EQ: How has Shakespeare influenced modern culture? What impact can a writer’s social environment have on their work? How can learning about a writer’s social and historical context influence our understanding and appreciation for their work?
Seeing the "shift" in TP-CASTT (Volta!)
Things to watch for:
Then we got into groups and did a TPCASTT for Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day?"
Due at the end of the period.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Art = are
Shall = should
Thou/thee = you
Nor = does not
‘est/’ed/’st = past tense of verb; usually –ed
Seasons of life=spring-birth/summer-prime of life/fall-getting older/winter-death
Fair-light skin; blonde; above standard or perfection
Time is capitalized---personification-it’s given a name
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 stuck out to me in this set of poems because it instantly reminded me of Frank Sinatra’s song, My Funny Valentine. It seems that Sinatra’s song is a modern version of Sonnet 130. “Your looks are laughable/ Unphotographable/ Yet you’re my favorite work of art,” states Sinatra’s song. Shakespeare’s genius in this sonnet comes from the roundabout way of giving a comment to his lady by pointing out all her faults. This is both amusing and musical. In his sonnet, Shakespeare compares his woman to nature in a way not often done. Whereas we usually see a woman’s beauty as comparable to nature’s beauty or even exceeding it, Shakespeare, through his poetry, states that this woman’s beauty is far less then that of natures.
Diction (word choice) lends meaning to the poem here. “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun” (3). The word “dun” buts emphasis on the irregularity or ugliness of her breasts and end the line with a kind of slump. Dun is a grey/brown color. Remember, during this period, white skin and bright red cheeks and lips were the ideal look! The contrasts in his diction, “white” and “dun,” “perfumes” and “reeks,” makes the words jump out at me. “My mistress when she walks, treads on the ground” (12). The word “treads” her is so perfect because it gives that cumbersome feeling to the line that is accompanied by the meter that we talked about in class that kind of trips over itself. Shakespeare is very artful in this sonnet because he incorporates those staples of sonnet-writing; comparing woman’s beauty to nature, recognizing and praising her every feature, using “feminine” speech, but he does it in such a backwards way that I actually prefer this sonnet to a more traditional one like Sonnet 18. Where it is unconventional in its message I find it conventional in it makeup. The rhyme scheme is familiar and the last stanza that answers the first 12 lines and draws a conclusion is normal and comforting to me. This is Sinatra’s refrain, stating, “But don’t you change one hair for me/ Not if you care for me/ Stay little valentine stay/ Each day is valentines day.”
So, did you notice the shifts in the two poems? Look back at the notes. How do you know that these shifts, or volta, occurs?
Write two short paragraphs about these two poems on a separate piece of paper--one on comparing the two and one on contrasting the two. Each paragraph should have 5-8 sentences each. Be specific!!!
Each sonnet must have:
Choose a sonnet form
10 syllables in each line (iambic pentameter)
Due at the beginning of the next class period...
Notes on TPCASTT
TITLE: Consider the title and make a prediction about what the poem is about.
PARAPHRASE: Translate the poem line by line into your own words on a literal level. Look for complete thoughts (sentences may be inverted) and look up unfamiliar words.
CONNOTATION: Examine the poem for meaning beyond the literal. Look for figurative language, imagery, and sound elements.
ATTITUDE/TONE: Notice the speaker’s tone and attitude. Humor? Sarcasm? Awe?
SHIFTS: Note any shifts or changes in speaker or attitude. Look for key words, time change, and punctuation.
TITLE: Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level.
THEME: Briefly state in your own words what the poem is about (subject), then what the poet is saying about the subject (theme).
We went through this process with Langston Hughes's poem "Dreams."