Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

ACTE 2 Scene 2(click here for French version)

ROMEO

He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

 (JULIET appears in a window above)

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief,

That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

Be not her maid since she is envious.

Her vestal livery is but sick and green,

And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off!

It is my lady. Oh, it is my love.

Oh, that she knew she were!

She speaks, yet she says nothing. What of that?

Her eye discourses. I will answer it.—

I am too bold. ‘Tis not to me she speaks.

Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,

Having some business, do entreat her eyes

To twinkle in their spheres till they return.

What if her eyes were there, they in her head?

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars

As daylight doth a lamp. Her eye in heaven

Would through the airy region stream so bright

That birds would sing and think it were not night.

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.

Oh, that I were a glove upon that hand

That I might touch that cheek!

ROMEO

(aside) She speaks.

O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art

As glorious to this night, being o’er my head,

As is a wingèd messenger of heaven

Unto the white, upturnèd, wondering eyes

Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him

When he bestrides the lazy-puffing clouds

And sails upon the bosom of the air.

JULIET

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Deny thy father and refuse thy name.

Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,

And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

ROMEO

(aside) Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

JULIET

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy.

Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,

Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part

Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet.

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,

And for that name, which is no part of thee

Take all myself.

ROMEO

I take thee at thy word.

Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized.

Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

JULIET

What man art thou that, thus bescreened in night,

So stumblest on my counsel?

ROMEO

By a name

I know not how to tell thee who I am.

My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself

Because it is an enemy to thee.

Had I it written, I would tear the word.

A biography of Wystan Hugh Auden

Synopsis

W.H. Auden, also known as Wystan Hugh Auden, was a poet, author and playwright born in York, England, on February 21, 1907. Auden was a leading literary influencer in the 20th century. Known for his chameleon-like ability to write poems in almost every verse form, Auden’s travels in countries torn by political strife influenced his early works. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948.

Early Life

W.H. Auden was born Wystan Hugh Auden in York, England, on February 21, 1907. Raised by a physician father and a strict, Anglican mother, Auden pursued science and engineering at Oxford University before finding his calling to write and switching his major to English.

Career Success

In 1930, Eliot, Auden published a collection of poems entitled Poems. The success of this collection positioned him as one of the leading influencers in literature in the 20th century.

Auden’s poems in the latter half of the 1930s reflected his journeys to politically torn countries. He wrote his acclaimed anthology, Spain, based on his first-hand accounts of the country’s civil war from 1936 to 1939.

More so, Auden was lauded for his chameleon-like ability to write poems in almost every verse form. His work influenced aspiring poets, popular culture and vernacular speech.

After moving to America, Auden’s work shifted away from political influences to instead reveal more religious and spiritual themes. Another Time, a collection that debuted in America, features many of his most popular poems, including September 1, 1939 and Musee des Beaux Arts.

Accolades followed Auden, including his 1948 Pulitzer Prize win for The Age of Anxiety. Though best known for his poetry, Auden was also a distinguished playwright and author.

Personal Life

Auden wed Erika Mann, daughter of German novelist Thomas Mann, in 1935. The nuptial did not last, as it was a marriage of convenience for her to gain British citizenship and flee Nazi Germany.

Auden, ever the avid traveler, visited Germany, Iceland and China, and then, in 1939, moved to the United States. On this side of the pond, he met his other true calling—his lifelong partner, fellow poet Chester Kallman. Auden eventually became an American citizen. With his health waning, Auden left America in 1972 and moved back to Oxford. He spent his last days in Austria, where he owned a house. Auden died in Vienna, Austria, on September 29, 1973.

http://www.biography.com/people/wh-auden-9192132#personal-life

Funeral Blues by WH Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Funeral Blues by W H Auden, a poem analysis

The Colour Purple

For the whole book, click here

 

You better not never tell nobody but God. It’d kill your mammy.

DEAR GOD,

I am fourteen years old. I am I have always been a good girl. Maybe you can give me a sign letting me know what is happening to me.

Last spring after little Lucious come I heard them fussing. He was pulling on her arm. She say It too soon, Fonso, I ain’t well. Finally he leave her alone. A week go by, he pulling on her arm again. She say Naw, I ain’t gonna. Can’t you see I’m already half dead, an all of these chilren.

She went to visit her sister doctor over Macon. Left me to see after the others. He never had a kine word to say to me.

Just say You gonna do what your mammy wouldn’t…

He start to choke me, saying

You better shut up and git used to it.

But I don’t never git used to it. And now I feels sick every time I be the one to cook. My mama she fuss at me an look at me. She happy, cause he good to her now. But too sick to last long.

Dear God

My mama dead. She die screaming and cussing. She scream at me. She cuss at me. I’m big. I can’t move fast enough. By time I git back from the well, the water be warm. By time I git the tray ready the food be cold. By time I git all the children ready for school it be dinner time. He don’t say nothing. He set there by the bed holding her hand an cryin, talking bout don’t leave me, don’t go.

She ast me bout the first one Whose it is? I say God’s. I don’t know no other man or what else to say. When I start to hurt and then my stomach start moving and then that little baby come out my pussy chewing on it fist you could have knock me over with a feather.

Don’t nobody come see us.

She got sicker an sicker.

Finally she ast Where it is?

I say God took it.

He took it. He took it while I was sleeping. Kilt it out there in the woods. Kill this one too, if he can.

DEAR GOD,

He act like he can’t stand me no more. Say I’m evil an always up to no good. He took my other little baby, a boy this time.

But I don’t think he kilt it. I think he sold it to a man an his wife over Monticello. I got breasts full of milk running down

myself. He say Why don’t you look decent? Put on something. But what I’m sposed to put on? I don’t have nothing.

I keep hoping he fine somebody to marry. I see him looking at my little sister. She scared. But I say I’ll take care of you.

With God help.

DEAR GOD,

He come home with a girl from round Gray. She be my age but they married. He be on her all the time. She walk round

like she don’t know what hit her. I think she thought she love him. But he got so many of us. All needing somethin.

My little sister Nettie is got a boyfriend in the same shape almost as Pa. His wife died. She was kilt by her boyfriend

coming home from church. He got only three children though. He seen Nettie in church and now every Sunday evening here come Mr. _____. I tell Nettie to keep at her books. It be more then a notion taking care of children ain’t even yourn.

And look what happen to Ma.

DEAR GOD,

He beat me today cause he say I winked at a boy in church. I may have got somethin in my eye but I didn’t wink. I don’t

even look at mens. That’s the truth. I look at women, tho, cause I’m not scared of them. Maybe cause my mama cuss me you think I kept mad at her. But I ain’t. I felt sorry for mama. Trying to believe his story kilt her.

Sometime he still be looking at Nettie, but I always git in his light. Now I tell her to marry Mr. _____. I don’t tell her why.

I say Marry him, Nettie, an try to have one good year out your life. After that, I know she be big.

But me, never again. A girl at church say you git big if you bleed every month. I don’t bleed no more.

The Colour Purple, Alice Walker

Mariner Books; First Edition (May 28, 2003)

A guide to understanding the Colour Purple

Since it was first published in 1982, The Color Purple become an icon of literature has become an icon of literature that heals, that enlightens, and that empowers. Its audience has always been broad: the novel garnered major literary awards and dazzled highbrow critics while demonstrating equally strong commercial appeal. Readers from all walks of life have found themselves awed by the novel’s narrator, Celie, a role portrayed onscreen by Whoopi Goldberg in Steven Spielberg’s film version of the story. More recently, producer Oprah Winfrey (who played Sofia in the movie) brought the novel to Broadway in a musical that blends gospel, jazz, blues, and ragtime. Despite these triumphant images, this is a novel that begins with a fourteen-year-old girl’s cry for help. Celie has suffered repeated rapes and brutal beatings by the man she believes to be her father, who tells her, in the novel’s opening line, “You better not never tell nobody but God.” After becoming pregnant by him twice, she is terrified that he has now set his sights on her younger sister, Nettie. Celie’s initial thoughts are shared with us in the form of her letters to God, written in a voice that uses raw realism—the only language she knows—to convey the facts of her life. It is this authenticity that sets The Color Purple apart; critics who feel offended apart; critics who feel offended by Celie’s voice miss the fact that her candor is itself an aspect of her stolen innocence. These opening scenes reveal the dangers of secrecy and misinformation as the heroine pines for one thing: an education. Her tragic home life prevents her from fulfilling that dream. For Nettie, however, fate holds quite the opposite. She joins a missionary family who encourage her in literacy and learning, eventually taking her with them for an exhilarating though dangerous life in colonial Africa. The price of this freedom is that she and Celie are estranged from one another for most of their adult lives. Yet their devotion as sisters never wanes, and, without even knowing whether the other is alive, their mutual and unconditional love sustains them. Set in the Deep South during the first half of the twentieth century, The Color Purple traces the lives of both sisters over a period of decades, and delivers innumerable opportunities for thoughtful classroom discussion. Acceptance and context are the keys to unlocking the novel’s riches. Alice Walker’s classic brings to life American history, world history, women’s history, civil rights history, and the history of one remarkable family—a family that asks us to consider questions about the making of an abuser (what are the true roots of controlling, hurtful behavior?) and the recipe for peace (how can we find the courage to eradicate suffering throughout the world?). We hope that the following discussion topics and activities will enrich your students’ appreciation of this unique, transforming work of modern fiction.

http://www.harcourtbooks.com/colorpurple/teacherguide.asp

A biography of Alice Walker

ALICE WALKER

Alice-Walker-006

Synopsis

Alice Walker was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton, Georgia. She worked as a social worker, teacher and lecturer, and took part in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. Walker won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her 1982 novel, The Color Purple, and is also an acclaimed poet and essayist.

Early Life

Novelist, poet and feminist Alice Malsenior Walker was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton, Georgia. Alice Walker is one of the most admired African-American writers working today. The youngest daughter of sharecroppers, she grew up poor. Her mother worked as a maid to help support the family’s eight children. When Walker was 8 years old, she suffered a serious injury: She was shot in the right eye with a BB pellet while playing with two of her brothers. Whitish scar tissue formed in her damaged eye, and she became self-conscious of this visible mark.

After the incident, Walker largely withdrew from the world around her. « For a long time, I thought I was very ugly and disfigured, » she told John O’Brien in an interview that was published in Alice Walker: Critical Perspectives, Past and Present. « This made me shy and timid, and I often reacted to insults and slights that were not intended. » She found solace in reading and writing poetry.

Living in the racially divided South, Walker attended segregated schools. She graduated from her high school as the valedictorian of her class. With the help of a scholarship, she was able to go to Spelman College in Atlanta. She later switched to Sarah Lawrence College in New York City. While at Sarah Lawrence, Walker visited Africa as part of a study-abroad program. She graduated in 1965—the same year that she published her first short story.

Early Works

After college, Walker worked as a social worker, teacher and lecturer. She became active in the Civil Rights Movement, fighting for equality for all African Americans. Her experiences informed her first collection of poetry,Once, which was published in 1968. Better known now as a novelist, Walker showed her talents for storytelling in her debut work, Third Life of Grange Copeland (1970). Walker continued to explore writing in all of its forms. In 1973, she published a set of short stories, In Love and Trouble; the poetry collection Revolutionary Petunias; and her first children’s book, Langston Hughes: American Poet. She also emerged as a prominent voice in the black feminist movement.

http://www.biography.com/people/alice-walker-9521939