Tag Archives: English

We are There: Recursive Discussions in ENG 4U

Students in my grade 12 University English class discuss the experience of blogging throughout the course.

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Discussion: Themes in Hamlet

Hamlet is a play about what it is to live and to die. Hamlet, the character, explores notions of the moral life while recognizing the complications of mortality. I think Shakespeare must have been worried about death. Hamlet certainly worries about … Continue reading

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Thinking and Rethinking

I was listening to the radio on the weekend, and there was this interesting piece on Spark. I can’t recall if it was the CBC program or some news story, but my interest was sparked when I heard this story … Continue reading

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Why Read Old Books?

Students often ask why we continue to read Shakespeare when there are so many good books written in this century. I certainly agree that there are many great contemporary novels, but the classics offer something different. In this Big Think … Continue reading

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Things Matter in Hamlet

The words “something”, “nothing”, “anything”, and “thing” appear in the text of the play 74 times. Even though this is a huge play, I think “things” matter. The play begins with Marcellus referring to the ghost of Hamlet as a “thing” and … Continue reading

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Dreaming “To be or not to be”

Can you imagine having to perform the most famous soliloquy in the history of modern literature? Hamlet’s iconic speech in Act 3 is often interpreted as suicidal ideation, though there is more than enough evidence to suggest otherwise. The lines … Continue reading

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More Hamlet Hauntings

Kurt Vonnegut was a great writer. He is considered by many to have been a skeptic, an aetheist, and a humanist. He studied anthropology, he wrote, and he taught writing, before he died in 2007. Though he wrote under the … Continue reading

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Hamlet as a Second Language

While the ideas are universal, and the themes are timeless, reading Shakespeare is reading another language. Without knowledge of the word use, the phrasing, and the syntax, readers are circumstantially dealing with SSL, or what I refer to as,  Shakespeare … Continue reading

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Hamlet Hauntings: Of Kin and Kindness

This is the first of a series of posts on Quotations and significant ideas in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. These posts are meant to supplement the classroom lectures and to add to the discussions happening on your own blogs. Of Kin and … Continue reading

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