Utopia: writing workshop and short extract study

Gutten tag! (I’m sorry, just getting a little sleepy…)

cosy_bar_by_adamkuczek-d5ojg4s

Since we talked about Thomas More in class, our teacher gave us an extract from Utopia that we shortly studied…And we also had a GREAT new writing workshop!

(Here‘s the extract)

Question:

1) What is at stake in this extract?

The punishment of thieves is at stake in this extract: when one is caught, he is hanged. Because of poverty, people had no choice but to rob.

2) What are the two character’s position on the subject?

The English lawyer seems to thinks it’s an adequate punishment for thieves. However, he does not understand why there are still so many of them left.

Hythloday has a widely different opinion on the subject: He believes the death penalty isn’t right. It’s not by killing people that the problem will be solved. It just denounces how much people are stricken by misery. He also states that fear cannot restrain someone from stealing: no matter what he does or doesn’t attend, his life is at stake.

3) To what extend is this a topical issue?

Today, the death penalty is still an issue in many countries, including in some states of the US. It’s applied for greater criminality but a human being’s life is still taken.

So that was the short study part…Ready for the writing workshop? I worked with a classmate (Don’t know her blog, sorry) and basically, we had to continue the dialog between the English lawyer and Hythloday. We had to act it out in front of our other classmates and our teacher. (BTW: I was playing the English lawyer…So yeah, I guess I was the bad guy!)

E.L: “Have you Heard the news? Twenty-one thieves were hanged yersterday! Judges didn’t think twice about it…Do you find it severe?

H: Excuse me, yeah, you over there! May I speak my mind?”

The English lawyers raised their eye-brows.One of them stood up and said:

E.L: ” And who are you to speak in such a bold way?

H: Hythloday, humanist and humble servant of arts and knowledge.

E.L: Well, that is quite unusual, would you see that! Some filthy traveler has set his mind onto politics! This seems amusing…

H: I’m a man with as much dignity as you; it’s quite improper for a British lawyer to say such things, you should know how harsh those punishments are for a simple thief!

E.L: Well Mr Hythloday, what do you suggest then? Should we hang their families instead…Or reward them? ” Answered he with a smirk in his voice.

H: “If a thief dies for stealing, what will happen to him if he dares suppress a human life? Will you burn him alive, tear his body apart? Thieves aren’t the problem here, poverty is and if you get to the roots of the problem, political choices are what’s wrong!

E.L: ‘Tis a very dangerous thing to say around here; your life may be holding by a threat. And be sure that the royals have nor time nor money to dedicate to those low classes. It would be such a waste! We’re not talking about citizens here, we’re dealing with parasites!”

Hythloday added quietly: “One day, you’ll be enlightened about this situation; the world will change. If you cannot grant life to an innocent who died, don’t take away the life of a sinner who lives.

E.L: The world will change when thieves will know better or pay properly for their sins!”

The end : ) Hope you enjoyed it and don’t forget to leave comments and subscribe to the blog!

(picture credit: AdamKuczek– no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

 

Writing workshop: First meeting

Warm_Winter_by_VanthMithra

Hey everyone…This post should have been written months ago…I’m so sorry it’s uploaded just now!

To put an end to our theme “first meeting and love at first sight”, we wrote something in groups of two. We had to imagine characters meeting for the first time. This story is actually greatly inspired by a fiction from Tina, (Check out her blog here!) my teammate for this task, called “Blood Diamond“. We kept the same storyline but we changed a few details here and there… So here it is, enjoy! ; )

Eyline Olsen is a sixteen year old orphan. One day, her godmother disappears leaving behind a name : “Lowland” and a phone number. Eyline ends up in some huge manor in London where she meets Jewel, Michaël and Eleanor who work as employees there. However, she still hasn’t met any of the Lowland’s family members.

Another rainy day in London… Eyline sighted. Everything looked the same: the sky was grey and only the sound of raindrops falling on the ground disturbed the deep and heavy silence in the manor. How many days would she have to stay here? She felt as if her life was passing by, as if time was slowly fading away… Boring. The appropriate word was “Boring”. She turned away from the window and wandered around. She climbed to the second floor and was heading to her room when something caught her eye: a door, an open door. She was about to get in when she felt a presence behind her. Carefully, she turned around, just in time to see what looked like a shadow. She must have dreamt, there are no strangers here! Shaking away the thoughts in her head, she took a timid step into the library . The first thing she noticed in this dark and old room was two shining emeralds. She then realized it was someone’s eyes, incredible deep green eyes. A strange thought came across her mind: Even thought she had never seen such a particular eye color before, it looked very familiar. Suddenly, she was assaulted by memories and sounds. Bright colors were flashing through her mind, voices of the past were mixing up in her brain. She started to feel unwell, it wasn’t normal, these memories did not belong to her…This past was not hers. But, the strangest thing of all is that she felt connected to him, in a way she had never been with anyone before. They had already met, but not there, not now. He then stood out of the darkness and Eyline’s heart stopped beating at once. Not only was he stunning but he was one of those people who had this powerful and terrifying aura. Michaël’s words popped out into her mind: “He’s what they would call handsome but his heart is as hard as a stone and he’s a real jerk. Don’t fall for him!” Eyline could see his long blond hair tied up in his back. He was rather tall and his skin was way paler than hers. He was a complete mystery, dark and compelling at the same time.

-“It would be best if you left” he said.

-…What? I…I don’t understand… Eyline replied

-Get out of here! You have no right to be here and you are certainly not welcome either! Get out of here or I’m afraid you’ll regret it…”

Eyline ran away. What else could she have done?

That’s it for today! Hope you liked it, don’t forget to leave a comment! ; )

(picture credit: Vanth Mithra deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

Love in cinema and literature part 1…(to be continued)

Hey everyone, happy new year! Hope you all had a great time! ; )

I guess it’s the perfect time for a new article so here it comes!

palnk woman looking away

My question today is “what’s love like in cinema and literature?” Our homework for the 14th December was to talk about the first meeting between two people who eventually end up as lovers. That day, four of us (if I remember correctly) went to the board and talked about the extract they had chosen. As we all know, love stories are sometimes incredibly different but also strikingly similar! But…is there a specific scheme for love stories? Are writers relying on their imagination or do they follow some kind of plan plan?

Sleepless in Seattle: (trailer here!):

“Sleepless in Seattle” is a 1993 american romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It was a very successful movie and won three awards.

Annie is a journalist that lives in Baltimore. One night, when listening to the radio, she hears the story of a man, broken-hearted after his wife’s death. His name is Sam Baldwin. She listens to his every word with great interest and falls in love with him. Crazy isn’t it? She finally wrote  him a letter asking to meet him at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine’s day (Small problem, she is engaged!). Sam’s son, Jonah, finds her letter and despite of  his father’s strong disagreement, he sends back a positive answer to Annie. Later on and after many twists, she decides to break off her engagement and meets Sam and Jonah on the top of the Empire State Building. We here can see a strong allusion to the movie “an affair to remember” (1957).

The extract shows Annie meeting Sam and Jonah for the first time (well…It’s the first time knowing who’s who). Annie has a backpack and a teddy bear in her hand. Her and Sam exchange smiles and glances while the kid is overjoyed with the situation. They both look bewitched by the other; they have found their “special someone”. A few moments later, they leave the building, holding hands.

The Vampire diaries: (tv show; trailer here!)

Based on L.J Smith’s books, the tv-show was launched  in 2009 starring Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. It’s very popular in the US, France, the UK…

This one provoked a quite epic debate. I don’t really know how but right from the start, Twilight was involved in the conversation! We compared the books and movies trying to convince our teacher that “Vampire diaries” was better. (If you ask for my opinion, I’m not into those kind of stories anymore…) So…for the few ones who aren’t familiar with the plot: it’s a story involving vampires, witches, werewolves, hybrids…well, it’s the typical teen supernatural tv show! It talks about Elena, a girl living in Mystic Falls. After loosing both of her parents in a car accident, she tries to live a life as normal as possible. At school, she meets Stefan, a mysterious guy who turns out to be a vampire. He also has a brother: Damon, who vowed to ruin his life and develops an uncommon interest towards Elena. Moreover she looks exactly like Katherine, a girl loved by both brothers a hundred and fifty years ago. From that point on, a love triangle between Elena, Stefan and Damon takes place. The fourth season is currently airing and the story is now very complicated. If you have missed an episode or worse, a whole season, it will be very difficult to catch up!

The extract shows Elena and Stefan meeting for the first time. The scene takes place at school. Elena had to follow her brother to the boys bathroom to keep him from taking drugs. When she gets out, she bumps into Stefan and it’s love at first sight. Unable to give a coherent explanation regarding her presence in such a place, she leaves a bit embarrassed and completely dazzled by his gaze.

Bridget Jones’s Diary: (Movie; Trailer here!)

Based on a novel written by Helen Fielding, the movie is a 2001 british romantic comedy starring Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. It’s also a parody of “Pride and Prejudice”…

It’s about a woman named Bridget Jones in her mid-thirties. After some upsetting events, she decides to take control of her life and starts a journal. She writes about her misadventures, love life and  struggles…. A love triangle between Bridget, Daniel (her boss) and Marc appears.

In this extract, Bridget is at a party where she meets a childhood friend: Mark Darcy. After being hurt by his comments about her looks and manners, she develops hatred towards him and considers him as rude and arrogant. Mark Darcy also has a very negative opinion of her: he finds her boring, old-fashioned and stupid (not exactly love at first sight!). Bridget -who’s dressed in clothes her mom picked out for her- is clueless when it comes to love and completely tactless. When she comes back to London, she is convinced her life has to change.

Love actually: (trailer here!)

It’s a 2003 British romantic Christmas comedy starring Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy and Rowan Atkinson. The movie was nominated many times and won nine awards.

“Love actually” talks about ten love stories during the Christmas period. They all unfold on Christmas eve. Each story is very different and they all show various situations in life when it comes to love. All the characters are related to each other: some are neighbours, friends, brothers….

The extract comes from Nathalie and David’s story. David is England’s new Prime minister. While greeting his household staff, he meets Nathalie, an employee. Their conservation is pretty akward…Quite a lot of swearing in such a short time! But David doesn’t really mind, he’s surprised by her personality; she caught his attention…

That’s it for now! The next part will be posted very soon… : )

(picture credit: Palnk deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

Pride and prejudice…or hate at first sight!

Hey guys,

As you guessed, this blog post is about the (extremely) famous book of Jane Austin: Pride and prejudice. I just love this book: instead of writing a novel about love at first sight, the author wrote some kind of “-I don’t like you -me neither” story. If you’re getting tired of the “Romeo and Juliet” stereotype, take a look at this book!

a_most_unwilling_subject_by_gppr-d2ux9of

So…The scene takes place in the 19th century. It basically talks about Elizabeth Bennet, a daughter from an upper middle class family and Mr. Darcy, a rich and arrogant aristocrat. Mrs. Bennet has four daughters and desperately tries to marry them off to some wealthy man.  When Mr. Darcy moves next door, it’s to good to be true! Quickly, the Bennet’s daughters are introduced to him but it seems he is quite an unpleasant man to be around…He acts like a complete jerk and the situation turns out to be really tense between him and Elisabeth.

We studied a few weeks ago two extracts of “Pride and prejudice”. It was quite interesting and I thought I might share it with you…

Chapter 3 : (extract)

The first extract talks about their first meeting and how it all started. One evening, there was a party; a party Mr. Darcy attended. He was new in town so within five minutes, all kinds of rumors had spread about him and (most importantly) his money. Guess who was interested? Mrs. Bennet! She introduced her daughters hoping one of them would catch his eye but soon, the mysterious, handsome and polite man turned into some horrible and disagreeable person. He wouldn’t dance, had pride and was arrogant! Elizabeth, her, was a bright girl, a very lively person! She also delighted in anything that was ridiculous and had a few prejudices… She didn’t have any particular grudge against Mr. Darcy until he said she was “tolerable but not handsome enough” for him. Yes, on top of everything, Mr. Darcy doesn’t seem to have much tact! Anyway, it’s the beginning of a great hatred between both of them. Let’s notice that from the beginning, the author gives a very subjective description of both characters in order for us to see them the way they see each other.

Mr. Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.

Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters.

Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to overhear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes to press his friend to join it.

“Come, Darcy,” said he, “I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance.”

“I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this, it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with.”

“I would not be so fastidious as you are,” cried Bingley, “for a kingdom! Upon my honour I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life, as I have this evening; and there are several of them, you see, uncommonly pretty.”

You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room,” said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet.

“Oh! she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you.”

“Which do you mean?” and turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.”

Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. She told the story however with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous.

Chapter 6 : (extract)

In this second extract, a twist: Mr. Darcy’s changing his mind about Elizabeth Bennet! As much as he hated to admit it, she looked pretty and smart…They were still at a party (another one, yes!) and during this event, Sir William (Elizabeth’s uncle) asked Mr. Darcy if he would dance with his niece. Darcy was very surprised, especially when the young lady refused him a dance…That he did not expect! (Well…too bad for him right?)

Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware;—to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.

(…)

“My dear Miss Eliza, why are not you dancing?—Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner.—You cannot refuse to dance, I am sure, when so much beauty is before you.” And taking her hand, he would have given it to Mr. Darcy, who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it, when she instantly drew back, and said with some discomposure to Sir William,

“Indeed, Sir, I have not the least intention of dancing.—I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”

Mr. Darcy with grave propriety requested to be allowed the honour of her hand; but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his attempt at persuasion.

“You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half hour.”

“Mr. Darcy is all politeness,” said Elizabeth, smiling.

“He is indeed—but considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance; for who would object to such a partner?”

Elizabeth looked archly, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman, and he was thinking of her with some complacency, when thus accosted by Miss Bingley

We also dedicated a small part of our lesson to the british society:

Capture schema british society

(picture credit: gppr deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

short studies about Romeo and Juliet and the Fifth child

Hey everyone,

Merry Christmas! So…as you can see, I’m a bit behind schedule! (that’s not very surprising anymore is it?) Anyway, I’ve thought about updating this article for a few weeks now…so here it comes!e9b8ac5b56a059033b685412f6edb74c

Romeo and Juliet: (summing up the situation!)

Romeo and Juliet is a playwright written by William Shakespeare in 1564. It’s a classical tragedy wich lasts a complete day. The characters from the story are submitted to fate and the two teenagers are what we call star-crossed lovers (they were born under an unlucky star). They have to face a tragic curse: hatred. But, can they get married and have a happily ever after? …No, apparently not. It seems Shakespeare and happy endings didn’t quite match on this one…You see, both families were fighting over power. Power to dominate, power to crush the enemy. Too bad for them, a prince (a very selfish one!) ruled Verona. So, Romeo and Juliet ended up facing the anger of their siblings, jealousy, twisted plans and loads of bad luck! (Not to mention Romeo was banished from the city after killing Tybald…)

Act 1 scene 5 study:

Where did they meet?

They met at the Capulet’s house.

On what occasion?

It was during a masquerade.

What time of the day was it?

It was at  night.

Did they know each other before?

No, they knew nothing about one another.

Who saw the other one first?

Romeo saw Juliet first while she was dancing.

What was his impression then?

He fell in love with her at first sight. It was a fated love. But from the beginning, Romeo feels inferior to Juliet, he considers her as apart from the rest of human beings. They are not on an equal footing: he seems to worship her, she’s like a goddess to him.

How did they start speaking together?

Romeo, behind a curtain, grabbed her hand and courted her. They then managed to get away from the rest of the crowd.

Who spoke first?

Romeo spoke first, asking permission for a kiss.

What was his tone?

He was pleading her to agree to his request. While talking, he sounded passionate.

Where they on the same wave-length?

At first, Juliet was a little frightened but not long after, her heart belonged to Romeo.

What words did Romeo and Juliet use?

The words they used revolved around three themes:

  • Religion: “profane”, “unworthiest”, “holy shrine”, “pilgrims”, “saints”, “holy”, “prayer”, “sin”, “the book”…
  • Body: “lips”, “hand”, “palm”, “cheek”, “ear”, “heart”…
  • Beauty: “bright”, “rich jewel”, “beauty too rich”, “dear”, “snowy dove”, “true beauty”…

Did the others pay attention to them?

No, they continued to dance and didn’t even notice they were gone.

What were their feelings towards Romeo?

They didn’t like Romeo’s presence, he was an intruder.

What were their feelings towards Juliet?

Juliet was well appreciated and many danced with her.

The Fifth child: (a little bit more about the sixties!)

The story takes place in 1960. At that time, the mentalities changed: It went from a strict to a very open-minded spirit. Before that, in school, boys and girls were separated and teachers were scary (some of them still are today) and strict. Most of the time, teenagers would wear a uniform and had to ask their parent’s permission to date or marry the one they loved (if they weren’t twenty-one). They also had to stay pure. All those values were rejected in the sixties by the younger generation. This period is known as “the swinging sixties”…People started dressing differently; with flashing colours! The Hippie movement appeared at that time, as well as the “Flower power” in music.

Extract 1 study:

Who are the main characters?

The main characters are Harriet and David.

Where and when did they meet?

They met at an office party in the sixties.

Find out more about : Harriet

  • Her physical description:

    Harriet has a flowery dress, curly dark hair and soft but thoughtful eyes. She’s pastel blur and her lips are firmly closed. She’s a healthy young woman with strong and good features.

  • Her profession:

    After attending an arts college she became a graphic designer.

  • How other people see her:

    People see her as a conservative, old fashioned, timid, hard to please, crazy, laughable, ungenerous and troubled person. (nice people aren’t they?)

  • How Harriet sees David before speaking to him for the first time:

    To her, he doesn’t look solidly planted. But he seems similar to herself and not very glad to be here. They both look quite compatible in fact!

Similarities and differences between Romeo and Juliet and Harriet and David:

Capture tableau R&J et H&D

(picture credit: Kecky deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

Jane Eyre’s story

Hey guys,

This post should have been written a long time ago but I just kept delaying it so here it comes at last!^^

So…A few weeks ago, my class went to see the movie Jane Eyre (2012) . Since I was sick that day, I saw it a few days later with my mom ( Yup, she just loves those kinds of movies!). It was a bit spooky from time to time: for example when the hidden wife who was imprisoned in a secret cell got out at night to bite some guy or to put fire to the house… Anyway, on a rainy day at school, the teacher asked us to do a writing on the following subject: “Jane Eyre is now a grandmother and her grandchildren ask her how she met their grandfather”. Doesn’t look like it but it was quite difficult, there was not much inspiration at first…I ended up with a great mark so I thought I could share it on the blog:

-“Well…It was a very long time ago. I was nineteen years old back then. However, I still remember the rain, brutally falling on the ground and the mansion’s shadow in the night. I had been called to be a young girl’s governess. The home, from the inside looked very ancient and beautiful. I had never seen such a thing before! That’s when, for the first time I met your Grand-pa. A very strange man we could say. He had just come home from Europe. He was mysterious and intimidating. At first, I did not like him much but gradually, he took over my heart. It wasn’t that easy to admit it; you see, he was a wealthy man while I was just a poor country woman. I tried to hide my feelings for him while I was teaching his pupil.  I suffered a lot during this period and my heart was convinced we would marry some fancy young lady who was said to be his future fiance. Surprisingly, your grand-pa, who had been one of my good friends asked my hand on a summer morning. The following weeks were filled with happiness and joy.  During entire afternoons, we would walk in the fields, under the trees, I would draw him and we would talk for hours. Our love was passionate and true in every way. It felt like a dream, one of those fairy tales I would read with Helen at night when we were hiding from this horrible woman. Life was magical and the future seemed brighter than ever. The day of our wedding, the old house-keeper who was a very brave lady dressed me up in a white silk dress. At that moment, the memories I had from your Grand-pa rushed back into my mind.  I remembered his dark looking eyes on our first meeting, his somewhat grumpy manners and his mysterious questions. He had asked me what my life’s tragedy was and were my sketches came from. He was a very inquisitive man you know!  I would never have thought we would become husband and wife. Regretfully, he was also a man full of secrets, dark secrets he kept locked up… Because of them, we did not get married. I ran away shortly after that, not that I didn’t love him, but because of the pain wich was excruciating. Everything had become too painful and my trust in him was broken! I stayed a few years in a village near your Grand-pa’s domain  and always remained faithful to him. The scars the sadness caused took time to heal… My memories and feelings never stood quiet and loneliness was breaking my heart. In my dreams, this rainy night would come up, the light of spring and our smiles would haunt my heart. I believe Leslie, that in this world, soul mates exist. The love and passion between them can never be put off and survives to every obstacle. Edward was truly my soul mate, my life had to be with him and no one else. When I came back by his side, even thought he had lost his sight in a terrible fire, I realized my love for him had never left my heart. We never left each other since that day and love has filled every year with happiness and joy.”

The end! That was Jane Eyre’s full story in a few lines…Hope you liked it! : )

(picture credit: Mapvee deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

A love in the 60s…

Hello ! : )

Here’s a quick blog to sum up yesterday’s class!

After Romeo and Juliet it’s… Harriet and David from the “Fifth child”!(Read the extract!) Those two meet at an office party and seem to both be very special and “old fashioned”. The scene takes place in the sixties. The Hippy lifestyle replaced the conservative values. Freedom and liberty of expression are in every mind…well, almost. You see Harriet and David are very different and they know it. They don’t dance or dress in bright colours, they don’t sleep around or party… Anyway, they are both very much alike and it’s love at first sight! They are perfect for each other! Within a couple of month, Harriet moves in David’s appartement and they get married… I personally prefered Romeo and Juliet; I don’t really know why but I’m not incredibly fond of the characters and the magic, true love’s magic is a bit missing. Doris Lessing (the author) is a great writer so reading her book (well, at least the very beginning) is still very pleasant! I’m so curious about the outcome of the situation!…I think I’m going to buy the book during Christmas Holidays…. ^^

P.S: Talking about Christmas…It’s in exactly a month now!!! I should probably start decorating my tree…

(picture credit: Awesome Vince deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)

When Romeo falls for the beautiful Juliet…

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since my last post…about a month I believe. We’ve been doing various things the past weeks and last time, we read an extract of… Romeo and Juliet! Shakespeare is an amazing writer and the play is terrific! Okay, it’s a little hard to understand from time to time but you can still appreciate the beauty of old English (16 th century) . So, we started out last week’s lesson by doing an audio recording of the two lovers’ story…each one of us had a sentence to say and it was really fun how every time, a new voice added up to the story! A bit stressful too…It took me a few seconds to remember my line but we had a great time! (Click here and here!) Then, we read about Romeo and Juliet’s first meeting at a ball…It was very sweet how they fell for each other although it’s hard to believe that Juliet was 13 and Romeo 15 years old…And they got married in two days! (could you imagine teenagers from our time getting married at that age?!) A very surprising thing in the story…we know from the beginning how it’s gonna end up: The prologue of the play tells us what a tragic story it is! They used to announce the end of plays back in time (what a shame!) . We also watched the beginning a movie about Shakespeare’s masterpiece and carefully studied the text…If I  have time, I might put a few analyses elements on the blog !

Anyway, here’s what we read, enjoy!

PROLOGUE:

Two households, both alike in dignity,In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Do with their death bury their parents’ strife. The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love, And the continuance of their parents’ rage, Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove, Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage; The which if you with patient ears attend, What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

ACT 1 SCENE 5:

ROMEO

[To JULIET]  If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

JULIET

Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.

ROMEO

Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?

JULIET

Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

ROMEO

O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.

JULIET

Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.

ROMEO

Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take. Thus from my lips, by yours, my sin is purged.

JULIET

Then have my lips the sin that they have took.

ROMEO

Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again.

JULIET

You kiss by the book.

Nurse

Madam, your mother craves a word with you.

ROMEO

What is her mother?

Nurse

Marry, bachelor, Her mother is the lady of the house, And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous I nursed her daughter, that you talk’d withal; I tell you, he that can lay hold of her Shall have the chinks.

ROMEO

Is she a Capulet? O dear account! my life is my foe’s debt.

BENVOLIO

Away, begone; the sport is at the best.

ROMEO

Ay, so I fear; the more is my unrest.

CAPULET

Nay, gentlemen, prepare not to be gone; We have a trifling foolish banquet towards. Is it e’en so? why, then, I thank you all I thank you, honest gentlemen; good night. More torches here! Come on then, let’s to bed. Ah, sirrah, by my fay, it waxes late: I’ll to my rest.Exeunt all but JULIET and Nurse

JULIET

Come hither, nurse. What is yond gentleman?

Nurse

The son and heir of old Tiberio.

JULIET

What’s he that now is going out of door?

Nurse

Marry, that, I think, be young Petrucio.

JULIET

What’s he that follows there, that would not dance?

Nurse

I know not.

JULIET

Go ask his name: if he be married. My grave is like to be my wedding bed.

Nurse

His name is Romeo, and a Montague; The only son of your great enemy.

JULIET

My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy.

(picture credit: Palnk deviantart – no copyright infringement intended; for educational purposes)