• Below is a link to a free PDF of How to Read Literature Like a Professor.
    Study Guide 
    great website to understand Hamlet better: http://www.pathguy.com/hamlet.htm
    Lecture sites that may be helpful from Dr. Tim McGee:

    AP, Intro to Shakespeare:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/ZWSGY6hgd8E Schooltube:http://www.schooltube.com/video/7cb5bbdb73fc46a7afe8/AP,%20Intro%20to%20Shakespeare


    AP, Hamlet 1:1:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/f-760fdkm24

     Schooltube: http://www.schooltube.com/video/1b919b978d124ebd9b8e/AP,%20Hamlet%201,1


    AP, Hamlet 1:2, Part 1, A:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/U0eFF3qb2yM



    AP, Hamlet 1:2, Part 1, B:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/I0vslV1hpyk


    AP, Hamlet 1:2, Part 2:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/cCO1N7CyVsk



    AP, Hamlet 1: 3-5:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/ahqNmvMhN08

     Schooltube: http://www.schooltube.com/video/6e3c9efd911244f3a90c/AP,%20Hamlet%201,%203-5


    AP, Hamlet 2, Part 1:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/SEv-fXI-AZw



    AP, Hamlet 2, Part 2:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/LuS14zimQV0

     Schooltube: http://www.schooltube.com/video/7eed0bef9bb241c0aa52/AP,%20Hamlet%202,%20Part%202


    AP, Hamlet 3, Part 1:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/tzFbgT4hd50



    AP, Hamlet 3, Part 2:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/jetnkkmC3v8



    AP, Hamlet 3, Part 3, A:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/1ChasPYXWA4




    AP, Hamlet 3, Part 3, B:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/W1SR7G0oJGI



    AP, Hamlet 4:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/o0BZJ0jGj14

     Schooltube: http://www.schooltube.com/video/aeade1cf7f0147cab333/AP,%20Hamlet%204


    AP, Hamlet 5:

     Youtube: http://youtu.be/VlLcU3dn90M

     Schooltube: http://www.schooltube.com/video/05638a22e5e64f0aa1c5/AP,%20Hamlet%205

    Helpful websites to assist you with your college essay(s):






     Wuthering Heights
    *Here is an outstanding website related to Wuthering Heights!  http://http://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/faq.php
    *Great Wuthering Heights website:  http://www.kn.att.com/wired/fil/pages/listwutherinma.html
    *http://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/index.php This is another outstanding site.

     Jane Austin

    Pride and Prejudice
    by Jane Austen
    http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/pptopics.html  ~ a terrific website to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the novel

    Using Literary Reference Center

    in GALILEO






     To search for information…


                            1.             On the Home page of the ELHS website, look on the right side of the page and click                            on GALILEO under Site Shortcuts.


    2.             On the GALILEO homepage, look under #2 and choose Literary Reference Center.


    3.             Type in your search term and click the search button. If you want to limit your search, use the tabs at the top or use the Advanced Search.





    To save, print, or email your information…


    4.             Use the icons at the top right of the Literary Reference Center webpage. You will be           able to Print, E-mail, Save, or Add this article to your GALILEO folder. 


    5.             To create a citation in the correct format, click Print and choose MLA under       “Citation Format.”  When the print screen appears, copy and paste this into a      Word document (unless you want to print the citation immediately).




    To use GALILEO from home:


                            Go to the ELHS webpage @ schoolwires.henry.k12.ga.us/elhs


                            OR go straight to GALILEO @ www.galileo.usg.edu




    King Lear
    This is a really helpful link.
    Heart of Darkness study guide
    This site is a great one for polishing up your sentences.
    #3 AP open-ended questions
    (This site includes 2009!)

    Folks, this is a wonderful site with a list of words that assists clarity and a list that inhibits clarity. 

    vocabulary for Crime and Punishment

    tpcastt chart for poetry analysis

    ~~ Critical Approaches to Literature ~~


    "It's inevitable that people will ponder, discuss, and analyze the works of art that interest them."
    X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia,
    Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama

    Standard critical thinking tools, so useful elsewhere, are readily adaptable to the study of literature. It's possible to analyze, question, interpret, synthesize, and evaluate the literary works you read in the course of pondering, analyzing and discussing them. Literary criticism is the field of study which systematizes this sort of activity, and several critical approaches to literature are possible. Some of the more popular ones, along with their basic tenants, are listed below:


    1. Literature is a form of knowledge with intrinsic elements--style, structure, imagery, tone, genre.
    2. What gives a literary work status as art, or as a great work of art, is how all of its elements work together to create the reader's total experience (thought, feeling, gut reactions, etc.)
    3. The appreciation of literature as an art requires close reading--a careful, step-by-step analysis and explication of the text (the language of the work). An analysis may follow from questions like, how do various elements work together to shape the effect on the reader?
    4. Style and theme influence eachother and can't be separated if meaning is to be retained. It's this interdependence in form and content that makes a text "literary." "Extracting" elements in isolation (theme, character, ploy, setting, etc.) may destroy a reader's aesthetic experience of the whole.
    5. Formalist critics don't deny the historical, political situation of a work, they just believe works of art have the power to transcend by being "organic wholes"--akin to a being with a life of its own.
    6. Formalist criticism is evaluative in that it differentiates great works of art from poor works of art. Other kinds of criticism don't necessarily concern themselves with this distinction.
    7. Formalist criticism is decidedly a "scientific" approach to literary analysis, focusing on "facts amenable to "verification" (evidence in the text).


    1. Real life experience can help shape (either directly or indirectly) an author's work.
    2. Understanding an author's life can help us better understand the work.
    3. Facts from the author's life are used to help the reader better understand the work; the focus is always on the literary work under investigation.


    1. Historical criticism investigates the social, cultural, and intellectual context that produced it. This investigation includes the author's biography and the social milieu.
    2. Historical criticism often seeks to understand the impact of a work in its day, and it may also explore how meanings change over time.
    3. Historical criticism expolores how time and place of creation affect meaning in the work.


    1. These critics hold the belief that great literature truthfully reflects life and is a realistic representation of human motivation and behavior.
    2. Psychological critics may choose to focus on the creative process of the artist, the artist's motivation or behavior, or analyze fictional characters' motivations and behaviors.


    1. Mythological criticism studies recurrent universal patterns underlying most literary works (for example, "the hero's journey").
    2. It combines insights from a variety of academic disciplines--anthropology, psychology, history, comparative religion...it concerns itself with demonstrating how the individual imagination shares a common humanity by identifying common symbols, images, plots, etc.
    3. Mythological critics identify "archetypes" (symbols, characters, situations, or images evoking a universal response).


    1. These critics examine literature in its cultural, economic, and political context; they explore the relation between the artist and the soceity--how might the profession of authorship have affected what's been written?
    2. It is concerned with the social content of literary works, pursuing such questions as: What cultural, economic or political values does the text implicitly or explicitly promote? What is the role of the audience in shaping what's been written?
    3. Marxist critics assume that all art is political.
    4. Marxist critics judge a work's "ideology"--giving rise to such terms as "political correctness."


    1. This type of criticism attempts to describe the internal workings of the reader's mental processes. it recognizes reading as a creative act, a creative process.
    2. No text is self-contained, independent of a reader's interpretive design.
    3. The plurality of readings possible are all explored. Critics study how different readers see the same text differently, and how religious, cultural, and social values affect readings.
    4. Instead of focusing only on the values embedded in the text, this type of criticism studies the values embedded in the reader. Intersections between the two are explored.


    1. Deconstructive critics believe that language doesn't accurately reflect reality because it's an unstable medium; literary texts therefore have no stable meaning.
    2. Deconstructive criticism resembles formalist criticism in its close attention to the text, its close analysis of individual words and images. There the similarity ends, because their aims are in fact opposite. Whereas formalist criticism is interested in "aesthetic wholes" or constructs, deconstructionists aim to demonstrate irreconcilable positions--they destruct (or deconstruct)--by proving the instability of language, its inability to express anything definite.



    This is a great site with a number of writing opportunities that feature $ rewards.
    This is a great resource for literary terms.
    MLA resource
    MLA resource (easy to follow)
    MLA resource
    websites for the English classroom--very thorough
    This site is a terrific guide to reading a passage closely...very worthwhile.

    Steps for Close Reading or Explication de texte:

    Patterns, polarities, problems, paradigm, puzzles, perception

    An explication de texte (cf. Latin explicare, to unfold, to fold out, or to make clear the meaning of) is a finely detailed, very specific examination of a short poem or short selected passage from a longer work, in order to find the focus or design of the work, either in its entirety in the case of the shorter poem or, in the case of the selected passage, the meaning of the microcosm, containing or signaling the meaning of the macrocosm (the longer work of which it is a part). To this end "close" reading calls attention to all dynamic tensions, polarities, or problems in the imagery, style, literal content, diction, etc. By examining and thinking about opening up the way the poem or work is perceived, writers establish a central pattern, a design that orders the narrative and that will, in turn, order the organization of any essay about the work. Coleridge knew about this method when he referred to the "germ" of a work of literature (see Biographia Literaria). Very often, the language creates a visual dynamic as well as verbal coherence.

    Close Reading or Explication de texte operates on the premise that literature, as artifice, will be more fully understood and appreciated to the extent that the nature and interrelations of its parts are perceived, and that that understanding will take the form of insight into the theme of the work in question. This kind of work must be done before you can begin to appropriate any theoretical or specific literary approach. Follow these instructions so you don't follow what Mrs. Arable says about the magical web of Charlotte's in Charlotte's Web, "I don't understand it, and I don't like what I don't understand."

    Follow these steps before you begin writing. These are pre-writing steps, procedures to follow, questions to consider before you commence actual writing. Remember that the knowledge you gain from completing each of the steps is cumulative. There may be some information that overlaps, but do not take shortcuts. In selecting one passage from a short story, poem, or novel, limit your selection to a short paragraph (4-5 sentences), but certainly no more than one paragraph. When one passage, scene, or chapter of a larger work is the subject for explication, that explication will show how its focused-upon subject serves as a macrocosm of the entire work—a means of finding in a small sample patterns which fit the whole work.

    If you follow these 12 steps to literary awareness, you will find a new and exciting world. Do not be concerned if you do not have all the answers to the questions in this section. Keep asking questions; keep your intellectual eyes open to new possibilities.

    1. Figurative Language. Examine the passage carefully for similes, images, metaphors, and symbols. Identify any and all. List implications and suggested meanings as well as denotations. What visual insights does each word give? Look for mutiple meanings and overlapping of meaning. Look for repetitions, for oppositions. See also the etymology of each word because you may find that the word you think you are familiar with is actually dependent upon a metaphoric concept. Consider how each word or group of words suggests a pattern and/or points to an abstraction (e.g., time, space, love, soul, death). Can you visualize the metaphoric world? Are there spatial dimensions to the language?


    2. Diction. This section is closely connected with the section above. Diction, with its emphasis on words, provides the crux of the explication. Mark all verbs in the passage, mark or list all nouns, all adjectives, all adverbs etc. At this point it is advisable that you type out the passage on a separate sheet to differentiate each grammatical type. Examine each grouping. Look up as many words as you can in a good dictionary, even if you think that you know the meaning of the word. The dictionary will illuminate new connotations and new denotations of a word. Look at all the meanings of the key words. Look up the etymology of the words. How have they changed? The words will begin to take on multistable meanings. Be careful to always check back to the text, keeping meaning contextually sound. Do not assume you know the depth or complexity of meaning at first glance. Rely on the dictionary, particularly the Oxford English Dictionary. Can you establish a word web of contrastive and parallel words? Do dictionary meanings establish any new dynamic associations with other words? What is the etymology of these words? Develop and question the metaphoric, spatial sense of the words. Can you see what the metaphoric words are suggesting?


    3. Literal content: this should be done as succinctly as possible. Briefly describe the sketetal contents of the passage in one or two sentences. Answer the journalist's questions (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) in order to establish character/s, plot, and setting as it relates to this passage. What is the context for this passage?


    4. Structure. Divide the passage into the more obvious sections (stages of argument, discussion, or action). What is the interrelation of these units? How do they develop? Again, what can you postulate regarding a controlling design for the work at this point? If the work is a poem, identify the poetic structure and note the variations within that structure. In order to fully understand "Scorn Not the Sonnet," you must be knowledgeable about the sonnet as a form. What is free verse? Is this free verse or blank verse? What is the significance of such a form? Does the form contribute to the meaning? How does the theatrical structure of Childress's young adult novel, A Hero Ain't Nothin' But a Sandwich, enhance the narrative?


    5. Style. Look for any significant aspects of style—parallel constructions, antithesis, etc. Look for patterns, polarities, and problems. Periodic sentences, clause structures? Polysyndeton etc.? And reexamine all postulates, adding any new ones that occur to you. Look for alliteration, internal rhymes and other such poetic devices which are often used in prose as well as in poetry. A caesura? Enjambment? Anaphora? Polysyndeton? You need to look closely here for meanings that are connected to these rhyme schemes.


    6. Characterization. What insight does this passage now give into specific characters as they develop through the work? Is there a persona in this passage? Any allusions to other literary characters? To other literary works that might suggest a perspective. Look for a pattern of metaphoric language to give added insight into their motives and feelings which are not verbalized. You should now be firming up the few most important encompassing postulates for the governing design of the work, for some overriding themes or conflicts.


    7. Tone. What is the tone of the passage? How does it elucidate the entire passage? Is the tone one of irony? Sentimental? Serious? Humorous? Ironic?


    8. Assessment. This step is not to suggest a reduction; rather, an "close reading" or explication should enable you to problematize and expand your understanding of the text. Ask what insight the passage gives into the work as a whole. How does it relate to themes, ideas, larger actions in other parts of the work? Make sure that your hypothesis regarding the theme(s) of the work is contextually sound. What does it suggest as the polarity of the whole piece?


    9. Context: If your text is part of a larger whole, make brief reference to its position in the whole; if it is a short work, say, a poem, refer it to other works in its author's canon, perhaps chronologically, but also thematically. Do this expeditiously.


    10. Texture: This term refers to all those features of a work of literature which contribute to its meaning or signification, as distinguished from that signification itself: its structure, including features of grammar, syntax, diction, rhythm, and (for poems, and to some extent) prosody; its imagery, that is, all language which appeals to the senses; and its figuration, better known as similes, metaphors, and other verbal motifs.


    11. Theme: A theme is not to be confused with thesis; the theme or more properly themes of a work of literature is its broadest, most pervasive concern, and it is contained in a complex combination of elements. In contrast to a thesis, which is usually expressed in a single, arugumentative, declarative sentence and is characteristic of expository prose rather than creative literature, a theme is not a statement; rather, it often is expressed in a single word or a phrase, such as "love," "illusion versus reality," or "the tyranny of circumstance." Generally, the theme of a work is never "right" or "wrong." There can be virtually as many themes as there are readers, for essentially the concept of theme refers to the emotion and insight which results from the experience of reading a work of literature. As with many things, however, such an experience can be profound or trivial, coherent or giddy; and discussions of a work and its theme can be correspondingly worthwhile and convincing, or not. Everything depends on how well you present and support your ideas. Everything you say about the theme must be supported by the brief quotations from the text. Your argument and proof must be convincing. And that, finally, is what explication is about: marshaling the elements of a work of literature in such a way as to be convincing. Your approach must adhere to the elements of ideas, concepts, and language inherent in the work itself. Remember to avoid phrases and thinking which are expressed in the statement, "what I got out of it was. . . ."


    12. Thesis: An explication should most definitely have a thesis statement. Do not try to write your thesis until you have finished all 12 steps. The thesis should take the form, of course, of an assertion about the meaning and function of the text which is your subject. It must be something which you can argue for and prove in your essay.

    Conclusion. Now, and only now are you ready to begin your actual writing. If you find that what you had thought might be the theme of the work, and it doesn't "fit," you must then go back to step one and start over. This is a trial and error exercise. You learn by doing. Finally, the explication de texte should be a means to see the complexities and ambiguities in a given work of literature, not for finding solutions and/or didactic truisms.

    This is an interesting, informative powerpoint.
    Major Works page 1          These are the pages you'll use to complete the Major Works
                                                       Data Sheet for Heart of Darkness.
    My dearest, darling daughter provided this website for you to watch the film for free on your computer.  Keep thinking: where is the heart of darkness? 
    http://www.chompchomp.com/menu.htm  Grammar Bites!  I think you'll find this a helpful grammar/ punctuation site.
    Shakespearean Concordance
    This site provides an interview with Eudora Welty about "A Worn Path," which is terrifically interesting and illuminating.

    *Here's a very interesting NY Times Q and A column with college admissions officers: http://questions.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/17/qa-college-admissions/?hp

    Color Symbolism Chart


    Excitement, energy, passion, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, aggression, all things intense and passionate.


    Joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard.


    Peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, depression, appetite suppressant.


    Energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, demanding of attention.


    Nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.


    Royalty, spirituality, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning.


    Security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, maturity, solid, conservative, practical, old age, sadness, boring


    Earth, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity, and comfort.


    Reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile.


    Power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger, underground, good technical color, mourning, death (Western cultures).