We’ll dive into a writing prompt by tackling another close reading of True Grit. This time, however, you will have paper copy in front of you and you will be handwriting your plans and responses. The timing will be twenty minutes and you will again be turning in your planning along with your essay.
The prompt: Discuss the techniques Portis employs in this passage to characterize the protagonist, Mattie Ross. (This prompt is based on similar prompts that have actually appeared on the test.)
We will take no more than ten minutes to debrief on that particular writing experience and that passage.
Why? Because we have a TON of Hamlet to unlock and discover. Acts I and II both need our attention.
Hamlet delivers three powerful speeches here, two as soliloquies, one as something of a monologue directed at Rosencrantz & Guildenstern.
The first appears in Act I, scene 2. “Oh, that this, too, too sullied flesh would melt”
The second appears in Act II, scene 1. “I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth”
And the third appears in Act II, scene 2. “Oh what a rogue and peasant slave am I”
What do we learn of Hamlet over the course of these three speeches and how does Shakespeare construct such a figure? Let us look carefully at Shakespeare’s technique here — there’s something about this play that feels strategic to me. Perhaps it is the nature of the intrigue. It feels as though maybe, just maybe, Shakespeare’s development of Hamlet’s character mirrors Hamlet’s development of his revenge plot.
For your blogging, you might consider a comparison of Hamlet portrayals. Which do you think appeals to my sensibilities about the character? (Ignore the nerd cred in having one of the Doctors play the tragic prince. Branagh directed Thor and Ethan Hawke made one of the top 5 best sci-fi films ever with Gattaca. This YouTube video over-runneth with nerdtasticness.)
For Friday, read only Act III, scene 1. There is considerable amounts to digest in a relative short amount of text. Perhaps the most famous speech in all of English-language drama appears here.
I know I mentioned Synthesis #3 would be assigned today. I want to hold off a couple of more classes before assigning it formally as I want to continue emphasis with the on-demands and time to discuss Hamlet. I know you are all heartbroken by this news. (The final draft of Synthesis #3 will still be on the 4th quarter ranking period, so it won’t affect your grades. You might have a little busier late March and early April.)
Most important date: independent book projects are due March 28 or 29, whichever of the two we have class.
Next most important date: that is also the final day for revisions of Pinterest projects and .. yes.. satires that I know I’m behind in returning.
And doesn’t it feel we need something of a capstone on Hamlet? Something more than just fodder for a synthesis essay? Let’s talk about this as well. Perhaps something akin to the Dallowinian Party?