Saturday, January 5, 2013

All Boys, All Blogged: January 8, 2013

Focus: To what extent are we controlled by our superstitions?

1. Opening: Yes, no, sometimes--which superstitions do you adhere to?

Do you believe in beginner's luck?
Do you avoid stepping on cracks?
Do you refuse to open umbrellas indoors?
Do you go out of your way to avoid walking under ladders?
When you blow out your birthday candles, do you make a wish?
Before a big sports game, performance, test, etc., do you perform some kind of ritual or carry a good luck charm?
Do you try to avoid the number 13? 
Do you ever cross your fingers?
Do you ever knock on wood?
When you see a penny, do you pick it up for good luck?

Do you believe that bad things happen in threes?
Do you consider yourself to be a superstitious person?

2. Investigating the witchy, superstitious world of the play that shall not be named

Directions: Please start a new folder in Google docs and call it Macbeth (or The Play that Shall Not Be Named).  Then start a new document and call it "Superstitions."  Please take careful notes on your research in response to the questions below.  Enjoy!

a. Why won't people in the theatre business refer to this play by its name?  Describe some of the "incidents" that have played into this superstition.

b. What is this play's reputation?  Hint: It is referred to as Shakespeare's " ___________ iest play."

c. Was Macbeth a real person?  Where did Shakespeare find the inspiration for this play?

d. Roman Polanski produced one of the most famous film versions of this play.  What horrific event happened just before he created this film? 

e. Based on your research so far, make a prediction: I think that Macbeth is about...

3. Overviewing second semester

1. If you're a bit iffy on the Shakespeare stuff, consider purchasing the Shakespeare Made Easy version of Macbeth.
2. By tomorrow, complete the first daily grammar teaser (given out in class and linked at the top of the class calendar).
3. By Thursday, please return the signed class syllabus and policies.
Optional: If you're curious about why humans are drawn to superstitions, click here.

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