College Prep English for Homeschoolers at EIE, November 6, 2014

Dear Homescholars,

Class Agenda for November 6, 2014

This week’s class feed:

Class event on Google Plus

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:

Discussion of submitted projects

Discussion of assignments

As discussed last week, we will start discussing William Shakespeare’s Hamlet this week. Everyone will have visited our Hamlet page and will have watched one or more videos of the play. The David Tennant version is excellent but the Kenneth Branagh version is a monumental and definitive version. Unfortunately it is available only by subscription.

Let’s do any prepared recitations.

Gutenberg e-text

Let’s also explore online language search tools this week: Setting up the Dictionary Search browser tool for custom searches and sampling

Recitation and quotes from Hamlet:

129 O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
130 Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
131 Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
132 His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
133 How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
134 Seem to me all the uses of this world!
135 Fie on’t! ah fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
136 That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
137 Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
138 But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
139 So excellent a king; that was, to this,
140 Hyperion to a satyr;

55 Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
56 The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
57 And you are stay’d for. There, my blessing with thee!
58 And these few precepts in thy memory
59 See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
60 Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
61 Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
62 Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
63 Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
64 But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
65 Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged courage. Beware
66 Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
67 Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
68 Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
69 Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
70 Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
71 But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy,
72 For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
73 And they in France of the best rank and station
74 Or of a most select and generous chief in that.
75 Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
76 For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
77 And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
78 This above all: to thine ownself be true,
79 And it must follow, as the night the day,
80 Thou canst not then be false to any man.
81 Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

9 I am thy father’s spirit,
10 Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,
11 And for the day confined to fast in fires,
12 Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
13 Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
14 To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
15 I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
16 Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
17 Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
18 Thy knotted and combined locks to part
19 And each particular hair to stand on end,
20 Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
21 But this eternal blazon must not be
22 To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
23 If thou didst ever thy dear father love—
24 O God!

25 Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

26 Murder!

27 Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
28 But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

29 Haste me to know’t, that I, with wings as swift
30 As meditation or the thoughts of love,
31 May sweep to my revenge.

31 I find thee apt;
32 And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
33 That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
34 Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
35 ‘Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
36 A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
37 Is by a forged process of my death
38 Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
39 The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
40 Now wears his crown.

40 O my prophetic soul!
41 My uncle?

42 Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
43 With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts—
44 O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
45 So to seduce!—won to his shameful lust
46 The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
47 ...

59 Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
60 My custom always of the afternoon,
61 Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
62 With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
63 And in the porches of my ears did pour
64 The leperous distillment; whose effect
65 Holds such an enmity with blood of man
66 That swift as quicksilver it courses through
67 The natural gates and alleys of the body,
68 And with a sudden vigor doth posset
69 And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
70 The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
71 And a most instant tetter bark’d about,
72 Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
73 All my smooth body.
74 Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother’s hand
75 Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch’d:
76 Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
77 Unhousel’d, disappointed, unanel’d,
78 No reckoning made, but sent to my account
79 With all my imperfections on my head:
80 O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
81 If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
82 Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
83 A couch for luxury and damned incest.
84 But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,
85 Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
86 Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven
87 And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
88 To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
89 The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
90 And ‘gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
91 Adieu, adieu, adieu! Remember me.

164 O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

165 And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
166 There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
167 Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
168 But come—
169 Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
170 How strange or odd soe’er I bear myself,
171 As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
172 To put an antic disposition on,
173 That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
174 With arms encumber’d thus, or this headshake,
175 Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
176 As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could, an if we would,”
177 Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be, an if they might,”
178 Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
179 That you know aught of me—this not to do,
180 So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.

1 Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!
2 Moreover that we much did long to see you,
3 The need we have to use you did provoke
4 Our hasty sending. Something have you heard
5 Of Hamlet’s transformation; so call it,
6 Sith nor the exterior nor the inward man
7 Resembles that it was. What it should be,
8 More than his father’s death, that thus hath put him
9 So much from th’ understanding of himself,
10 I cannot dream of. I entreat you both,
11 That, being of so young days brought up with him,
12 And sith so neighbor’d to his youth and havior,
13 That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
14 Some little time, so by your companies
15 To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather,
16 So much as from occasion you may glean,
17 Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,
18 That, open’d, lies within our remedy.

56 To be, or not to be: that is the question:
57 Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
58 The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
59 Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
60 And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep—
61 No more—and by a sleep to say we end
62 The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
63 That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
64 Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
65 To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
66 For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
67 When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
68 Must give us pause: there’s the respect
69 That makes calamity of so long life;
70 For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
71 The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
72 The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
73 The insolence of office and the spurns
74 That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
75 When he himself might his quietus make
76 With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
77 To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
78 But that the dread of something after death,
79 The undiscover’d country from whose bourn
80 No traveller returns, puzzles the will
81 And makes us rather bear those ills we have
82 Than fly to others that we know not of?
83 Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
84 And thus the native hue of resolution
85 Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
86 And enterprises of great pitch and moment
87 With this regard their currents turn awry,
88 And lose the name of action.

Pivotal quotes from Hamlet

Act 1 Quotes

O, that this too too solid flesh would melt,

Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew. — Hamlet, 1.2.130

Frailty, thy name is woman! — Hamlet, 1.2.146

Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral bak’d meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. — Hamlet, 1.2.179

This above all — to thine ownself be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. — Polonius, 1.3.78

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. — Marcellus, 1.4.95

O, villain, villain, smiling, damned villain! — Hamlet, 1.5.105

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. — Hamlet, 1.5.168

Act 2 Quotes

Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
I will be brief. — Polonius, 2.2.92

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. — Hamlet, 2.2.237

I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams. — Hamlet, 2.2. 241

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form, in moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? — Hamlet, 2.2.286

What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her? — Hamlet, 2.2.518

The play’s the thing,
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king. — Hamlet, 2.2.566

Act 3 Quotes

To be, or not to be, —that is the question:—
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? — Hamlet, 3.1.58

Get thee to a nunnery: why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me. — Hamlet, 3.1.124

Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me. You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery … ‘Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me. — Hamlet, 3.2.328

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below;
Words without thoughts never to heaven go. — Claudius, 3.3.98

Act 4 Quotes

Claudius: What dost thou mean by this?
Hamlet: Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar. (4.iii.28)

Act 5 Quotes

Alas! poor Yorick. I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest…. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? — Hamlet, 5.1.160

We defy augury; there’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all. — Hamlet, 5.2.206

Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. — Horatio, 5.2.3




Language immersion
Jonathan Miller -- The Body in QuestionLet’s discuss ongoing assignment: the Jonathan Miller documentary: The Body in Question

Stephen FryFurther discussion on The Machine That Made Us, documentary on the Gutenberg press by Stephen Fry.



Let’s discuss Chapter 5 in the text.

Common Errors: the Run-on Sentence

Run-on sentences are independent sentences either linked with a comma (the comma splice), or simply run end to end (the fused sentence) and are regarded as improper:

Telephone tag has become a serious health hazard, it is particularly dangerous in a crowded office or with older heavier equipment.

Lawn mowers don’t run well on catsup some varieties are highly corrosive.

Run-ons are easily corrected by creating two separate sentences, making one a dependent clause, or by linking the phrases with a semicolon, or a conjunction.

Telephone tag has become a serious health hazard, particularly in a crowded office or with older, heavier equipment.

Telephone tag has become a serious health hazard; it is particularly dangerous in a crowded office or with older, heavier equipment.

Telephone tag has become a serious health hazard and is particularly dangerous in a crowded office or with older, heavier equipment.

Lawn mowers don’t run well on catsup; some varieties are highly corrosive.

Lawn mowers don’t run well on catsup as some varieties are highly corrosive.

Varied Sentence Structure

Writing that does not venture beyond very basic sentence structure creates the impression of an author with very poor language skills. Consider the first paragraph of the story:

Having determined that the troll did not in fact eat Billy goats, that it was a strict herbivore, and that its reclusive misanthropic behavior was due to a very painful ingrown toenail, the antagonists set aside their rancor and came to an amicable agreement, which, in turn, developed into reconciliation and benevolent camaraderie as the four discussed politics, religion, and the relative integrity of straw, sticks, bricks, and gingerbread as construction material.

This would probably have been written quite differently by a student in the third or fourth grade. Even with sophisticated vocabulary, it would sound very primitive if it read like this:

The antagonists determined that the troll did not eat Billy goats. They learnt that it was a strict herbivore. They found that its behavior was due to an ingrown toenail. They set aside their rancor. They came to an amicable agreement. This became a reconciliation and benevolent camaraderie. Then the four discussed politics and religion. They talked about sticks. They talked about bricks. They discussed the relative integrity of straw, sticks, bricks, and gingerbread as construction material.

The complex first sentence of this story could have been written using these ten simple sentences instead, but would then sound like the work of a ten year old, despite the vocabulary.


The Dependent Clause

While a sentence must have one and only one independent clause, it may have any number of dependent clauses, though it should not contain so many that it becomes difficult to understand.

Examples of dependent clauses:

  1. Having determined that the troll did not in fact eat Billy goats
  2. that it was a strict herbivore
  3. that its reclusive misanthropic behavior was due to a very painful ingrown toenail
  4. which, in turn, developed into reconciliation
  5. as the four discussed politics

Clauses that start with subordinating elements including that, which, as, because, since, else, before, whose, amid, etc., are sentence fragments, and, though a dependent clause on its own is a fragment, they can help to add interest and variety to writing.

Examine the use of subordinate clauses in the reading passage.

Combining Sentences

Combine the following groups of sentences into single sentences with multiple clauses.

For example:

  1. The mastodon was furious.
  2. The mastodon’s bicycle had been buried in the compost pile.

Combined sentence: The mastodon, whose bicycle had been buried in the compost pile, was furious.

  1. The pleasantly argumentative tour guide avoided the flock of confused ducks.
  2. The ducks were trying to pick the coffee beans out of the coal scuttle.
  1. Rupert plied the recalcitrant postman with questions.
  2. Most of the questions dealt with dark energy in the expanding universe.
  1. The starboard nacelle had been infested with tribbles.
  2. The fluffy coats of the tribbles could be knitted into excellent bicycle seats.
  1. The function returned a strange value.
  2. The value appeared to be unrelated to the parameters passed.
  3. The value was, however, a function of parameters passed in the subsequent three calls to the function.
  1. The chef was unable to wrest the spatula from the unintelligible Mancunian.
  2. The Mancunian’s Dachshund bore a rhinestone howdah on its back.
  3. The howdah was occupied by two inimical chipmunks.

Updated Assignments

Continue to study Hamlet and prepare recitations.

Continue to submit papers, poems, diatribes, ruminations.

Construct five sentences each containing at least three anachronisms. Use dependent clauses extensively; experimenting with how many can be included without obscuring the meaning and readability of the sentence. (For example: The centurion ruthlessly gobbled up all the green Skittles before stepping into the transporter amid thunderous applause from the Cossacks whose gaudy socks clashed dreadfully with their fur lined skateboards and intricately embroidered sneakers depicting mammoth and mastodon migrations.)

Language immersion
Continue with the ongoing assignments: the Jonathan Miller documentary: The Body in Question

Continue with
The Machine That Made Us, documentary on the Gutenberg press by Stephen Fry.


We haven’t done
The 42 Best lines from the Hitchhiker’s Guide. We can if there is interest.


Lower Priority Assignments
Terry Eagleton on the war on terror. Prof. Eagleton is one of the great speakers.

Please read: Flying High by Christopher Hitchens.

Robert Fisk on writing and journalism. Fisk is one of the most highly honored journalists in the world.

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