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AP Seminar King Lear: Introduction. Shakespeare’s Language Yes, Shakespeare’s language is considered Modern English! His diction is difficult to understand.

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Presentation on theme: "AP Seminar King Lear: Introduction. Shakespeare’s Language Yes, Shakespeare’s language is considered Modern English! His diction is difficult to understand."— Presentation transcript:

1 AP Seminar King Lear: Introduction

2 Shakespeare’s Language Yes, Shakespeare’s language is considered Modern English! His diction is difficult to understand because Some of his words are no longer used. Some of his words have changed in meaning. His sentences are unique in that He often uses anastrophe. The verb often precedes the subject (e.g., goes he rather than he goes). The subject often is placed between two parts of a verb phrase (e.g., he does go rather than go he does). The object often precedes the subject and verb (e.g., Him I hit rather than I hit him). Sometimes the verb precedes the subject and the object precedes the subject and verb: “Such unconstant stars are we like[ly] to have from him” (I.ii ). Sometimes words that are normally together are separated. Sometimes basic sentence elements are held back until subordinate material is presented. Sometimes words are omitted. Shakespeare’s unique syntax helps to o Maintain the rhythm (usually iambic pentameter). o Heighten the emotional intensity of the scene. Pay close attention to Shakespeare’s use of prose and poetry. Who speaks in prose? When? What is its effect? Who speaks in poetry? When? What is its effect? At times, it is helpful to rearrange the words in sentences.

3 Video Links o “St. Crispin’s Day Speech” from Henry V:   UX_oSM&feature=related UX_oSM&feature=related o “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” from Macbeth:  o “Seven Ages of Man” from As You Like It: 

4 Dialectical Journal Four observations and interpretations per entry (12 total entries): Language (poetry vs. prose, puns, stichomythia, etc.) Nature imagery and symbolism, including references to human nature Irony and paradox Parallel plots Elements of tragedy (tragic flaw, hamartia, peripeteia, anagnorisis, catastrophe, pathos, catharsis) Connections to Oedipus Rex Summary of each Act Three vocabulary words from each Act

5 Important Literary Terms and Concepts Archetype: An archetype is a basic model, a prototype, a paradigm, an exemplar; an archetype is atavistic (a throwback) and universal; it is a product of the “collective unconscious.” Imagery and Symbolism: o Nature o Eclipses o Storms Paradox: A seemingly contradictory statement, which upon further analysis makes sense; that which sounds impossible but is actually possible; a side-by-side play on contradictory ideas that clash and reconcile simultaneously. o The paradox of blindness! o The paradox of the fool! Pun: A pun is a play on words, which Shakespeare uses quite frequently. Stichomythic dialogue (stichomythia) and antilabe: Alternating individual lines of verse between two speakers. Motifs and Themes Tone Tragedy Tragic Hero Tragic Flaw Hamartia Rising Action or Complication Falling Action, Unraveling or Denouement Climax or Crisis Peripeteia—Reversal) Anagnorisis—Recognition Catastrophe Resolution Catharsis

6 Archetypes Fundamental Facts of Human Existence Creatures and SymbolsCharacter Types Birth Growing up Death Love Family Tribal life Sibling rivalry Generational conflict Lion Eagle Raven Snake Tortoise Hare Rose Paradisiacal garden The rebel The “player” The “femme fatale” The self-made man The all-conquering hero The traitor The villain The god-king The king as a sacrificial scapegoat The tragic hero

7 Motifs and Themes Motif: a recurring element (e.g., object, idea, character type, or theme) or contrasting elements in a work of literature that helps to illuminate theme. Theme: a common, recurring topic seen throughout a literary work; or a prominent and oftentimes abstract idea in a literary work. When asked to explore how a motif (e.g., a Bar Mitzvah, a Bat Mitzvah, or a Quinceañera) helps to illuminate a theme, make sure to identify a prominent idea (e.g., empathy, not age, equals maturity) in addition to a common, recurring topic (e.g., coming of age). Example o Motif : o Ultima and Tenorio o Compassionate, benevolent daughter (Cordelia) and scheming, malevolent daughters (Goneril and Regan) o Loyal son (Edgar) and a scheming, Machiavellian son (Edmund) o Theme (Topic): Good vs. Evil; Loyalty vs. Betrayal o Theme (Prominent Idea): For good to truly triumph over evil, we must learn to forgive those who perform evil deeds.

8 Paradox: A seemingly contradictory statement, which upon further analysis makes sense; that which sounds impossible but is actually possible; a side-by- side play on contradictory ideas that clash and reconcile simultaneously. Paradox deals with an apparent logical contradiction; irony deals with an incongruity between what is expected and what occurs, what is said and what is meant. Examples: “Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.” “It’s the little things in life that are colossal.” “Stone walls do not a prison make.” “None so blind as those that will not see.” Although blind, Teiresias sees more clearly than Oedipus who can see. By exercising freewill, Oedipus fulfills fate!

9 Stichomythic dialogue (stichomythia): Alternating individual lines of verse between two speakers A technique used to provide contrast to long speeches A technique used to present thesis and antithesis, questions and answer, argument and refutation. A technique that allowed playwrights to distinguish for the audience one masked actor from another A technique used to heighten the drama Usually occurs at moments of high tension Usually structured in parallel lines of verse Sometimes structured using antilabe

10 Tragedy An action of great magnitude is at the center of the plot. Pathos (that which evokes pity or sympathy) is an essential element of the play. The plot is carefully sequenced, moving from the complication to the unraveling or denouement. Rising Action or Complication (i.e., the rising action): Prologue to turning point (i.e., crisis or climax) Unraveling or denouement (i.e., the falling action): Turning point (i.e., crisis or climax) to the resolution Complicated plots involve reversal (peripeteia), which is a sudden change or reversal of circumstance or fortune, and recognition (anagnorisis), which is a change from ignorance to knowledge. A catastrophe occurs, which usually spirals outward: not only does the tragic hero suffer, but his family also suffers, thus producing pathos (great sorrow and pity, which evokes empathy). A catharsis occurs, which is a purification or purging of emotions, a spiritual renewal.

11 Tragic Hero He is elevated to a high status and position in society, and he possesses noble stature and greatness. While he embodies nobility and virtue, he is flawed. His downfall or demise is due in part to freewill, an error in judgment (i.e., hamartia) associated with a tragic flaw (e.g., hubris). His downfall or demise is due in part to fate. His misfortune is not wholly deserved; the punishment exceeds the crime. He gains awareness, insight, and self-knowledge as a result of his fall from grace.

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