7 October 2016
Today Ms. Ziraldo introduced us English Literature. I admit that I was quite interested about this topic because I had already know some poets that are very famous now, but I had never read one of their poems. Our teacher told us that we have to approach literature as if we were people in writers' society and in writers' time, and I'm very excited to do that. I hope it will not be boring!
21 december 2016
These first two months were a little bit easy because Ms. Ziraldo showed us some kinds of poems with different topics, such as freedom and equality. Those were ok but I want to dive inside the very literature and study Shakespeare, the most famous author. When I will meet him? Now we are approaching to Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English Literature, who lived in 1343 and who with his poem "The Canterbury Tales", a collection of twenty-four stories, gave an example of light Literature and how fun it could be.
It is about a group of people that undertake a pilgrimage to Canterbury and they tell one another their life stories; Chaucer was capable to put inside the plot many kinds of characters, with different society class and different manners, with different tastes and interests, and insert themes that in those times would be obscene and a little bit erotic. It starts with a general prologue where the protagonist (Chaucer himself) enters in a hostelry, where starts the pilgrimage, and meet for the first time the other pilgrims, giving a precise description of them. Then the owner gives the idea that whoever tells the most inspiring tale during the journey, would win a free meal at the inn.
With Chaucer, we analyzed a few characters: a merchant with a huge beard and with colorful and respectable clothes, that tells to everyone about how good is going his business, but hiding the fact that he is in debts, the prioress, an elegant lady that tries to imitate courtly manners, but failing by watching some particulars of her; in the end we moved to the wife of Bath: she is definitely the most interesting character because, in spite of she is a religious person, she admits that in her life she had five husbands and even during the journey she tries to seduce the priest. I have to tell you, she was my favourite! She is very uncommon because she seems to be a good lady, but instead she is lust and her clothes confirmed that because she wears scarlet red tight and a large hat, and this caught me. Chaucer showed her to us with a strong personality and he had no problem to insert sexual innuendo in a context that is mainly religion. I acknowledge that when I read it for the first time in class it was very boring, but when I read it a second time at home I really appreciate it! Maybe Chaucer was my favourite, talking about how fun are the characters.
28 January 2017
Finally we started studying Shakespeare! I have to say it, when I realized that we had finished with Chaucer I felt a little bit sad because for me it was ok because he was original and modern despite he lived in the fourteenth century, but I really wanted to deal with Shakespeare. Ms. Ziraldo, after telling his life and showing us a few videos about him, let us to observe some sonnets of his, like "My mistress eyes", and taught us the iambic pentameter, a very strange structure of poetry that has the accent on the last syllable of every word. Next time we will start with "Hamlet" that is very famous and I absolutely want to start it.
12 April 2017
I didn't want to write to you until I would finish with "Hamlet" because I wanted to talk about it when I would have a total point of view about it. In my opinion Shakespeare was a genius because the plot is very intricate but involving and you never know how would happen. From the beginning the story is covered with blood given that Hamlet's father gets assassinated by his brother, Hamlet's uncle that now is the new king, and appears like a ghost to Hamlet and commands him to take revenge for him. In "Hamlet meets the ghost" the scene is very sad because you can see how Hamlet is devastated from his father's death and how his father is solemn and full of rage because of that. Hamlet is furious and promises that he wants to do everything for his father, but his father recommends him not to touch and insult his mother, even if she lies with the actual king at the moment. This extract is very emotional and I liked it very much because show the very love between a father and his son who would try the impossible for avenging him.
In the end, we analyzed the "To be or not to be": it is a monologue where Hamlet meditates on life and death, and say how injustice and oppressive is life, thinking that death is better. But when he decides to kill himself he thinks that he doesn't know how death is, maybe even worse than life, so it would be inconvenient kill himself, living in a new and more horrible life. This writing didn't surprised me and told me nothing because it is a soliloquy where in the end the protagonist is at the starting point and I am a kind of person who likes action and concrete facts. Maybe I didn't catch the real significance that is hidden behind it...