Hamlet/To Be… Memorization

On November 28th, we began our work with Hamlet, Shakespeare, and the memorization of “To be or Not To Be…”.

NOTE: Attendance/participation is very important during this unit! While there won’t be any new papers due during this time, all of our work happens IN THE ROOM DURING CLASS.  If you have any planned absences, or other ideas about not being here, please LET ME KNOW IN ADVANCE so you don’t lose any valuable points connected to our work.

We also began memorizing Hamlet’s “To Be or Not To Be” soliloquy from Act III, scene i; found on p. 127 in most of our books.  The text is also pasted below.

This assignment can NOT be done “last minute”.  It will only take a few minutes each day, but you MUST WORK EVERY DAY!

Memorize the following lines and be ready to recite them for me by January 12th, 2017.

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.–

Tips to help you memorize:

  • Work on this for 5 minutes EVERY DAY.
  • Read the whole thing out loud every day.
  • Learn to pronounce each word confidently! (Ask about words you are unsure of)
  • Record it and put it on heavy rotation in your playlist–listen to it A LOT!
  • Give each word a specific MOVEMENT and recite with your moves.
  • Read it BACKWARDS, word by word, every day.
  • Commit ONE new line to memory each day, and speak the new memorized lines OUT LOUD.
  • Write down the whole passage by hand once a day.

Personal Essay!

Due: Next week (11/15). If you need more time, LET ME KNOW.  But don’t take too long!  We’re moving quickly on to new things.  Best to knock this out fast.

Length: This is about CONTENT, not length.  As with the examples we read, take the time to tell your story and include appropriate reflection.

Format: Typed, 1.5 spacing, 12 pt. font., standard margins

Process: We wrote our first drafts in class on Tues 11/8.  Between 11/1 and 11/8, we read, discussed, and analyzed essays by Tom Robbins, David James Duncan, Edward Abbey, and Matt Groening.  We focused on 6 traits shared by personal essays:

  • Author’s Voice
  • Experience-based
  • Reflection
  • Meandering Logic
  • Poetic Language
  • Allusion