Friday, 26 April 2013

Why most Students do not like Shakespeare.

I, like many other students, can see how studying Shakespeare in English class can be beneficial to learning, and it is easy to draw many different perspectives from his works. However, I think that the reason most students don't like (or downright hate) Shakespeare is the writing style. Elizabethan English is a very old fashioned way of speaking our language, with different mannerisms and grammar. Shakespearian language is extremely metaphorical. It draws comparisons to things that would seem normal in 16th century Europe. Students find the language hard to understand, with many words they know and use in modern English, utilised in such a way that the word has a completely different meaning. Students think that essentially learning a whole new language is convoluted and has no relevance to English. In a way, I agree, why do we have to learn a different form of the language we already know? Wouldn't it make more sense to study the language we know perfectly fine and then improve upon it? The answer is in the text itself. I think the main reason we study Shakespeare in its original text is so we can use our brains to interpret more. With so many unknowns, you can come up with many different lenses that a modern English version would not be able to give. With a modern version, the plot would be easy to follow, and every student would have pretty much the same conclusions to topics. With the original, answers to certain questions or opinions can be much more diverse, because we have to find the comparisons the writer is using, and figure out how it applies to both a 16th century Europe, and a 21st century Canada as well.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Babies Thesis Chart

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Macbeth Act III, Scene ii and iii

Independently read Act III, scenes ii and iii.  Questions to consider: How are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth sleeping?  How has their relationship changed?  How successful are the murderers?  Who do you think the third murderer is?

Monday, 15 April 2013

Boston Bombing Reaction

I'm sure most of you have heard about the bombings in Boston by now. If you haven't, just flip on your tv to the nearest news station or look it up online, it's getting a lot of media attention. I know this doesn't relate to Macbeth or anything we've discussed in class, but I need a fourth post and this recent event has caught my attention. The way I see it is that there are two types of reactions by the public to this atrocity. The first type and more commonly seen among teenagers is shock and sympathy. My Twitter newsfeed is filled with tweets saying #prayforboston because obviously people are in shock with the recent events that have transpired today. Not only that, but you can't help but feel sorry for the victims of this horrific event, and people living in the area. I completely support this trending topic on Twitter because I hate to learn news of such sadness, and I only want the best for those who have been affected. Moving on to the next type of reaction, and that's disgust or annoyance. Believe it or not, there are many people who get irritated by those who tweet things like #prayforboston because they personally think that it's unfair to acknowledge tragedies in North America but not other countries. To an extent I can understand where these people are coming from, because it's true that society will react more to news that is widely publicized, opposed to events that happen in countries where the events are not always reported. Like the first type of reaction, I support this type as well because I feel as though people can be completely oblivious to the world around them. I'm definitely on the fence about this one, because a part of me feels sorrow for the people affected by the Boston Bombing, but another part of me is reminding me that acts of terrorism like this occur ALL the time in other countries, they just don't get the same recognition as Canada and the U.S. Anyways, I'm not trying to label people by how they reacted to this devastation, I just want to know where you guys stand. These two "types" of reactions are simply examples of a majority of teenagers' responses.

What ran through your head when you heard about the Boston Bombings?

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Thoughts on Macbeth

When we first started reading Macbeth I thought that Macbeth was a kind but confused person that was bad under pressure. I believed this because of how Lady Macbeth seemed to put a lot of pressure on him to commit the murder. I thought that he was not actually evil and that their love was so strong that he would do anything she told him to. Although this still might be true, it is not all that Macbeth is. As we kept reading and found out that now Macbeth wanted to commit two more murders without the influence of Lady Macbeth you realize that he is actually very evil but to everyone else he seems innocent. This works in his favor as it allows him to commit another crime without being a possible criminal in anyone else's eyes.

What are your views on Macbeth?

Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Importance of Shakespeare

In my opinion Shakespeare should be taught in high school English classes because I strongly believe that by reading Shakespeare our English skills are improving. The reason I think this is because Shakespeare`s writing force students to reread, analyze and decipher the text in order to understand the events that are taking place. By getting in the habit of looking for the deeper meaning, analyzing characters or determining how the plot is advancing, it forces us to read between the lines rather than see the text as simply words on a page that tell a story. (For example: The Book Theif- we can read this book without having to analyze every line – the words simply tell a story as opposed to Shakespeare where the words force you to think and analyze). Therefore Shakespeare`s writing teaches students how to analyze text and look for the deeper meaning in situations which are important skills that can be transferred into other aspects of life (not just English class).

What is your opinion about learning Shakespeare?


Wednesday, 10 April 2013


A majority of students don't enjoy reading Shakespeare in class, but can you really blame them? His plays are lengthy, boring, and irrelevant to modern society for the most part. All of these things make you wonder why we continue to include Shakespeare in the English curriculum, because it seems really pointless. Having said that, I can contradict myself by saying that Shakespeare is actually beneficial to students' learning skills. I believe that because of the early english styled writing, it forces students to think beyond the text and really analyze what's going on in the play. Enjoyable? Not at all. But it trains your brain to think more deeply, and acquire new knowledge from the text. Sometimes we have to endure units in class that we don't enjoy, but we gain knowledge and new skills along the way without even realizing it at times. So in conclusion, Shakespeare is not the most exciting part of high school, but just remember that it can help you in the long run, as you pick up new literature skills and writing styles.
Ideal Marriage

The ideal marriage is more than just love. Yes, you must love the person you're with, but you must also be able to trust them and respect them. They should be youre best friend, and just being with them makes you happy. The ideal marriage is commitment, honesty, laughter, and friendship.


Despite the fact that Macbeth is set in the 1600's, I believe that there are many themes within the play that can relate to modern day. Temptation is a theme that everyone can genuinely sympathize about with Macbeth's character because we have all given into temptations during the course of our lives at least once. Macbeth succumbs to temptation when Lady Macbeth pressures him to murder Duncan. Macbeth says to Lady Macbeth,"We will proceed no further in this business" (Act 1 scene 7), but then Lady Macbeth suggests that he is cowardly to back out of their plot to kill, ultimately making Macbeth  give into her peer pressure. It's quite evident that temptation can sway the decisions of others, because Macbeth changed his mind after a temptation to kill Duncan was presented to him. Temptation in this play proves to be a very powerful desire that is enjoyed at first, but often regretted later at some point.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Duncan's Murder

           I think that, although Macbeth actually committed Duncan's murder, it was mostly the fault of Lady Macbeth and the witches. First, it was the witches who made the prophecy and who placed the idea of becoming King into Macbeth's head. After the prophecy was told by the witches, he admitted that he had "black and deep desires" and the idea of sickness was introduced. The reader gets the feeling that Macbeth was suffering from a sort of mental illness that leads him to kill Duncan, and we see it to develop until he hallucinates the dagger just before committing the murder. Lady Macbeth also played a big role in Duncan's murder. She pressured Macbeth into committing the murder which pushed his illness or "deep desires" much farther, calling him a coward. Not only this, but she also helped to set up and cover up the murder. In conclusion, Macbeth would never have killed Duncan if it hadn't have been for the witches and Lady Macbeth.

The Importance of Shakespeare

Although I do not enjoy studying Shakespeare, I believe that it is an important unit to study.  By reading Shakespeare, it forces the reader to analyze the text and understand the plot.  We practice thinking and understanding skills that develop the mind.  Reading Shakespeare makes us interpret stories not written in simple modern English.  By doing so, reading simplistic literature will become a lot easier without the obsolete words holding you back. 

Shakespeare may seem pointless but there are subjects in other classes that seem pointless as well.  I believe the purpose of learning these topics is to develop the mind which will help our thinking and problem solving skills.  By having a difficult task and having to analyze it, the brain will become used to doing this and eventually it will become easier.  Not everyone enjoys everything they learn in a class but I do not think that is a valid reason to remove it from the curriculum.

Lady Macbeth

     My opinion of Lady Macbeth is that she is controlling and insane. When Macbeth is having second thoughts about killing Duncan Lady Macbeth made him feel bad for "breaking his promise". She told him that if she promised to kill her baby even while she was nurturing she was take it off her breast and kill it. If that doesn't prove she is psychotic I don't know what will. I do believe that Macbeth is at fault for the murders but I think that without lady Macbeth they probably wouldn't have happened.

Peer Pressure

One of the primary themes that we shouldn't overlook is peer pressure. Macbeth was peer pressured by his wife into killing Duncan. Sure there was a part of him that wanted the witches' prophecy to come true, as being king is always nice bar a revolution, but without his wife trying to convince him to it's entirely probable that he never would've carried through with the murder. This goes to show that peer pressure never really goes away, the peer group simply changes. There is no age limit, we will always be influenced by the people around us. Sometimes the influence can be good, and other times, like in Macbeth's case, it can be very bad.


                I think that Macbeth is a very nice guy and I believe that he would be able to do the right thing if his wife wasn't pushing him to do the evil such as when Macbeth had second thoughts of killing Duncan. Macbeth came to a realization that he wasn't going to kill Duncan until his wife came in and started demeaning him by calling him a coward, insulting his manliness and saying that she would have murdered her child rather than break such a promise. Therefore I believe that Macbeth wouldn't have killed Duncan if his wife did not persuade him to do so. I also believe that Macbeth is very ambitious but not as ambitious as his wife. For example Macbeth had an ambition to become king, to become king he would kill Duncan just to achieve his ambition of being king. I believe that he is ambitious but needs a little help to achieve his ambitions such as his wife needing to persuade him to kill Duncan (needed help so that he could follow through with his ambitions). I think that Macbeth has a sense of knowing what is right from wrong such as when it finally kicked in Macbeth's conscience that it was morally wrong to kill Duncan therefore he stopped his plans so we knew that he knows right from wrong. When the plan of killing Duncan came about and when he actually murdered Duncan you had a sense that Macbeth wasn't mentally there that he went in and out of reality such as seeing a sword in front of him when it actually wasn't there. It also showed us that Macbeth had evil within himself by having thoughts that were morally wrong(evil). By Macbeth going in and out of evil thoughts you would think that he had some type of illness, by not knowing that his plan was morally wrong and by his thoughts coming back to him when he tried to get rid of them. After Macbeth killed Duncan he went psycho by giving in to his evil ambitions and by killing two innocent men to make sure that no one would find out that he killed Duncan, he pretty much went on a killing rampage.Ultimately, I think that Macbeth is a nice guy deep down, I believe he is partly evil, that he has ambitions and wants to achieve them and that in the end he pretty much went psycho. What do you think of Macbeth?

Learning MacBeth

in my opinion i think macbeth is really difficult for students to understand, if we had the books with the modern translations, alot more students would do better in the unit.. idk how other people feel about macbeth but thats just my personal opinion

King Duncan's Murder

I think that Macbeth is responsible for King Duncan's murder. I know that many people believe that Lady Macbeth is responsible because she was setting it up and convincing him to do the murder, but Macbeth was the one who actually killed Duncan. Lady Macbeth even stopped herself from killing Duncan, and Macbeth couldn't. Also Macbeth was psycho enough to kill the chamberlains afterwards, which makes him not only responsible for King Duncan's murder, but also the chamberlains. Macbeth was not in his right mind when he killed Duncan and was influenced by Lady Macbeth, but he cant use that as an excuse, because he stabbed and killed Duncan, not Lady Macbeth.

The Murder of Duncan

Q: Who is responsible for the murder of Duncan?  The weird sisters?  Macbeth?  Lady Macbeth?

                I feel as though Lady Macbeth is responsible for the murder of Duncan. Macbeth was a kind, loyal man before the murder occured. He was rewarded from King Duncan for his courage and successful battle, and promoted to Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth is a major contributer to the death of Duncan as she influenced and pressured Macbeth to kill him. Lady Macbeth purposes the plan of killing Duncan and continues to carry it out. Macbeth begins to second guess the plan, and decides not to kill Duncan as he says "We will proceed no further in this business" (Shakespeare I, ii, 31). Shocked by his agruement, Lady Macbeth calls him a coward, insults his manliness and declares she would have killed her own baby "and dash'd the brains out" (I,ii, 58) than break a promise to not kill Duncan. Macbeth is then defeated and gives into her plan to prove his manliness. Lady Macbeth is also indirectly influenced by the weird sisters prophesies because without knowing Macbeth would become King she wouldn't have had the mindset to kill Duncan. Therefore, Lady Macbeth is responsible for the death of Duncan because she persuades and encourages Macbeth by insulting and demeaning him.

Is Shakespeare Necessary To Read In Hishschool?

   In my opinion, I dont find it necessary to have to read Shakespeare in highschool english classes. It's difficult to understand the language, there are plenty of novels to read that you need to go into depth to in order to understand the story. Some people able to understand Shakespeare more than others which personally I find to be an unfair advantage compared to people that maybe need a book with more common language.

Lady MacBeth

I think that Lady MacBeth influenced MacBeth greatly to kill Duncan with her saying that she would kill her own child and called him a coward if he did not kill Duncan. Just as in Romeo and Juliet where the friar influences Romeo and Juliet to get married, I think that Lady MacBeth is influencing MacBeth kind of the same thing saying that he will become the king afterwards if he kills Duncan and that it will be very easily to kill him with Lady MacBeth even planning it all out and setting it up. Just as in Romeo and Juliet the friar plans it all out and makes sure the plan sounds like it will not fail, but all fails and a lot of people die and things go bad. I think this foreshadows that a lot of people will die and things will not go well for MacBeth and Lady MacBeth.


I believe that the weird sisters are to blame for the murder of Duncan. This is because when they inform Macbeth that he will be king it clouds his judgement and causes him to inform his wife, who plots the murder against Duncan. Since Macbeth's judgement is clouded he commits to the plan and kills Duncan and two chamberlains, ultimately regretting it.

Shakespeare should not be taught in class.

I believe that shakespeare is an interesting author and fun to read. but I dont think it should be taught in class because of these reasons. one, it is really hard to read. especially for a kid like me who is not a very strong reader and cant read fluently. I feel like everytime i read, i studder every word and it makes me angry. it seems that its not even english. and it makes me feel like im alone since i cant understand it very well. i can barely understand proper english and now that. Also, there is no really point since everytime we read it, anyone barely understands it and we always look on the modern english translation on the side before we can all understand it. Or we use sparknotes to see whats actually going on. Sometimes, i read a whole scene and i read it again and i still dont get whats going on. but some are common sence but still its very difficult to understand. This can have many negative effects on a student such as getting lower marks for being frustrated of not understand whats going on. Plus its english class, were sopose to learn new vocabulary and write sentences to a clear idea in modern english, not like alot of years back. But to conclude, i enjoy reading macbeth and all the activities but i dont like writing about shakespeares plays, especially when its hard for me to understand what the play is. Cant get a good theme for any shakepeare either. But im glad we work as a class to understand the play clearly and come up with themes and significant quotations which will probably help me a lot.

Stupid Shakespeare

I believe that Shakespeare is an outdated and almost irrelevant subject to study in school these days. You are more-so learning about the ideas of an old English play writer than you are any actual English at all. Sure, it's got some good morals and messages behind it. But Shakespeare is boring, hard to relate to and extremely hard to understand. I'm sure it was a great topic to study when it was first introduced to the curriculum, but that was ages ago. We are hardly learning about anything to do with modern literature in any way through it. Unless you decide to go into play writing or studying the history of English literature, Shakespeare has no practical use for you. 

Should Shakespeare Still be Taught in High School English Classes?

Personally I don't believe that Shakespeare should still be taught in schools. Yes I do understand that there are many messages and meanings behind the acts in the plays that still remain the same these days but you could find much more modern text that would have the same messages and students wouldn't mind reading it. The students might not actually complain and they might learn something because let's be honest, the only thing students learn with Shakespeare is that they want nothing to do with it. I know I'm not the only one who thinks that Shakespeare shouldn't be taught any more.

What Do You Think of MacBeth?

From getting to this point in the play I have come to a realization that MacBeth is a very confused man. He is nice, but has issues. He will do anything to achieve his ambitions, as in the most recent case he murdered Duncan in an attempt to live out prophesies and become King. As MacBeth had his plan set to kill Duncan, he had a sudden change of mind to not continue through with it. That was until Lady MacBeth provided a variety of insults towards MacBeth as well as persuading him which in the end, pushed MacBeth to complete his murder. I believe MacBeth is a bit of a coward for caving into listening to his wife because if he hadn't, he would not have killed Duncan. Would you agree?