Thursday, May 3, 2012

AP Exam Prep

Instead of spending my morning off (credited to the now glorious CST schedule) sleeping, in bed, where I really want to be, I'm studying lit terms and past vocab words and I even read through a couple of Shannon Fahey's literature analyses to learn new novels vicariously through her studies. (Shout outs to Shannon. She's awesome. Check out her literature analyses at:

So yeah, I'm studying. I'm going to do great on the exam :)

Monday, April 30, 2012

AP Exam Study Plan

This year's AP exams are approaching much faster than expected. Just this week have I finally become aware of their proximity. However, I feel that my study plan is focused enough that I won't have to worry about being unprepared.

My plan is very focused around my own strengths (vocabulary, word usage, literary terms) and weaknesses (ESSAYS). I am very confident in my understanding of the AP vocabulary words and terms that we've learned over the last couple of years, so only a minimal amount of time will be spent reviewing those. I intend to study the term list we've been using in class with traditional methods--and if there's still one that I don't fully understand, I know that it is on one of my colleagues blogs! To tackle my weakness, essay writing, I will begin by arming myself with knowledge. Since I know that the essays are primarily literature based, I feel the best forst step is to bolster my knowledge of several pieces of literature. I find my classmates' blogs most helpful in this. Reading through a number of their literary analyses will help me better understand pieces that I've already read-- like a little refresher course-- and introduce me to new pieces that I may find useful for a particular essay.

Once I've gotten all of the background information set in, it's time for practice. I'll focus on practicing analyzing pieces of literature, such as poems and excerpts. I'll need this for both the multiple choice section and the essay section. My biggest concern, however, is the written portion of the exam. The only way I feel I can prepare for that is writing a number of essays on my own time for practice. My biggest issue is timing, so getting used to writing a couple in a crunch should help me feel more confident when I get into the testing room.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lecture Notes: MacBeth

Day I

Simple play

·         no big themes

·         very straightforward plot

·         Acts I-III all chronicle Macbeth's rise to glory & IV, V follow his fall

·         character driven play; less psychology & intricate relationships

·         Macbeth doesn't confide in the audience (like Hamlet) he doesn't show any sign of humor or humanity, just painstaking character development

Macbeth as a Tragic Hero

·         Beginning of play: indirect characterization telling us he is well thought of, noble, honorable, etc.

o   End of the play: stands alone to be killed by an entire army

·         Everything that happens in the play is the function of Macbeth's own decisions

o   not influenced or compelled by any outside force

Murder of Duncan

·         Why?

o   Act I, scene vii, lines 25-28…glimpse of an idea but too early to take for truth

o   Macbeth seems to be in the grips of something bigger

§  his first reaction to the witches was weariness; it seemed unjust to him at first

·         tension between immorality (consequences?!) & his ambition to be/stay king

o   he knows that he will have to violate his morals…he knows there will be consequences…he doesn't conversationalize his worries and try to avoid the situation  (Hamlet)

·         he struggles with knowing that to act on his desires will lead to his own destruction (he then

o   decides not to kill the king

§  swayed, however, by his imagination of the prospects

Macbeth & Lady Macbeth

·         Lady MacBeth

o   She is the agent of evil in the beginning

o   tells him to man up and keep the prospect of being king alive

o   total animus (masculine personality) influence

§  urges him to be more manly when he comes to her with things

o   lacks regard for emotions, scruples, values, nurturing, etc.

·         Both characters experience a surreal feeling

o   Macbeth is fearful & horrified, but he hallucinates and it's as if he is compelled to or drawn to do it

o   Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking

·         With help of Lady Macbeth allowed evil to infiltrate his imagination. He knows what's going on

Courage & Fear

·         MacBeth

o   Courage is abundant when it comes to outward enemies but can't handle the inner fears

§  Becomes fearful as soon as he kills the king

o   deals with it by continued killing to allow himself to plow through and come to a solution

·         Lady Macbeth

o   can't handle the inner strains….Macbeth goes off without her

o   guilt for lack of inner will destroys her

o   feels like Duncan looks like her father

§  sign of guilt and reprieve

o   she decays into craziness (for lack of a better word) until she commits suicide

Day 2

Lady Macbeth

·         A representation of pure force

·         After the banquet, Macbeth & Lady Macbeth's relationship becomes strained

o   They used to have a healthy relationship/marriage but now they each have their own plans

·         Macbeth's throne is safe, no one suspects him, but he has a guilty conscience

o   Act III, Scene iii shows Macbeth still knows the difference between right and wrong

o   He’s murdering his way to peace of mind

§  Causes him to become less & less human

§  Loss of physical relationships result in a loss of feeling

·         Makes Macbeth care less and less for what life has to offer

·         Act V, scene iii explains why Macbeth accepts the news of his wife's death with a horrifying calm

o   exemplifies the empty mockery his world has become

The Three Witches

·         Macbeth's driving force

o   Plant the ideas in Macbeth's mind

§  he is then unable to control himself

·         Different schools of thought on their purpose:

o   A symbol of Fate

§  Events were inevitable

·         Exist to tempt & torment people

o   After becoming thane of Cawdor, Macbeth believes the witches prophesies to be true, so he feels he must see them through

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Recitation

Sorry for the awkward pauses and stuttering.. They ambushed me before softball practice. It's always strange when seventeen some odd girls are silenced and turn to stare at you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

MacBeth Quiz


1. Macbeth won the respect of King Duncan by

A. slaying the traitor Macdonwald.

B. serving as a gracious host for his king.

C. not pleading for advancement.

2. King Duncan rewarded Macbeth by dubbing him

A. the Earl of Sinel.

B. the Thane of Cawdor him.

C. Bellona's bridegroom.

3. In addressing Banquo, the witches called him which of these?

"Lesser than Macbeth, and greater." (I)

"Not so happy as Macbeth, yet much happier." (II)

"A future father of kings." (III)

A. I and II

B. I and III

C. I, II, and III

4. When Macbeth said, "Two truths are told / As happy prologues" he was referring to

A. his titles of Glamis and Cawdor.

B. the victories against the kerns and gallowglasses.

C. the predictions made to Banquo and to himself.

5. "Nothing in his life / Became him like the leaving it" is a reference to

A. the traitorous Thane of Cawdor.

B. Banquo's son, Fleance.

C. Duncan's son, Donalbain.

6. Duncan's statement, "I have begun to plant thee and will labour / To make thee full of growing" is an example of

A. a simile.

B. a metaphor.

C. personification.

7. Lady Macbeth characterizes her husband as being

A. "the glass of fashion and the mould of form."

B. "too full of the milk of human kindness."

C. "a cannon overcharg'd with a double crack."

8. When Macbeth agonizes over the possible killing of the king, which of these does he say?

"He is my house guest; I should protect him." (I)

"Duncan's virtues will "plead like angels" " (II)

"I am his kinsman and his subject" (III)

A. I and III

B. II and III

C. I, II, and III

9. Macbeth's statement to his wife, "Bring forth men-children only" signifies that he

A. is proud of his wife's transformation.

B. is concerned over the succession to the throne.

C. has accepted the challenge to slay the king.

10. As part of the plan to kill the king, Lady Macbeth would

A. get the chamberlains drunk.

B. smear Duncan's face with blood.

C. arrange an alibi for Macbeth.

11. Trace Macbeth's transformation from a good man to an evil man.

12. What motivates Macbeth to take the evil path he chooses?

13. What influence do the witches have on Macbeth?

14. Contrast Macbeth's response to the witches' predictions with Banquo's.

15. Describe the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Trace how it changes over the course of the play.


1. "Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible / To feeling as to sight?" is a reference to the

A. ghost of Banquo.

B. dagger.

C. bubbling cauldron.

2. Lady Macbeth confessed that she would have killed King Duncan herself except for the fact that

A. she couldn't gain easy access to his bedchamber

B. he looked like her father

C. one of Duncan's guards spied her on the to stairway

3. Shakespeare introduced the Porter in order to

A. allow Macduff to gain admission to the castle.

B. remind the audience of the Witches' prophecies.

C. provide comic relief.

4. Malcolm and Donalbain flee after the murder

A. because they fear the daggers in men's smiles.

B. in order to join Macduff in England.

C. lest they be blamed for it.

5. Macbeth arranges for Banquo's death by telling the hired killers that

A. Banquo had thwarted their careers.

B. if they fail, they will pay with their own lives.

C. he will eradicate all records of their previous crimes.

6. Macbeth startles his dinner guests by

A. conversing with the Ghost of Banquo

B. attempting to wash the blood from his hands

C. saying to Lady Macbeth that, "Murder will out."

7. The Witches threw into the cauldron

"Eye of bat and tongue of frog"(I)

"Wool of bat and tongue of dog" (II)

"Fang of snake and eagle's glare" (III)

A. I and II

B. I and III

C. II and III

8. The three apparitions which appeared to Macbeth were

An armed head. (I)

A child with a crown. (II)

A bloody child (III)

A. I and II

B. II and III

C. I, II, and III

9. In Act IV, Malcolm is at first lukewarm toward Macduff because he

A. wasn't prepared to overthrow Macbeth.

B. suspects a trick.

C. wasn't worthy of becoming king, in his opinion.

10. Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane when

A. the witches rendezvous with Macbeth.

B. the camouflaged soldiers make their advance.

C. Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to stand and fight.

11. What is the significance of the line "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" (I, i, 10)?

12. How does Macbeth function as a morality play?

13. How does Shakespeare use the technique of dramatic irony in Macbeth?

14. How does Lady Macbeth overcome her husband's resistance to the idea of killing King Duncan?

15. Contrast Macduff's response to the news of his wife's and children's deaths with Macbeth's response to being told Lady Macbeth is dead


Part I
1. A (Act I, Scene II)

2. B (Act I, Scene II)

3. C (Act I, Scene III)

4. A (Act I, Scene III)

5. A (Act I, Scene IV)

6. B (Act I, Scene IV)

7. B (Act I, Scene V)

8. C (Act I, Scene VII)

9. C (Act I, Scene VII)

10. A (Act II, Scene II)

11. In the beginning, Macbeth frets over his plans to kill the King. After his wife persuades him to go on with the plan, he becomes a power-hungry murderer.

12. Macbeth is motivated by his ambition to be king. He stops at nothing to protect his crown.

13. Macbeth begins to plan his acts according to the prophecies of the witches.

14. Banquo is at first skeptical at the witches' prophecy that his children will become kings. He then cannot get these things out of his mind. Macbeth seems to brush off what the witches told him, but in reality he begins to act based on what was prophesied.

15. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth at first act as equals, planning to steal the crown as one. Once King Duncan dies, Macbeth becomes power hungry and is then the dominant figure in the relationship.

Part II

1. B (Act II, Scene I)
2. B (Act II, Scene II)
3. C (Act II, Scene III)
4. A (Act II, Scene III)
5. A (Act III, Scene I)
6. A (Act III, Scene III)
7. A (Act IV, Scene I)
8. C (Act IV, Scene I)
9. B (Act IV, Scene III)
10. B (Act V, Scene III)
11. This line in the first scene tips us off that things will not be what they appear to be. Macbeth will become king, and in doing so he will commit himself to a path of evil which will mean his death, and ironically, Banquo's.
12. The differences between good and evil are greatly portrayed in the play. This struggle is shown in Macbeth's character, as he goes from being an honest hero to a power-hungry tyrant.
13. When Duncan and his party arrive at Macbeth's castle, they are unaware of the wicked plans that are being made. Their lighthearted, joking mood is ironic to us, because we know what they are really walking into. It is also depicted in the last act of the play.
14. Lady Macbeth questions Macbeth's manhood and even devises her own plan on how he should kill King Duncan. She is finally able to persuade him to go through with the act.
15. Macduff is deeply grieved by the loss of his wife and children. Macbeth on the other hand is too focused on protecting his crown to care or really show emotion about the death of his wife.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Active Reading Notes: MacBeth

  Macbeth and Banquo are generals of Scottish King Duncan’s army and they have just defeated two separate invading armies
o   One led by the Irish rebel leader, Macdonwald and the other from Norway
·         Three witches come together and prophesize that Macbeth will come to be made thane of Cawdor and then eventually king of Scotland; also state that Banquo’s son will come to be the heirs of the throne next
o   Seem to say this in a foreboding way, as if his rise to power will ultimately be his downfall
·         The two seem skeptical, but soon Macbeth is named Thane of Cawdor
·         Macbeth of unsure of whether or not he wants this rise to power à writes home to his wife
o   She has no qualms about climbing the social ladder and tells him to murder Duncan for the crown
o   She persuades him to kill Duncan that very night the two are to dine together
·         Macbeth seems to know right from wrong, but still chooses to do the wrong course of action à has no reason to justify his means either
·         Plan to blame Duncan’s death on his chamberlains à get them drunk and they will be defenseless
o   Macbeth murders Duncan when he is sleeping; he is full of self doubt and ignores the vision he had that involved a bloody dagger floating in front of him
o   Macbeth is shaken terribly à forgets to leave the daggers with the chamberlains to frame them à Macbeth won’t go back into the room though
o   Lady Macbeth shames him saying he is a coward; goes to put the daggers there herself
·         Macbeth hears knocking on three separate occasions, is frightened
o   “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood, Clean from my hand?”
o   “A little water clears us of this deed, How easy it is then!” 
·         The discovery of Duncan’s body has Macbeth all wound up and jumpy
o   Macbeth kills the chamberlains too out of rage
o    Malcolm flees to England and Donalbain flees to Ireland (because they are seen as suspects since they are both in line for the crown)
o   Macbeth takes to the kings position immediately
·         Ominous happenings right after Duncan’s death and right before Macbeth coronation:
o   It is daytime, but dark outside
o   Last Tuesday, an owl killed a falcon
o   Duncan’s beautiful, well-trained horses behaved wildly and ate one another
·         Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth start to hallucinate about their kill
·         Macbeth, paranoid and confused, plans to hire a group of murders to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, in order to null the witches prophecy about them taking his throne next
o   Ambush them right before the dinner, manages to kill Banquo but Fleance escapes à Macbeth is worried and mad
o   As long as Fleance lives, the prophecy that he will come to seize the throne will be a possibility
·         Macbeth tells his wife that his mind is full of scorpions à guilt
·         At the feast, Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost; starts to freak out which startles his guest
o   They think that he is losing it and the nobles start to lose their faith in his skills to rules
o   His subjects are also worried about Macbeth, lose faith as well
·         Scared and worried about his position, he goes to the witches for help à they then introduce him to demon and spirits who also prophesize Macbeth’s future
o   They tell him:
§   Floating head à To beware of the noblemen Macduff (didn’t want Macbeth in the throne in the first place)
§  Bloodied child à It’s impossible that he will be harmed by any man born of woman
§  Crowned child holding a tree àHe will be safe until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Castle
o   Feels secure à all men are born of women, forest can’t move
o   We know from the previous scene before though that it’s just a false sense of security that Hecate and witches are enacting
§  Why are they meddling?
o   Orders that Macduff’s castle be seize and to kill his wife and children (Macduff has escaped to England to join with Malcolm’s forces)
o   We see that Macbeth is becoming more and more cruel and paranoid when he is told more prophecies
·         Macduff learns of his family’s murders and vows revenge
·         Malcolm has managed to put together and army in England; Macduff joins him àride to England to try and take out Macbeth
·         The Scottish nobles support Malcolm; they are scared of Macbeth’s crazed and murderous ways
·         Lady Macbeth is not coping with the guilt of all the deaths at her and her husband’s hands
o   Wakes from a dream believing there is blood all over her hand; also sleepwalks all the time
o   Macbeth receives notices that she committed suicide right before battle àhe goes into shock and despair
·         He is depressed and confused but still waits for Malcolm’s army who have withdrawn to Dunsinane  à reinforces his idea that he is invincible
o   Learns that Malcolm’s army is coming with boughs made from Birnam Wood (witches prophecy) à fearful that his demise is coming
·         Malcolm’s forces eventually overtake Macbeth’s
o   On the battlefield, Macbeth comes in contact with Macduff à still wants him very much dead
o   Macduff tells him he was not born from a women, but was “untimely ripped” from his mother’s womb (C section)
·         All the prophecies have come true and Macbeth knows that he is doomed now àstill fights on until Macduff kills and beheads him
·         Malcolm comes to take the throne à promises to treat his people with grace and kindness; invites everyone to his coronation at Scone
·         Macbeth is a power -hunger  tyrant, yet we don’t condemn him à was a good man that did the wrong things?   Or was he just a bad person to begin with?
o   He isn’t the “villain” of the story à he did commit multiple atrocities, but the reader somehow (or at least I did) try to make up and excuse as to why he did such crime
o   Thoughts à “he only did it because he was peer pressured by his wife”, etc.
o   He doesn’t take pleasure in his horrid actions, actually feels remorseful about it which is why the reader wants to forgive him