The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Narrative Voice And Aspects Of Narrative

We began the lesson looking at what we thought narrative voice was and had a discussion on that, we then discussed David's Lodge's idea of Narrative voice which was " The choice of the point of view from which the story is told, fundamentally affects the way readers will respond, emotionally and morally, to the fictional character and their actions"

One example of this is Desperate Housewives as one of the character's dies in the first series and then narrates the rest of the other series which an narrative technique known as Omniscient- all knowing.

We then looked at why narrator's are used and what effect they have which was " the narrator is used to organise, select, and present information. The narrator may also:

- Judge
- Directly address's the reader
- Be a participant in the story
-Be a detached observer
- Be "transparent"
- And lastly appear to speak with the voice of the author.

We were then given a sheet about narrative voices and point of views in which we had to read the definitions of the different types of narrator and narrative voices and to match them with the correct term.

Intrusive Narrator:
A narrator who, telling the story in the third person, intervenes in the narrative, with a comment in the first person.

Interior Monologue:
First person, as though the narrator is verbalising their thoughts as they occur.

Third Person Omniscient Narrator:
A narrator who is assumed to know everything connected with the story narrated. Refers to the characters as "he" or "she". Often popularly assumed to be the author.

Multiple Voices:
More than one narrative voice used in a single text. Can be first or third person or a mixture of the two.

First Person Narrative:
A narrator who speaks as "i", often a character who plays a role in the story, although it may not be his or her own story.

In a third person narrative, the character from whose perspective the action is seen.

Inadequate Narrator:
A narrator who doesn't seem to understand as much about what's happening as the reader.

Self-Conscious Narrator:
Reminds the reader that what they are reading is fiction, dispelling any illusion that the characters are real people etc.

Second Person Address:
A narrative voice that directly addresses the reader as "you" Its rare for a whole text to do this, as it's very hard to maintain.

Unreliable Narrator:
A narrator who is perhaps self-deceiving or who cannot be trusted to give a version of events that is to be believed.

Stream Of Consciousness:
A narrative style that imitates the qualities of thoughts and feelings, making the reader feel as if they're inside someones head. The grammar and structure suggest the random and fragmentary nature of thought. In the third person it's an extreme version of free indirect style. In the first person it's an extreme version of interior monologue.

Free Indirect Style:
Third person narration in which a character's thoughts and feelings seem to be directly expressed, freely taking on views and often language of that character. Narratives often slide between conventional third person narration and this style, moving from a more detached voice to one that is more intimately connected to one character or another.

Further to this we we given another sheet in which we had to identify what choices of narrative voice have been used by referring to the other sheet and there were four extracts in which had to guess the correct narrative voice.

First extract: First person / Interior monologue
Second Extract: Third person omniscient narrator
Third extract: Free indirect style
Fourth extract: Intrusive narrator.
( If you weren't in you need to get the sheets of Sir)

Lastly we had to choose a popular nursery rhyme or short story in which everyone knew and write it using one of the narrative voice's.

My example was (not very good to be honest) was a nursery rhyme which was:

Original Version:
There once was a little girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead; when she was good she was very, very good, when she was bad she was horrid.

My Version:
Did you ever hear of the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead? Well from what I've heard this girl isn't too pleasant when she's bad, in fact i know too well she's horrid.

We then had to guess what other students narrative voice was. can you guess mine?

-Be Awesome (as always)
- Be ready to read next Wednesday.
- Comment on the blog, with an example of different narrative voices.

Lucy Purdy.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

07/12/10 - Othello's only Soliloquy

We began this lesson by discussing the importance of Othello's only soliloquy and how it could help us in understanding his character.
Many notable points came up such as:
  • The soliloquy is a sign of Othello becoming more like Iago.
  • The idea that, although Othello is the tragic hero, he has only one soliloquy in comparison to other Shakespearean tragic heroes. e.g. Hamlet.
  • The way in which the soliloquy reveals all of Othello's insecurities about himself.
We also discussed the views of critics such as Fintan O'Toole and S.L. Bethell (coursework booklet, page 27). These critics analyse the way in which Othello's language has been affected and changed by Iago throughout the play.
The critics ranged from discussing Othello's increased use of animalistic imagery towards the end of the play to the idea of Iago and Othello almost merging together.

We then read from Act 4, Scene 2 to near the end of Act 5, Scene 1; pausing at various points to discuss the importance of some of the events.

- Read through the Coursework questions on the first page of your coursework booklet and pick one that you think you may choose to do.
- Read through page 28 of the Coursework booklet and make notes.

Roman A.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Act 4 scenes 1 – Act 4 Scene 2

Pages 145 – 167

30. November 2010


1 – Homework
2 – Bianca and Cassio
3 – Listen and Describe
4 - Frank Kermode
5 – Example Essays

1 – Homework:
• Essay Question + AO Criteria:
Look at Othello’s syntax in Act 4 Scene 1 Lines 243 and throughout the scene. How Does it compare to Act 1? Look at Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 127 onwards?

Syntax - the patterns of formation of sentences and phrases from words.

Use success criteria to help you:
• Use of evidence embedded
• Link between paragraphs
• AO2 – Analysis of language, structure/ form
• AO4 – Relevant context fed in
• AO3 – Awareness that texts have different interpretations

(Get Booklet from Mr Sadgrove)

• Read the booklet on Othello.
o Use one of these critics’ opinions on Othello’s Language in your essay (Pgs – 27)

2 – Bianca & Cassio:

Choose whether you agree with each of the following opinions:
(Strongly Agree – Agree – Not Sure – Disagree – Strongly Disagree)

1. The meeting between Bianca and Cassio is needed for the plot.
2. Their relationship is used to contrast with Othello and Desdemona’s relationship.
3. Bianca is a contrast to Desdemona and shows how virtuous she is
4. Bianca is another woman who is exploited by a man
5. It provides light relief from the tension of the main plot
6. It is a filler that is only included to delay the main action and increase the dramatic tension.

3 – Listen & Describe:
What is the difference between these two music?




Mellifluous – pleasantly flowing
Staccato – Jumpy/ broken
Legato: smooth

My Interpretations:

Music 1:
o Soft
o Happy
o Light
o Soothing
o Clear/ refined
o Tranquil
o Constant
o Peaceful
o Mellifluous

Music 2:
o Unpredictable
o Joyful
o Energetic
o Aggressive
o Proud
o Harsh
o Staccato
o Fast tempo

4 – Frank Kermode:

Kermode suggests that the dialogue moves from a preoccupation with ‘thinking’ to a focus on ‘seeing’

Kermode conveys that this scene marks a shift in Othello’s own lexis (the words he uses), in that he starts to speak like Iago:

‘Before the temptation scene it is impossible to imagine Othello using the vocabulary of Iago, he rarely uses language appropriate to prose. Until he collapses he speaks grandly. Later come the repetitions of ‘handkerchief’ the questioning of the sense in which Iago uses the word ‘lie’, the pathetic stress on ‘honesty’, the slang picked up from Iago and the vile berating of Desdemona, whom he calls a whore, which suits his action in striking her.’

5 – Example Essay:

The change in Othello’s character becomes more dramatic as play moves towards its tragic conclusion. We see this change reflected in Othello’s language as the spring of tragedy is wound tighter and tighter by Iago. In Act 1, ‘Valiant’ Othello’s flowing and beautiful verse is full of bright imagery. Indeed his speech alone is able to stop potential trouble: ‘Keep up your bright swords for the dew will rust them.

The breakdown in his character however means a break down in his language. This is reflected in both his lexis and syntax. Critics such as W.H. Clemen note this in his increasing references to Animals: ‘from the third scene on Othello’s fantasy is filled with images of repulsive animals…’ Indeed Othello’s bizarre last words in act 4 scene 1 ‘Goats and monkeys’ highlight the effect of Iago’s poison on his mind.

Hope this has helped you
Good luck

Best Wishes

Criticism on my blog would be appreciated

Chris. 张