New Theme: the various representations of the Devil in English literature.
Text 1: "The Monk"
I) Summary of the passage
Lucifer comes to Ambrosio and offers him a contract. If he signs it, his soul will belong to the Devil for eternity but he will have the power to live his life as he wishes / pleases. He signs with an iron pen filled with his own blood. In the end, Lucifer reveals he does not have any intention to honor his part of the contract…
Documents used for the next theme:
Commentary: the two lovers are the perfect couple, eternal lovers, they complete each other perfectly.
The words “rough” and “smooth” are two opposites, we cannot explain one without speaking about the other so one cannot exist without the other, it’s the same with profane and holy. Moreover, smooth is for Juliet and roughness is for Romeo, when they kiss, roughness becomes smoothness/softness, so they become similar, they become one, they are not different anymore, so they complete each other.
Then Romeo mentions his “unworthiest hand” whereas Juliet tells him his hand is all right, here they complete each other in the sense that they while he is debasing himself, she praises him.
The expression “palm to palm” is perfectly symmetric when we read it, just as the combination “not move / move not”, as if the words were before a mirror. On the stage, when the actors touch hands or kiss, it’s as they were one person before a mirror. Concerning the rhythm of the title “Romeo and Juliet”, it’s symmetric too, it suggests perfect balance and complementarity.
When Shakespeare wrote the play, he based his story on ancient myths as well as on Italian tales, as if the couple and their forbidden love story had always existed.
The poem swarms with religious metaphors. For example, Romeo is the sinner and the pilgrim, while Juliet is both the temptress and the source of Romeo’s redemption. It’s another illustration of how they complete each other. Starting verses 15-16, Juliet becomes the sinner and then she suggests Romeo kiss her to “take her sin” away from her lips. The roles are reversed but they still complete each other. Moreover, she is encouraging to kiss her again and again, as if the kissing game was eternal. In the same way, her final remark is an encouragement for him to kiss her again.
The first 14 verses of the passage compose a perfect sonnet that R and J share. They have the same number of replies and they share the last verse. As far as rhymes are concerned, the words used by one lover are repeated by the other, creating an echo effect, that is to say the repetitions of the words spoken by only one person, which is confirmed by the numerous repetitions.
RAPPEL TEST LE 7/2
Romeo and Juliet - Act 1, Scene 5 . OUR TEXT = from 4.49 to 7.00.
A brief summary of Romeo and Juliet.
This tragedy by Shakespeare was written around 1595. The action takes place in Italy, in Verona during the Renaissance. The story is about two rival families, the Montagues and the Capulets. Their fights create so much violence in the streets of Verona that the Prince declares that acts of violence will now be punished by death. When Romeo and Juliet fall in love they get married in secret. Then, her cousin Tybalt fights Romeo and his friend Mercutio, who is killed. Romeo then kills Tybalt and must prepare to escape from Verona. Juliet is heart-broken, not to mention that she must marry another man, a count. Romeo and Juliet spend their last night together and Romeo escapes, then Juliet thinks and finds a plan: she will drink a special preparation which is going to fake her death. So she will not get married to the count and Romeo will come back for her. The problem is that Romeo is not informed in time. For him, Juliet is really dead thus he drinks poison and dies next to Juliet. When she wakes up from her fake death, she sees him and stabs herself.
Written by Aminata, with the help of the class.
Sonnet 18, Part 2.
1) Verse nine is the rest of the idea begun in verse 4 but continued in an opposite direction because the human friend of the poet is elevated as if she/he was a divinity. He or she becomes eternally beautiful.
In verse five “the eye of heaven” refers to the sun. The first imperfection of the sun is that it shines “too hot” and burns our skins and the second is that sometimes sunlight is too weak because of clouds, he also says that his friend is better than summer beauty because his or her beauty doesn't rust as “gold”, the perfect metal.
The poet doesn't give any physical description and doesn't mention the name of his friend maybe to be universal and to touch everybody.
The final couplet, the conclusion of the sonnet, explains that the friend's beauty will live as long as “this” poem can live.
Generally, who do we write love poems for? We write for the person that we love but in this case there is no name, no physical description. It's written for everybody and particularly for people like you and me, people who read the poem. All things considered, this poem glorifies not only human beauty but its own beauty, its own ability to make beauty eternal. It’s the meeting between a poet’s art and his readers.
Verse twelve refers to the lines of the poem, but they can also be the lines of his friend's face.
Verse seven and eight mean that every beautiful person will one day lose his or her beauty because of illness (“chance”) or age.
In “Happy the Man”, Dryden evokes “the joys” he has “possessed” and which cannot be destroyed “in spite of fate” and here Shakespeare makes beauty an eternal “possession”. Concerning the reference to death, in “Happy the Man” the poet says death is not an issue if you have had happy moments in your life whereas Shakespeare says that death doesn’t really kill people’s beauty when this beauty is glorified in poetry.
Sophie, with Aminata and Yasmine.
DS SONNET 18 JEUDI 18
"Sonnet 18", part 1
William Shakespeare was a poet who wrote 154 sonnets over six years of his life, between 1592-1598, but these dates aren't sure. The sonnets were published for the first time in 1609 probably illegally as Shakespeare didn't give his authorization. All the sonnets were dedicated to a certain "W.H", whose identity and full name
we don't know.
We're studying Sonnet 18, as the others, it is composed of three quatrains and one couplet for a total of 14 verses. In general, the three quatrains are like the presentation of the theme, and the last couplet is like a conclusion. This sonnet is written on crossed rhymes. (abab - cdcd - efef - gg ).
The sonnet is about a comparison between the summer, and the poet's friend, or lover. The first verse "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day” can be said to be a rhetorical question because Shakespeare doesn't expect any answer, and If he did, the answer would obviously be “no”, because the person he compares summer to is way better, way more lovely than summer.
There's an analogy between the form and the meaning at verse 3: "Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May". This sentence means that the rough winds of summer blow away the little flowers, it destroys their beauty. But the form is destroyed too in an implicit way.
Indeed, the sonnet is structured in an iambic pentameter, which is the iambic meter multiplied by five, or five successive pairs of unstressed and stressed syllables. For example, at verses eight and nine, the iambic pentameter is perfectly respected. But at verse 3, there's four stressed syllables in a row, which is breaking the structure of the iambic pentameter. Therefore, not only the flowers are blown away but the structure of the sonnet too.
At verse 2, we learn something about the poet's friend or lover. "Thou art more lovely and more temperate". Here, we are into the comparison between the friend and summer, and we're talking about the friend. Shakespeare is saying that the friend is more lovely than summer, and more temperate too. By “temperate”, the poet means that his friend has a more constant beauty than summer. Sometimes, summer can be rough, as is said on verse 3. But his friend does not change like summer does; the friend's beauty is more beautiful and more constant than summer's.
Verse 4 "And summer's lease hath all too short to date" means that summer’s length and beauty are too short and fast. The poet uses the literary device of the allegory/personification. A lease is a contract you sign when you rent a home. And here it's as if summer signed a paper to rent a home, but sadly, summer ended that lease too soon, the poet wishes summer would last a little longer. Shakespeare indentifies summer to a simple person/human while in mythology, summer is considered as a divinity. So the poet is breaking the myth by reducing the summer divinity to a simple mortal who signed a lease.
"At the Station House" part 2
There's a difference between the three boys and Richard. First of all, the three boys are legally guilty. They really did the robbery while Richard didn’t; he's innocent in this affair. The second difference is that the boys know that the policemen are prejudiced against black people, whereas Richard isn't aware of the policemen's prejudices. Morally speaking, the boys are not innocent either.
That's why they think at line 33, that confirming Richard's innocence would be useless since the policemen have already made up their mind about them.
The policemen don’t even ask any questions to the three boys and Richard, which is against the normal procedure at a police station. They are supposed to give the "You have the right to remain silent" speech, and ask questions to the suspect, who should be presumed innocent. But they don’t because, as we said, they have already made up their mind. They have the conviction that Richard and the three boys are guilty so they don't even bother asking to confirm anything. Because for them, being black is a form of guilt.
At line 26, the narrator is using "white men" instead of "white policemen". There are two possible meanings for that. The first one is that the narrator might have wanted to show that the policemen aren’t acting as policemen. They're not fair with the three boys and Richard because they're black, and they aren't supposed to act this way as policemen. So it shows that the policemen aren't professional, they aren't separating their personal convictions from their professional convictions. The second meaning of this could be that the narrator wanted to highlight the fact that being white in America gives you some kind of authority. In America, during that era (the period when the book was written), white people didn't need to be policemen to show authority and to tell black people what to say or what to do. It's just that during this era, being white gave you the power of authority.
At line 42, the reader understands the shopkeeper happens to be racist too. So he accuses the three boys and Richard of being involved even though he knows Richard wasn't. When Richard defends himself, the shopkeeper doesn't accuse him of lying. Accusing Richard of lying would mean that the victim gives importance to the truth; it would mean that he truly believes Richard was there during the robbery. On the contrary, if the shopkeeper doesn’t accuse Richard of being a liar, it’s because he couldn’t care less for the truth; all that matters is to send another black boy in jail.
At line 43, the use of "the eyes of the white men watching" is there to insist on the intense glare of the policemen and to insist on the fact that they are judging and accusing the boys through their look.
To conclude, Richard is more likely to be killed than the three other boys because he's the one who's defending himself, who speaks up for his freedom. By doing this, he's showing opposition to the policemen and he's defying them. He's challenging the police system and also the American society system, that’s why he is more dangerous than the other boys who accept everything. Signing the “confession” would reinforce the system according to which (selon lequel) being black is a crime in itself.
Shelby, with Mathilde and Inès.
“AT THE STATION HOUSE”
In the beginning, we learn that Richard, the main character has been imprisoned and his girlfriend Elizabeth has come to visit him and sees he has been beaten. The second part of the text is a flashback which explains to us why and how he ended up in this situation.
He was into the subway station, going back home when he saw two black boys running to escape policemen after robbing a store. The policemen didn't make the difference between Richard and the thieves due to the fact that they were all coloured. At the station, Richard refuses to sign a confession after being recognized guilty by the owner of the shop. As he refuses to cooperate, the policemen beat him.
The word « innocence » is often used to talk about a child, he is naive and innocent: he doesn't know anything about life and especially the bad aspects of life. The other meaning of the word « innocence » is when you're accused of a crime you didn't commit, when you didn't do anything.
The fact that the narrator says that Richard will have a « lawyer » and a « trial » implies that he is going to be offered a fair judgment, as it is supposed to be in a big democratic country like the USA.
The prison’s name is “The Tombs”, the guard beat Richard and threatened him to death. It shows that as the name says, this prison is a deadly place ; he is not going to survive it in both physical and psychological ways. It contrasts with the fact that he's supposed to have a fair judgment and that everything is going to be fine, because with the name « The Tombs » we understand that it's not. No matter what's going to happen, it's not going to be okay and Elizabeth understands that when her heart “turns over”.
In the same way, Richard doesn’t have the chance to choose his lawyer as it is says line 3-4: « someone had already assigned him a lawyer ». He can't even decide who is going to defend him. He's a total victim because not only has he been arrested for a crime he didn't commit not only is he victim of prejudices because of his skin colour, he can't choose his lawyer so he's totally powerless upon his judgment and upon his future.
Likewise, the expression: « the state, or the prison or someone » shows they are innocent because they don't even know how the judiciary system works. They never needed to because they never did anything wrong, they have never been arrested. As they don't know how all of this works, they don't know how to react and how to defend themselves. They're just like innocent children in front of the bad aspects of life they never knew.
Here we are in an internal focalization: the narrator knows what Elizabeth and Richard think and know, and especially here, what they don't know. It’s the case with the expression « A prison »line 1. It shows too that they don't know precisely in which prison he is going to be put in jail, the effect would be different with “the prison”. Once again they don't know anything about this whole system.
Line 14, Richard is « half awake »; he is still in his dreams, he isn't connected to reality and he's still a child. He's back in his childhood innocence and doesn't see all the bad aspects of life. He doesn't know anything about it. But line 15, , he is « full awake » because he starts seeing the trouble in which he is and so, starts seeing reality. Those expressions are like a metaphor, when he is still in his dreams, he is still in his innocence, but when he wakes up, the reality starts to come out and his innocence goes away with it.
Richard still believes in the honesty of the judiciary system because he is convinced that the owner can't recognize him as/since/given that he wasn't there. He doesn't have any doubt about it: « the man could not say that he had been there if he had never seen him before ». So, for Richard it is evident that everything is going to be fine. He doesn't think about the eventuality of corruption. Once again, he is naive and innocent.
When at the end of the text, Richard thinks: « I wish to God they had killed [the white man] » we can see that he starts thinking like a criminal. He has completely lost his innocence; the system had taken / robbed it from him.
The expression line 44: « he was lost » explains to us that he feels desperate in front of what is going to happen to him: the prison, the violence and probably, death.
It also means that he feels and is alone, nobody can help him, and he is trapped in this situation which is going to lead him to death.
Finally, it means that he has definitely lost his innocence and that there's no going back.
Leina, with Coralie, Sophie & Gaetan
Corrigé Tom Sawyer, deuxième partie, envoyé par moi-même. A RECOPIER.
The Sunday-school teacher is the one responsible for religious education; in other words, he teaches kids how “to do right and be good”, to respect the values imposed by religion, and maybe also, the values imposed by society. The most significant adjectives that he uses are “good”, “straight”, “right” and “clean”. You are “good” if you are “clean” in a moral way, if your attitude is beyond reproach, impeccable, if you follow the same line as everyone else, if go “straight” without deviating.
Mr. Walters motivates them by given them the chance to be offered (de se voir offrir) a Doré Bible if they can memorize two thousand verses of the Bible.
The reference to the only boy who memorized so many verses and who became mentally retarded after that is very ironic, it shows this method makes students stupid.
Tom’s attitude confirms this judgment. He cheats not only because he is lazy but also because the objective of 2,000 verses is too much, as the judge implies line 37. The teacher’s methods produce results that are contrary to his intended results, that is why they are bad methods. On the one hand, they become stupid instead of becoming more intelligent and on the other hand, they don’t elevate their moral values, they end up less virtuous than they were.
The verb “pay” in the beginning is used in such a way that we feel like it could have been used by the teacher himself. Therefore, one may argue that he is the one teaching them the importance of money, and that everything can be bought, whereas generally, religion insists on such values as generosity and sharing.
Mr. Walters wants to “exhibit a prodigy”, just as Tom “exhibited” his toys and candy. They both have the same mindset/mentality, they both like “glory and éclat”.
In the same way, when the superintendent Walters forces himself to show some “effusion”, it is just as insincere as Tom’s attitude with Becky in the beginning line 20.
To conclude, it is not very surprising that Mr. Walters’ methods produces children who think and act like him. Like teacher, like pupil!