Sunday, April 29, 2012

Watchmen Passage Analysis

The theme of the text provided from Watchmen I feel was what you stop prepare may seem silly at the moment, but when it comes to the real challenge in the end, it all makes sense. You'll feel stupid and what you are doing to prepare may make no sense, you'll be glad that you made those provisions. In a way I can see how this theme would relate to our class, what with us always nagging and sighing about how what we do in this class doesn't make sense. When we were memorizing the Hamlet soliloquy, I kept asking myself "when am I ever going to have to say this ever again?" but when I look at past AP essay prompts, I see that knowing a text word for word would aid me in giving examples. Any AP student can write well, but knowing quotes from famous works would definitely set you aside from a 3 paper to a 4/5 paper.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Suitable Essay Prompts for Macbeth

   1.      Open Essay Prompt (1988):
Choose a distinguished novel or play in which some of the most significant events are mental or psychological; for example, awakenings. discoveries, changes in consciousness.  In a well-organized essay, describe how the author manages to give these internal events the sense of excitement, suspense and climax usually associated with external action.  Do not merely summarize the plot.
   2.      Open Essay Prompt (1982):
In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake.  Choose a work of literary merit that confronts the reader or audience with a scene(s) of violence.  In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work.  Avoid plot summary.
   3.      Open Essay Prompt (1980):
A recurring theme in literature is the classic war between passion and responsibility.  Choose a literary work in which a character confronts the demands of a private passion that conflicts with his or her responsibilities.  In a well-written essay, show clearly the nature of conflict, its effects upon the character, and its significance to the work.  Avoid plot summary.

Monday, April 23, 2012

AP Study Plan

Now I have good reason not to be taking the AP exam.  I called up my guidance counselor and she explained to me why it would be a waste of money and time to take the AP exam.  Due to my passing of the AP exam last year, I already don't have to take the English course down in Irvine.  Also, because I passed with a four, I also elective credits as well (which would be the reason for taking it this year, but it isn't necessary).  So you see, taking it would be money down the drain.  I understand that this is what the class is preparing you for, but I didn't want to be around students who didn't care and try.  My plan is study for the practice AP multiple choice and the essay that you plan on giving to the students who aren't taking it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In Class Lecture Notes: Macbeth

Day I

Simple play
-no big themes
-very straightforward plot
     -Acts I-III all chronicle Macbeth's rise to glory & IV, V follow his fall
     -character driven play; less psychology & intricate relationships
          -Macbeth doesn't confide in the audience (like Hamlet) he doesn't show any sign of humor or              
           humanity, just painstaking character development

Macbeth as a tragic hero
-Beginning of play: indirect characterization telling us he is well thought of, noble, honorable, etc.
-end of the play: stands alone to be killed by an entire army
-Every thing that happens in the play is the function of Macbeth's own decisions
     -not influenced or compelled by any outside force

Murder of Duncan
     -Act I, scene vii, lines 25-28…glimpse of an idea but too early to take for truth
     -Macbeth seems to be in the grips of something bigger
          -his first reaction to the witches was weariness; it seemed unjust to him at first
          -tension between immorality (consequences?!) & his ambition to be/stay king
               -he knows that he will have to violate his morals…he knows the consequences…he doesn't 
                convo (Hamlet)
          -he struggles with knowing that to act on his desires will lead to his own destruction (he then 
           decides not to kill the king(
                -swayed, however, by his imagination of the prospects

Macbeth & Lady Macbeth
-She is the agent of evil in the beginning
     -tells him to man up and keep the prospect of being king alive
-total animus (masculine personality) influence
     -lacks regard for emotions, scruples, values, nurturing, etc.
     -urges him to be more manly when he comes to her with things
-Both characters experience a surreal feeling
     -Macbeth is fearful & horrified, but he hallucinates and it's as if he is compelled to or drawn to do it
     -Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking
-With help of Lady Macbeth allowed evil to infiltrate his imagination.  He knows what's going on.

Courage & Fear
-Courage is abundant when it comes to outward enemies but can't handle the inner fears.  Becomes fearful as soon as he kills the king
     -deals with it by continued killing to allow himself to plow through and come to a solution
-Lady Macbeth can't handle the inner strains….Macbeth goes off without her.
     -guilt for lack of inner will destroy her
          -feels like Duncan looks liker her father
          -she decays into craziness (for lack of a better word) until she commits suicide

Day 2

Lady Macbeth
-A representation of pure force
-After the banquet, Macbeth & Lady Macbeth's relationship becomes strained
     -They used to have a healthy relationship/marriage but now they have their own plans

-Macbeth's throne is safe, no one suspects him, but he has a guilty conscience
-Act III, Scene iii shows Macbeth still knows the difference between right and wrong
-Now he's murdering his way to peace of mind
     -is becoming less & less human
-Loss of physical relationships --> loss of feeling
     -Makes Macbeth care less & less for what life has to offer
-Act V, scene iii explains why Macbeth accepts the news of his wife's death with a horrifying calm
     -exemplifies the empty mockery his world has become

The 3 Witches
-Macbeth's driving force
-Plant the ideas in Macbeth's mind
     -he is then unable to control himself
-a symbol of fate
     -It inevitably would have happened
-Exist to tempt & torment people
-After becoming thane of Cawdor, Macbeth believes the witches prophesy to be ture
-The 3 Witches seem to be the heroes of the entire piece

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Active Reading Notes: Macbeth

·         Macbeth and Banquo are generals of Scottish King Duncan’s army and they have just defeated two separate invading armies
o   One led by the Irish rebel leader, Macdonwald and the other from Norway
·         Three witches come together and prophesize that Macbeth will come to be made thane of Cawdor and then eventually king of Scotland; also state that Banquo’s son will come to be the heirs of the throne next
o   Seem to say this in a foreboding way, as if his rise to power will ultimately be his downfall
·         The two seem skeptical, but soon Macbeth is named Thane of Cawdor
·         Macbeth of unsure of whether or not he wants this rise to power à writes home to his wife
o   She has no qualms about climbing the social ladder and tells him to murder Duncan for the crown
o   She persuades him to kill Duncan that very night the two are to dine together
·         Macbeth seems to know right from wrong, but still chooses to do the wrong course of action à has no reason to justify his means either
·         Plan to blame Duncan’s death on his chamberlains à get them drunk and they will be defenseless
o   Macbeth murders Duncan when he is sleeping; he is full of self doubt and ignores the vision he had that involved a bloody dagger floating in front of him
o   Macbeth is shaken terribly à forgets to leave the daggers with the chamberlains to frame them à Macbeth won’t go back into the room though
o   Lady Macbeth shames him saying he is a coward; goes to put the daggers there herself
·         Macbeth hears knocking on three separate occasions, is frightened
o   “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood, Clean from my hand?”
o   “A little water clears us of this deed, How easy it is then!” 
·         The discovery of Duncan’s body has Macbeth all wound up and jumpy
o   Macbeth kills the chamberlains too out of rage
o    Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain flees to Ireland (because they are seen as suspects since they are both in line for the crown)
o   Macbeth takes to the kings position immediately
·         Ominous happenings right after Duncan’s death and right before Macbeth coronation:
o   It is daytime, but dark outside
o   Last Tuesday, an owl killed a falcon
o   Duncan’s beautiful, well-trained horses behaved wildly and ate one another
·         Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth start to hallucinate about their kill
·         Macbeth, paranoid and confused, plans to hire a group of murders to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, in order to null the witches prophecy about them taking his throne next
o   Ambush them right before the dinner, manages to kill Banquo but Fleance escapes à Macbeth is worried and mad
o   As long as Fleance lives, the prophecy that he will come to seize the throne will be a possibility
·         Macbeth tells his wife that his mind is full of scorpions à guilt
·         At the feast, Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost; starts to freak out which startles his guest
o   They think that he is losing it and the nobles start to lose their faith in his skills to rules
o   His subjects are also worried about Macbeth, lose faith as well
·         Scared and worried about his position, he goes to the witches for help à they then introduce him to demon and spirits who also prophesize Macbeth’s future
o   They tell him:
§   Floating head à To beware of the noblemen Macduff (didn’t want Macbeth in the throne in the first place)
§  Bloodied child à It’s impossible that he will be harmed by any man born of woman
§  Crowned child holding a tree àHe will be safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Castle
o   Feels secure à all men are born of women, forest can’t move
o   We know from the previous scene before though that it’s just a false sense of security that Hecate and witches are enacting
§  Why are they meddling?
o   Orders that Macduff’s castle be seize and to kill his wife and children (Macduff has escaped to England to join with Malcolm’s forces)
o   We see that Macbeth is becoming more and more cruel and paranoid when he is told more prophecies
·         Macduff learns of his family’s murders and vows revenge
·         Malcolm has managed to put together and army in England; Macduff joins him à ride to England to try and take out Macbeth
·         The Scottish nobles support Malcolm; they are scared of Macbeth’s crazed and murderous ways
·         Lady Macbeth is not coping with the guilt of all the deaths at her and her husband’s hands
o   Wakes from a dream believing there is blood all over her hand; also sleepwalks all the time
o   Macbeth receives notices that she committed suicide right before battle à he goes into shock and despair
·         He is depressed and confused but still waits for Malcolm’s army who have withdrawn to Dunsinane  à reinforces his idea that he is invincible
o   Learns that Malcolm’s army is coming with boughs made from Birnam Wood (witches prophecy) à fearful that his demise is coming
·         Malcolm’s forces eventually overtake Macbeth’s
o   On the battlefield, Macbeth comes in contact with Macduff à still wants him very much dead
o   Macduff tells him he was not born from a women, but was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb (C section)
·         All the prophecies have come true and Macbeth knows that he is doomed now à still fights on until Macduff kills and beheads him
·         Malcolm comes to take the throne à promises to treat his people with grace and kindness; invites everyone to his coronation at Scone
·         Macbeth is a power -hunger  tyrant, yet we don’t condemn him à was a good man that did the wrong things?   Or was he just a bad person to begin with?
o   He isn’t the “villain” of the story à he did commit multiple atrocities, but the reader somehow (or at least I did) try to make up and excuse as to why he did such crime
o   Thoughts à “he only did it because he was peer pressured by his wife”, etc.
o   He doesn’t take pleasure in his horrid actions, actually feels remorseful about it which is why the reader wants to forgive him

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Top 3 Picks

1.       Chelsey Soriano (
Her usage of music in the background helped support the text and kept me entertained the entire time.  Everything fit well together and flowed with one another.
2.       Arianna Farmer (
I liked all the points and examples that she brought up about the book.  I have also read the novel and she picked up on things that I didn’t even think about!  Also the music reminded me of my grandma’s house…kidding.
3.       Cayla Salazar (
The video she chose only helped further support her analysis of Animal Farm.  I too have this novel as my LA, so it was nice to get another perspective.