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English Department Work of the Week

Year 7

Wow! Aaminah Patel has written an outstanding story!

The Flying Ship.

The shimmering amber sky was enveloped with a large, darkened delineation which was hovering above the horizon, sending rays of sunlight bouncing off windows and metallic, glimmering droplets of rain skimming above rooftops. The curious girl was mesmerised by this immense shape looming ahead of her, and silently watched as it edged closer towards the place she was stood at.

The flying object (which took the outline of a melodious, unusual cloud), started to form the shape of a flying ship that was zooming right towards the little girl. Her curiosity took her to the now-landing vessel, and as she gaped in wonder, a figure travelled out of the open hatch. He was an old, frail man, who had emerald green eyes that glinted in the light, and a thick belt wrapped around his waist. He neither walked towards the village, nor told the girl why he had come. The figure carefully raised a shivering hand, wrapped it around his tool belt, and started working on the flying ship’s hull. This hammering continued in a slow, rhythmic beat until the orange and pale yellow sunset died down, and a starry night befell.

Suddenly, a hole miraculously appeared in the ground before the girl, and she feverishly peered inside of it. When the man had finished working, he stumbled and gently leant forward, his head back, and spat into the hole, the silvery tint of his saliva illuminating the surrounding soil in the light of the moon. Aghast, the girl stood still, watching in bewilderment. Not a minute went by, not a moment, before the girl could take her eyes away from this unraveling scene in inquisitiveness. Meticulously, after he had cleaned the ship until it had such a pearly and reflective texture, The man prepared everything he needed, and blissfully went inside the flying ship.

The girl had not yet the slightest idea of what had just occurred. As the vessel’s engine roared, it’s luminescent shadow covering the crystalised surface of the sea as if it were a blanket, it lifted off and amazingly soared through the sky once more. The array of pink and cobalt coloured clouds began to calmly float ahead of this extraordinary vessel, as if they were assisting it by trying to blur out what had just happened from History. The lonely girl was left on the wooden platform, gazing at the sky, astonished at what she had just witnessed or wondering whether it was all an abnormal hallucination.

 

Year 8

Here is a fantastic summary of Macbeth by Madiha Patel, click here to view it.

 

Year 9

Khadijah Patel has written a brilliant poem on Othello, click here to view it!

 

Year 10

Here is a fantastic poetry analysis by Farid Patel.

As Imperceptibly as Grief  

Although As Imperceptibly as Grief gives the impression it is about sadness, the poem contradicts this idea when we learn about the way ‘summer makes [her] light escape into the Beautiful’ at the end of the poem. The theme of time is important because the more that time passes she sees that light (hope) in life and that life is worth living whereas in the beginning she feels like she has been encapsulated by darkness.

Immediately, Dickinson talks about ‘grief’ as she has witnessed many of her friends pass away. This would have had a severe impact on her as she never got married and her friends were basically her family. The abstract noun ‘grief’ portrays death and sadness. She later on uses the metaphor of ‘summer’ to portray grief. This juxtaposes to the normal connotations of grief of happiness,joy and light. This highlights the unsatisfactory nature of life straight after she uses the verb ‘lapsed’ in a melancholic tone to show that life is a cycle just like how the seasons are in a cycle. Furthermore, she comments on how the passing of ‘Summer’ cannot be described as ‘Perfidy’ due to how subtle the change was, linking back to the passing of time. 

Moreover,  Dickinson presents the theme of time through the dashes. The dashes were all attached with words to do with time and going away such as ‘away’, ‘afternoon’, ‘earlier in’. I thought that the dashes could also represent where she had been disturbed as she was writing in secret because she needed the permission of her father to write. It could also be used to create a hesitant and disjoint pace to the poem. This reflects her mind and how fragile and fractured her state of mind.

Finally, Dickinson presents the theme of time through her ,‘sequestered afternoons’ as ,’dusk drew earlier in’. The noun dusk suggests that she is being encapsulated by darkness and that it is imminent just like ‘dusk’ it always happens everyday. As summer ends and the days come, ’earlier in’ shows how her happiness is dissipating more and more day by day. By the end Dickinson portrays the passing of time, as by the end she is relaxed and peaceful as ‘her light escape[d] into the beautiful’. This shows that she has ‘escaped’ the imminent ‘dusk and that she is relaxed and peaceful. 

In conclusion, Dickinson presents the theme of time in many different ways in the words and the structure of the poem. I think that Dickinson’s intention is to show the passing of time and how her views on life have changed. She also wanted to show her brother’s betrayal as it had a huge impact on her.

 

Year 11

Asiya Patel has written a brilliant essay on the theme of love in Romeo and Juliet.

How does Shakespeare present love in the play?

Immediately, Shakespeare explicitly portrays Romeo as depressed and melancholic, he is seen to be rejected by Rosaline in the play and he takes this personally, he shouts ‘o brawling love, o loving hate’, the oxymoron used here highlights the idea of unrequited love, Romeo is so indulged in the aspect of relationships that he is dismayed and stunned that such a women can refuse him. A contemporary audience would feel irritated with the male protagonist as he is portrayed to be a cocky character. Moreover, Shakespeare presents love in the play through a myriad of relationships. Paris asks Lord Capulet for Juliet’s hand in marriage, however Juliet’s father is negotiating this marriage as if it is some sort of business deal. He asks Paris to ‘let two summers wither’ as Juliet is ‘yet a stranger in the world’, the noun ‘stranger’ conveys Juliet’s innocence as she is naive and not yet matured. From a perspective point of view, we can see that Shakespeare uses the noun ‘stranger’ to subtly hint at a distant relationship between Juleit and Lord Capulet. Shakespeare’s intentions here was to show that Lord Capulet didn’t ask for Juliet’s opinion on her own marriage and he chose the decision for her, further reinforcing the idea that it was a male dominating society. Whilst analysing through a fmeinist lens we can see that contemporary audiences would feel repulsed and disgusted that the male members of the households were to plan out their daughter’s lives because they are now living in a society where women have their own rights.

Furthermore, in Act 2, love is presented through Romeo as he expresses his feelings for Juliet, he is almost hypnotised by her beauty, Shakespeare uses the personification of the ‘two fairest stars in all the heaven’ to represent their relationship. He uses symbolism of the ‘stars’ to represent peace, happiness and fate foreshadowing the end of an ‘ancient grudge’ as this relationship ends all ‘misery’ and brings solidarity in society. However, Shakespeare contradicts the idea of Romeo’s feelings to be genuine as he explains his feelings to be the ‘brightness of her cheek’ that ‘would shame those stars’, Romeo is almost portrayed to be drunk on Juliet’s appearance as Shakespeare elucidates the impression that Romeo’s subconscious has created the idea of a perfect women because he loses a sense of reality. He lets his imagination let loose as he chooses to explore his love for Juliet through the idea of the male gaze. A contemporary audience would feel conflicted on whether to feel joyous or infuriated with the concept of their relationship as it is built on a social construct. From an alternative point of view, audiences may feel a sense of melancholy towards Romeo and Juliet’s feelings towards one another as they both have been neglected by their parents and have not been taught what a healthy, loving relationship is like. They believe that in order to build a relationship attraction is the foundation and main priority of it.

Later on in the play, love is presented in Act 3 as overpowering, Shakespeare shows the power of love as so strong it could break ‘ancient feuds’, soon after Romeo and Juliet just got married Tybalt, Mercutio and Romeo have a brawl, Romeo feels as though his loyalty lies elsewhere as he tries to make amends with Tybalt as he ‘love thee more than thou canst devise’, although Tybalt’s feels offended and takes this as an insult, Mercutio nonetheless reacts the same. He feels as though Romeo has betrayed him so he wishes a ‘plague upon both your houses’. The use of the exaggerated metaphor ‘plague’ portrays how vexed he is feeling and so symbolically seeks revenge because the feud had led to his death. Shakespeare uses the noun ‘plague’ to demonstrate how much collateral damage has been done, the ‘feud’ has led to a death which foreshadows many more deaths yet to come. He presents love through Mercutio and Romeo here to teach the audience that battles could break more ties than expected. The audience would feel flabbergasted that so much damage has been done over the span of a few days.

Following this, in Act 4, Capulet insults Juliet by calling her a ‘peevish self-willed harlotry’ because she refuses Paris’ proposal, the word ‘self-willed’ highlights how Capulet thinks that Juliet is disobedient and self centered as he finds her rejection as an insult. A Shakespearean audience would feel infuriated with Juliet as she went against her father’s will. However, a few scenes later, Juliet takes a potion to fall asleep to trick everyone that she is dead so she can run away with Romeo. As soon as the potion makes her unconscious Lady Capulet feels broken and astonished as she shouts ‘My child, my only life’, from a perspective point of view the repetition of ‘my’ exemplifies how Lady Capulet had objectified Juliet as she played a role to be seen as the perfect mother in society. Likewise, Lord Capulet cries that his ‘joys are buried’ this is ironic as his feelings for Juliet are completely juxtaposed to Act 4 scene 2 when he was insulting her. A contemporary audience would feel enraged that they acted as if Juliet was their only ‘joy’ when they didn’t even maintain a relationship with her.

Lastly, in act 5, Romeo did not receive the message that Juliet was sleeping and so thought she died, he feels heart-broken and helpless and so cries ‘I defy you stars’, he feels as though fate has cursed him and tries to outsmart his destiny. He feels drained and useless because he can’t grieve Juliet’s death and so makes the executive decision to say his last words ‘here’s to my love’ and kills himself. Shortly after, Juliet wakes up and cant bear to live another second without Romeo so she says ‘o happy dagger’ and takes it upon her self to commit suicide. Shakespeare uses the oxymoron to symbolise that their love for each other is built on hatred due to the ‘grudge’ both households have. A contemporary audience would feel perplexed at the sudden deaths and may feel like Romeo and Juliet exaggerated this matter and didn’t take time to process what had happened and so acted out of love irrationally. From a perspective point of view Romeo had felt distraught upon seeing Juliet dead, as he was to run away with Juliet because he was banished. He didn’t have anyone to run away with and so felt alone and so couldn’t bear living the rest of his life in solitude. So Juliet was his only excuse to kill himself. Shakespeare reinforces this analysis through the idea of love, he shows that love can be the highlight of your life and can also be the downfall.

Romeo and Juliet had a toxic relationship, everyone hated the idea of them being together however they filled each other’s life with only happiness. I feel as though their relationship was rushed and only built on lust as they never got the chance to build a healthy relationship with another. Shakespeare presented their love in this way perhaps to teach audiences that there is always an alternative motive.

 

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