Unit 2 Discussion

Reply to 2 writing prompts.  Each response should be 100-125 each for a total of 200-250 words.  Write the number you are responding to…no need to rewrite the prompt.

1.  A haiku is a poem of seventeen syllables in three lines, ordered five, seven, and five syllables consecutively, “in which the writer captures an incisive thought or an image derived from direct observation of nature, but in words that ordinary language cannot match.” Compose your own haiku about something important to you, then read haiku and discuss in what ways these poems form a cultural history of your time and place, or of the kinds of things that are important to the class overall.  
2.  Today, the self-portrait is most frequently created in the form of “selfies.” Consider Rembrandt’s use of lighting, body position, and facial expression in his Self-Portrait. What careful selections and decisions has he made? Which of these same decisions are you concerned with when you compose a selfie?
3.  Listen to Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”.  Which of the basic elements of music, described in the first section of chapter 6, can you identify in this piece? Which ones seem most important to your listening experience?  Would you describe “Clair de Lune” as Apollonian or Dionysian? How would you characterize these terms as applied to music?  Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” belongs to a musical school known as Impressionism. How would you describe the similarities and differences between Impressionism as an artistic movement and as a movement in music?
4.  According to Aristotle, the Greeks conceived of tragedy as the fall of a great and generally good person, such as Oedipus or Antigone. Twentieth-century playwrights such as Arthur Miller reconceived tragedy as the fall of the common man, with Miller going so far as to show that commonness in a protagonist’s name: Willy Loman (“low-man”). Choose a popular and tragic play, film, or even public figure of recent years. Does the fate of this character or actual person show that we value the “Greek” ideal or the twentieth-century one?
5.  The theory behind both musicals and operas is that “music enhances dramatic impact.” From your own store of stage or film knowledge, describe a theatrical scene where music is being used deliberately to make a moment more emotionally effective. What happens in that moment and how does the music enhance your response to it?
6.  Chapter 9 focuses on works that are considered film classics. Recommend your own “classic” film and briefly justify your recommendation. Feel free to use the chapter’s questions for “Critical Viewing” where applicable.

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