Forensic Friday #019: 1HIV IV.i

 

northern lights gif

It seems I’m not alone in placing the Northern Lights at or near the top of my (fairly small) bucket list.  Some of my strongest, and most content, memories are of nights spent looking upwards at the indescribable grandeur and beauty of the universe (I highly recommend this corner of Reddit you need a regular fix of infinity, by the way).

Imagine how travellers in earlier ages would have tried to express seeing the Northern Lights when they returned home.  That’s where I’m headed today … considering how we describe the indescribable …

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Forensic Friday #018: 1HIV II.iv

Play Extempore

If all the year were playing holidays,

To sport would be as tedious as to work (I.ii)

Erm … no!

Prince Hal is one of those annoying, frankly very boring people who simply don’t have sufficient imagination to have hobbies. The ones who pine away six months into hard-earned retirement, or keep coming into work after you thought you’d finally got rid of them, to ‘keep their hand in, and check the youngsters haven’t stuffed it up yet.’ AND they no longer contribute towards the coffee fund!

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Forensic Friday (#017): 1 Henry IV, I.iii

the-red-pill-or-the-blue-pill

“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” [a]

This one is, I think, for my friend, Joe Gifford.

Back in the heady days of the beginning of this project, I likened close reading to autopsies and archaeology.  Today, I present you with a sexy new metaphor: close reading IS the red pill in The Matrix

No, really – let me persuade you. Continue reading “Forensic Friday (#017): 1 Henry IV, I.iii”

Forensic Friday (016): 1 Henry IV, I.ii

celebrate-thumbs-up
Never mind the students – today’s the year’s climax for the TEACHERS!

By the time you read this I will be gone.  Long gone.  And I won’t be back for, ooh, six weeks.  School’s out for summer!

Well, we got no class
And we got no principals
We ain’t got no intelligence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes [a]

I can almost hear Falstaff singing this, not Alice Cooper

Don’t knock teacher holidays until you have tried the profession for a few years.  You’ll soon realise that half-term weeks are misnomers, and should be labelled ‘admin / sleep’ weeks, and large chunks of the longer holidays are eaten up by marking or planning.  We’re not actually that much better off than other professions when it comes to quality time pretending your job doesn’t exist.

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QotW (#74) 29 April 2019

despair and die

I shall despair; there is no creature loves me,

And if I die no soul shall pity me.  (Richard III: V.iii) [a]

No matter how many times I watch it – with Y9, 12 and 13 classes, or alone – Benedict Cumberbatch can move me to tears, delivering what I think are the saddest lines in Shakespeare.

The saddest lines … by arguably the biggest villain?

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6-minute Shakespeare

Time-limited tasks are like a triple shot of caffeine …

reservoir dogs

It’s human nature, you panic. I don’t care what your name is. You can’t help it. Fuck, man, you panic on the inside, in your head, you know? You give yourself a couple of seconds. You get ahold of the situation. You deal with it. What you don’t do is start shooting up the place and start killing people. (Reservoir Dogs:  Quentin Tarantino, 1992)

It’s less than a month to go before the Shakespeare exams my Y11s and Y13s will be taking.  The Y12s and Y10s have mocks broadly over the same period.

Today’s post relates to three things I often say in the classroom:

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QotW (#72): 08 April 2019

subtitled: ‘Sir’s rule number 1‘ …

nightwatchman

‘Who’s there?’

‘Nay, answer me.  Stand and unfold yourself.’ [a]

Bernardo and Francisco have a point.  The entire path of the scene is determined by who is on stage.  Think of the ways the conversation could go if instead of Bernardo, another unknown Dane approaches Francisco’s guard-post, or one of Fortinbras’ troops.

From Hamlet to real life, and the idea of decorum – behaving or speaking appropriately to the circumstances and audience.

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Forensic Friday 013

The Merchant of Venice, Act III, scene i

merchant-of-venice-9

Unlucky for some?

Life’s pretty poor for Shylock as is, but his world falls apart when his flighty daughter elopes with a ne’er-do-well Christian lad, taking his fortune to boot.  Famously, Act III scene i sees the dam of his frustration and resentment overwhelmed, leaving him only the potential satisfaction of revenge against his mortal enemy, Antonio.

But why is Shylock’s speech so memorably powerful?

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KISSing Macbeth

lego witches
image: Klyph Ra’h Ben Sun

Can you do anything to help Brian?  He’s got a Macbeth exam coming up,‘ said my Dearest Partner of Greatness.

Brian is not his real name.  He’s a nephew.  Being a typically feckless Y10 lad, none of us have any idea whether he has read the play, or seen it, or what type of test / exam he has coming up, or when it might be.  We doubt Brian knows himself.

So what’s to do, for someone with a target of 4 (for overseas visitors, the highest target at GCSE is 9, and 4 tends to be the grade employers ask for as a minimum) and a complete disinterest in English?

Time to work my magic, and on my birthday, too!  Time, in fact, for a mindmap – it’s almost a present being asked to do one, because I LOVE a nice mindmap.

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Beethoven’s 5th, scored for (solo) Recorder

recorder

Somewhere, in the cold infinity of the internet, a voice asks if they will get as much from reading a ‘No Fear‘ version of Hamlet as they would from reading the original …

My ears prick up, and I swing round and take aim.

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