Heaney on Homer

“When the bard Demodocus sings of the fall of Troy and of the slaughter that accompanied it, Odysseus weeps and Homer says that his tears were like the tears of a wife on a battlefield weeping for the death of a fallen husband. His epic simile continues:

At the sight of the man panting and […]

Y12 HL: first post

Please write one paragraph of an essay that responds to this question:

In Books I-IV of The Odyssey, how does Homer show us that Telemakhos is changing from a boy to a man?

You may discover three or four ways in which Homer does this; I want you to write about only one of them. […]

Was George Orwell anti-Semitic?

Those interested in this question, which arises in light of some of Orwell’s remarks about Jews in ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ and other pieces he wrote earlier in his life, should have a look at these links:

1. Orwell’s essay on anti-Semitism in Britain: http://orwell.ru/library/articles/antisemitism/english/e_antib

2. DJ Taylor writing in The Guardian: […]

Toni Morrison interview


Do you write to figure out exactly how you feel about a subject?


No, I know how I feel. My feelings are the result of prejudices and convictions like everybody else’s. But I am interested in the complexity, the vulnerability of an idea. It is not “this is what […]

Y12: IO topics for ‘Ghosts’

Michelle: Ibsen’s life Sabrina: Ibsen’s other works; his influence on later writers Linus: The public response to Ghosts when it was first performed, and later Venus: Paris in the 1860s and 70s: Emile Zola, La traviata, Cora Pearl, the can-can, etc. Jarand: Victorian morality and bourgeois culture Tal: 19th-century French literature: Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism […]

Essays about ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’

Year 13s: These essays are in your Norton Critical Edition of Tess. Over the Christmas holiday you should read as many of them as you can. They will help you to understand the novel, expand your background knowledge, and teach you about good writing, deep analysis, and detailed references to the text.

Lionel Johnson, ‘The […]

Y12 ‘Antigone’ interactive oral topics

Tal: Tragedy Linus: ‘Blood guilt’ and the exposure of unwanted babies Sabrina: Relations between men and women / the status of women in Ancient Greece Brad: Burial rituals in Ancient Greece Jarand: The historical influence of ‘Antigone’

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Sir Thomas More on education, poverty, and crime

For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.

—Thomas More, ‘Utopia’


Murakami & Hamlet

From the Wall Street Journal:

In his essay, Mr. Murakami mentioned his novel The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. The surreal plot focuses on a bloody battle between Japanese soldiers and Mongolian and Russian forces over a barren stretch of the Outer Mongolian desert. Mr. Murakami wrote that he went to visit the site of the former […]

Paraphrase plus comments ≠ analysis!!

Paraphrase plus comments ≠ analysis!!

Paraphrase plus comments ≠ analysis!!

Paraphrase plus comments ≠ analysis!!

Paraphrase plus comments ≠ analysis!!

Paraphrase plus comments ≠ analysis!!

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Scientists Use Thoreau’s Journal Notes to Track Climate Change

Researchers use “Walden” author’s tables of flowering dates in 1840s Massachusetts to show temperature has risen 2.4 C.

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Personal responses & comments, not plot summaries, please

Hi everyone,

In your Joy Luck Club posts, please don’t simply summarize the plot: give your personal response to the chapters.

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Cardinal virtues, Christian virtues

From Wikipedia:

In Christian tradition there are 4 cardinal virtues:

Prudence – able to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time Justice – proper moderation between self-interest and the rights and needs of others Restraint or Temperance – practicing self-control, abstention, and moderation Courage or Fortitude – forbearance, endurance, and […]

3rd post: What did you learn about poetry this week?

Write it down before you forget it all . . . ;^).

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Welcome to IB English A Literature!

I am looking forward to this first year of the IB programme at Dulwich, and the first year of the IB’s newly revised English A Literature course. I hope you are, too!

Most of the writing you do in the course—apart from final assessments—will be posted on this blog, giving you the chance to practice […]


The evidence for your argument consists of details from the text. If you do not refer to details from the text, then your argument will lack supporting evidence and will fail to persuade anyone.

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