Summative Entry

While people in the English Renaissance wore different clothes and had no access to digital technology, their artistic expressions and the experiences these embody still have an impact on human beings living in the 21st Century.

The world as we know it today seemingly has nothing in common with the world during the English Renaissance however, upon further investigation it is clear that there are many core aspects of life that have not changed. Humanity has largely remained the same despite the fact that we have computers and they did not even have lightbulbs and the fact that we wear completely different clothing. Whether it be the Renaissance, the present or the future, people still love, fight, cry, mourn, scheme, manipulate, laugh and live. It is these actions and emotions which make us human and therefore, the expressions of these in art and literature are just as relevent to us today as the day they were written.

My very first blog for the semester was about the distinctivness of a feminine voice compared to a masculine one as demonstrated through Lady Anne. The mourning of Lady Anne continues to be emotional today as we have all felt loss of loved ones (although it is unlikely that it was due to murder!) The differences between men and women, while somewhat lessened by feminism, are still evident as we are different by nature. The continuing emotional impact of  art from the Renaissance can also be seen through my creative piece based upon the plate painted by Xanto. I wrote a story about the wife of the leader of the Swiss Guard at the time of the sack of Rome by thinking about how I would feel if I were in the situation and applying these feelings to my piece. Once again, it is through emotions that the strong link between us and the people of the Renaissance becomes clear. Due to the pathos of Lady Anne’s speech as well as within historical events, it is clear that the art from the English Renaissance is still highly relevent today.

Poetry is a universal method of communication as it is based upon emotions which are the core of our being. Due to this, the poetry of the English Renaissance has a resounding impact upon today’s readers. The value of poetry is investigated in my post “Poetry: the Language of Life” which discusses the idea that history tells a story but poetry brings it to life. Due to a poet’s ability to manipulate language and emotions, their works become timeless as it is this emotion which connects us to people of the past. This is shown through the ideas presented by Sir Walter Ralegh in his poem, The Lie. This poem explores honesty and hypocrisy as he sees it in the world. Despite completely different political cultures, it is so profound that many of his complaints are so relatable to 2017. He points out hypocrisy within organisations such as the church- an issue still present today especially in relation to controversial investigations into some priests. The manipulation of emotions is also discussed within this poem through the comparison of love to lust. Again, this is still highly relevent to the present as people have always abused the emotions of others for ulterior motives. The continuing impact of literature concerning love is also demonstrated by the poetry at the beginning of Twelfth Night as explored in my post, “In Love an Agony”. The text investigates the different ways love can make us feel, in this case, pain. Love is, in many ways, the core of human existence hence, the experiences and values of people in the English Renaissance are not so different from our own.

Through the investigation of a variety of texts this semester, it has become very clear to me that despite the outward differences between us today and the people of the English Renaissance, we are, at our core very similar due to the emotions that connect us and make us human. The fact that the emotions of poets, authors and artists of the English Renaissance still relate to us today make it an indisputable fact that their work is still highly relevent to us in the 21st century and has had a continuing impact upon us.


Peer Review 6

Posted to:

Hi Jack!
I love how much effort you put into your post this week; your extensive research into the World in a Fool’s Cap image is really interesting- especially the translation of the writing. It would be interesting to investigate further into the idea that “know thyself” is related to the fool. Perhaps this could mean that by recognising that you are a fool yourself gives you a certain kind of wisdom. After all it was Shakespeare who said “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
Keep up the great work!

Reflection 7

The use of constructivist theories has been very prominent in schools and is often attributed to Piaget and Vygotsky. Both theories are focused around learners constructing their own knowledge based on the knowledge they already have. On my schooling, I was generally an independent earner which therefore made Piaget’s approach highly appropriate for me. I also enjoy the interaction with peers that the school environment allows for as described by Vygotsky who states that social interaction is key for reaching learning goals. I think that the zone of proximal development which I introduced by Vygotsky is also crucial to education as it encourages students to challenge themselves with the support of the teacher or mentor. 

In my placement, both constructivist theories are useful in some aspects of learning. Through using concrete materials, students are able to discover for themselves what a pattern is during their maths class. After a brief explanation from the teacher, students explore the topic creating their own patterns and linking their new knowledge to previous knowledge which allows them to better retain information. Social constructivism is less effective in this class room as the varied cognitive and learning disabilities mean that while the student effectively communicate with the teacher, they sometimes struggle to work together as a group to reach new knowledge. Therefore, it is clear that a constructivist approach works well in individual learning however any group learning needs to be highly structured to ensure that students are gaming the most knowledge they can and achieve ther goals. 

Reflection 6

This week on prac I was involved with one on one work with a student with a cognitive disability in a hospitality class. While the majority of the class was working on an activity with the class teacher, I was asked to sit with the student and work through seperate worksheets. At first, this seemed like it would be beneficial for this student as she has trouble understanding content and, with personalised worksheets, would better be able to reach goals. When I was given th worksheets however, I was shocked to discover that she was to work through find a words related to the subject. I failed to understand how this helped her at all as all she was doing was looking for letters to make up a word she does not understand in relation to content she has not even learned. In my opinion, it seemed as though the class teacher had given up on the student and assumed that she would never understand content and therefore was given recreation mal activities rather than educational material. 

I felt that the work was almost insulting to the intelligence of the student; just because she was at a lower level than the other students it did not in any way mean she was incapable of understanding information. She just needed a simpler explanation of the same content rather than pointless activities. While working with the student, I could tell that she did not find much benefit from the activity either as she could not concentrate on it as it was not stimulating. Even I struggled to concentrate on the find a word as I felt like my time and knowledge was being wasted when I could be teaching the student something useful rather than helping her look for words. Due to this experience, the importance of catering for students with different needs has become very clear to me. I will ensure I set doable yet challenging tasks for students so that they reach learning goals and learn new skills. 

Peer Review 5

Posted to:

Hey there Sara!
I love your interpretation of the first scene of 12th Night particularly the way you describe the pun on the word heart/hart and the metaphor of the deer. It would be really interesting if you further investigated the purpose of the techniques Shakespeare used- maybe the effect they had on the audience. I think one more interesting feature of this scene is the use of poetry. Poetry as well as the great techniques you picked up on make this a fantastic opening for a play- good one Shakespeare!

In Love and Agony

What picture of love/lurve is presented in the opening scene of 12th Night. How is this picture reflected in the language choices Shakespeare makes.

From the very first line of the play, an interesting and alternative opinion about love is presented by Orsino. The first line, “If music be the food of love, play on,” gives the reader the idea that Orsino is a romantic and is often misquoted for this reason. In the second line, the idea about love is subverted when he continues with, “give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and die!” This paints a very different picture of love, portraying it as something that Orsino does not want to feel. Instead of asking the musicians to play on for the beauty of the sound, Orsino wants them to play so much that he is sick of the music which is a metaphor for love and the quest to find it. Shakespeare uses an easy to understand metaphor allowing the audience to get a very clear picture of the way Orsino feels about love as it is vital knowledge for the events to come. The instant subversion of love from the positive to the negative provokes thought from the audience about the subject of love as well as capturing their attention and curiosity.

The choice to use poetry rather than prose is highly important to note when examining the opening of Twelfth Night. By starting the play with a poetic speech, Shakespeare is able to immediately gain the audience’s attention as well as depict to them an idea of the tone of the play. More importantly, poetry is known as the language of lurve which is what the play, at its core, is about. The association between poetry and romance is always prevelant within Shakespeare’s plays but the way it is used in this scene is particularly interesting. The use of poetry against love rather than encouraging it is, once again, a subversion of it’s usual role. The subversion of roles continues throughout the play so the fact that it is introduced through the opening poetry is highly effective.

Shakespeare also uses contrast to demonstrate the enormous extent of Orsino’s disinterest in love. He describes his encounter with love stating that “it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound/ that breaths upoin a bank of violets,” using imagery associated with beauty as well as enjambment to create a romantic flow. To contrast this, the following lines, “Enough; no more./ ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before,” are sharp and abruptly end this flow, similar to the sudden change of mind about love and the feeling becoming negative rather than positive.

Love in Twelfth Night, as portrayed in the opening scene, is an overall agonising experience. Love is depicted as tempermental as it can change from beauty to pain in an instant and suddenly; what was once desirable is wanted no longer. In fact, Orsino wants nothing to do with love at all. The unique use of subversion, poetry and imagery construct this painful depiction of love which is a highly fitting opening for the play.