Essential Question: Who was William Shakespeare, and what is his importance?
Check as you complete:
I. ____Do Now: Anticipation Guide ( 7 minutes ) (What information do you anticipate will be shared in the following essay entitled “Shakespeare and the English Language”?):
Answer the following questions before you read the following essay about the influences of William Shakespeare on the language that we speak today?
Directions: Answer the following by writing “T” for True or “F” for False next to the number of questions 1-10 on a separate piece of paper. With some questions, add a “text example” of why the statement is true or false.
- An early influence on modern English was French. T or F
- The Norman Conquest of England was important to the development of the language that we speak today. T or F
- English kings didn’t speak English officially until the 15th century (1400s)( FYI Romeo and Juliet takes place in the 1300s in Verona, Italy). T or F
- In the 15th century, the English that was spoken within a 50 mile radius might be so different that neighbors had a hard time understanding each other. T or F
- The first English dictionary didn’t appear until the 17th century. T or F
- Shakespeare’s name may not be Shakespeare. T or F Text Example: _________.
- Shakespeare himself signed his name in multiple ways. T or F
- Shakespeare is responsible for inventing nearly 2000 English words that we use to this day. T or F
- Shakespeare is responsible for inventing some very popular idioms/phrases in the English language that we use to this day. T or F Text Example:_______________.
- Shakespeare might be most influential single individual contribution to the English language. T or F
II. ____Read: Shakespeare and the English Language (10 minutes)
Every author wants to make sure that all the facts in the book are correct and that all the words are spelled right. but when writing a book about Shakespeare, spelling is not a simple matter. The reason why makes an interesting story in itself.
In the year 1066, the Normans came over from France and conquered England. For over three hundred years, French was the court language, and English was spoken only by peasants. It wasn’t until 1415 that the kings of England began speaking English again, and by then the language had greatly changed. The French spoken by the nobility had come to be more like English, and the English of the common people was full of French words.
People in those days rarely traveled. They spent their whole lives in the same village where their parents and grandparents had lived. And so each region developed its own way of speaking. William Caxton wrote in 1490 about some sailors from London who were sailing down the Thames River. Fifty miles from London, they came ashore to buy food. They particularly wanted some eggs, which they called “eggys.” The farmer’s wife, who couldn’t understand what they were asking for, assumed they were speaking French. In her village, eggs were “eyren.”
Most people couldn’t read or write, and those who could simply spelled words the way they pronounced them. If people who lived only fifty miles apart had trouble understanding one another, imagine how many different ways there were of saying---and spelling---even the most common words! There was no regular system of spelling or punctuation, and neither the people of England nor the printers of books seemed to think it was important how words were spelled. On the title page of the first English dictionary, A Table Alphabeticall [sic] of Hard Words by Robert Cawdrey, published in 1604, the word words was spelled two different ways. It was another fifty years before some kind of standard English spelling was established.
People were not even consistent in the way they spelled their own or other people’s names. Was Will Kempe’s name spelled “Kempe” or “Kemp”? The answer is both. Shakespeare’s name has been spelled more than eighty different ways, including “Shagspeare,” “Shakspere,” and even “Shakestaffe.” There are six documents signed by Shakespeare, and he spells his name differently in each one. In his will, he spells it two different ways---”Shakspere” in one place and “Shakespeare” in another. He never signed it “Shakespeare,” but over the years, that spelling has been agreed upon, aqnd so it is spelled today.
As there weren’t dictionaries and grammar books to keep the language in any particular form, it grew and changed rapidly. People were constantly making up new words---between ten and twelve thousand of them in the years between 1500 and 1650. Shakespeare was a great inventor of words. Majestic, countless, hint, hurry, reliance, leapfrog, lonely, gust, excellent, and gloomy are only a few of the nearly two thousand words he created.
Shakespeare also found new and vivid ways of describing things. Many of his phrases are so commonly used today that people have no idea they came from his pen. If you have said you were “tongue-tied” or lived in a “fool’s paradise”; if you refused to “budge an inch, “ said that you had “seen better days,” or insisted on “fair play”; if you “played fast and loose” or were stung with “green-eyed jealousy”; if you “danced attendance” on your “lord and master” or “suspected foul play” because someone was “as dead as a doornail”; if even your “own flesh and blood” set your teeth on edge,” and you planned to “lie low” until “the crack of doom”; if “the game is up” and, “without rhyme or reason” and “at one fell swoop,” you decide to “give the devil his due”; if you call someone an “eyesore” or a “laughing stock,” and you decide to “bid him good riddance” and “send him packing”; if you say you have “slept not one wink, “led a charmed life,” or “laughed yourself into stitches”, if you feel that it’s “high time” that “the truth were known,” and it’s a “foregone conclusion” that something has “melted into thin air”; then “the long and the short of it” is, “as good luck would have it” and “the truth will out”---you have quoted Shakespeare!
From the “Postscript” of Bard of Avon; The Story of William Shakespeare, by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1992.
III.____Complete Springboard Activity 4.4 & 4.5 (pages 262-265)( 33 minutes); the whole group should report their progress to the teacher every 11 minutes ).
- In order to complete this you will need to borrow one of the copies of Romeo and Juliet in front of the class.
- You will read Act 1, Scene 1.
- Make sure you put the books back where you got them from before the end of class.
- Make sure that you answer “Essential Question 2” at the bottom of page 263.
- On page 265, Complete number “5” in pairs.
Homework: Complete the following questions about Chapters 9 and 10 in Animal Farm. Submit your answers to these questions by clicking the “Comment” hot link at the end of the blog entry for today, April 8, 2013 on the class blog site online: teamthunderenglishblog.blogspot.com. If you have difficulties doing this, turn in a hard copy of your answers on paper tomorrow.
- What do the animals have to rebuild?
- What else are the animals faced with besides this rebuilding project?
- While the majority of animals are faced a list of problems, the pigs are up to what?
- What has become of Moses?
- What becomes of Boxer? How is Boxer’s end the work of the pigs?
- What do the other animals understand about what becomes of Boxer?
- How do the pigs immediately benefit from Boxer’s loss?
- How does the story come full-circle with the pigs buying whiskey?
- What is the significance of the pigs training the sheep to say, “ Four legs good, two legs better”?
- What is the significance of the line at the end of the novel: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" ?
See you tomorrow!