The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Read The Canterbury Tales on Laura Gibbs’ website.
Read The Canterbury Tales on Wikipedia or here.
The Canterbury Tales is one of the best loved works in the history of English literature. Written in Middle English, the story follows a group of pilgrims who are travelling the long journey from London to Canterbury Cathedral. Setting off from a London inn, the innkeeper suggests that during the journey each pilgrim should tell two tales to help pass the time. The best storyteller, he says, will be rewarded with a free supper on his return.
Chaucer introduces us to a vivid cast of characters, including a carpenter, a cook, a knight, a monk, a prioress, a haberdasher, a dyer, a clerk, a merchant and a very bawdy miller. These characters come from all corners of 14th century society, and give Chaucer the chance to speak in many different voices. Some of the characters’ tales are humorous, rude and naughty, while others are moral and reflective. (Source)
The transcript of the Tales in Chaucer’s language is here (scroll down).
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque by Edgar Allan Poe
Link to large collection of tales (mythology and folklore)
Seamless set of lines heartbeat. Pulse electrocardiogram, amplitude health, diagnosis illness. Vector art design abstract unusual fashion illustration
Looking at the play and the novel through a particular theme will uncover some interesting points of comparison and contrast between the two texts. Follow the thread you have chosen (or been assigned) and see how far it takes you.
- Consider what characters embody the ideas of your theme;
- Consider which symbols and motifs are used by the writers to explore an idea;
- Remember that you will need to explain the nature of ideas at play in the texts;
- Challenge yourself as you interpret the text; ask: what does this suggest?
- Consider what Atwood or Miller is suggesting about what it means to be human.
Part 1: Individual Investigation – make a set of notes of your observations across both texts as a starting point. (DUE: Friday 25 August)
Stage 2: Paired Sharing – combine your work with your partner and add to your notes. Challenge yourselves to investigate further; interrogate the text. (DUE: Friday 1 September)
Stage 3: Group Sharing – you will be placed in a group of 6-8 (a mix of themes) to share your ideas and add even more detail to your notes. You will have to come up with some essay topics to help students grapple with the complexity of both texts. (DUE: TBA)
Stage 4: Class Sharing – expect to have to present (Powerpoint Karaoke style) your understanding of the text at any given time. (DUE: TBA)
Check the following table to note your partner. It would be most useful if you could sit together in class so that you may share as you make observations.
|Sex and Sexuality
|Theocracy and Social Hierarchy
|Love and Connection
|Truth and Confession
|| Jeremy, Corey, Anton
|Fear and Hatred
|Freedom and Oppression
|Community versus the Individual
|Self-Interest and Self-Sacrifice
|Identity and Reputation
|Authority and Control
|Religion and Ritual
|Courage and Resistance
|Morality and Conscience
||Zi Li, James
The history of sexuality: An introduction, volume 1 – Michel Foucault (Sparknotes)
Foucault argues that we generally read the history of sexuality since the 18th century in terms of what Foucault calls the “repressive hypothesis.” The repressive hypothesis supposes that since the rise of the bourgeoisie, any expenditure of energy on purely pleasurable activities has been frowned upon. As a result, sex has been treated as a private, practical affair that only properly takes place between a husband and a wife. Sex outside these confines is not simply prohibited, but repressed. That is, there is not simply an effort to prevent extra-marital sex, but also an effort to make it unspeakable and unthinkable. Discourse on sexuality is confined to marriage.
Read more here.
M. FOUCAULT’S VIEW ON POWER RELATIONS (1)
The full remarks of Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, who was murdered by a Neo-Nazi white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend.
Link to The Sydney Morning Herald article: Neo-Nazi posters circulate at Swinburne University
A neo-Nazi homophobic poster that circulated at Swinburne University. Photo: Supplied (from article)
The link to the Guardian article: ‘Jews will not replace us’: Vice film lays bare the horror of neo-Nazis in America
White nationalist demonstrators clash with counter demonstrators at the entrance to Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday 12 August. Photograph: Steve Helber/AP
The Innocence Project in the US works on cases of alleged wrongful conviction and imprisonment. They point out how easily confessions can be contaminated.
The following information comes from their website:
Astonishingly, more than 1 out of 4 people wrongfully convicted but later exonerated by DNA evidence made a false confession or incriminating statement.
Why do innocent people confess?
The reasons that people falsely confess are complex and varied, but what they tend to have in common is a belief that complying with the police by saying that they committed the crime in question will be more beneficial than continuing to maintain their innocence.
The factors that can contribute to a false confession during a police interrogation include:
- diminished capacity
- mental impairment
- ignorance of the law
- fear of violence
- the actual infliction of harm
- the threat of a harsh sentence
- misunderstanding the situation
Confessions obtained from juveniles are often unreliable — children can be easy to manipulate and are not always fully aware of their situation.
People with mental disabilities have often falsely confessed because they are tempted to accommodate and agree with authority figures. Further, many law enforcement interrogators are not given any special training on questioning suspects with mental disabilities. An impaired mental state due to mental illness, drugs or alcohol may also elicit false admissions of guilt.
Mentally capable adults also give false confessions due to a variety of factors like the length of interrogation, exhaustion or a belief that they can be released after confessing and prove their innocence later.
From threats to torture
Sometimes law enforcement use harsh interrogation tactics with uncooperative suspects. But some police officers, convinced of a suspect’s guilt, occasionally use tactics so persuasive that an innocent person feels compelled to confess. For instance, it is perfectly legal for law enforcement to employ deception or trickery in the interrogation room. Some suspects are untruthfully told that there is already evidence pointing to their guilt, such as a forensic test that links the suspect to the crime. Some suspects have confessed to avoid physical harm or discomfort. Others are told they will be convicted with or without a confession and that their sentence will be more lenient if they confess. Some are told a confession is the only way to avoid the death penalty. These tactics can be persuasive in eliciting a false confession.
So you want to keep up with the times? Or would you prefer to return to ‘traditional times’? Either way, it appear exorcisms hold a lasting appeal for some.
Read Peter Munro’s article ‘Defeating the Devil: Why Exorcism in Australia is on the Rise’ for a fascinating look at exorcism in Australia. What parallels can you see between this article – the claims of those who believe in exorcism and the views held by the Salem community in ‘The Crucible’?
Only last week national newspapers in the UK pointed out the alarming rise in exorcisms.