College Prep English for Homeschoolers at EIE December 18, 2014

Dear Homescholars,

December 18, 2014 class
Class Event Page

Youtube Page

The playlist for our 2014-2015 classes is here:

To learn more about the class, please visit:, see the links and watch the video.

The playlist of 2013-2014 classes is also on Youtube:

This week’s class will be the last class this year and our
SantaspeareChristmas party. Please feel free to bring comestibles, potables, festive play equipment or whatever may aid in our festivities. We will go ahead the the class as planned or stray from the agenda as the muse dictates.

Note: One version of the play posted in our Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing page turned out to be only the first half. It has been replaced with a very fine amateur version of the complete play.

A page of Christmas Carol lyrics has been added to our classroom.


Submitted Assignments.

Much Ado About Nothing
This week we are starting Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, though we may revisit some of the scenes from As You Like It as well.

Much Ado About Nothing

Character map

Just a few selections for discussion

But few of any sort, and none of name.

“I can see he’s not in your good books,’ said the messenger.
‘No, and if he were I would burn my library.”

I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.

What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?

“Then is courtesy a turncoat. But it is certain I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.

Beatrice: A dear happiness to women: they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.

Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.

Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a pierce of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I’ll none: Adam’s sons are my brethren; and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.”

I will go on the slightest errand now to the Antipodes that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the furthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John’s foot; fetch you a hair off the Great Cham’s beard; do you any embassage to the Pygmies, rather than hold three words’ conference with this harpy. You have no employment for me?

None, but to desire your good company.


O God, sir, here’s a dish I love not: I cannot endure my Lady Tongue.

Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.

Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it, a double heart for a single one: marry, once before he won it of me with false dice, therefore your Grace may well say I have lost it.

Tis certain so; the prince wooes for himself.
Friendship is constant in all other things
Save in the office and affairs of love:

Ha. “Against my will I am sent to bid you come into dinner.” There’s a double meaning in that.

Is’t possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

She’s lim’d, I warrant you: we have caught her, madam.

If it prove so, then loving goes by haps:
Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.

What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?

I wish my horse had the speed of your tongue.

Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

I do love nothing in the world so well as you- is not that strange?

You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you.

And do it with all thy heart.

I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

Come, bid me do anything for thee.

Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love thee.

Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.


Think you in your soul the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?


Yea, as sure is I have a thought or a soul.


Enough! I am engaged, I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand, and so leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account. As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin: I must say she is dead; and so, farewell.

When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married.

Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have
belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

For it falls out
That what we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lacked and lost,
Why, then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not show us
While it was ours.

When you depart from me sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave.

Is it not strange that sheep’s guts could hail souls out of men’s bodies?

For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.

A miracle. Here’s our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee, but by this light I take thee for pity.

I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.

Updated Assignments
Remember, you can always review earlier classes in our Classroom Feed Playlist:

Please continue to submit papers, poems, diatribes, screeds, ruminations.

Ongoing Assignments
There is a great deal here so you shouldn’t run out of things to do. As always, please don’t worry about getting them all done but please do let me know if you need more.

We decided to do Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing next, though we may want to revisit parts of
As You Like It. Much ado about nothingPlease read/watch and prepare recitations. Think about scenes to do in class.

The accents of Shakespeare’s day
Please watch this video on Shakespearean pronunciation by Ben Crystal.

Please read Chapter 8 in the text.

Language immersion

Christopher Hitchens' biography of Thomas JeffersonLet’s watch Christopher Hitchens on Thomas Jefferson
Biographer of Jefferson and one of the great wielders of the English language speaks about the “Author of America.” Listen to the language more than the content.

Let’s continue with our previous ongoing projects if they are not yet complete:

Documentary by Jonathan Miller: Madness Note that some of this material is rather heavy. Please skip any parts you like but pay specific attention to Miller’s superb language and delivery.

Documentary by Stephen Fry: Planet Word
This is just part of “Planet word,” a fascinating discussion of language variety.


Subjunctive Voice

There are two main forms of subjunctive in the English language, the present and past subjunctive. These really have nothing to do with points in the passage of time however. They simply mean different things.

Subjunctive verb forms can be used by the speaker or writer to convey another sense of verb action besides the simple declarative indicative form. They are used to imply that the action is conditional or entirely hypothetical or that it is a demand or supposition. The past form is normally reserved for referring to untrue or non-factual instances.

Past Subjunctive

Past subjunctive is used when the speaker wishes to indicate that the action described is hypothetical, is contrafactual, is untrue – a situation contrary to fact. All forms of the verb “be” become “were”. Other verbs use the past tense, or if already in past tense, the past perfect tense.

For example:


If he was thinking about what he was doing, he would put the lid on in time. (He may have been thinking)


If he were thinking about what he was doing… (He clearly wasn’t thinking about it).

If he had been thinking about what he was doing… (subjunctive in past becomes past perfect).

The past subjunctive is also used in a future sense:

Were he to paint it blue first thing in the morning, it might appear intentional.

The speaker can choose to use or not use subjunctive to convey either a fictive or factual impression.

As “were” is already the verb form for second person and plural of the verb “be” in past tense, the presence of the subjunctive is only clear in first and third person singular:


The lieutenant was anxious about the laundry.


If the lieutenant were anxious about the laundry he would have put out the platypus.


I am thinking clearly and do it for him.


If I were thinking clearly I would do it for him.

If I had been thinking clearly I would have done it for him.

Present Subjunctive

The present subjunctive is used in an order, a request, a decree, or in an “if” clause that is not necessarily contrafactual.


Uncle Cuthbert is

Present subjunctive

Aunt Agatha demanded that Uncle Cuthbert be present at the embalming ceremony.

We could all go home if this be indeed the rabbit we’re looking for.

Boadicea requested that we all be upstanding when we sing the chorus of the prenuptial agreement.

It was suggested that he have his turn-of-the-century diving equipment handy.

The subjunctive verb form is distinguishable from the indicative only in specific cases. In the third person singular of most verbs in the present tense, this is done by omitting the “s”. For example:


The tutor complains, shouts and equivocates.


Rupert demanded that he complain, shout and equivocate quietly.

Present subjunctive of the verb “be” is very obvious, the indicative form of the verb is simply replaced with “be”:


I am,

you are

she is

we are

they are going to the Pixley Festival of Disagreeable Cheeses.


The handout demanded that

I be

You be

She be

We be

They be present at the launching of the Catatonic Cormorant instead.

Subjunctive Playsheet

Choose the correct verb form.

1. Juliette reluctantly decreed, through billows of acrid polyester fumes, that stuffed toys [are, be, were] prevented from playing with the waffle iron.

2. A rather threadbare terrycloth squid avoided Juliette’s gaze lest it [is, be, were] prevented from reaching the toaster oven.

3. If only Boadicea [is, was, were, would be] able to extract the squid from the vacuum cleaner, we should have a breakfast to remember.

4. The tides would be far greater if the moon [was, were] made of Camembert or Brie rather than Romano.

5. If it could be determined that the meteor actually [was, were] composed of gorgonzola, we would know a great deal more about the nature of life in the universe than we currently do.

6. The irascible Cossack demanded that the ironmonger [produce, produces] 16 hand-wrought Sicilian trivets.

7. The beast in the hamper produced an exhalation of green vapor as if it [be, was, were] a flatulent dimetrodon.

8. If the beast in the hamper [is, be, was, were] a dimetrodon, then this egg should not be kept in the refrigerator.

9. The baffled cormorant noted that the eels [were, be, are] served with vegemite.

10. Rupert took exception to the demand that he [relinquish, relinquishes, relinquished] his fleet in the Adriatic.

11. Perhaps Aunt Agatha would come out of the wardrobe if Rupert [is, was, were] to flush the fireworks down the euphemism.

12. Uncle Cuthbert has a profound fear of postage stamps, [are, were, is, be] they foreign, domestic, canceled, or not.

13. The officious vice principal demanded that all pencil sharpeners [are, were, be, is] confiscated and that papers henceforth were, are, be written in crayon on linoleum.

14. In her third attempt to arrange the class seating chart, Gloria decreed that nobody [sits, sat, sit] beside the person next to him or her.

15. If that [was, were, would be, is] the loathsome profligate you saw in the seaweed emporium on Sunday, he can’t be held responsible for the affair involving the incontinent ruminant.

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