Saturday, 31 August 2013



Yesterday Seamus Heaney, the Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet,  died in hospital in  Dublin  after a short illness.
Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht  Jimmy Deenihan said Mr Heaney  "was a huge figure internationally, just a great ambassador for literature obviously but also for Ireland".  Here you can read the whole article.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


Craig Ashley David  is an English singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 1999 featuring on the single Re-Rewind by Artful Dodger. David's debut album, Born to Do It, was released on 14 August 2000, after which he has since released five further studio albums and worked with a variety of artists such as  Kano and Sting.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Immagine correlata

Love's Labour's Lost  is one of  Shakespeare's romance comedies, believed to have been written in the mid-1590s, making it contemporaneous with Romeo and Juliet and  A Midsummer Night's Dream. It  was first published in 1598. The title page states that the play was "Newly corrected and augmented by W. Shakespere," which has suggested to some scholars a revision of an earlier version. The play next appeared in print in the First Folio in 1623. The earliest recorded performance of the play occurred at Christmas time in 1597 at Court before Queen Elizabeth.
Love's Labour's Lost  is one of those plays which seem difficult on the page (all dense wordplay, leaping from one literary level to another), but work marvellously on stage. It was one of Shakespeare's first attempts to blend romantic comedy with farce and to import the style of each into the other.  The play concerns the subject of love, includes lots of rhetoric and witty exchanges by the characters, and has a happy ending, although it does not end with a marriage.

Monday, 26 August 2013


Reported speech refers to a sentence reporting what someone has said.  It is almost always used in spoken English.
In reported speech the tenses, word-order and pronouns may be different from those in the original sentence.

If simple present, present perfect or the future is used in the reporting verb (i.e. says) the tense is retained. Look at these example sentences:

For example:
He says the test is difficult.
She has said that she watches TV every day.
Jack will say that he comes to school every day.

If the reporting verb (i.e. said) is in the past, the reported clause will be in a past form. This form is usually one step back into the past from the original. Look at these example sentences:

For example:
He said the test was difficult.
She said she watched TV every day.
Jack said he came to school every day.

Sunday, 25 August 2013


"In her novels, Jane Austen brilliantly portrayed the lives of the middle and upper classes, but barely mentioned the cast of characters who constituted the bulk of the population," Roy and Lesley Adkins write in their book, Jane Austen's England.
The authors offer a detailed analysis of early 19th-century England, producing an  enlightening textbook of the life of both rich privileged and poor ordinary people who were the background in all of Jane Austen's books.

Without a doubt  Jane Austen wrote superb stories of the middle and upper class society set during the Regency  (here you can find an overview of that 
period), yet this book depicts the world which surrounded her during forty-one years of life. With the aid of diaries, newspaper articles, legal documents, memoirs and histories, it describes Jane Austen and her life,  but what's more it concentrates on the everyday lives of the middle and lower classes, who comprised three-quarters of the British population, including the great novelist herself.

Here you can read a newspaper article about Roy and Lesley Adkins' book. 

Monday, 19 August 2013


Risultati immagini per othello

I pray you, in your letters,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
Nor set down aught in malice: then, must you speak
Of one that lov'd not wisely but too well;
Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,
Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
Richer than all his tribe. 
Othello, Act V, scene ii

Here you can find a detailed analysis of Othello, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. Written around 1603, the play tells the story of a powerful general of the Venetian army, Othello, whose life and marriage are ruined by a manipulative, deceitful, and envious soldier, Iago.
Othello is perhaps the most famous literary exploration of the corruptive powers of jealousy and suspicion.  At the same time, it is among the earliest literary works dealing with race and racism. Othello, heroic even if eventually flawed, is the most important black protagonist in early Western literature. Othello faces persistent racism from other characters, in particular when he marries Desdemona, a privileged white woman whose father disapproves of the union.

Friday, 16 August 2013


At 4.24 pm on July 22 a baby was born in London. But not just any baby! This baby boy is a prince and will probably one day be the King of England. 
Here you can read an article about Prince William, his beautiful wife Kate Middleton and their son George Alexander Louis.  And don't forget to do the exercises!

Sunday, 11 August 2013


"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio—a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath bore me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?"
Hamlet, Act V, Scene i

Here you can find a thorough analysis of  Shakespeare's most famous tragedy.

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Here you can read an interesting and informative article about Shakespeare's "dark lady", the seductive and elusive woman who inspired some of his most famous sonnets.

Friday, 9 August 2013


Oliver Twist is perhaps Charles Dickens’s most famous novel. It first appeared in instalments in 1837 and was later published as a book. The novel fictionalises the economic insecurity and humiliation the novelist  himself experienced when he was a boy.
The name Twist, given to the protagonist by accident, represents the disgraceful reversals of fortune that he will experience. Oliver Twist is a poor orphan who is brought up in a workhouse in an inhuman way,  he is underfed and receives no education.  He is later sold to an undertaker as an apprentice, but the cruelty of his new master force him to run away to London.  There he falls into the hands of a nasty gang of young pickpockets led by Fagin, an old Jew who is one of Dickens’s best characterizations.  They force Oliver to help them in their criminal activities. The boy is temporarily rescued by Mr Brownlow, a benevolent gentleman.  Then Oliver is kidnapped by the gang.  After many incidents,  the gang is  eventually caught by the police.  Mr Brownlow adopts Oliver and shows kindness and affection towards him.

Sunday, 4 August 2013


"Respecting a book so original as this, and written with so much power of imagination, it is natural that there should be many opinions. Indeed, its power is so predominant that it is not easy after a hasty reading to analyse one's impressions so as to speak of its merits and demerits with confidence. We have been taken and carried through a new region, a melancholy waste, with here and there patches of beauty; have been brought in contact with fierce passions, with extremes of love and hate, and with sorrow that none but those who have suffered can understand. This has not been accomplished with ease, but with an ill-mannered contempt for the decencies of language, and in a style which might resemble that of a Yorkshire farmer who should have endeavoured to eradicate his provincialism by taking lessons of a London footman. We have had many sad bruises and tumbles in our journey, yet it was interesting, and at length we are safely arrived at a happy conclusion."
The American Whig Review 

"Wuthering Heights is a strange sort of book,—baffling all regular criticism; yet, it is impossible to begin and not finish it; and quite as impossible to lay it aside afterwards and say nothing about. In Wuthering Heights the reader is shocked, disgusted, almost sickened by details of cruelty, inhumanity, and the most diabolical hate and vengeance, and anon come passages of powerful testimony to the supreme power of love — even over demons in the human form. The women in the book are of a strange fiendish-angelic nature, tantalising, and terrible, and the men are indescribable out of the book itself. Yet, towards the close of the story occurs the following pretty, soft picture, which comes like the rainbow after a storm....We strongly recommend all our readers who love novelty to get this story, for we can promise them that they never have read anything like it before. It is very puzzling and very interesting, and if we had space we would willingly devote a little more time to the analysis of this remarkable story, but we must leave it to our readers to decide what sort of book it is."
Douglas Jerrold's Weekly Newspaper 

Thursday, 1 August 2013