Tag Archives: Great Books

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and other thoughts on Shakespeare

So, as it turns out, yesterday was Shakespeare’s birthday.  I read a couple plays when I was little, but didn’t read any more for a long time.  But I’ve gotten back into it recently, reading some plays for high school, and I’ve been loving it.  So I totally freaked out when Mom told me yesterday!  I didn’t have time to do anything about it then, but I decided today was an appropriate time to post the first Great Books paper I wrote this year.  Enjoy!!

I was first introduced to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, before I was a decade old, in Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children by E. Nesbitt.  I read the original version, after seeing it performed at Shakespeare on the Green, a few summers later.  Even at the age of ten, I was enthralled.

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When We Need a Hero: Observations on Richard III

I wrote this paper for school last week, and then realized it was perfect for Easter, and just in time for it too, so I decided to share it today.

I honestly do not know why I chose to read Richard III for Great Books this year.  I recall seeing it on my list of books, after I had long forgotten picking it, and thinking something along the lines of What was I thinking? or What have I gotten myself into?

The fact remains: it’s an odd play.  Not to mention, a bit disturbing.  It is a story–not surprisingly–about Richard III.  Richard is a discontented man, with no friends, no pretty lady to court, and nothing to do.

“And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover

To entertain these fair well-spoken days,

I am determined to prove a villain

And hate the idle pleasures of these days.” (4)

Out of this boredom, he sets out to become king of England.  The play follows this power-hungry, dissembling villain as he works his way up the hierarchy and pays mercenaries to murder off all other potential heirs.

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More ramblings (cause I’m still getting my act together), and happy new year!!

Happy New Year, my friends!

We’ve had three birthdays, New Years, and a Christmas party since I was here last, so the posting has slowed down.  I was going to post this yesterday, but Mom and the younger crew were watching The Sound of Music, so what could I do? 🙂  I’m hoping to post the behind-the-scenes for Cat’s Forest soon, but school just started, so we’ll see how fast I can move.

Technically, school started today, but all I had to do was lay around and read A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which I find quite enjoyable.  I’m doing all Shakespeare for Great Books this year (YIPPEE!!).  I decided to try and read Midsummer in one day (because I’m crazy), and Mama let me only do that for school today (because she’s wonderful).  Shakespeare’s writing style is one of the most beautiful things that ever happened.

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell’d skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in. . .” (20)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dover Publications, Inc.

In other news, I got all the geeky Middle Earth books for Christmas/my birthday, and I’m so happy!

I also got two other novels, so I’ve been mostly reading lately, and the written words have dropped significantly.  When I finish the five Christmas books I have left, I’m hoping to get back to my own stories–to be honest, I kinda’ miss them.

And (because random, silly Middle Earth pictures are apparently the thing right now), this is my favorite variation of this quote yet:

I’m loving this so much! 😉

Happy Thursday, my friends!

Archery

I wrote a paper on archery last school year, and I was going to post it on here, and somehow it never happened all summer.  So. . . here we are now.  My apologies to everyone who has been waiting to read this.

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So long as the new moon returns in heaven a bent, beautiful bow, so long will the fascination of archery keep hold of the hearts of men” (Thompson, 5).

The bow is a fascinating weapon, and it has been used since the days of ancient Egypt. Today, firearms have taken its place in warfare, but archery is still practiced as an intriguing sport, and a powerful method of hunting. It is the oldest sport still practiced. The Scorton Silver Arrow Contest, begun in Yorkshire, England in 1673 (Haywood, x) is still held today—and still for only male archers over twenty-one (Studelska, 35). It is the oldest recorded sporting event (Studelska, 35). In this paper, I will explore different types of archery practiced today, discuss the history of archery, and give some examples of archery in literature.

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Great Books: The Apostles Creed

I read the Apostles Creed as my third piece of literature for Great Books, and writing about it has been one of the hardest assignments I have had yet. There was plenty of content to write about, but somehow I could never quite put my finger on what I wanted to say. I finally realized that I had subconsciously been stuck on the fact that everything I thought of to write led me back to the Bible. I could not write about what I believe without going back to Scripture for help, and leaving the Creed behind me.

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