A Final Look Back

At last, this momentous journey of learning to be literate in the 21st century has come to an end. During this quest to learn how to be literate in the 21st century, I have learned to write poetry, short stories, and essays, improve my skills in analyzing informational text, and studied a number of novels and a Shakespearean play. Not to mention, I also learned to be proficient in blogging and sharing information with the worldwide web.

Before I started this blog, I felt that I was already quite literate. I didn’t think that I needed to work on my writing skills or improve on any areas of literature like poetry, fiction, and drama. Not to mention I was confident in my essay writing skills, learned to analyze and write poetry, and had already studied Shakespearean plays in the past. So I thought to myself, “Why do I need to do this?”

Now that I am finally finished, I see the value of doing this blog and I feel that I am much more literate than I was than when the year began. I have grown more mature and the way that I think has changed. When I look back at how my reading, writing, and critical thinking skills were during the beginning of the year, I think that I was nowhere near as competent as I thought I was. When I compare myself to how I was then and how I am now, I think that I have made a giant leap in terms of my abilities to read and write. The skill that I have improved the most over the course of this year is definitely my essay writing skills. Before, I was able to write decent essays, but they lacked fluidity and substance. Although my essay writing is still not perfect, in my opinion, the flow of my writing and what I choose to write, as well as the overall quality of my essays have improved significantly. On the other hand, something that I still need to improve on is to become more literate with poetry. I still find it difficult to write meaningful poems with a variety of poetic devices that are interesting to read. In addition, I also have difficulty analyzing poems and getting meaning out of them, as well as finding underlying themes. Possibly, I could expose myself to more poetry to help me refine my literacy skills with poetry. Poetry is not something that I read very often, so I believe that reading more of it will definitely

As I’m writing this final reflection, I now realize the value of doing this blog. This blog helps me improve my literacy skills, allows me to see how I’ve progressed during the year, and helps me evaluate how I’ve been doing to show me what I need I still need to work on. Without a doubt, all of my literacy skills have improved during the course of the year. But, I will not stop here. Writing this blog has helped me open my eyes to the bigger picture. I considered myself to be very literate when the year began, but now I’m even more literate than I was before. So essentially, there is always room for improvement. After this blog, I will continue my quest to be a literate person. If my literacy skills improved during the course of this year, who’s to say that they won’t improve next year as well? I will not hold myself back by ceasing to learn. Hopefully, I will continue to grow as a literate person through my entire life.

To conclude the final post of this blog, I would like to thank all the people who have visited my blog. I put a great amount of effort into it over the course of the year, and I hope you enjoyed reading my posts and following me during my journey.

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A Dramatic Performance of Macbeth

This is an incredible performance of Macbeth by two university drama students. They are acting out Act II, Scene II, after Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have committed the sinful deed of murdering Duncan, the king of Scotland. The portrayal of the characters by the actors is marvellous; Lady Macbeth is calm and composed, yet wicked, and Macbeth clearly feels guilty and uneasy after heinously murdering a virtuous king. In my opinion, this performance is absolutely fantastic.

Works Cited

Macbeth Act II Scene II. Dir. Zuzana Volny. YouTube. YouTube, 09 June 2011. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fnetz_qj0w&gt;.

Macbeth is Bad Luck?

In my English class, we are currently studying one of William Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, Macbeth, also known by highly superstitious theatre enthusiasts as The Scottish Play. The reason why Macbeth is called The Scottish Play is because saying the actual name of the play is considered taboo. Since the dawn of The Scottish Play, there have been numerous accounts of unfortunate events that have been thought to have occurred in theatres that featured The Scottish Play because a cast member had uttered the play’s forbidden name. There have been stories of playhouses burning down, actors dying on set, and audience members dying because someone had said you know what.

Fortunately, if one mistakenly says the name of The Scottish Play, it is possible for one to reverse the horrible act before any damage is done. One way, stated by a television program called 10 Ways to Lift a Curse, to rid yourself of any bad luck caused by uttering the forbidden name is to run out of the theatre, spin three times, spit quickly on the ground, and say the worst swear word that you know.  Another way, which is seen on the television show, Blackadder, to relieve any misfortune brought upon you by saying the name of The Scottish Play is to say, “Hot potato, orchestra stalls, puck will make amends.”

Personally, I don’t believe that saying “Macbeth” will bring any bad luck. I think that the unfortunate events that have occurred in theatres that play Macbeth were simply coincidences, which would have happened regardless of whether or not someone uttered, “Macbeth.” However, I must say that I am quite shocked by the huge number of unfortunate events that were thought to have happened because someone said, “Macbeth.” To learn about a few of the tragic events, or should I say, coincidences, watch the video by the Science Channel that I have shared above.

Below is a hilarious video of Blackadder harassing a pair of very superstitious men by uttering the name of The Scottish Play.

 

Works Cited

Floyd, John, prod. Blackadder. N.d. Youtube. Youtube, 4 Mar. 2008. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h–HR7PWfp0&gt;.

Ten Ways – Curse of Macbeth. Prod. Science Channel. YouTube. YouTube, 23 Oct. 2008. Web. 14 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LKMktAN4hc&gt;.

Blackadder Meets Shakespeare

In this entertaining video, Blackadder, a character of a British television program that shares the same name, meets William Shakespeare. For the boys and girls that will have to endure the stress of studying Shakespeare’s plays for the next 400 years, Blackadder punches Shakespeare in the face.

Works Cited

Floyd, John, prod. Blackadder. N.d. Youtube. Youtube, 4 Mar. 2008. Web. 12 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-Y1ch4b5c&gt;.

Shakespeare’s Contributions to the English Language

William Shakespeare is widely known as a brilliant playwright, whose plays have been studied for hundreds of years. But, did you know that Shakespeare invented over 2000 words in the English language? Without Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have words such as weird, puppy, and eyeball. I think it’s quite interesting how Shakespeare not only wrote dozens of amazing plays, but also added a great deal of words to the English language. If you would like to learn about some of the words that Shakespeare invented, watch the video that I included in this post, created by The Open University.

Works Cited

Shakespeare – The History of English (3/10). Prod. The Open University. Youtube. YouTube, 01 July 2011. Web. 13 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMkuUADWW2A&gt;.

The Elements of Fiction of Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, is an acclaimed novel written in 1952 about a group of young British boys who are stranded on an uninhabited island. As the boys are trapped on the island, the innate evil inside of all of them becomes evident, they struggle to maintain a civilized society, and many of them grow increasingly savage. To give you an insight of what Lord of the Flies is about, I will outline its elements of fiction.

Setting

  • Place: an uninhabited tropical island
  • Date: early 20th century during a nuclear war
  • Season: spring/summer
  • Weather: warm, sunny/rainy/stormy

Characters

  • Protagonist: Ralph
  • Antagonist: Jack
  • Dynamic: Ralph, Jack
  • Static: Piggy, Simon, Roger, littluns
  • Round: Ralph, Jack, Piggy
  • Flat: Simon, Roger, littluns

Problem

Ralph struggles to maintain a civilized society on the island and attempts to signal possible rescuers while the other boys descend into savagery.

Plot

  • Introduction:
    • A plane carrying a group of young British boys crash lands on an uninhabited tropical island.
    • Ralph gathers all the boys together and is voted to be chief of the boys.
  • Rising Action:
    • There is speculation that a beast is on the island and the boys become fearful.
    • Most of the boys do not help build shelters and just play.
    • A ship is spotted near the island, but Jack and the choir boys fail to maintain the signal fire.
    • Hostility between Ralph and Jack grows.
    • The boys find what they believe to be the beast, but do not realize that it is a dead parachutist.
    • The boys become increasingly savage.
    • Jack creates his own tribe and almost everyone abandons Ralph to join Jack.
    • Simon learns that the beast is not real, but is killed before he can tell everyone.
    • Jack’s tribe steal Piggy’s glasses.
  • Climax
    • Piggy is killed by Jack’s tribe.
  • Falling Action
    • Ralph attempts to hide from Jack’s tribe, who wants to kill him.
    • The island is set on fire to force Ralph out of hiding.
  • Conclusion
    • A British naval officer, who saw the smoke from the fire, arrives on the island, just as Ralph is about to be captured by Jack.
    • The naval officer shows disapproval of the boys’ behaviour.
    • The boys realize how vicious and savage they have become and are ashamed.

Suspense

  • Fear of the beast
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Uncertainty of survival

Point of View

  • Third-person omniscient

Themes

  • Innate evil of man
  • Breakdown of social order
  • Loss of innocence

 

Works Cited

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies Cover. Digital image. Faber and Faber. Faber and Faber, 15 July 2004. Web. 6 June 2012. <http://www.faber.co.uk/site-media/onix-images/thumbs/2319_jpg_280x450_q85.jpg&gt;.

Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. London: Faber and Faber, 1954. Print.

William Shakespeare: A Legend in Drama

When learning about drama, without a doubt, you will come across the name of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare, who was born during the 16th century in England, is a legendary playwright. As one of the most famous, if not the most famous playwright of all time, he has been known for the many amazing plays that he has written, which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth, to name a few. In total, he wrote 37 plays, all of which are still studied to this day. The reason why Shakespeare’s plays are so famous and why students have continued to study them after hundreds of years is that the quality of his work is absolutely superb and arguably unsurpassed. His use of language, literary devices, as well his characterizations and plots in each of his plays are brilliant. If you have ever read any of Shakespeare’s plays, I’m sure that you will agree that Shakespeare was an amazing writer.

If you would like to learn more about William Shakespeare’s life, his work, and his achievements, I have included an amusing and educational video about Shakespeare below.

Works Cited

Paris 16. William Shakespeare 1609. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 5 Mar. 2009. Web. 12 June 2012. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:William_Shakespeare_1609.jpg&gt;.

Shakespeare: Brief and Naughty. Dir. Teach Kids Productions. YouTube. YouTube, 06 Sept. 2011. Web. 13 June 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oPe7tG0vYs&gt;.