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?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Introduction to Tragedy

Can art make suffering less painful?

Year 12 thought that while art cannot make suffering less painful, it can be a helpful accompaniment. For example, listening to emotive music can legitimate certain emotions.

Dramatic Genres: Tragedy

40% of AS
Othello (Shakespeare) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Williams)
Assessed by two pieces of coursework:
A study of an aspect of the dramatic/tragic genre with regard to a Shakespeare play. (1200 – 1500 words)
A study of an aspect of the dramatic/tragic genre with regard to another play. (1200 – 1500 words)
One of the pieces of coursework can be in the form of a re-creative exercise, accompanied by a commentary.

I have known tragedy in the life of a man driven back into silence, in an unregarding working life. In his ordinary and private death, I saw a terrifying loss of connection between men, and even between father and son: a loss of connection which was, however, a particular historical and social fact. (Raymond Williams, 1979)
Analysing this quotation, Year 12 noted that the man is "ordinary" and has an "unregarding working life", meaning he is what was called 'working class'. This man is disconnected from others, perhaps due to societal pressures suggested by "driven", or he is choosen "silence". At the point of his death, he shares a commonality with all others. Yet, paradoxically, his death marks his complete dislocation from life.

Tragedy is the art form created to confront the most difficult experiences we face: death, loss, injustice, thwarted passion, despair. (Jennifer Wallace, 2007)
Year 12 thought of examples for the five "experiences", which included loss of a loved one, heartbreak, an employment/vocational crisis and a complete abandoning of hope.

Year 12, for homework, are analysing 'United in grief for a tragic hero', an article marking the death of George Best from The Guardian. Questions to consider when decoding “tragic hero”: what makes George Best a tragic hero? How does the language of the article work to assert this status?

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