Lesson video

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Hey everyone and welcome to lesson to three.

Do you remember during lockdown when you couldn't actually go anywhere and you were forced to stay at home and find things to do to amuse yourself? Well, I was fortunate because I can work in my garden and I started growing things I never tried growing before, like courgette and butternut.

But I can't imagine what it would have been like if I couldn't have gone outside and I couldn't have done things to keep myself amused.

And the reason I was thinking about this is that Elizabeth Barrett-Browning was a little bit like someone stuck in, stuck in lockdown.

So she wasn't very well and she suffered with pain quite a lot.

So she couldn't just go out to amuse herself and all of her energy and her passion, she couldn't spend it physically.

So what she did was she used a lot of that in her writing.

And so her poems are full of deep thinking and deep feeling, because this was the place that you went to to express herself.

And today I'm really excited because in looking at "Sonnet 14" in session three, we get to look at this passion and this power and this language that you used.

So welcome.

It's time to go to write with.

But you also need to make sure that you're not going to be distracted.

So pause the video for about two minutes, get all the equipment you need.

Then also clear away things that might distract you while you're working.

Switch off notifications on your mobile devices.

Just make sure that you're ready to give Elizabeth Barrett-Browning your full attention and then press play when you're ready to go.

And welcome back.

Let's start by reminding ourselves what we already know about Elizabeth Barrett-Browning.

And let's start by reviewing what we know about her life.

On the screen you will see four statements about her life.

Two of them are true and two of them are not.

So what I'd like you to do is on your paper, write the letters, A to D underneath each other and next to each letter, I'd like you to write T if you think this statement is true and F if you think it's false.

Remember two are true and two are not.

So pause the video and have a go and then press play when you are ready to continue.

Now it's time to take your answers.

So you may want to pause the video to just check it first and then press play to resume or we could just continue.

Statement A, Elizabeth Barrett was one of 10 children.

No, no we know that's false because actually she was one of 11 children.

Statement B, Barrett's father was the slave owner.

Yes, that was true.

Statement C, Barret agreed with owning slaves.

No she didn't.

And in fact, she wrote a lot about freedom, which is why statement D is true, that she often wrote about freedom and women's rights.

Now let's recap what we know about "Sonnet 14".

And the first thing we want to think about is of course, those reasons why she was unsure about falling in love.

Now I know that you know this, so I'm going to read the bits that are on the screen and you are going to read or shout out the bits that are not there.

So there was three reasons that Browning was unsure about falling in love.

And the first one was her? Oh well done.

It was her age.

The second reason she was unsure of falling in love was her? Oh no, I didn't hear that one.

Let's go again, come on.

The second reason was her? Well done.

Yes, it was her health.

And the third reason was of course her? Oh yes you know, her beliefs.

And those three reasons left her feeling conflicted about being in love.

So here's your chance to prove that you know this really well.

You're going to finish the three reasons in your book.

So press pause, write out those three reasons, and of course the magic C word at the end, and then press play when you are ready to resume.

Welcome back.

And of course you knew, you knew that the three reasons she was unsure about falling in love were her age, her health and her beliefs, and those three reasons left her feeling conflicted.

So now it's time to have another look at the poem.

Let's read the poem as it appears on the screen.

If that must love me, let it be for nought, except for love sake only.

Do not say I love her for her smile, her look, her way of speaking gently, for a trick of thought that falls in well with mine and certes brought a sense of pleasant ease on such a day.

For these things in themselves, beloved, maybe changed or change for thee.

And love so wrought, may be unwrought so.

Neither love me for thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry.

A creature might forget to weep, who bore thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby! But love me for love's sake, that evermore thou may'st love on, through love's eternity.

Now you might remember that yesterday in lesson two, we looked at how we could find evidence in the poem to support our ideas about those three reasons that Elizabeth Barrett-Browning was unsure about falling in love with Browning.

And we found that when we looked at the poem, we could find evidence to support those ideas.

We found evidence to support the idea that she didn't want him to love her because she was happy, because she smiled because she knew she couldn't be sure of always being happy.

She didn't want him to love her for her look because she knew that looks could change.

And she didn't want him to love her for speaking gently because she knew that she wouldn't always speak gently because she would always speak out for what she believed.

And that was step one of just the looking at the language of the poem.

Today, we're going to dig a little deeper.

We'll begin to start by using a skill called paraphrasing.

Now paraphrasing is when you show that you understand what something means by rephrasing it in your own words.

And a trick of checking, whether or not you really are paraphrasing is you can always start to paraphrase with the words in other words, and it will make sense.

So let's have a look at the two quotations that are on the screen right now, and the paraphrases that I prepared for you earlier.

So the first quotation is "a trick of thought that falls in well with mine." And we can break that up when we paraphrase.

A trick of thought, in other words, an interesting idea.

"That falls in well with mine" and we can paraphrase it, in other words an idea that matches with the way I think.

So we could paraphrase that whole quotation and say, in other words, an interesting idea that matches with the way I think.

and the same is true for quotation two.

"Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry." In other words, drying my tears because you feel sorry for me.

So all paraphrasing really is, is rephrasing something in your own words.

But why it's useful is that it helps to show that you understand what a poem means or what the language in a poem means.

So what I'd like you to do now is to have a go at paraphrasing the part of the poem we worked with yesterday, You could use the sentence starter, in other words do not.

So the quotation goes, "do not say I love her for her smile" and your paraphrase could start with, in other words do not, do not say that.

So I'd like you to pause the video and then have a go at creating your own paraphrase and press play when you are ready to check your answer.

Welcome back.

Now remember, you don't have to have exactly the same words as mine, but you do want to make sure that you've included all the important ideas that when the original.

So what you should do now is press pause to check your work.

And if you think that your version is very different to the original or you've left bits out, then you may want to either add them to what you've got, or just copy out the version on the screen and then press play when you are ready to continue.

Now that we've managed to paraphrase some of the ideas in the poem, in other words, rephrasing them in our own words, it's time to look more deeply at the language itself that Barrett-Browning used to talk more about the language.

So let's start with this quotation that's on the screen right now.

"Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry." Now of course we know that pity can't actually do anything, it's an emotion.

But what Barrett-Browning is doing here that's really important, is she's personifying pity.

She's making it sound as though pity is a person who is drying her tears.

Now, this is really important because it makes it sound like this pity is so powerful that it has a mind of its own.

And you could argue that it's making Browning feel sorry for her.

So what Elizabeth Barrett-Browning is doing here by personifying pity is that she's actually challenging Browning to think is he controlled by pity or is he controlled by love? Now we're going to be writing about this quotation a little bit later in the lesson, so you may want to pause the video now and make some notes about the personification of pity and then press play when you're ready to resume.

On this slide we have another quotation to look at.

But I like this quotation because there's a lot in it.

There's a lot for us to look at and think about and really look at the power of Barrett-Browning's writing.

Remember I talked about how she puts all her energy and all her passion into her writing because she wasn't able to do a lot physically.

And this quotation for me, sums all of that up.

So let's have a look.

Full quotation is, "a creature might forget to weep, who bore thy comfort long enough and lose they love thereby." So let's start with the first highlighted phrase, a creature.

And what is interesting here is that she compares herself to a creature that is weeping.

She compares herself to a weeping creature.

Now a creature would be more animal than human, and it does kind of make her sound weak.

Oh poor little creature weeping.

And she, again, she's challenging Browning because it makes her sound weak, more like to pet to play with than a woman to care for as an equal.

And so yet again, she's saying, do you just see me as a weak creature, a bit like a pet, or do you see me for who I really am, a real woman, a strong woman, a woman with opinions, a woman with ideas.

The second bit of the quotation that we're going to dig into a little deeper is lose they love.

Now this of course is a real fear of Barrett-Browning that she will lose his love.

But what is important here is that she's worried that if she stops crying because he comforts her he won't love her anymore.

And this idea is connected to the first idea that we looked at because it shows that she's worried that if she becomes strong, or if he realises that she is strong and is equal, rather than someone weak who needs him to look after or pity her, then he won't love her.

So this is a real issue for Barrett-Browning.

She doesn't want to be seen as weak, but she is also very aware that if Browning's feelings for her based on her weakness, then she may lose his love when he realises that she's actually very strong person.

So you may want to pause the video here, make some notes and press play when you are ready to continue.

Welcome back.

And now it's your turn.

So it's time for you to write.

And we're going to write about the poem using those quotations that we focused on in the lesson.

And that's why your notes are going to be really, really useful in this time to write.

So what I've done is I've given you three sentence starters, because I think that would help you organise your writing.

So the first point says, Barrett-Browning personifies pity to show.

The second sentence starter is Barrett-Browning compares herself to a creature to show.

And the third sentence starter is Barrett-Browning worries that.

And the key thing to remember is that your sentence has to answer that question I've given you as a guide.

Is Browning controlled by pity or is he controlled by love? Does he see her as weak, as a pet, or as a real woman? And then the key question is will he only love her if she's weak? So press pause while you write your paragraph and then press play when you are ready to check your work.

Welcome back.

So here's an example of a good answer.

And I'll read it you before we go any further.

Barrett-Browning uses personification to show how powerful Browning's pity might be.

And she compares herself to a weeping creature to suggest that he might see her as a pet rather than a real woman.

She's worried that his comforting will be so strong that she won't be sad and then he will not love anymore because he's strong.

So what you want to do now is just pause the video to check your work.

Remember, you don't have to use exactly the same words as mine, but you just need to have the same ideas.

So check your work and then press play when you are ready to resume.

Thank you for joining me today.

And I look forward to seeing you when we do lesson four on "Sonnet 14".

Take care, goodbye.