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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Right, a bit of help for those that need it...

Context
It is essential to put the play into context. Integrate comments on context into your explanation of language/performance.
The political world had been a time of uncertainty. This site has extensive commentary on the background to King Lear. Don't be put off by the enormity of it! At the other end of the spectrum, if you want a very brief overview, look at Sparknotes.
When it comes to context (depending on your own question) consider politics, social change, justice, religion, madness and death and disease.

Language
The language in King Lear shifts from formal, ceremonious register to informal and conversational. It is a times bombastic and at others restrained. All is used to intensify the dramatic effect upon the audience.

Lear's language is commanding. Even when he's dividing the country his language shows he is very much in charge. Even in the storm he tries to command the elements.
There has been great debate about whether or not King Lear is a religious play. Despite the pagan setting, it is full of Christian terminology. Learning through suffering is a Christian lesson.
The imagery of Cordelia's death could be associated with the pieta. There are prayers, oaths, sermons and parables (The Fool often gives little homilies).

There is distinct poetic imagery in the language: it is vivid and emotive. Again, Christian imagery creates complex links. References to classical mythology contribute to this complexity.
There are clusters of images that repeat through the play: blindness, animals and disease.
Antithesis is used linguistically, perhaps to reflect the conflict in the play. Repetition and lists are used. What is the dramatic effect of using these devices on the audience? Have a look here for more guidance on imagery.

Verse and prose is used unconventionally. Sometimes prose would be used to reflect the status of the character. Conventionally, low status characters speak in prose. However, Gloucester and Edmund are high status, but speak in prose in 1.2. Although high-status, Lear sometimes speaks in prose, particularly with The Fool and Poor Tom. Why might Shakespeare do this? Does it reflect his common humanity or his lack of status? The verse is mostly iambic pentameter (which he would have learnt at school). He's quite experimental in King Lear moving away from end-stopped lines and using caesura and enjambment. Why?

Handy links
If you fancy signing up to enotes, have a look there. Here is an interesting article. Here is a famous essay. This is good! There's even a quiz.

Look though other posts on this blog for more handy links!

Let me know if you have any problems. Nearly there.
Ms :)



Thursday, 9 December 2010


Hello Y12

In Wednesday's lesson we looked at a Band 6 essay. We considered the aspects that need to be included in your own essays. You also thought about criticism and how that will be integrated into an essay. It is essential that you consider different interpretations in you writing; your own interpretations are, of course, valuable.

We discussed 3.7. where Gloucester is horribly assaulted, both physically and verbally. He is bound like a baited bear, Jacobean audiences could have recognised this as bears were chained near the playhouse and savaged by dogs for entertainment. Goneril and Regan seem like barking, relentless dogs in this scene.

We discussed how it was usual for scenes that contained extreme violence like this to take place off stage in Jacobean times. It would have been shocking then, as it is to audiences now. Even if Gloucester has his back to the audience, the physical violence is evident in Cornwall's 'upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot'. The intervention of the good servant brings hope to the scene, but that hope is brutally snatched away as Regan stabs him in the back. Gloucester calls for Edmund's help, but Regan reveals his son's betrayal. At this point, the irony is bitter; Gloucester's metaphorical blindness is lifted as his he is blinded.

We also looked closely at the final scenes in Act 5. The military regalia and drums heighten the dramatic tension as we move to the denouement. The sexual rivalry between the sisters is revealed as Edgar gives Albany the letter. Edmund's soliloquy in the first scene reveal his duplicity and thirst for power. He reveals that Goneril will need to kill Albany, after he has made use of his army, and reveal his intention to kill Lear and Cordelia (lines 57-8).

Scene 2 is bleak. The image of a blind, helpless old man is striking on the stage.

Edmund enters triumphantly in the final scene. Lear's romantic, hopeful ideas of his and Cordelia's captivity are hollow given the dramatic irony of Edmund's intentions. The hopeful image created by Lear is undercut with Edmund's curt order to 'take them away'.

Regan declares her intention to marry Edmund. In the lines 68-72 her language is filled with the language of military surrender. As the love triangle is exposed (Albany allows all three to implicate themselves before he takes action) Albany's address switches sarcastically from the familiar thee and thy to the formal you and your.

The duel between Edgar and Edmund is interesting in terms of performance. It could be a slick, chivalrous performance or a savage fight to the death. What would the impact upon the audience of different performances be?

As Edmund lies dying on stage justice seems to have been done. Good is rewarded and evil is killed. As Edmund says, the 'wheel [of fortune] has come full circle'. Does this offer some hope?

As the sisters die off stage (Regan poisoned and Goneril kills herself), Albany orders that their bodies are brought out and are one stage for the rest of the scene, perhaps as a visual reminder of death and conventional for the genre.

Lear's performance at this point desperate. He enters with Cordelia's body cradles in his arms. Jacobeans could have recognised this image as similar to a pieta and understood it to be a Christian symbol of redemption. Obviously, Shakespeare consciously intending this religious reference is speculative. It is full of desperate grief though as Lear tries to find signs of life in her body and dies trying to do so. Looking to see if her lips move could link back to the fort scene Whether or not Lear dies thinking Cordelia lives is up to the audience.

Traditionally good would be rewarded, justice would be done and the evil punished at the end of a play. Is it a nihilistic ending? Edgar ascends the throne, but do we think he'll be a worthy King? Indeed the ending was so bleak that it was given a happy ending for many years - simply too tragic for many. (Research Nahum Tate's rewriting.) The Folio ends with 'exeunt with a dead march' suggesting a funereal procession of the dead. Performance of this in modern times omits this death march and use stillness and silence for impact.

I am aware I am going on somewhat, it's just because I love it!

I'm going to post a bit of criticism, but given the boundaries of time and life this won't be on until Saturday. Do some research yourself online. There are many fascinating articles available.

YOU MUST bring your essay to Wednesday's lesson. Email it to yourself, but absolutely ensure that you have a copy to work on in class. Here, we'll add some criticism in (like we did with the essay yesterday). It would therefore be advantageous if your work is typed as it will allow you to amend your work easily.

Finally, at least for now, it's nearly Christmas! I realise you're working hard, but you will have a break over the holidays. Any cake, Christmas biscuits etc. that you would like to bake/buy and bring to our lesson I'm sure will be appreciated!

Have a good weekend,
Ms Caldwell










Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Here's a sneaky peak at the Bradley article, for those of you that are excited! FYI we won't look at the whole document.


Hi Y12


We powered through a lot of stuff today.


We had a revision of the coursework requirements and the concepts of Tragedy.


We then considered alternative thematic interpretations of the play. This is an analysis/discussion of criticism and interpretation. It was difficult, but it should tax your brain somewhat! Where this is particularly useful is that it can give you names of criticism that you can google and explore in more detail online (remembering to reference it (look at previous post in order to do that properly)); the criticism you use will vary according to your question. Here is the information we looked at in class:


Use the learning from today's lesson to guide your title writing. Ensure it has a focus on an aspect of tragedy. You MUST focus on an aspect of tragedy. Look at the titles from the lesson today to further assist your title. They are here.


Email me by the end of the day!


If you see Jack or Kathryn, please remind them to look at this blog. And a note to all, if you miss a lesson, it is essential that you look at this blog asap so you can keep up to date with the learning.


For homework you need to read the Kettle criticism I gave you. Next lesson we'll look at AC Bradley. You also need to read Act III, Sc VII. As ever, look closely at language, links to tragedy and consider contextual factors and interpretations!


Well done for today. You worked well on a difficult task.


Ms Caldwell


P.S. Already got some titles and I'm looking forward to the rest.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Hello Y12

We did a range of things in today's lesson.

We did some close analysis of the Fool's language and considered his dramatic role in the play. The extracts we considered were from Act II Sc IV. Whilst he displays many of the virtues of Cordelia, honesty, virtue and loyalty, his language contrasts with the plainness of Cordelia's. He is also never punished for his honesty, unlike Cordelia and Kent, and he certainly oversteps the the privileges of his role. In the extracts we looked at, the Fool's loyalty is much like a loyal son; interesting in a play where familial relationships are such a disaster.

In the play as a whole the Fool acts as a social commentator, a 'vehicle for pathos'. He can be played as a comic Fool, bitter Fool or even a tragic Fool. Fools were often kept by the monarchy to provide witticism and to remind the monarch of their humanity. The Fool provides these functions within the play and gives the audience something to laugh about too, particularly in bleak scenes. He reminds the audience of the chaos created by a fatal flaw on society; how the disharmony of those in status had adverse affects upon society at large because Lear has made his daughters his mothers.

We also considered the 'disappearance' of the Fool. There has been much speculation over what happens to the Fool and directors choose to keep, kill or ignore him. Some suggest the Fool is dropped when he is no longer needed. His purpose within the play is to try to get Lear to recognise his mistake; he is a positive character that tries to push Lear to the truth. Some critics think that once his purpose is achieved, Lear recognises his mistake, he is not needed within the play. It could also be that it would be inappropriate for a comic character to be in the bleak, tragic scenes towards the end of the play. It could also be that the Fool is played by the same person that plays Cordelia!
We also looked closely at Lear's fluctuating state of mind in this scene. He moves quickly from extreme anger to distress and despair. The natural law has been disturbed. Lear is in a helpless feminine role and the daughters are in power. It's important to consider how performance can emphasise Lear's madness and Goneril and Regan's cruelty. The juxtaposition of an emotionally broken old man and two very powerful women is captivating for an audience.

Finally, we looked at the Assessment Objectives for the coursework and some exemplar essays. A reminder then that this is worth 20% of your overall grade (40% for coursework. 60% exam). It should be 12oo-1500 words. It is imperative that you look at the AOs that you were given so that you know what to do well. You don't have to do a conventional essay; you can write a re-creative piece. You must write a commentary on this and the two are marked together. The AOs for this are here.

You have two homeworks this week (I know - I'm harsh). Think about the parts of the play you like the most. Don't underestimate how much better it is to write about aspects you like! You need to have chosen your title by next lesson so that I can send it off to the exam board for verification, it will need some tinkering and this is why I don't want you to start writing it yet. You also need to do a written piece in order to refine your writing skills. Therefore, you need to write the essay that you have already planned. As I'm not actually that harsh, it needs to be between 700-900 words. (900 is the absolute limit.) Look at the AOs as you will need to do some research of your own, but ensure it is referenced. If you are unsure about referencing I think this site is easy to understand and will serve you well throughout your further and higher education. We haven't looked at criticism yet, this is the plan for next lesson, so you need not worry about this AO too much (AO3ii).


Let me know if you have any questions. If you don't want to leave a comment you can always email me my school email (lcaldwell).


You will have lots to do before Christmas, but you'll have a nice research task over the holiday so you can rest then!

See you next week

Ms :)










Saturday, 20 November 2010


Hello Y12


Hope all is well in the world of y12!


Right, straight to it. Your homework is to read to the end of the play. As I said before, when I say read I mean read and understand. You need to have a secure understanding of the play as a whole before we can move on to coursework.


When you've done this have a look at these Titles! (I'm sure you're as excited by this new blogging feature as I am...) Pick one and make a brief plan for an essay. You need to consider how you'd structure the essay to keep your answer clear and focused on the task.


You'll have to manage your own learning here. If it's taken you three hours to read to the end of the play, don't then spend another three trying to plan an essay. If you've already read to the end of the play, and feel you know it well, spend a solid amount of time looking at the titles and planning a response.


Finally, don't panic! You may not be able to structure a response to some of the questions because we've not looked in detail at some of these scenes. Choose one that we have a looked at. This is not your coursework title, but a chance for you to consider structuring a response before you choose your own. It's also a chance to have a look at the questions from last year and begin consider your own choice.


Any problems then do let me know.

Ms :)



Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Hey Y12
Just to let you know they'll be homework. I have some titles for your perusal. This needs to be really well structured (by me) so I need a bit of time to put it all together. It'll be posted tomorrow night.
Let me know if this is a problem.
Ms :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Hello Y12

I should have mentioned the scale on the chart. I think the measurement 'scale' should fluctuate between desperation/despair and anger/rage. There is a degree of flexibilty on this scale. If you've already done something else, don't worry about changing it.

Ms

Wednesday, 10 November 2010


Hi Y12

In today's lesson we looked at the language in the first scenes in Act II. This Act is where the two plots intertwine.

In the first two scenes Edmund demonstrates once again his powers of manipulation. Gloucester's reaction mirrors the rashness of Lear's (signalling the inevitability of his downfall); the patriarch taken in by false words and the innocent child banished. Regan and Cornwall's cruelty is exposed. Lear, Gloucester and Kent are humiliated. The old patriarchs are pushed aside and the new (unnatural) power is in place.

Performance of this was discussed as we watched this scene. The presentation of Regan as particularly condescending and Cornwall as sleazy have impact. We also discussed the use of accents, and this is something that came up in one of the essays of comparison, and the impact this has. Why has Kent been given a Yorkshire accent?

Looking at the play as a performance is essential. YouTube has a wonderful array of performances. Click here to view easily. It will cement your understanding of the action if you spend 30 minutes watching the play.

We also considered how these scenes impact upon the audience. For example, Act II Sc III has impact upon the audience, not only in terms of the language, but also action and positioning.It gives us a sense of the urgency and danger that Edgar is now in. It's his first real speech where he is not being manipulated and the audience symapthises with Edgar in action (I wonder if he looses his glasses, like Clark Kent, in the production we watched...). The removal of his clothes would have been deeply significant to a Jacobean audience because of sumptuary laws click here for more info on this). His madness prepares us for Lear's decsention into madness. Good is pushed aside for evil. It's a lot for 21 lines.

Again, using my cunning in order to make you read all the post, the home study you need to do for next week is to chart Lear's mood from 2.4 - 3.4.; look at the picture to see how to do this, giving the scene numbers across the top. This will need to be done on A3 paper, I meant to give you some - sorry); there is some A3 on the shelf in Rm 9. You need to include many quotes on this that detail his mood. Hint: some quotes will be from the same section of speech so the graph should fluctuate quite wildly. Look at the lines 2.4.217-229 where he experiences a number of mood changes. In this scene alone you could look at lines 217, 218-20, 221-227.

Any problems, or if this is not very clear, please let me know ASAP and, perhaps, I'll provide you with a model at parents' evening.

I have tried to mind a way of incorparating barber-mongers into this post, but I don't want anyone to be upset!

Take care,

Ms Caldwell
P.S. JBC (bet you're freezing!) if you need any help with this, do let me know. Alternatively, copy down the notes from someone else in the class. That goes for EDF too..!




Saturday, 6 November 2010


Hello Y12


Apologies for being a bad blogger - my children have been ill; the smallest child really quite ill and he really likes to press the off button when I'm on the computer...


Anyway, in Wednesday's lesson we looked at Act 1, Scene 2. We considered how it mirrors the action in Scene 1. We looked in detail at Edmund's soliloquy and how it showed an obsession with his illegitimacy. Edmund is deeply resentful of his baseness and being at the bottom of the social pile. He reveals to the audience his plans to denigrate the legitimate Edgar and ensure he is disinherited. He exposes himself as the tragic villain.


Edmund demonstrates his powers of manipulation and cunning; he handles Gloucester adroitly.

The letter and the plot touch on a central theme - the transfer of power and wealth from the old to the young. When Edmund says that he often hears Edgar
“Maintain it to be fit that, sons at perfect age, and
fathers declined, the father should be as ward to the
son, and the son manage his revenue.”
(lines 73-75)
This is, of course, Edmund's opinion. We also discussed how it closely reflects the view of Goneril and Regan at the end of 1.1.


Gloucester's quick response mirrors the rashness of Lear's condemnation of Cordelia, showing a distinct misjudgement of their children's character. Gloucester's reference to Edgar as 'unnatural' touches on nature and the natural that continues throughout the play (click here for more on nature and the play). The repetition of 'brutish' is a continuation of the imagery used by Lear of the criminal and the unnatural/sub-human. The references to the astrology also echoes Lear's responses.


Edmund handles Edgar with the same powers of manipulation. The scene ends with the private Edmund, mirroring the private Goneril and Regan at the end scene one.


Although the plot is different and separate from the main plot, it parallels some of the action by having a parent that is fooled because of misplaced trust in the wrong child/children as an innocent child suffers.


We also did some drama in the lesson. I do feel that we moved from tragedy to comedy, but it was great fun! It is imperative that we remember that King Lear is a play to be performed and it isn't just about the language. It's important to consider what the other characters on stage are doing as a person speaks. KS's embarrassed Edmund in the opening could signal the audience to the deep resentment he expresses in scene two. How else could it be played?


I've decided to embed the homework into my writing so that you have to read this post in order to find it - I am so cunning! You need to read on (and it's a lot of reading) to the end of Act III Scene IV. if you're reading this at 6pm on Tuesday, you've got a late night. Ensure you look at your footnotes to assist your understanding.


Next lesson we'll look closely at Lear's descent in to madness.


Parents' Evening Thursday

Mrs Archer and I will see you together. At the end of Thursday everyone apart from ES and GS had appointments.


Any problems then do, as ever, let me know.


Ms Caldwell





Saturday, 23 October 2010

Hello Y12

In this week's lesson we looked closely at Act I, Scene I. If you didn't get to the end of the scene you need to go through it in the same way. It should be heavily annotated.

It's Shakespeare so a couple of words often bring much debate and fascinating analysis! In the opening scene the audience meets the central characters, are given information about their status and demise and are introduced to many of the themes and motifs. In just the first few lines the audience overhears of the planned division and of the King's suggested favouritism.

In the first scene there is the clash of the personal and the public. The manners of court contrast with private, loving relationships. Lear leaves his private relationships as father of Cordelia and friend to Kent and then his public role as king; he demonstrates destructive acts as father and as a king unafraid to rip apart the kingdom. This exposes him to vulnerability as a father and as a king; this increases the dramatic tension.

There are striking contrasts established in 1.1. Cordelia’s ‘ponderous’ tongue contrasts with the light words of Goneril and Regan. Goneril states that she loves Lear ‘more than word can wield’ (1.1.54) and then goes on to say how much she loves him, so much that ‘speech [is] unable’ (1.1.59), but she’s still speaking! It’s ironic that she says that words aren’t enough, as Cordelia does, but appears to manage to ‘heave her heart into [her] mouth’ (1.1.90-91). Cordelia’s asides occur directly after her sisters speak creating a further contrast.

The King of France also contrasts with King Lear. France seizes upon her virtues (1.1.251) of honesty and plainness. Language is also used to generate contrasts in his speech (1.1.249-260) – have a look.

It’s imperative that we remember that this is a play and is written for performance. The physicality of the crown (‘this coronet part between you’ (1.1.138)) and the map also serve to heighten the dramatic tension. These can be performed as props to emphasise the disorder/chaos and signal the inevitability of the tragedy.

Shakespeare foreshadows the tragedy. Your homework title then is an essay answering the question:
How does Shakespeare signal the inevitability of Tragedy in Act 1, Scene 1 of King Lear?
(700-900 words) You should use the key terms. You do not need to write an essay on everything in the scene; select a few key words and a couple of speeches to keep your writing concise but also exploratory.

Any problems then let me know.
Ms Caldwell

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Hello all,

This is a quick post just to let you know that I won't be able to post a detailed summary of the lesson and homework until tomorrow (Friday), possibly Saturday at the very latest.

I'm am very sorry about this - I'm sure you are quite gutted! If this is a problem for you, particularly if you are going on holiday, then please leave a comment. Otherwise, check back in a couple of days...

Happy holiday!

Ms :)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Hello Y12


I hadn't imagined when I talked about Star Wars as a tragedy in the lesson there would be such a wealth of information online. Have a ponder over these:


  • This link is a transcript of a lecture; it is pretty spectacular, though it would be better, I think, if it used some more of the key terms for tragedy.

  • This link is also interesting. (I want to make a joke about Star Wars and Geek Tragedy.)

Essentially, Anakin could be hero with the fatal flaw (harmartia). He shows excessive pride (hubris) in his control of the force. There is an inevitability to his downfall as Yoda 'senses much fear in him' when he is taken on by the Jedi council and the force is clouded. Anagnorisis is occurs just before death when the Anakin (Darth Vadar) recognises that he has caused much suffering and kills the Emperor. This is after having been fatally wounded by his son who doesn't know he's his son for much of the film; this has similarities to the classic Greek Tragedy Oedipus (though arguably tenuous). The cathartic moment in the film comes at Darth Vadar/ Anakin's death.


I think Yoda sums up the tragic elements of the film when he says at the Jedi council meeting 'Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.' The inevitability of the downfall is made clear, the flaw is made clear and the suffering of the tragedy is signalled. The audience experience both pity and fear and learn the moral lesson of not joining the Dark Side.

Obviously, this is not exact. There are also factors that don't relate to a tragedy. The three unities can be ruled out: the time is over two generations; there are lots of sub-plots and the setting is all over space! Furthermore, Anakin moves from tragic hero to villain... I think is amusing though.


I would like to point out that my son was four when Episode I came out and this explains my extensive knowledge of the Star Wars saga.


It is a useful exercise to apply the Tragic terms to films, modern media and history. This will cement your understanding and application. You may want to think up cathartic endings for some events (Blair and Bush being a popular choice).


Next lesson we will do some close analysis in the first lesson and some drama in the second lesson. One of the difficult aspects of the course is considering the play in performance (we'll make sure we use the resources in the classroom though: your drama student peers). I'm looking forward to it!

Any comments then comment...

Ms Caldwell


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Stop Press!

If you're writing a soliloquy, in Shakespeare's style, then you need not adhere to the 600 word count. If you're writing the dramatic monologue or creative writing then I think that this word limit is acceptable. If you are struggling with this then do let me know.
Hope you've enjoyed your long weekend!
Ms Caldwell

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Tragic Treasure Hunt

Hello Y12

I’m afraid I can’t be with you on Wednesday (I am at a conference in London).

Don’t be too distressed though: I have left you some work. If you look at the bottom of the lectern (the stand with the computer on) there is a cupboard with a key. In the cupboard, at the back, there is a red folder. Inside the red folder there is the Russian version of King Learyay! You can watch this until the end; we were about 1hr30mins in. Don't forget to move the mouse every ten minutes or it'll hibernate.
At the end of the film version of the play I think it is good to consider Huxley's definition of tragedy...

When this has finished you should make a double plot synopsis of the plots; this will need two strands, one for the Lear plot and one for the Gloucester plot. (This might be done most simply as a timeline.) You should discuss the plot/s in groups and share your points. Ensure everyone is included in your discussion. Make sure you bring your completed synopsis to next week's lesson as you will need it.

You should then write a re-creative piece telling the story from a single character’s point-of-view; you can choose the character. This will help you focus on the plot from a different perspective. It is essential that you consult your text for details of the plot and to get to know your character; you can also use links in previous post to help with your knowledge and understanding.
You could write this as:
- a soliloquy in Shakespeare’s style, making reference to similar themes and using language that is appropriate
- a dramatic monologue
- a piece of creative writing
This should be finished for homework and handed in next lesson. It should be between 600 and 800 words.
The homework that is due in today should have your name on and go in the red folder that you found as part of the treasure hunt. PUT THE DVD IN HERE TOO AND TAKE IT TO THE STAFF ROOM TO GO IN MY PIGEON-HOLE PLEASE. I love this version, it is very difficult to get hold of and it is my personal copy. Please look after it and ensure it finds its way home...
Finally, write your full name, legibly, on a single piece of paper and take it to the office as a register please. I suggest this is done as someone is logging on to play the DVD.
Well done in advance for all your hard work!

If you have any queries please leave a comment and I'll get back to you ASAP. Alternatively, email me via the school email (lcaldwell).
See you next week
Ms Caldwell

Wednesday, 29 September 2010



Hello Y12

Today we watched most of the Russian version of King Lear. Don't worry if you're not very sure what's happening! It is still early days. Watching the Russian version has the dual purpose of making us focus on the text (though there are differences) and allowing us to deduce meaning through performance.


Your homework is to compare the first scene of Kozinstev's 1971 production, you've watched this twice now for this purpose, with Eyre's 1997 production of King Lear. This can be watched on YouTube. You could include comparison of:
  • performance

  • setting

  • characterisation

  • social context

This should be no more than 500 words (let's practise being concise from the off!).

Any questions, please leave a comment or email via the school email system.

See you next week,

Ms :)

Monday, 27 September 2010


Hello Y12


Just so you know what's on the agenda... On Wednesday we'll look at some key terminology, do some close analysis of Scene One and then we'll watch some of the film (the Russian one). We will look at other performances later on in the term.


In the meantime, here are some links that you might find useful. Luminarium is a good website for information about various writers; this includes an excellent general resource as well as having a range of criticism for your delectation. Here is a link to a site that has comprehensive materials on the play.


I hope this helps, particularly as we move to consider the play in its historical context.


Don't forget to read and understand the play to the end of Act I.


Hope you're all well!


Ms :)

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Hello Y12

Today we looked at the first two scenes in King Lear. We considered how the double plot overlaps in its plots, themes and characters.
I'm posting this really quickly due to time constraints so if you look at this on Wednesday please look again on Thursday so that it allows me to go into more detail...
You homework is to read to the end of Act 1; remember to read AND understand. If you are really struggling the click here for some useful guidance. I MUST state that this is only to assist your understanding and is in no way a substitute for reading the text. You have been warned!
Don't forget to check again on Thursday for further posts.
Good work today,
Ms Caldwell

Wednesday, 15 September 2010



Hello Y12

Today we looked at the key features of the literary genre of Tragedy.

It's essential that we start to consider the play in performance and, as the course progresses, we will look at how tragedy can be enhanced through performance.

Today we looked at characteristics of the genre; we also looked at Kozintsev's opening to the play and considered the performance.

The edition of King Lear you should get can be found through this link here. It's the Cambridge School edition.

I would like you to read to the and of Act I, Scene II.

Any problems, let me know.

Ms Caldwell

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Hi Y12

It was great to meet you today; we'll have lots of fun with tragedy!

I am looking forward to presentations from teams two and three next Wednesday morning. I suggest that if you have a PowerPoint saved in your area then you email that to someone so it's not too 'tragic' if you're ill next week.

Homework
You need to do two things:
  • find a definition of tragedy
  • find a news article that could be seen as tragic. Be ready to share how your selected article fits into the definition of tragedy

The article should be printed out and brought to the lesson.

Well done team one for today's presentation and to everyone for a fantastic first lesson. I was particularly impressed with how many of you were applying your newly acquired knowledge of tragedy to the questions asked by team one.

See you next week,

Ms Caldwell

An Introduction to Tragedy

Welcome Y12 to your tragedy Blog!

Hello Y12

This blog is an accessible way for me to communicate the week's learning and set the homework. It is also a useful place for me to create links to extend your learning outside the classroom; learning outside the classroom is essential for success in AS.

If you miss a lesson you will need to look at this blog in order to catch up and do the week's homework. It is also a useful way for you to communicate with me and each other. You can post comments and also feedback to let me know if the learning has been too difficult or too easy; I'll also create polls to get your reactions to debates and ideas that arise.

Today we have looked at Tragedy; tragedy is the dramatic genre we will look at this year. You will write two pieces of coursework in this time. The examination will be taught by Mrs Archer and will focus on Aspects of Narrative.

The two plays we will study are Shakespeare's King Lear and Miller's All My Sons. Very exciting!

Ms Caldwell