Sonnet I

Following is my very own sonnet, based on the Shakespearean format, to go towards the writing badge.  It’s a slight variation on the traditional form, which has a rhyme scheme of abab cdcd, etc., and instead my poem follows an abcb form. I also tried to follow iambic pentameter, but alas! I’m no Shakespeare.


Long the sea did go unchallenged,

Yielding not to any soul,

Those who tried to chance it met

A hard embrace of deadly cold.

In the tales we hear of ancients

Who found themselves locked in their lands

And stranded, built their wooden ships,

They met on distant shores of strand.

Bold, hard men explored the world,

Fought and lived on endless sea,

They set out against an age-old foe

And carved deep grooves in history.

Yet ships still fear the depths below,

They mark the land where no man goes.

-Chloe Carr

Did you know that Twelfth Night has a Latin source?


If you remember from before, I have posted an annotation of Rape of Lucrece through a Latin text by Livy. After studying Twelfth Night, I found that there is a source behind the text. Orsino, between lines 26-28, describes that he “hunts…like a hart” (17) he redraws the image of Greek god Actaeon, who was transformed to a stag by the goddess Diana. This metamorphosis was described by the historian Ovid, in his work named Metamorphoses.

Because Metamorphosis was such a wide, and long work, I do not know which Latin text I should bring up to translate. However, if I find the section to translate, I will definitely do so.

I wanted to shed some light into the sources of this work- I hope that this helped many students. For more reference, please read page 78 of the book.




Annotating Lucrece and Twelfth Night

Annotating and understanding Twelfth night was more straight forward that The Rape of Lucrece. I found that reading a very long poem like The Rape of Lucrece was difficult to follow along. I was recommended to purchase the audio reading of the poem and it helped tremendously.

I would begin by listening to a stanza or two just once. I would then read it in my head once or twice and proceed to read it out loud. This patterned turn out to be very effective. I even started to notice my own thoughts being ‘Shakespearian’ (Is that sad?). I would then go over it and find the close reading terms we discussed in lecture and tutorial. Doing this for mostly every stanza and line in the poem turned out well!

The trouble came when I tried to do this for Twelfth Night. I found that a poem and a play require two different methods of close reading. For example, the audio book did not help for Twelfth Night. The performance and visual aspects are very crucial when trying to analyze and understand the play.  Therefor I decided to watch a few different versions of the play. Some I found on Youtube and others at the library. Seeing the facial expressions is much more effective than just hearing some voices. I also found that live performances are more effective than filmed performances because you can clearly tell when a joke is being made. Following along in my book while the film was playing got me through Twelfth Night.

I also made up symbols for each close reading definition in my text of Twelfth Night. My annotation methods evolved from interpreting Lucrece to Twelfth Night. Understanding the play was a lot more straight forward because each word does not have to rhyme with the lines after it. With Lucrece, I spent more time figuring out the sentence structure. Trying to understand what good old Willy was trying to get across was much more difficult in this poem as oppose to Twelfth Night. The story and language came clear. Maybe it was because of the difficulty of Lucrece?

Hope you enjoyed!Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.28.30 PM photo-1

What I King Lear[ned]

Okay, let’s be serious here…

Actually, let’s not be serious, because I just watched a three hour long movie that was nothing but serious!  Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting they should have thrown in any sunshine or rainbows, but perhaps some daylight?  And I understand that Shakespeare was originally performed on a plain stage, but I’m pretty sure they turned the lights on in the Globe Theatre.  I think the Royal Shakespeare company must have fired their lighting guy right before production started and just said, “Oh well, we’ll just go without”.  Also could they have delivered one line without shouting it…?

Okay, okay, I’m over it.  Here are some comments on the benefits and downfalls of watching  film production of a Shakespearean play:

1. I found I was able to follow the plot just by looking at the costumes and listening the the tones of voice that the actors were using, which was good since I wasn’t actually able to catch much of what they were saying.  Especially Ian McKellen- he really needs to work on his enunciation. It’s charming when he’s playing Gandalf or Dumbledore, but throw Shakespearean English on top of blurred consonants and I was sure lost.

2.  Seeing characters in costumes (or lack of costumes in the case of Edgar) made keeping the characters straight a lot easier.  Like I mentioned in my post on annotation, I’m a very visual learner, so being able to see a face and a costume was very helpful for me in understanding the play.  I found that the costumes made the characters roles quite simple to sort out.  For example:

-the king is wearing a crown (the crown is askew or removed when he’s acting crazy or “unroyal”)

-the pure/chaste sister is wearing white

-the other sisters are wearing darker costumes

-The upper class are wearing fancier clothes than the lower class. Kent, for example is dressed very plainly.

3.  I found was that I was limited in my understanding of the content by the way the lines were presented by the actors.  I’m sure that I will see some different tonal interpretations when I listen to the audio version of the play and that will change/add to my understanding of King Lear.

4.  I wasn’t able to fully appreciate the beauty and complexity of the language that was being spoken.  Don’t get me wrong, I recognized the complexity, but didn’t appreciate it quite like I did when I was reading Lucrece and I had the footnotes to guide me to a fuller understanding of the language. Perhaps if the film was played at half speed (the downfall of which would be that the film would extend to six hours long…) I would be able to catch more of the language, but as it was my understanding  of what was actually being said was limited.


Rebecca Reid


Twelfth Night

Hello everyone,


I think that Shakespear is a lot easier to understand through media ! Especially twelfth night since it was supposed to be acted out, so here is the link to Twelfth Night movie. Movie follows the play quite well except for some small instances (i.e. at the beginning of the movie they show Viola’s survival from the shipwreck first).