Sep 22, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

Response to Parsons – 22/09/14

Parsons,

That ‘old hag’ has the comfort of concrete to sleep on. Her only way of eating before returning to her home, a street corner, is to beg. Empathy is clearly not your forte. Frankly, your article is based upon stereotypes, nostalgic rubbish and hyperbolic right wing drivel.

I am treating your article as entirely serious in my response. Although provocative, I believe your article does voice your opinion. Therefore, I would like to begin with asking if you know how people become homeless. Have you any idea how people find themselves on the street? Down on their luck with no hope but to beg for spare change from passers by in London. You think you do. ‘Their position is their own fault. Drug addicts and alcoholics. Too lazy to get up off their fannies.’ The person with the perfect life doesn’t turn to alcohol or drugs Mr Parsons, but then again, nobody has a perfect life do they? Some people hail their past as a better time, some don’t have enough money, some have family troubles, some simply don’t have family, some can’t bear to live with themselves, some have a destructive mind. Nobody has the perfect life. However, some people’s struggles are somewhat worse than others. Life, life can be a struggle in itself. In hard times people look for a way out, an escape. Drugs and alcohol are two such things; abused for an escape from a place where someone isn’t happy. They become addicted, life becomes more and more difficult. The escape can be all that one lives for, the escape from their very own being or mind. The drug, the thing that brought them down, the thing that placed them on the street, whatever it may be, is not the problem Parsons. The problem is, in fact, the difficulties that the person is going through. For whatever reason, maybe they weren’t getting enough support from others when they needed it, they turned to drink or drugs. These things are the side effect, the side effect of unhappiness, loneliness or a person going through rough times. They advance to something more than a side effect in the finality of being homeless but they only begin as that escape, the side effect. It is not their fault that they are on the street Mr Parsons, it is however, where they are now.

But you don’t have anything against homeless people do you? It’s begging that you dislike. Well, one must assume that you dislike the homeless in general because it is difficult for one to survive as a homeless person without begging. It is the thing that buys them their evening meal, possibly their only meal. It is that few coins that one might drop in the cup, or the hat, or whatever it may be, that keeps that person going. Now, you would argue, as would I, that that isn’t everyone. Correct, that isn’t everyone there are some people who use the money they gain from begging to purchase that escape that they’ve been longing for. Those drugs or that can of beer. Consider what I said earlier, those things that this type of beggar is buying is their escape. It has become an addiction but it is their way of temporarily leaving their troubles behind them. This is why there shouldn’t be homeless people because those people wouldn’t need that can of beer or those drugs if they weren’t having to sleep on a street corner every night.

The problem is not that these people are begging, the problem is that we have homeless people. People in such a financially desolate situation that they have to beg for passers by spare change. The problem is that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. Anyway, I won’t bore you with my political opinion.

Next time you walk past a beggar, it is your choice entirely whether you rifle through your pockets and find some spare change from that coffee earlier and drop it in their cup. Whether you do or don’t doesn’t bother me at all. What does bother me, is you slating this group of people, as a dignified journalist. Discriminating against any group of people, no matter who they are is wrong. Also, please leave out all abuse and scatological language next time you’re trying to formulate a good argument to convince people you are right. And if you weren’t trying to convince people you were right, keep the rant to yourself.

Sep 15, 2014 - Communication    2 Comments

Beggars of Britain

‘Beggars of Britain’ is an article written by Tony Parsons and published in Arena magazine. Considering language used like ‘shell suit’, I would estimate that the article was published in the mid to late 90’s. The article displays Parsons’ point of view about beggars in Britain.

Within the article, Parsons presents a very one sided view of begging. He says multiple negative and even abusive things about beggars. One of the points that Parsons makes is that beggars are lazy, ‘… Young beggars, who look like they could run a four minute mile if they ever made it up off their fannies.’ Although phrased rather crudely, Parsons seems to be saying that beggars wouldn’t be in their position if they weren’t so lazy. He also talks about how begging is no longer a taboo and how he wishes it still was, ‘Of all the taboos, don’t beg was the greatest of all.’ Parsons then says something rather outlandish, ‘You could sleep with your sister before you went begging.’ This is a gross exaggeration from Parsons and it only further emphasizes his dislike for begging and beggars.

Throughout the excerpt of the article that we looked at Parsons continually repeats begging, beggars and beg. Within just the first four paragraphs, Parsons repeats these words fifteen times. This sets the tone of the article as a rant; by repeating beg, begging and beggars several times he comes across as angry.

Parsons uses scatological language in his article and other abusive language rather provocatively. ‘He (his Father) would have been happier seeing us sleeping in a shoe box full of shit than he would have been begging.’ This line seems to be screaming for a reaction, it feels as though it has been designed for people to react angrily at.  He also describes a begging old woman as an ‘obese hag’, this is simply offensive/abusive and I would say that it has been used either because that is his actual opinion or because he wants a reaction.

On whether this article is completely serious or not, I would say that Tony Parsons is being somewhat serious. I think that the points that Parsons makes are his actual opinions but he has probably been excessive in order to get a reaction to his article, to provoke people to respond with anger. Arena magazine was apparently aimed at ‘black collar workers’ in the late 90’s, so it was probably the kind of magazine in which Parsons could get away with being provocative in this manner. In my opinion, the article is rather unprofessional and does not display a balanced argument. Therefore, I do consider it a rant and one that I certainly don’t agree with in any way, shape or form. Tony Parsons currently writes in The Sun and this only further convinces me that this would be his actual opinion.

 

If there is anything more you think I should add to this, especially the fourth paragraph, let me know.

Jun 8, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Essay Redraft

In Act 2: Scene 2 of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is presented as a more powerful character than Macbeth. She is fully focused on the task at hand and indifferent towards her husband.

In order to present Lady Macbeth as more powerful in her relationship with her husband, Shakespeare subverts the stereotype of women in the Jacobean era. When Macbeth was written, women were expected to be kind, loving and caring. They weren’t expected to do much other than key things such as giving birth and caring for children. However, in this scene and throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare negates the stereotypical Jacobean women in Lady Macbeth.

Shakespeare does this by using imperative language in Lady Macbeth’s speech. She orders her husband to do things by saying, ‘Go get some’, ‘They have to’, ‘Go carry them’ and ‘Give me’. A lot of her sentences begin with imperative language meaning that Macbeth either follows them or completely rebuts them. In order to preserve and protect his marriage with Lady Macbeth, Macbeth chooses to follow them. The fact that the woman is ordering the man around directly opposes the stereotypical power balance in a Jacobean relationship. The male character in a relationship is always expected to be the dominant character over the woman however, in Macbeth it is the opposite. 

Furthermore, to present Lady Macbeth as indifferent towards her husband and unable to conceive empathy, Shakespeare has made Lady Macbeth fully focused on the task at hand; murdering anyone who threatens their position and covering up these murders. This is shown through her questioning of Macbeth’s execution of the murder, ‘Why did you bring these daggers from the place?’, she is questioning him as to why he has still got the daggers, this shows her indifference towards her husband and that her only focus is on the task. She then goes on to tell him what to do with the daggers, ‘Go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood.’. At no point does she consider her husbands emotions or how he is doing after committing such a horrific and grievous act.

Lady Macbeth’s has an inability to conceive empathy because her desperate drive to accumulate power gets in the way. Her judgement is clouded completely by her hunger for power. Shakespeare reinforces this lack of empathy when she says ‘A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.’ She cannot comprehend the gravity of the murderous act they have committed; nor can she empathise with those that they have harmed and the emotional effect that has on many more people, even Macbeth. Through the word ‘foolish’ we can see that she can’t understand the gravity of what has just been done and the knock on effect that it has. She hasn’t taken the time to consider the emotional effect that the murder has had and clearly doesn’t care what effect of the harsh words will have on Macbeth. More?

At this stage, Macbeth is beginning to fully understand what he and his wife have done and is starting to feel guilty. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth isn’t able to comprehend or understand any of these feelings and is fully focused on the task of covering up the murder. This doesn’t mean that she won’t consider these things when she has completed the tasks but her judgement is so clouded by her hunger for her power that she hasn’t considered the effect of the murder. READ OVER AND SEE IF IMPROVED UPON FEEDBACK. This is clearly shown when she says ‘Consider it not so deeply.’, she is asking Macbeth to join her in focusing on covering up the murder and this conclusively proves that she cannot comprehend the gravity of what has been done.

Shakespeare’s use of sharing the iambic pentameter between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth shows Lady Macbeth’s control over Macbeth. By interrupting the iambic pentameter, Shakespeare adds a sense of urgency to the scene. Also, because Macbeth’s lines are interrupted, it causes Lady Macbeth to seem more powerful. It has this effect because the characters in Shakespeare’s plays speak with this iambic pentameter. The iambic pentameter is a form of rhythm which is expected to be resolved at the end of each line. Lady Macbeth’s interruption of Macbeth’s iambic pentameter causes her to seem dismissive, uncaring and indifferent towards her husband.

Shakespeare demonises  Lady Macbeth because he doesn’t want the audience to empathise nor sympathise with her. As a result of, demonising Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare causes the audience to closely pick up on her manipulation of Macbeth. This may lad some audience members to empathise with or feel sorry for Macbeth. This increases the chance that the audience will want Macbeth to triumph in some way and will want Lady Macbeth to be defeated. This has been done to increase the gravity of the discovery that we make later in the play that Lady Macbeth was in fact deeply distressed by the murderous acts; so much so, that she was reliving the events whilst sleepwalking. I don’t really understand how it impacts on the scene with Lady Macbeth sleepwalking.

 

If we could have a quick discussion about the things in bold that would be great and I could then do a quick final draft. It would be done on Monday, at either lunch time or as soon as I get home. Sorry for the delay, I’m still slightly concerned about some of those areas I highlighted. 

Jun 1, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

I am Number Four Book Series – Review

The ‘I am Number Four’ book series is a gripping teen fiction set of books that got it’s first book onto the big screen. The series has, thus far, featured four novels, ‘I am Number Four’, ‘The Power of Six’, ‘The Rise of Nine’ and ‘The Fall of Five’. The series has also featured many novellas. I am currently reading the fourth novel, ‘The Fall of Five’ and haven’t read any of the novellas as of yet.

The books document a group of teenage aliens who have landed on Earth and are trying to blend in to escape the Mogadorians, an evil alien race that destroyed their home planet. The nine Loric aliens are all attempting to meet each other under cover to try and defeat the Mogadorians. Each of the Loric aliens can develop legacies, superpowers and are using these to fight Mogadorians and their evil leader Setrakus Ra, the main antagonist. The books mainly follow number four, John Smith’s point of view, the main protagonist. However, the book does also show other Loric aliens paths through the story. The Mogadorians are hunting down each of the Loric aliens and have to kill them one by one, in order, numbers one to three are dead, can four survive?

I love the diverse themes that this book series has, love, romance, sci-fi superpowers, gripping battles and loss. Each theme is beautifully intertwined with one another. Romance and battles, love and loss all come in tandem. John Smith falls for a human American girl and the book beautifully shows how he is torn between dragging a human into his desperate situation and losing his love for her safety.

The action in the books flows at an incredibly fast pace and keeps you right on the edge of your seat. Furthermore, I really like it that the books show different Loric aliens points of view so you can see the action from different sides of the story. I also like the writing style and the way it encourages you to predict an outcome but uses twists cleverly.

Overall, the ‘I am Number Four’ book series is my favourite book series I have ever read and therefore, deserves a 4.75 out of 5. In order to get a 5 out of 5, there could have been some less predictable moments.

 

Could the second paragraph do with some editing?

May 19, 2014 - Communication    No Comments

Assessment Preparation

A few ideas as to how Lady Macbeth is presented:

 

– More powerful in her relationship with Macbeth, possibly dominating.

– Uninterested in sentiment and her husband.

– Fully focused on the task at hand.

– Emotionally unstable, possibly mad.

– Unable to conceive empathy.

 

How?

 

– Opposing the stereotype of women in the Jacobean era. Woman were expected to be kind, caring, loving and not much else. They were almost only there for functional purposes from what it seems. However, in this scene and throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare negates the stereotypical woman in Lady Macbeth. She is the opposite of what is expected of woman in many ways; she holds more power in her relationship with Macbeth, she is manipulative of a man, she does not consider her husband, she does not actively show any form of empathy and isn’t stable. All of these things oppose the stereotypical Jacobean woman. Furthermore, this may have even provoked audience members to consider her a witch because opposing the stereotypical woman and holding power was considered witchcraft under the reign of King James I.

– Interrupting the iambic pentameter or sharing the iambic pentameter. This adds a feeling of urgency to the scene but also places Lady Macbeth as uncaring for her husband and more powerful than her husband. This happens because the characters in Shakespeare’s plays speak their lines with an iambic pentameter, a rhythm. This rhythm is expected to be resolved or finished at the end of each characters line unless the line is a form of exclamation or a one word answer. In this scene, the iambic pentameter is often interrupted when Macbeth is talking which portrays Lady Macbeth as dismissive, uncaring, and indifferent towards her husband.

 

Why?

 

– Shakespeare does this because he doesn’t want the audience to empathize with Lady Macbeth, he wants them to dislike her character. By villainizing Lady Macbeth, audience members will begin to closely pick up on her manipulating of Macbeth. This leads some audience members to empathize with, identify with or feel sorry for Macbeth. This increases the chances that the audience will want Macbeth to triumph in some way and will want Lady Macbeth to be defeated. As I don’t know the end of the play I would expect that this is being done for some further effect on the conclusion or further key moments in the play.

 

Some quotes to support my arguments:

 

‘A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.’ This quote breaks the iambic pentameter in Macbeth’s speech and also is dismissive of Macbeth (opposing the stereotype).

‘Consider it not so deeply.’ “”

‘Infirm of purpose!’ Opposing stereotype.

‘Go get some’ ‘They have to stay there.’ ‘Go carry them’ ‘Give me’. All use imperative language and oppose the power balance stereotype in a Jacobean relationship.

‘Why did you bring these daggers from the place?’ Indifferent to her husband and fully focused on the task at hand.

May 19, 2014 - Communication    2 Comments

Urgent – Assessment

Could we please have the assessment details that were presented in lesson posted on Edutronic so I can prepare! I hope I’m not wrong in saying it’s Act 2 Scene 2 and the question is ‘How does Shakespeare construct our understanding of Lady Macbeth’s character?’

May 14, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Synthesis (Report) – 14/5/14

His Royal Highness,

 

PLAY REPORT:

 

 

Play: Macbeth.

Playwright: William Shakespeare.

Conclusion: Unsuitable but Salvageable.

Reason: Witches and Demonology

 

Comments:

I believe that ‘Macbeth’ is unsuitable for public viewing because includes demonology. Three witches are cast within the play and this is unacceptable. The characters in the play also practice demonic behavior when casting spells and fortune telling. If this is enough evidence to stop this from being viewed by the public then consider not the rest of this report. If you would deem the play acceptable if changes made then continue reading.

My worry is that we don’t want any of the public to view demonic behavior and idolize it and/or attempt to practice it themselves after viewing the play. Furthermore, we don’t want any of the public to empathize or sympathize with the witches in the play.

Moreover, the witches aren’t depicted as certain antagonists in the play. Whether they are considered antagonists or protagonists is ambiguous and different viewers would consider the witches differently. However, this play could possibly be allowed for viewing by the public if Shakespeare was contacted and asked to present the witches in a more negative light. If the witches were presented in a more negative light and as certain antagonists, the audience would dislike them in the play and therefore, wouldn’t empathize nor sympathize with them. As long as the public don’t see or develop any parallels with the witches and don’t use the play to influence their thoughts on witches then the play could be released for public viewings.

 

If His Royal Highness deems this play salvageable then it is suggested that William Shakespeare is contacted and changes are made to the play. However, if His Royal Highness deems this play simply unacceptable then return a letter to myself and I will see that the play is not released to the public.

 

 

May 6, 2014 - Communication    1 Comment

Securing: 6/2/14

Exploring authorial intent is always incredibly interesting. Understanding not just what is written on the page and how that makes you feel, but why that is written on the page and why it makes you feel that way. Shakespeare constantly uses language devices and the pulse of the iambic pentameter to convey characters emotions, personalities and relationships with other characters. There is a very clear use of sharing the iambic pentameter between two characters in Act 2 Scene 2. This is where we will be looking at Shakespeare’s authorial intent.

In Act 2 Scene 2, Shakespeare has broken the iambic pentameter into pieces and shared it between two characters, in this case, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. So, what is the iambic pentameter? The iambic pentameter is used in all of Shakespeare’s works and we all still use it today. It is the rhythm in which the characters speak. Every character uses this rhythm whilst speaking and often completes the rhythm once through or more. However, in this scene Shakespeare has decided to break the iambic pentameters rhythm and has shared it between to characters. This develops a feeling of urgency, desperation, fear and trepidation into the scene.

An example of how the iambic pentameter is shared is when Macbeth says, ‘This is a sorry sight.’ and Lady Macbeth follows by saying ‘A foolish though to say a sorry sight.’ If said aloud, it sounds as though Lady Macbeth is cutting him off or in other cases finishing his sentences. Why is this? This is because the iambic pentameter has not been resolved when Macbeth’s line ends and Lady Macbeth resolves the rhythm with her line. This does a lot to influence what we may think of Lady Macbeth and what we might think of her relationship with Macbeth as an audience. We may now think that Lady Macbeth is more powerful in the relationship because she is cutting Macbeth off and finishing Macbeth’s sentences. We may also think that she plays a manipulative role in controlling Macbeth’s actions and I think this has been done intentionally by Shakespeare. Why? To either create a scapegoat for the murder or to continue to encourage thoughts that Lady Macbeth is actually at fault for the murders and that she’s evil.*

 

 

– I feel like I’m struggling to say what I want to say in the right words and the right way.

– The iambic pentameter is like a musical piece, the technique of sharing the lines works exactly like writing a rhythm for one instrument and ending the line on a staccato note without any resolution or resolve. Then, adding in another instrument that resolves and completes the line/rhythm. It feels like the first instrument was cut off.

*I hate the word evil, any good synonyms for that?

Apr 22, 2014 - Communication    2 Comments

Easter Homework (Unedited)

There could be many characters to blame for King Duncan’s death in the ‘Scottish Play’ or ‘Macbeth’. Some would say that Macbeth is to blame for his dark thoughts and letting his ambition cloud his thoughts. Some could argue that the witches are to blame for planting the seed in his head that he would become King and some would say that Lady Macbeth is to blame for encouraging him to kill King Duncan and fueling his darker side.

In my opinion, Lady Macbeth is to blame and my evidence of this is when Macbeth decides he wants to back out and not kill King Duncan in Act 1 Scene 7.  Macbeth says, ‘We will proceed no further in this business.’  This shows me that Macbeth does not want to kill the King and if he does go on and kill the King, he has been cajoled and manipulated to do so. The only person who has been manipulating and cajoling him to kill the King has been Lady Macbeth and this is why I believe that she is to blame for the King’s murder. Lady Macbeth responds to Macbeth’s withdrawal by saying ‘Was the hope drunk wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since? And wakes it now to look so green and pale at what it did so freely? From this time such I account thy love. Art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live a coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?’. This translates as her saying that he will live as a coward if he doesn’t kill the King and that she will now think of his love as ‘green, pale and fearful’. She asks him if he was drunk when he agreed to commit the act earlier and if he is afraid to act out his desires. This is, in essence, Lady Macbeth manipulating Macbeth to kill the King.

After Lady Macbeth has attempted to manipulated her husband, Macbeth, into murdering the King, Macbeth refuses to be swung in his views. He says ‘Prithee, peace: I dare do all that may become a man; who dares do more is none.’  This translates as Macbeth asking her to stop with the words ‘Prithee, peace’ meaning ‘Please, Stop!’ He then proceeds to say he dares to do only what a man should do and anyone who does more is not a man.  He is still in the mindset of backing out and his clearly quite strong in his views. Afterwards, Lady Macbeth proceeds to try and convince him until Macbeth makes clear his worries of the consequences; he says, ‘If we should fail?’ Lady Macbeth then tries to make him feel confident about killing King Duncan by saying, ‘We fail? But screw your courage to the sticking-place and we’ll not fail.’ This translates as her saying, ‘We, fail? If you get your courage up, we can’t fail.’ The use of the word can’t is key. I think this word alone does enough to swing Macbeth, it expresses her outright confidence that they will kill the King and get away with it. Macbeth finally gives in and decides to go through with the plan, ‘I am settled, and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat.’ He will kill the King.

In the space of one scene Macbeth has gone from absolutely not killing the King to exerting every muscle he has to kill the King. How has this happened? It hasn’t simply happened in his mind. Lady Macbeth has manipulated her husband into killing the King. She must take the majority of the blame for the act that is committed. Furthermore, she shows no remorse nor empathy for the King. She has a fearless greed for power and she is why Macbeth kills the King. Macbeth has to take part of the blame because he takes part in committing the act but, in my opinion, Lady Macbeth must take the blame.

 

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