Seniors: Essay resources

Hi Seniors,

This post will be a compilation of resources you can (um, should?) use in writing your Orwell essay. For starters, here’s a digital copy of the research guide I handed out in class on Thursday: Using online journals for research

Here’s the citing guide I handed out in class last Thursday: MLA Format Guide for Essays

Seniors: Presentations

Today we heard from the Post-Colonial and Feminist groups. Nice work to both of them — I think we came away with a much better understanding of those lenses and how to apply them to Macbeth.

The other four groups are slated for tomorrow. We’re gonna start right away, so make sure you’re ready to go when you come in. I had some trouble connecting to the internet on my laptop today, so be prepared in case of emergency.

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

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

Seniors: Banquo’s ghost

Today we finally finished III.iv – the scene where Banquo’s ghost comes back to haunt Macbeth. Read that if you missed class. We also watched Roman Polanski’s version of the scene, which does a great job of illustrating the setting and the reactions of the crowd that watches Macbeth react to seeing Banquo’s ghost.

For your second response paper, which is due tomorrow, there are a few ideas you can hone in on:

-New Historicism: how did the context of the times (and Shakespeare’s writing environment) impact how the play was written and our response to it?
-Freudian stuff: Is Banquo’s ghost real, or is it just a manifestation of Macbeth’s guilt-wracked mind?
-Manliness: why is Lady Macbeth always talking about gender?
-Supernatural: are there really supernatural forces at work here, or is it just because the characters themselves are supernatural that they keep talking about it?

Seniors: the true story of Macbeth

Today each group explained their portion of Holinshed’s Chronicles vol. 5: England, Scotland and Ireland and how they related to the fictionalized version Shakespeare created for King James VI. Looking at the differences through a new historicist lens, why did Shakespeare make the changes he made? We saw the revelation of some crazy stuff when we looked at Macbeth with a Freudian lens, what pops out when we look at Macbeth when we take into account the context of when it was written?

In class we finished up reading III.i.

Seniors: New Historicism literary criticism, Macbeth in real life

Today we started looking at Macbeth through a new filter, New Historicism:

A critical approach developed in the 1980s through the works of  Michel Foucault and Stephen Greenblatt, similar to Marxism. Moving away from text-centered schools of criticism such as New Criticism, New Historicism reopened the interpretation of literature to the social, political, and historical milieu that produced it. To a New Historicist, literature is not the record of a single mind, but the end product of a particular cultural moment. New Historicists look at literature alongside other cultural products of a particular historical period to illustrate how concepts, attitudes, and ideologies operated across a broader cultural spectrum that is not exclusively literary. In addition to analyzing the impact of historical context and ideology, New Historicists also acknowledge that their own criticism contains biases that derive from their historical position and ideology. Because
it is impossible to escape one’s own “historicity,” the meaning of a text is fluid, not fixed. New Historicists attempt to situate artistic texts both as products of a historical context and as the means to understand cultural and intellectual history.

To start that, we split into groups to look at sections of Holinshed’s Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland, which tells the real historical story of Duncan, Macbeth and Banquo. Here’s a link to that:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/npkdyc0sj6o0jad/Macbeth%20real%20life%20carousel.docx?dl=0

We’re starting class Thursday jumping right into the presentations on each section. Be ready.

I collected your first response paper today too. Get it to me if you didn’t give it to me in class.

Seniors: Freud’s own words on Macbeth

Today we took everything we’ve learned about Freud and our knowledge of Macbeth/Lady Macbeth and put it all together. In small groups we read this article by Sigmund Freud on Macbeth and answered the following question:

Think about what you know of Freud’s psychological theories. How does he use them to analyze Macbeth/Lady Macbeth and what conclusions does he draw?

Students (should have) looked back in their notes about Freud and seen how he applies he theories to the text. After, we wrote on the board observations we made, which a number of people in the class took pictures of. If you need one, ask around.

Remember, your response papers are due Tuesday. I handed out a couple of examples in class. Here’s one of them: Macbeth response paper. I’ll put up more of an explanation of what I’m looking for this weekend. Remember, anything we’ve discussed (or that you’ve written in class) is fair game to be polished up and given to me.

Basically, your response paper should do the following:
-Explore an idea about the primary text further than we have in class
-Use a quote or two from any of the texts we’ve looked at in class
-Type it up, check your spelling and grammar. It should be 1.5 to 2 pages in length (double spaced)
-The tone doesn’t have to be super formal (for example, you can use “I” and “you”) but should still be considered academic writing

Here are some excellent quotes from previous Macbeth response papers that show a range of thoughts, styles and ideas:

 

 

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lckofqivdfjm2io/Macbeth%20response%20paper%20excerpts.docx?dl=0