This is going to be a great week! You will like the readings. If you finish your Monday work early, start working ahead. I don’t know how long Tuesday and Wednesday will take you. Also, work on your rough drafts this week. They are due Friday 🙂
Today I want you to begin working on your grammar and vocabulary. I also want you to read four poems from the Renaissance. After that please watch the introduction to the Restoration Period video (below).
I don’t know if I gave you this first one a couple weeks back when we studied sonnets, but it is my favorite Shakespearean sonnet (because I am old) and it is about aging. LOLOL.
Anyways, I think the main theme of these poems today are that you are going to get old. One day you won’t be so pretty, so enjoy it while it lasts, but don’t believe the lying fool that doesn’t want to put a ring on it! Find true love, with a good person, who loves you for who you are on the inside and grow old together.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold (Sonnet 73)
That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang. In me thou see’st the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west; Which by and by black night doth take away, Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest. In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire, That on the ashes of his youth doth lie, As the deathbed whereon it must expire, Consumed with that which it was nourished by. This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong, To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love
Come live with me and be my love,And we will all the pleasures prove,That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,Woods, or steepy mountain yields.And we will sit upon the Rocks,Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,By shallow Rivers to whose fallsMelodious birds sing Madrigals.And I will make thee beds of RosesAnd a thousand fragrant posies,A cap of flowers, and a kirtleEmbroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;A gown made of the finest woolWhich from our pretty Lambs we pull;Fair lined slippers for the cold,With buckles of the purest gold;A belt of straw and Ivy buds,With Coral clasps and Amber studs:And if these pleasures may thee move,Come live with me, and be my love.The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and singFor thy delight each May-morning:If these delights thy mind may move,Then live with me, and be my love.(1599)
The poem below is a response to the poem above. It is funny. I like it 🙂
The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd
If all the world and love were young,And truth in every Shepherd’s tongue,These pretty pleasures might me move,To live with thee, and be thy love.Time drives the flocks from field to fold,When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold,And Philomel becometh dumb,The rest complains of cares to come.The flowers do fade, and wanton fields,To wayward winter reckoning yields,A honey tongue, a heart of gall,Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall.Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of Roses,Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posiesSoon break, soon wither, soon forgotten:In folly ripe, in reason rotten.Thy belt of straw and Ivy buds,The Coral clasps and amber studs,All these in me no means can moveTo come to thee and be thy love.But could youth last, and love still breed,Had joys no date, nor age no need,Then these delights my mind might moveTo live with thee, and be thy love.(1600)
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
(The word virgins here is referring to YOUTH not cuddling)
Robert Herrick, 1591 – 1674
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today Tomorrow will be dying. The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, The higher he’s a-getting, The sooner will his race be run, And nearer he’s to setting. That age is best which is the first, When youth and blood are warmer; But being spent, the worse, and worst Times still succeed the former. Then be not coy, but use your time, And while ye may, go marry; For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry.
Tuesday–Faust, by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
First thing–You have a journal:
#goals–To what lengths would you go to get something that you are passionate about? Write down what you would be willing to sacrifice or trade in return for your quest. Then write down your limits–what would you NOT sacrifice or trade for any amount of money or fame?
Today we are going to study some German literature. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe was one of the most admired and accomplished writers during this time period. He is like THE Renaissance Man of Germany. He made significant contributions to science, philosophy, politics, and he was a towering giant in the world of literature. He published 133 volumes of literature.
Before we get to Faust though, I want you to ENJOY a song. Goethe wrote this poem that was turned into an opera kinda thing. It is super cool. It is called “Erlkonig,” in English it means the “Elf King.” I want you to read this poem in English (on the right), before you hear it in the German. This way you know what it is about. Basically, this song is about a Father who is riding on a horse with his sick child, trying to get him to the doctor before he dies. The superstition is that the Elf King comes for the children to steal them away in death. The father is trying to escape the Elf King. The music changes, from intense fast paced racing to a sing song-lullaby-circus music when the Elf King is luring the child. It is genius.
So here, the music is by Franz Schubert, and the words are by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.
Wer reitet so spät durch Nacht und Wind?
“Mein Sohn, was birgst du so bang dein Gesicht?” –
“Du liebes Kind, komm, geh mit mir!
“Mein Vater, mein Vater, und hörest du nicht,
“Willst, feiner Knabe, du mit mir gehn?
“Mein Vater, mein Vater, und siehst du nicht dort
“Ich liebe dich, mich reizt deine schöne Gestalt;
Dem Vater grauset’s, er reitet geschwind,
Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
“My son, why do you hide your face in fear?”
“You dear child, come, go with me!
“My father, my father, and hearest you not,
“Do you, fine boy, want to go with me?
“My father, my father, and don’t you see there
“I love you, your beautiful form entices me;
It horrifies the father; he swiftly rides on,
Isn’t that a cool song?
I mean it is sad, but it is interesting and entertaining.
Now, enjoy the story of Faust.
The story of Faust is iconic. You see this theme repeated again and again in art, film, and literature. This is where we get the phrase “selling your soul to the devil.”
This story has a lot of Biblical symbolism so before you listen to it go ahead and read Job chapters 1 & 2. Then read Matthew 4:1-11. I want you to see how the Bible deals with Satan luring people and tempting them away from God. The very device that the devil used on Christ, actually worked on Faust.
The story you are going to read today is based on the life of an actual sixteenth-century magician, Georg Faust (I didn’t misspell it). According to legend the magician did sell his soul to the devil in return for secret occult knowledge. These stories were widely circulated in the 1500’s. Even Christopher Marlowe (a poet you read yesterday) wrote about him! Goethe’s story is different from all the others, because in his version Faust is allowed to go to heaven, and in all the others he is dragged to hell!
As this portion of the story opens, Faust is sad, frustrated and hopeless. He feels that he doesn’t understand the purpose of living. He isn’t satisfied by anything. He feels like studying and learning is meaningless and he wants to experience life fully! He decides to go for a walk and is soothed by the beauty of nature. He decides he can accept his life, if he just chooses to enjoy living. Then he meets Mephistopheles . . .
Below is a picture from the French painter Eugene Delacroix of Faust and Mephistopheles. I was able to see a HUGE Delacroix exhibit last December in Santa Barbara.
I love him.
Wednesday–Paradise Lost, by John Milton
First thing–you have a journal:
Evil–Why does evil exist? What is the source of it’s power to fascinate us? Paradise Lost is about a classic struggle between God and Satan, good and evil. First Satan rebels against God, then he gets Adam and Eve to do the same. Why do we let ourselves join them? Why do we also rebel against the Lord?
Today I want you to read a portion of Paradise Lost called, “The Fall of Satan.” But first, I want you to read this sonnet “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent”–It is a Petrarchan Sonnet, not Shakespearean–so it is divided by 8 lines and then 6 lines. It is especially meaningful, because he was a writer who was blind.
“When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Now go ahead and check out the reading from Paradise Lost—
Background – Paradise Lost – Milton’s Epic: At the very beginning of Paradise Lost (1667), Milton describes the content of his epic as “things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme” (line 16). His allusions to Homer, Virgil, Dante, and a host of lesser epic poets leave no doubt that Milton wanted Paradise Lost to sum up and also surpass all previous epics. The quality that would set Milton’s epic apart, of course, was that it dealt with great deeds on a cosmic scale at the dawn of Creation – rather than with early matters. There is a formal, set way to begin an epic. At the outset, an epic poet does two things. The speaker invokes the Muse (one of the nine Greek goddesses who inspire poets and other practitioners of the arts and sciences) to speak or sing through the poet; and the speaker states the subject of the poem. Milton does both these things in the first, complicated sentences (lines 1-16) of Paradise Lost. Grammatically, this sentence begins in line 6 with the command “Sing, Heavenly Muse.” “Sing,” says Milton, and now we move back to line 1, “Of man’s first disobedience,” which is Adam and Eve’s first act of disobedience against God, who has forbidden them to eat of the fruit of a particular tree in Eden. The result, or “fruit,” of their disobedience is expulsion from and loss of Paradise, another name for the Garden of Eden. Yet, all is not lost, because a “greater Man” (line 4), Jesus Christ, has restored the possibility of Paradise to the human race. Milton calls this argument “great” (line 24), for he is attempting to resolve a dilemma that has puzzled many people throughout the ages. On the one hand, we are told that through his Eternal Providence (line 25), God takes loving care of creation; on the other hand, we know that there are many very bad things in the world, such as war, crime, poverty, disease, oppression, and injustice. In Paradise Lost, Milton asserts that God is not responsible for these evils; instead, Adam and Eve’s disobedience gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose between good and evil, and the strength to resist evil; yet they chose evil, and their offspring – all of us – have suffered the effects of their choice ever since. This explanation is not original to Milton; many Christians have accepted it for centuries.
(Holt Rinehart Winston)
Just a note- All that background information came straight out of the public school textbook that I used. That is pretty cool huh? It is cool that these discussions about God and Satan and sin took place in public school classrooms, they took place in my public school classrooms too 🙂 Pray for God to shine his truth through these old poets this year, in the public schools.
Please click on the following link to read from the epic:
First of all, use today to finish your Rough Draft which you will need to turn in tomorrow. Make sure your thesis statement is specific and arguable. And that you prove it!!!
Secondly, I am not going to assign any new reading. I just want you to review what we already studied this week and answer the following questions. Due tomorrow.
Thinking and Writing
- How is Faust like King Solomon in the Bible?
- What does Mephistopheles say in response to Faust’s “What am I?” question?
- How did you react to Milton’s portrait of Satan? What images describing Satan or words spoken by Satan made the greatest impression on you?
- How is the rebellion of Satan connected to the fall of Adam and Eve?
- Re-read Milton’s description of hell (lines 53-74). How is hell both a psychological and a physical place? What do you make of the poet’s use of paradox in the phrase “darkness visible” (line 63)?
- In his opening speech Satan vows never to repent or change (line 96). Nevertheless, do you catch any hint of longing in his speech for the angels former state?
- Perhaps the most famous verses of this passage are in Satan’s last speech (lines 254-255) “The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” In your experience, is this an accurate description of what the mind can do?
- Why do you think that so much of the literature we read from this time period is about the devil trying to destroy people? Consider “Erlkonig,” Faust, and Paradise Lost.
- Which poem from Monday was the sweetest?
- Out of everything we studied this week, what was your most favorite?
Friday (in class)–“A Modest Proposal,” by Jonathan Swift
Okay, you are going to LOVE this one. This is a satirical piece of persuasive writing. Jonathan Swift also wrote Gulliver’s Travels. We are going to read a super cool story in class tomorrow. It is satirical and persuasive. You will like it 🙂