Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Doll's House Full Text

If you have missed reading part of Ibsen's play, you may read the missed sections online. Click here to access a website will the full text of the play.

The 25-question multiple choice exam on A Doll's House will be either Friday or next Monday, depending on when we finish reading the play.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

photo from
  • Born in Skein, Norway
  • Lived his early life in poverty, stung by social rejection.
  • Hired as a playwright by the National Theater in Bergen.
  • Left Norway in 1862, starting a 27-year self-imposed exile. During this time he wrote his finest plays.
  • "A literary pioneer who created the modern, realistic prose drama.”
  • The bold, social commentary in his plays often earned him criticism.
  • A Doll’s House (1879) aroused controversy because it portrayed a woman whose actions were not considered acceptable at the time.”
  • Ibsen was a revolutionary playwright who provided detailed stage directions that precisely described sets, lighting, props and how actors should interpret their lines.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Oscar Wilde Biography

1854: Born in Dublin

1900: Died of cerebral meningitis

1871-79: Attends Trinity College and Oxford

1881: Publishes his first volume of verse, Poems

1884: Marries Constance Lloyd; she has financial resources
1890: Serializes The Picture of Dorian Gray
1894: Writes The Importance of Being Earnest

In 1895 Wilde flaunts his friendship with Lord Alfred Douglas, drawing public criticism from Lord Douglas's father. Wilde sues for libel. Incriminating evidence that comes to light in cross-examination leads to Wilde's arrest for homosexual offenses/sodomy. After a hung jury on his first trial, Wilde is found guilty in a second trial. The sentence is two years of hard labor. He is bankrupted. In 1897 on his release from prison, Wilde goes into exile, where he lives under an alias, Sebastian Melmoth.

Earnest Notes

As you watch The Importance of Being Earnest, record examples of the following topics.

Elements of Comedy in the Play

Reconciliation scene(s)



Oscar Wilde’s Views on Victorian Society



Gender Roles

Importance of Being Earnest

Importance of Being Earnest Cast of Characters

As you watch the film version of the play, describe each character below. Also, discuss what is funny about each of the characters and share your opinion on why Oscar Wilde included the character in the play.

Ernest Worthing

Algernon Moncrieff

Gwendolen Fairfax –

Cecily Cardew -

Lady Bracknell -

Dr. Chasuble -

Miss Prism -

Lane -

Merriman -

Othello Final Thoughts

Use the comments section of this blog post to record any thoughts on the themes of Othello. You may wish to discuss the most important life lesson that you learned from this timeless classic.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Work Without Hope

Today in class, we analyzed Samuel Taylor Coleridge's sonnet "Work Without Hope." Kamala Markandaya used an image from the poem as the title of "Nectar in a Sieve" and included the last two lines of Coleridge's sonnet as the epigraph of the novel.

Before analyzing the poem students compared and contrasted the concepts hope and despair in a double bubble map. After discussing the poem in class, we returned to the double bubble map and added connections from the poem in the frame, answering the question: How did our ideas at the beginning of the hour play out in the poem?

Work Without Hope

Lines composed 21st February, 1825

All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair -
The bees are stirring -birds are on the wing -
And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.