Classical Literature

1- William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England on April 23rd, 1564. Shakespeare started learning about classical literature in school when he was 8 years old. He started a career acting and then moved onto playwriting and wrote lots of poetry. In this article I found about William Shakespeare it says that he was “born at the right time” because “the arts, in general, were flourishing” at that time and I think this describes his career because he was a very successful man and his career defiantly flourished also. In 1613 Shakespeare’s brothers passed away and 3 years later in 1616 on his birthday, Shakespeare passed. He wrote many poems throughout the time he lived but I picked “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day” and the last two lines of this poem stood out to me, it says, “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see, so long lives this, and this gives life to thee” (13-14) to me it means as long as there are people to read this poem it will live on and so will you, and I think this is really sweet and it’s beautifully worded.2-In the poem “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke, a small boy dances with his drunk father whose “breath could make a small boy dizzy” (Roethke 1-2). The poem can be interpreted many different ways, but is most commonly viewed as either a joyful memory of a son dancing with his father, oblivious to the fact that his father was drunk, or as a fearful memory of a father unaware, or very aware, that he was handling his son roughly and hurting him while they dance around. As Bobby Fong puts it, “the elements of joy… are balanced against the elements of fear” (80). The narrator is likely an adult version of the child who, because he’s an adult, understood that his father was hardly present in that situation, and whether he felt fear or joy in the moment as a child remained unnoticed by his father who was likely too wrapped up in his own waltz.3-In Sylvia Plath’s poem “Metaphors,” the speaker states “I’m a means, a stage, a cow in a calf./. . . Boarded the train there’s no getting off./” (7 and 9). This has implications of worthlessness outside of being useful to her baby, and that the speaker is stuck with her child and is anxious as to what comes next. Many take what Plath writes and paint her as a caricature for what mental illness does to someone, and she’s even often depicted as “crazed” or spoken of in diagnostic terms. Reading through this it seems as though the speaker is depressed and cannot find her individuality now that she is with child.As one scholar argues, “Several critics have attempted to “diagnose” Sylvia Plath.. .Plath dealt with mental difference throughout her life; unfortunately, she has been canonized by many psychoanalytic critics as an “insane” woman writer, and these discourses have contributed to her commemoration as an angsty woman author who was “freed” of her suffering through her suicide.” (Rovito 319).4-The poem “this is just to say” by William Carlos Williams seems to be an apology from Williams, to presumably his wife, for eating some plums that were in an ice box. The readerknows its an apology thanks to the last stanza (9-12) which states “forgive me they weredelicious so sweet and so cold”. The poem is a rather simple straight forward one with not alot to find under the surface, yet people still try to find deeper meanings within the words.Despite their efforts, it might just be that this poem is, in fact, just a simple apology. In anarticle written by Williams’ own grandaughter she states “The story in our family goes that he had been out on an emergency call (probably delivering one of hundreds of babies), came home, checked the fridge and helped himself to some plums. Unlike most of us, he was considerate enough to write a note to his wife so that she wouldn’t wonder what happened to those plums”(Sinclaire 1). which i think proves that the poem is simply an apology for eating some plums.5- This Is Just To Say In William Carlos, William’s poem “ This is just to say” offers itself a note left by the poet to his beloved wife. The speaker states, “ and which you were probably saving for breakfast.” The writer assumes that his wife was saving the plums ‘for breakfast. Williams desires to have his poetry be embedded into reality, with strong images, and Even though the poet’s subject is straightforward with a short poem, this poem still has poetic devices and expression. One scholar argues that “ the poet has merely stolen the plums his wife was probably “saving for breakfast,” but as several of Williams critics have implied, the subtext of the poem of long half-confessed adulteries.”(49) Williams’s poem is filled with desire as he apologizes for eating the plums, and he asks his wife for forgives as he engages in his craving6-In the poem “Metaphors” by Sylvia Plath, a series of metaphors and imagery takes the reader through the nine months of pregnancy through the eyes of a woman as she describes how she viewers herself. Karen Alkalay-Gut views the poem not only as describing pregnancy itself, but the monthly progression the body has when she says that “A line-by-line reading of the poem reveals the development of carefully chosen and arranged metaphors” (190). This analysis proved interesting to me as I had not initially come to that conclusion and it further supports the importance of the number nine throughout the poem. The images created are both common and obscure as they range from “An elephant” to “A melon strolling on two tendrils” (Plath 2, 3). Then, instead of focusing on what happens to just the body physically during the pregnancy, the mental state and future is brought into question as the poem ends with “Boarded the train there’s no getting off” (Plath 9). This thought provoking line leaves the reader with what Alkalay-Gut describes as a feeling of “sheer helplessness” (191).

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