary

Jungian
Leslie, Emmy, Sara V., Brianna

Freshmen: Day 1 and 2 of our graphic novels

Today in class both 9A and 9B started or continued reading their graphic novels. Each group had a different assignment for the day (and you can’t bring the novels home with you) so make sure you see me or Ms. Gummoe if you’ve missed class to figure out when/how you can catch up.

Don’t forget your hero story is due Thursday -typed up. There’s no school for us tomorrow, so make your arrangements to get it done for Thursday accordingly!

Seniors: Act 5 scenes 2-7

Today we blew through pretty much the end of the book (we left it a bit of a cliff hanger for Thursday’s class when we’ll read the last scene).

The main events today both centered around Macbeth. 1) The first part of the witches’ full destiny for him came true (Birnam Wood moved to Dunsinane) and 2) his reaction to Lady Mac’s off-stage death. It’s worth noting that two of the play’s most significant deaths – Duncan’s and Lady Mac’s – both happen off stage.

Compare Mac’s reaction to his wife’s death to Macduff’s. Here’s what Macduff had to say in IV.3:

MALCOLM
Dispute it like a man.
MACDUFF
I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!

and later:

MACDUFF
O, I could play the woman with mine eyes
And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission; front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
Within my sword’s length set him; if he ‘scape,
Heaven forgive him too!

Compare that to Macbeth’s reaction to his wife’s suicide in V.5:

“She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

How are their emotional responses different? How does Macduff “take it like a man”?

Seniors: Macduff goes to England, Lady Macbeth sleepwalks

Today we read IV.3 and V.1. In IV.3 Macduff goes to Malcolm and begs him to join with him in fighting Macbeth to regain the Scottish throne. For all of you out there interested in this gender stuff, pay close attention to IV.3.220 when Macduff hears the news that his wife and children have been murdered by Macbeth:

Malcolm: Dispute it like a man.
Macduff: I shall do so,
But I must also feel it as a man.
I cannot remember such things were
That were most precious to me. Did Heaven look on
And would not take their part?

It’s a great blending of both the gender and Christian theology we’ve been looking at. First, “disputing” like a man, for Macduff, means feeling all the emotions – ¬†how does this differ from Lady Macbeth’s reactions to Macbeth’s emotional reactions?

Also, it goes back to the point we were making in class last week: if there’s a benevolent God, then why is there war or suffering? Macduff wonders why “Heaven” would just look on as Macbeth killed his family. What did the article we read Friday have to say about this?

As for Lady Macbeth, what would Freud have to say about the psychosomatic sleepwalking and hand-wringing she demonstrates for the doctor in V.1?

Seniors: More Christian literary theory

We continued our theme of looking at Macbeth through Christian literary theory, beginning class with a reading that emphasized one of the main problems of using this lens on Macbeth: it’s just too simplistic.

Here’s a link to the article:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/eoja39xr16dfvqv/Macbeth%20Christianity%20notes.docx?dl=0

On Monday we’ll start with your group giving an example of where we see a reference or allusion to Christian theology or history in your assigned scene. We got a good example in class today when Peter’s group (with an assist from Leslie and someone else – sorry I forgot who!) showed that the line about the bell that “summons [Macbeth] to heaven or hell” (II.i.62) connects well to the chain of being we learned about yesterday. Obviously, killing someone (especially with a divine connection like a king) would send Macbeth to hell, but if Macbeth is able to take the throne, then he’d go to heaven because he’d be king and therefore also divine. Make sense?

Not every scene will have lines as easy to spot as that, but they all will have some references. Even things like calling the king “Your Grace” or “My lord” would fit in with this idea.

Start thinking about your response paper for Tuesday. Here are a couple ideas if you’re still looking for something to write about:

-Christian theology and Macbeth
-Macbeth’s “full” destiny from the witches
-Macbeth’s obsession with other peoples’ families (Banquo and Macduff)
-Macbeth’s bad trip
-“He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear/His hopes ‘bove wisdom, grace and fear./And you all know, security/is mortals’ chiefest enemy” (III.v.30)
-Banquo’s murder

9B: Redo

Ok, after going through yesterday’s classwork it was clear that there wasn’t a lot of thought, effort or focus put in to the work. So, today was a redo day. Your grade from yesterday will stand, but you have today to redo what was asked of you to our expectations.

Today’s class went so much better and met our expectations for what group reading and discussions should look like. Here are a couple examples of good snippets of conversations I overheard:

“Like in history class, sometimes you’ve got to look at things from two sides.” – Rosa

“Your past makes you who you are.” – Stefano

“Do you think it’s true that people repeat the sins of their past – not just Magneto but people in general?” – Kenia

“Let’s say the roles were reversed and whites were slaves and blacks were slave owners…How would Washington and DuBois attack this problem?” – Joan

We’ll start reading on Monday.

Seniors: IV.1 and IV.2, Macbeth goes on a trip

First, we started off class with some notes on King James VI/I and his views on Christianity, demonology and how the supernatural affected his reign as king. We’ll revisit those notes tomorrow.

In class, we read IV.1 and IV.2. Make sure you understand the rest of the prophecy the witches show Macbeth and who Macduff is before we get too far into class tomorrow.