Saturday, 16 May 2020

CAMELOT - THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND IN A TV SERIES




In this series , CAMELOT (2011) they investigate how the legend may have come to be. They imagine  young Arthur, just in his teens,  torn away from his comfortable environment and from his foster parents by Merlin. He is suddenly thrown into the middle of a violent world in which he has to survive and to become a man and a king.

None of the characters is the mythical figure of the tradition. They are complex, conflicting human beings, totally different from their iconic counterparts. 

Saturday, 9 May 2020

THE AGE OF THE KNIGHT: THE LEGEND OF KING ARTHUR. NOTES & ACTIVITIES.


Minstrels and Knights

Up to the Norman conquest scops composed poems and performed them, usually with the accompaniment of a harp. Later, however, they were replaced by minstrels. Minstrels were a kind of professional entertainer: they would wander from court to court or had a fix abode at the court of a noble. They sang and recited lyrics and narratives, including ballads and romances.

Minstrels sang about romances whose main character was the knight, a central figure in the Middle Ages. This figure grew in importance as a result of the prosperity achieved by the courts, particularly in France, where the nobles wanted to hear stories about heroes, adventures and chivalry.

The knight was an idealised figure in literature. He was expected to uphold a code of chivalry which was usually associated with ideals of honour, courtly love and virtue. He was expected to be loyal to his king or lord, fight for him in battle and, if necessary, sacrifing himself for honour. 

Another knightly phenomenon was courtly love, a love relationship between a knight and his lady, in which the knight served his beloved with the same loyalty he had for his king or lord. 

The duties of a knight also included a Christian element: faith in God and commitment to fight against evil.  The knight was also expected to protect the weak and the poor, to be humble before others, merciful to his enemies and gentle to the noble ladies.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

COLERIDGE'S PERCEPTION OF NATURE & MODERN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES




The modern environmental view of nature holds that nature is a dynamic balance stemmed from a long period of geological and natural evolution between animals and plants, organic substance and inorganic matter, the earth and other planets. It is a physical existence and a vigorous organic substance as well (Xun, 1994, pp.218-219).
Despite of humans’ superior competence and specialties to other species, it does not mean that they have the exclusive privilege to willfully manipulate, enslave, abuse, invade, or deprive the rights of other species to live free.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, MICHAEL

In this video Professors Simon Bainbridge and Sally Bushell discuss Wordsworth’s longer poem, ‘Michael’, first published in the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, 1800.
Professor Bainbridge and Professor Bushell go to a particular site in the Lake District, Greenhead Gill (a gill or ghyll is a mountain stream). This site provides both the setting and inspiration for the poem as well as the place in which it is written. They consider the ways in which Wordsworth builds a sense of place into the poem ‘Michael’.

Friday, 25 October 2019

SHAKESPEARE, SONNET 116: LET ME NOT TO THE MARRIAGE OF TRUE MINDS


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Friday, 4 October 2019

BE THE BEST OF WHATEVER YOU ARE


Douglas Malloch (1877-1938) was an American poet, short story writer, and associate editor of American Lumberman, an adventure magazine connected with Edgar Rice Burroughs. Some have commented that his philosophy was one of "contentment." Some of his often cited comments echo with wisdom today and reflect that life philosophy of contentment, being satisfied with one's lot in life: "The biggest liar in the world is They say," which comments hugely on the "unnamed source" and "experts" mentioned in the daily news today, and "Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living," which reflects the simple advice, "persevere." His wife, Helen Miller Malloch, was a newswoman who gained fame in her own right as founder of the National Association of Presswomen.

Monday, 30 September 2019

INTRINSIC VS EXTRINSIC GOALS


Are You Pursuing the WRONG Goals? 

Unless you’re some enlightened human being, it’s fair to say that you are trying to achieve certain goals in your future.
Maybe you’re trying to get a promotion at your job or you’re looking to get a better job altogether. Maybe you’d like to start your own business. Maybe you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass. Maybe you want to travel to the Himalayas and maybe you want to just be happy.
Whatever the case, you are going after some goals – that’s human nature, we are teleological, aka goal-oriented beings.
But what if you’re going after the WRONG kinds of goals? What if you are unknowingly chasing goals that lower your performance, make you mentally unstable, cause anxiety, lead to depression, and even hinder you from ever being truly happy? Go on reading the article at https://www.njlifehacks.com/intrinsic-goals-vs-extrinsic-goals/

Friday, 27 September 2019

MARTIN EDEN

Image from the Italian movie Martin Eden (2019)

Martin Eden is a 1909 novel by American author Jack London about a young proletarian autodidact struggling to become a writer. It was first serialized in The Pacific Monthly magazine from September 1908 to September 1909 and published in book form by Macmillan in September 1909. 

The Plot

Martin Eden is an impoverished sailor who pursues, obsessively and aggressively, dreams of education and literary fame.
He educates himself feverishly and becomes a writer, hoping to acquire the respectability sought by his society-girl sweetheart. She spurns him, however, when his writing is rejected by several magazines and even more so when he is falsely accused of being a socialist. After he achieves fame, she tries to win him back but Martin realizes her love is false. Financially successful and robbed of connection to his own class, aware that his quest for bourgeois respectability was hollow, Eden travels to the Pacific as a sailor again.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

TEENAGE ACTIVISTS THAT PROVE GRETA THUNBERG IS NOT ALONE






Known for being hormonal, moody and apathetic, teenagers don’t always get the best reputation.

But the recent rise to prominence of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg has smashed all such stereotypes and made people of all ages take notice of what she has to say.

But she is far from the first teenager to prove that young people can make huge changes to the world.

Malala Yousafzai was only 14 when she was shot for speaking out about the lack of education for girls in Pakistan, where she grew up.
Nine months after the attack she gave a speech at the UN, and she continued to campaign tirelessly for fair education for girls.
Aged 17, she became in the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Young people like Thunberg and Yousafzai are inspirational for everything they’ve accomplished at by such a young age, but they’re not alone.
More and more teenagers are standing up for their beliefs and trying to create a fairer world that aligns with their beliefs. Here are a few of the most influential.
It seems like the future generation may be able to solve the world after all.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

WHAT DID OLD ENGLISH SOUND LIKE?



RECONSTRUCTIONS OF BEOWULF, THE BIBLE AND CASUAL CONVERSATION

What is the English language? Is it Anglo-Saxon? It is tempting to think so, in part because the definition simplifies a linguistic history that defies linear summary. Over the course of 1000 years, the language came together from extensive contact with Anglo-Norman, a dialect of French; then became heavily Latinized and full of Greek roots and endings; then absorbed words from Arabic, Spanish, and dozens of other languages, and with them, arguably, absorbed concepts and pictures of the world that cannot be separated from the language itself.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

SUMMERTIME ACTIVITIES TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH




Summer can be the perfect occasion to improve your English! You have more free time and you can use some of it to practise and  improve your English.



Practice makes perfect!

What could you do to make the most of your summer holidays? Here are some fun activities!

1. Watch videos on Youtube with subtitles

You can choose videos about topics, people, events, subjects, arts, sports you are interested in.

2. Watch movies or TV series  with subtitles

You can find them on satellite TV channels or online ( Amazon, Netflix or Youtube)

Thursday, 14 March 2019

GRETA THUNBERG: A VERY SPECIAL TEEN


Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who has inspired an international movement to fight climate change, has been nominated as a candidate to receive this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
She was nominated by three Norwegian MPs. If she were to win, she would be the youngest recipient since Pakistan's Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 when she received the prize. Ms Thunberg tweeted she was "honoured" to receive the nomination ... Go on reading HERE

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

TOM HIDDLESTON ON COMPASSION

What is compassion to you? Let's reflect on what compassion means with Tom Hiddleston, who's come to Hollywood fame as Loki, Thor's evil brother in The Avengers

Tom Hiddleston is a British actor, he was born in London in 1981.

Do you know that he screen tested for the title role in Thor (2011), maintaining a strict diet and gaining 20 pounds in muscle?However, Kenneth Branagh, the director,  decided he was more suitable for the role of Loki.

Below you find 2 videos  to work with. As usual   I have also prepared a worksheet that you can use and download.

You'll find the worksheet HERE or in the SHARING BOX ON THE RIGHT. The worksheet includes listening and reading comprehension activities, writing tasks .   

Thursday, 3 January 2019

GUERNSEY HAS A GREAT STORY TO TELL


“This island, what they had to endure here...
It's unimaginable. And no one knows.
These people had to actually live with the enemy...”

Invaded in June 1940, the Channel Islands were the only British territory to be occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. Guernsey provided inspiration for the international best - seller "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society", which shines a spotlight on one of the darkest  periods in the island's history.

Monday, 26 November 2018

RAMI MALEK, BECOMING FREDDIE MERCURY

After Mr Robot, Rami Malek takes on his biggest role yet as Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody

Did you know he is Egyptian and an Arab? In this interview he talks with Patrick Abboud about his struggle to become a successful actor in Hollywood.

Worksheet