Good Night, Sweet Prince

Today, you will watch Act 5. As you watch, keep the following in mind: Scene i The scene begins with a little comic relief. Two grave-diggers are preparing a new grave; in the process, they exchange a few jokes (pay attention to the bit about drowning). Hamlet and Horatio approach the grave-site. Hamlet is amused by…

ENG 4U: The Most Famous Lines Ever?

Today we will consider what are perhaps the most famous lines in the history of literature. Well, at the very least, the most famous lines in English literature. First, let’s listen to those lines in Korean. Beautiful, huh? I convinced my friend to record this version for this class. He read the Korean script from…

ENG 4U: What Kind of Man is Polonius?

Is Polonius a caring, doting father or a manipulative sycophant?  (note: a sycophant, pronounced sick-o-fant, is a suck-up. The term suck-up, however, is wholly unremarkable. Next time you see someone being a suck-up to someone in authority, use the word sycophant instead. You are bound to impress somebody….which, of course, would be rather sycophantic of…

ENG 4U: A Close Comparison of Character

It has been said that there are only a handful of stories in existence; the thousands of narratives that have been written (or filmed) are simply variations of these originals.  Still, these variations can be incredibly compelling. The more familiar we are with a story, the more actors and directors can rely on subtle changes…

ENG 4U: The Opening Scenes of Hamlet

In scene i, the night watch at Elsinore castle in Denmark has arrived for duty.  They’ve asked Horatio, a close friend of Hamlet, prince of Denmark, to accompany them. Why? They have been seeing things. odd things. This raises an interesting question: how does one approach a ghost? Scene ii takes place in the Danish…

ENG 4U: Preparing for Hamlet

There won’t be much traditional homework during our study of Hamlet. Instead, you need to engage with the text. For example, if you are struggling with a particularly challenging scene, you should review it at home. While reading from printed version we will use in class is a great strategy, I also recommend the following:…

ENG 4U: When All Else Fails, Rely on Celebrities

So, let’s try this again. A Quick Overview of the Task You will produce a 1-2 minute video that explains how to avoid a grammatical/structure issue in your writing or how to add a complex structure (like parallelism) to your writing Your audience will be your fellow students. Thus, you will need to include formal…

ENG 4U: Telling a Good Story

Storytelling is easy. More accurately, it is straightforward. A story is basically a series of events, told in succession, imbued with a message or a point. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. What makes storytelling even easier is that there are very few kinds of stories.  I can tell a story about…

ENG 4U: Becoming a Better Writer

Over the next few days, we will focus on individual skills. After you have mastered this skill, you will create a 2 minute video that not only demonstrates your new understanding but also helps others improve their writing. Choosing an Option Choose an issue to address. You should take into account the feedback I gave…

ENG 4U: Organizing the Mundane

An organizing principle is a basic idea or strategy we use to organize our world. Think of it this way: all of the methods you can use to sort your MP3s—by artist, by song title, or by date—are organizing principles. Your choice shapes the way you can access the files. In a similar way, writers…

ENG 4U: Logical Fallacies

Ladies and gents, we have been together for 2 days. So far, I’d say that things are going rather well, wouldn’t you?  Thus, I feel comfortable broaching this rather awkward topic much earlier than I have in the past.  You may want to sit down for this. Oh. Right. You are sitting. Ready? Here we…

ENG 4U: Day 1!

About this Course A few years ago, a brave student stuck a note next to my room number. She turned room 221 into room 221B, as in: Sherlock Holmes 221B Baker St, Marylebone, London Bit cheeky, huh? But here’s the thing. This student’s joke is a brilliant metaphor for what a classroom can be: a…

ENG 4U: The Most Famous Lines Ever?

Today we will consider what are perhaps the most famous lines in the history of literature. Well, at the very least, the most famous lines in English literature. First, let’s listen to those lines in Korean. Beautiful, huh? I convinced my friend to record this version for this class. He read the Korean script from…