Major Spratt English Class Update
Major Spratt’s English 4 classes are reading and writing about the grand era of the Renaissance, especially the works of pioneering poets of the English sonnet (including Queen Elizabeth I herself). Sonnets (“little songs” in Italian) traditionally engage the themes of forsaken love, rejection, the passing of time, or some kind of major loss--the loss of a friend or of one’s youth. Consisting of fourteen lines, the sonnet’s first eight lines set up the inner conflict which the speaker is struggling with , and the last six lines convey the speaker having at some level resolved or come to terms with the issue. In the England of King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I, nobles at court were expected to be entertaining, multi-talented, and poetic. Writing sonnets had by then become popular, especially if you wanted to impress your friends or to score points with a potential mate. Because it’s poetry--a form of writing meant to be spoken and heard--we’re taking turns reading the poems out loud in class to better understand and appreciate the English language as a medium for not only clear but artistic expression. We’ll conclude with a few sonnets by William Shakespeare before we read and watch his play The Tragedy of Macbeth in January.