Unit 2: Classic Tragic Hero vs Modern Common Man

Unit 2: Classic Tragic Hero vs Modern Common Man

Time Frame: Oct.1, 2013-Nov.26,2013

Texts: Poetics by Aristotle, Oedipus by Sophocles, Hamlet by Shakespeare (http://cla.calpoly.edu/~dschwart/engl339/hamlet.html) , Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, “On Common Man” by Arthur Miller; Literary Concepts and Theory: tragic hero*, tragedy, tragic flaw, on tragedies (http://cla.calpoly.edu/~dschwart/engl339/tragedy.html)


Students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Identify the tragic flaw in a tragic character and understand the conflicted nature of fate and character
  • Examine the improbability of a tragic fate a tragic hero must face and the circumstances that cause such inevitability
  • Compare a classical tragic hero and a tragic common man
  • Identify and examine themes such as fate, American dream, disillusionment, revenge, justice, deception, illusion, love, failure, madness
  • Identify patterns of development, including character foils and parallel plots,
  • Discuss quotations from the text in relation to major themes, including kingship, inheritance, fate, justice, parents and children, love, legitimacy,  eyes and sight, madness, religion, truth, jealousy, guilt, identity, cruelty,
  • Write and rewrite formal, extended analyses and timed, in-class responses in all of the following modes: writing to understand, writing to explain, and writing to evaluate.
  • Gain awareness that the English language that writers use has changed dramatically through history, and
  • Engage in thoughtful discussion


  • Reading quizzes on each text
  • Micro-essays: Rhetorical analysis of one of Hamlet’s soliloquy “To be or not to be…”, “What a rogue I am…” and “”  “Give your pardon sir I have done you wrong”  How all occasions do inform against me “
  • Written or oral rhetorical analysis of an argument scene between Creon and Haemon in Oedipus
  • Written analysis of a specific passage in Things Fall Apart and discuss how the passage reveals the overall theme of the book artfully
  • In-depth reading and analysis of Willy Loman as a tragic character but nevertheless a “hero”.
  • Quotation analysis quiz,
  • Essay test emphasizing themes and characterization,
  • Formal, revised analytical essay with peer editing.
  • AP Essay based on one of the College Board-published open-ended essay questions ( summative assessment).

Part I: Oedipus

Introduction: For this part of the unit, students will read and Poetics and tragedy of Oedipus by Sophocles. They will use the concepts from Poetics about tragedy and tragic hero to analyze the play. They will also stage a debate between Kreon and Oedipus in scene ii and analyze Oedipus’s journey toward the truth of his biography and what human instincts prevent him from “seeing” the truth. They will map out the structure of the play and discuss the theme of blindness, fate vs. character.


  1. What’s  the exposition revealed in the Prologue?
  2. Create a staged reading of the debate between Kreon and Oedipus in scene ii. Discuss the use of logic and reason by each character.
  3. Explain Teiresias’s cryptic dialogue. What prevents him from speaking plainly?
  4. Discuss Oedipus’s journey toward the truth of his biography. What human instincts prevent him from “seeing” the truth?
  5. Describe the acts of violence that occur off stage. How would you stage these events today?
  6. Chart the structure of Oedipus Rex, including rising action, conflict, climax, and falling action.Locate the precise moment when Oedipus moves from a psychological state of denial to open recognition of the truth. Now describe the stage picture at this moment, including all characters on stage. How might you place or “block” the actors playing each role for maximum effects.
  7. Discuss the motivations of the Chorus of Theban Elders as a voice of the polis. Discuss the theme of blindness in Oedipus Rex. Describe the use of intellectual, physical, and metaphoric blindness throughout the play.


Lesson 1 Aristotle’s Poetics-“On Tragedy” section analysis

Objectives: Students will be able to define tragedy and characterize tragic hero based on Aristotle’s Poetics.

Aim: According to Aristotle, what is tragedy? What defines a tragic hero?

Text: Poetics by Aristotle

Learning Sequence:

  1. Discuss literary genre of epic and drama- comedy and tragedy
  2. Discuss briefly about Aristotle and the influence of Poetics- why is it important to read Poetics?
  3. Read sections of Poetics and discuss the TDQs- a. How is tragedy defined? How is it different from comedy or Epic poetry? b. In what order does Aristotle place each element of drama- Character, Plot, Speech, Thought ,song and Spectacle? Do you agree with the order? Why or why not? How does he define each element? c. How does Aristotle define tragedy? d. What’s Unity of plot? d. Why , of all plots, the episodic  are considered the worst? e. According to Aristotle, what is considered a complex action? What does he mean by “Recognition” and “Reversal” scene? f. What’s considered a well-constructed plot? g. What kind of effects should a tragedy produce? h. How does Aristotle describe ” Complication, Unraveling and Denouement” in Part XVIII? I. What are the four kinds of tragedy? j.What role does Chorus serve? k. How does Aristotle discuss “Style” in Part XXII? J. How is a poet an imitator? ( part XXV)
  4. As a group, define tragedy  and tragic hero as Aristotle has defined it in Poetics.

Homework: 1. Write a paragraph defining tragedy and tragic hero. 2. Define each element in tragedy and re- order the  elements based upon your understanding. Explain your order. 3. Read and become familiar with Oedipus the Myth. We’ll share in class tomorrow. 4. Start reading the play Oedipus and bring the text to the class for discussion. Keep a reading journal for your reading scene by scene.

Lesson 2 : Tragedy and Tragic Hero ,Oedipus Myth

Objectives: Students will be able to identify traits of a classical tragic hero as well as the elements in a traged. They will also become familiar with the Greek myth of Oedipus, which is the prerequisite for reading the play Oedipus.

Aim: How is tragedy the limitation of a certain magnitude? How does a character remain a hero despite of his imperfections?

Assessment: Students will interpret a set of quoations about tragedy. They will determine whether each quotation essentially agrees with the notions  classical tragic hero and tragedy.

Vocabulary: Hubris /Hamartia/ Peripetaia/Theban Plays/Prologue/Parodos/Strophe/Antistrophe/Ode(Chorus)/Exodos/catharsis

Learning Sequence:

  1. Share our notes on Poetics based on the Study Questions provided.
  2. Discuss the six elements in tragedy. What’s the order you’d like to place them? Why?
  3. Read and annotate the followingnotes on tragedy. Make a list of the words you don’t know. Ask at least three questions based on the paragraph.
    Tragedy is the limitation of a certain magnitude. The tragic hero is a man of noble birth, a man of high degree. His fate affects many. He is good but has flaws (hamartia). His flaw is an error or frailty and is not caused by vice or depravity. His flaw brings about his inevitable down fall or catastrophe. Tragic irony lies in the contrast between the vision he has of his future and the disaster, which befalls him. Despite the inevitability of his fate, (disaster, catastrophe). The protagonist asserts his dignity and is committed inexorably to a noble cause. He believe he is doing the “right “thing. He struggles against his fate (disaster, catastrophe, and downfall) which is inevitable. He struggles to be more than human and increase his stature as a man. But since he is a man, he goes too far. He experiences a reversal and recognition. He recognizes his error and suffers profoundly. He has to suffer pity. He suffers and protests his fate. The suffering enables him to become human, wise, and see his place in the universe that he is not a god, but a man, limited. The audience watches the spectacle of suffering and experiences fear and pity and then catharsis. The release of these emotions leaves a sense of tragic awe at the nobility of human spirit, which struggles against its limitations.
  4. Share in pairs your understanding of the paragraph.
  5. Share in class your groups’ opinions.

Quick Write: Interpret the assigned quotation. Does each of the following quotation seem to express  similiar ideas about  the classical  tragedy and tragic hero? Explain.

  • And yet nevertheless the idea of nobility is inseparable from the idea of tragedy which cannot exist without it. Its action is usually calamitous, because it is only in calamity that the human spirit has the opportunity to reveal itself triumphant over the outward universe which fails to conquer it.
  • Tragedy is essentially an expression of despair, but of the triumph over despair and of confidence in the value of human life.
  • Tragedy a consequence of a man’s total compulsion to evaluate himself justly, his destruction in the attempt posits a wrong or an evil in his environment. And this is precisely the morality of tragedy and its lesson.
    Tragedy enlightens – and it must, in that it points the heroic finger at the enemy of man’s freedom. The trust for freedom is the quality in tragedy which exalts.
  • Tragic Hero-“Nobody wants to be a hero… but in every man there is something he cannot give up and still remain himself – a core, an identity, a thing that is summed up for him by the sound of his own name on his own ears. If he gives that up, he becomes a different man, not himself.

    Quiz: What do you know about the Oedipus myth?

Homework: Read Prologue and Scene 1 of Oedipus and write a journal discussing oen thing that you have taken interests about the play.

Resources: OedipusBackground information and scene by scene study questions,

Lesson 3 Oedipus Prologue and Scene 1

Objectives: Students will be able to aseess the kind of king Oedipus is and the state Thebes is in and why.

Aim: What’s  the exposition revealed in the Prologue?

Vocabulary: defilement – filth, contamination; compunction – uneasiness due to guilt, hesitation; strophe – chorus statement in a Greek poem;  antistrophe – chorus response in Greek poem;’ pallid – pale, faint in color;  besieger – one who surrounds, captures

Scene 1: edict – law, declaration; lustration– ceremonial cleansing ; lurking– hidden, secret;  expedient – convenient under the circumstances; clairvoyant– able to see the future;  seer – prophet; pestilence – plague, disease;  purify – cleanse, make clean;  contagion – something that spreads disease;  temperate – moderate;  opportune – well-timed; . prudent – wise, having good sense;  arrogance – claim to superiority; . proclamation – public announcement;  insolence – rudeness ; infamy – disgrace, evil, dishonor;  decrepit – old and weak, falling apart from old age; mystic– spiritually symbolic or significant ; mummery- disguise, mask;. exorcist – one who expels evil spirits;  wretchedness – lowliness, misery; berthing – a place to rest (pun on “birth”); infantile – childish; abracadabra – word purported to have magic powers

Assessment: Respond to the prompts:What’s  the exposition revealed in the Prologue?  How does the mood of the play change with the appearance of Teiresias inscene 1?

Learnig Sequence:

  1. Review the vocabulary in this lesson.
  2. Reading quiz.
  3. Share in pairs your reading journal.
  4. What stood out for you in the prologue and scene 1? Share the questions  you have raised.
  5. Close read  one section of  Prologue and Scene 1. Analyze how the section reveals the foundamentals about the play in the Prologue and the central idea of the tragedy in scene 1.

Assessment: Quick Write-

“What’s  the exposition revealed in the Prologue?  How does the mood of the play change with the appearance of Teiresias inscene 1?”

Homework: Read and write a journal based on Scenes 2 & 3. Come up with at least 5 questions based on the two scenes.

Lesson 4:  Oedipus Scenes 2 & 3 

Objectives:  Students will create a staged reading of the debate between Kreon and Oedipus in scene ii. and analyze the the use of logic and reason by each character; students will explain Teiresias’s cryptic dialogue and investigate what prevents him from speaking plainly.

Aim: How does Sophocles use logic and reason ( logo) in the debate between the characters? Why does Teiresias use cryptic language in his speech when being asked about Oedipus’ past?

Do Now: Respond-What’s  the exposition revealed in the Prologue?  How does the mood of the play change with the appearance of Teiresias in scene 1?

Learning Sequence

  1. Review vocabulary of the scenes:  brazen – bold, rude, p. 31 58. scepter – symbol of a ruler or kin, perquisites – payment, anarchy – disorder, lack of government rulep. 32 61. duplicity – trickery, parry – to turn aside, evade, avoid, p. 33 63. incarnate – in physical form, p. 34 64. din – loud noise, tumult – confusion, p. 35 66. malice – evil, Helios – sun god, p. 37 68. hearsay – unverified information from others, p. 38 69. soothsayer – one who foresees event, p. 40 70. herald – messenger, 71. marauders – attackers,p. 42 72. maundering – wandering, rambling, p. 43 73. malediction – curse, p. 44 74. abomination – evil thing, ordinance – law, haughtiness – showing off, acting superior, disdain – to show disrespect for, levity – lightness, laughter, blasphemy – cursing, impious – not religious,  sepulchre – burial vault built of stone, nymphs – lesser gods, young women
  2. In pairs, students will practice the reading of the debate between Creon and Oedipus. Pay attention to the logo used.
  3. One pair come forward and do a staged reading.  Continue examining the logo used by each character.
  4. Examine why Teresias has been brought to the court and why he uses cryptic language in his speech to the king.
  5. Discuss the role of Tiresias being a blind seer.
  6. Examine the language used in Odes- Parados, odes 1, 2, 3 & 4. How does Sophocles use language to reveal the chorus’ emotions and attitudes?

Homework:  Examine the language used in Odes- Parados, odes 1, 2, 3 & 4.. How does Sophocles use language to reveal the chorus’ emotions and attitudes?

Lesson 5 Oedipus Scene 4 & Exodos

Objectives: Students will be able to describe Oedipus’ journey toward the truth and  chart the structure of Oedipus Rex, including rising action, conflict, climax, and falling action.Locate the precise moment when Oedipus moves from a psychological state of denial to open recognition of the truth.

Aim: What’s the structure of the play? Where in the play is the precise moment Oedipus moves from a psychological state of denial to open recognition of the truth? What’s reversal scene?

Do Now: At the end of Scene 3, what does the audience expect to see at this point?

Learning Sequence:

In small groups, students will do the following activities-

A. Briefly discuss scene related questions-

  1. What transpires between the messenger and the shepherd in this scene?
  2. Why does the shepherd try to resist answering Oedipus’ questions? What literary device is being used here?
  3. Why does Oedipus persist in questioning the old shepherd , even though he has been warned by the shepherd and Iocaste not to go on with his inquiry?
  4. Why did Iocaste give the child away to die so many years before?
  5. What was the prophecy connected to the baby?
  6. Why didn’t the shepherd leave the baby to die as intended? What human quality does the shepherd demonstrate when he saves the baby?
  7. What does Oedipus realize at the end of Scene 4? What is his reaction? What do you think he will do now? Why?
  8. * Why do you think Sophocles put so many metaphors involving light/dark and sight/blindness in Scene 4 especially?

B. Discuss TBQ based on Exodos

  1. What news does the Second Messenger bring at the beginning of this scene?
  2. How is the evil of Oedipus and Iocaste willed? (p. 65)
  3. How does Iocaste punish herself? Why is her punishment self-induced?
  4. How does Oedipus punish himself? Why is his punishment self-induced?
  5. Why doesn’t Oedipus kill himself? Why does he choose blinding?
  6. How does Oedipus’ punishment embody the Light/Dark imagery used throughout the play?
  7. What is ironic about Oedipus and Iocaste’s worship of Apollo?
  8. Why does the punishment of Iocaste take place off stage, instead of in front of the audience?
  9. Although Oedipus has gouged out his sight, what still remains (p. 67, top)? Why is this important?
  10. In Antistrophe 2 (p. 70), what does Oedipus wish? Why wasn’t the prophecy of the gods respected?
  11. What metaphor is used to describe incest (p. 72, middle: “Oh marriage…how evil!”)? Why is this an appropriate description?
  12. What is Oedipus’ attitude about Creon in the Exodos? What does this reveal about Oedpius?
  13. What is Creon’s attitude about Oedipus in the Exodos? What does this reveal about Creon?
  14. Why does Creon say he must consult the Oracle again? Why is this an important difference between Oedipus and Creon?
  15. What requests of Creon does Oedipus make on pp. 74-75, top?
  16. Describe Oedipus’ farewell to his daughters. What is the meaning of the lines on page 75: “Children, where are you…to this way of seeing.”?
  17. How does the reader know that Creon has accepted responsibility for Oedipus’ daughters, Antigone and Ismene? Why is Oedipus so concerned for his daughters and not for his sons?
  18. What is the meaning of the last lines by Choragos?
  19. What guidance does he give the people in the final lines? What lessons does he offer the reader?
  20. * What will become of Oedipus? Will he kill himself or merely be exiled? Why?

C. Based on the entire play, map out the structure of the play including the recognition and reversal scenes.

Quick Reflect: What are the important moments in Oedipus’ journey toward the truth ?

Homework: describe Oedipus’ journey toward the truth .

Lesson 6 Parados and Odes

Objectives: Students will identify examples of literary elements or techniques in parados and odes that  demonstrate the chorus’ changing attitudes toward Oedipus.

Aim: How doe Sophocles use literary devices to convey the Chorus’ tone toward the king, Oedipus at different stages of his journey toward truth?

Learning Sequence:

In small groups, students will discuss the following designated TBQs-

A. Study Questions – Parados 

  1. What main literary device is found in the strophe, page 10? Explain.
  2. What other literary device is found in the same strophe? Explain.
  3. Upon which gods does the Chorus call in order to help Thebes? Why these gods?
  4. What is the meaning of the last two lines of the Antistrophe 3, page 12? Why do you think they are said as Oedipus enters?

B. Study Questions – Ode 1

  1. Paraphrase (restate in your own words) the meaning of the Strophe 1 and the Antistrophe, p. 24.
  2. Paraphrase the meaning of the Strophe 2, pp. 24-25.
  3. Paraphrase the meaning of the Antistrophe 2, p. 25.
  4. What is the purpose of alternating the Strophe with the Antistrophe in the Odes? What effect does it give for the reader?
  5. What is the purpose of Ode 1? Why is it placed after Scene 1?
  6. How does the language of the Ode differ from that of the Scene?
  7. * Whose side is the Chorus taking in Ode 1? Against who?

C. Study Questions – Ode 2 

  1. What is the meaning of the Strophe 1?
  2. What is the Antistrophe 2 saying about the proud leader?
  3. What is the Strophe 2 saying outrages the gods, and what will the gods do in reaction?
  4. What is the conclusion of the Antistrophe 2?
  5. What is the importance of Ode 2 in relationship to the rest of the play?

d. Study Questions – Ode 3

  1. Whom is the Chorus addressing in the Strophe pp. 56-57?
  2. What question is the Chorus asking in the Antistrophe, p. 57?

E. Study Questions – Ode 4

  1. What is the meaning of the first four lines of the Strophe 1? What is a paradox? How is paradox used here?
  2. What is the metaphor that appears in the Strophe 1 and is repeated throughout the Ode? How does the god Apollo reinforce this image?
  3. What happens to light as the play nears its end?
  4. What other use of figurative language is used at the end of the Strophe 1?
  5. At the beginning of the Antistrophe 1, what metaphor and extended metaphor can be found?
  6. In Antistrophe 1, what other literary device can be found?
  7. How does the quality of the language change from the scenes to the odes? What sections have more uses of the literary devices? How does the language in the odes differ from the language in the scenes?
  8. In Strophe 2, what is the metaphor that occurs throughout (extended metaphor)? In Antistrophe 2, what is the extended metaphor? How does it foreshadow what is to happen in the next section?

Quick Reflect: How are odes different from scenes? Why are they equally important to the development of the play?

Homework: Based on one of the odes, write an essay on how Sophocles uses diction, allusion and figures of speech to convey the chorus’ changing attitude toward Oedipus.

Lesson 7: Assessment

Write an essay based on the following essay assignment-

Define the concept of tragedy( based on the notes from Poetics by Aristotle) and how it relates to the play. What is tragic about the story of Oedipus and why Oedipus a tragic hero? Find at least three traits of a tragedy from the Notes on Tragedy and use specific lines and scenes from the play  to support your argument about the nature of Oedipus, the drama. 


Lesson 8:
Objectives: Students will  decide why certain characters in Oedipus are indispensable.

Aim: What is the character you have chosen to write about  indispensable for the play Oedipus?

Learning Sequence:

  1. Share our micro essays on “why Oedipus is  classical tragedy”.
  2. Each group is assigned one of the following character to discuss. Keep record or your notes during small group discussion.

Oedipus Rex has many characters which contribute to its plot. Choose
one of the following and explain why they are a significant character in
the play. Provide at least three reasons why the character is significant,
and support your reasons with evidence from the text:
a) Tiresias
b) The Sphinx
c) Creon
d) The Chorus

3. Present your group discussion notes with the class.

Homework: Write a  micro essay on one of the characters of your own choice.

Lesson 9: Time Writing -Open -ended Question

Objectives: Students will examine the specifics embedded in each option of the open-ended question by reading closely and underlining the key words. They will write an essay based on the understanding.

Aim: What are you asked to write about specifically as described in each open-ended question?

Learning Sequence

  1. The class will be divided into 6 groups and each group (pair) will examine one of the following questions.

A.Choose an implausible or strikingly unrealistic incident or character in a work of fiction or drama of recognized literary merit. Write an essay that explains how the incident or character is related to the more realistic of plausible elements in the rest of the work. Avoid plot summary.

B. Choose a complex and important character in a novel or a play of recognized literary merit who might on the basis of the character’s actions alone be considered evil or immoral. In a well-organized essay, explain both how and why the full presentation of the character in the work makes us react more sympathetically than we otherwise might. Avoid plot summary.

c. The meaning of some literary works is often enhanced by sustained allusion to myths, the Bible, or other works of literature. Select a literary work that makes use of such a sustained reference. Then write a well-organized essay in which you explain the allusion that predominates in the work and analyze how it enhances the work’s meaning(Catch -22 by Joseph Heller)

D. In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Choose a work of literary merit that confronts the reader or audience with a scene or scenes of violence. In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work. Avoid plot summary

E. Select a line or so of poetry, or a moment or scene in a novel, epic poem, or play that you find especially memorable. Write an essay in which you identify the line or the passage, explain its relationship to the work in which it is found, and analyze the reasons for its effectiveness.

F. A critic has said that one important measure of a superior work of literature is its ability to produce in the reader a healthy confusion of pleasure and disquietude. Select a literary work that produces this “healthy confusion.” Write an essay in which you explain the sources of the “pleasure and disquietude” experienced by the readers of the work

2. Share in class your understanding of the question.

3. Continue working in the pair following Think-Pair-Share activity. Think individually ( write your thoughts down) how you can use Oedipus for the question. Talk to each other about your ideas and combine them. Share in class your best ideas.

4. Choose one of the questions and start writing your essay following the AP Essay rubric.

Quick Reflect: How important is understanding the question thoroughly to writing an effective essay?

Homework: Finish the essay within the t time frame given. Due tomorrow.

Lesson 10: Peer-Editing the AP Essay

Objectives: Students will use the AP Essay rubric to peer edit each other’s essay on Oedipus.

Aim: How do we write a strong essay within a time frame of 40 minutes?

Learning Sequence:

  1. Share the 1st draft essay in a pair. Identify one strength and one weakness in your partner’s essay.
  2. Share with the findings in class.
  3. Discuss: How much time do we need to get a thorough understanding with the essay questions? ( 3 minutes)
  4. what constitutes a strong introduction within 5-7 minutes?
  5. How much time can I use for the body paragraphs( 2 usually well-developed)? ( 25-28 minutes) What goes in each paragraph? How do I develop the ideas?
  6. Writing a Conclusion should never be longer than 2-3 minutes. What should I include then?

Homework: Revise the essay. Revision due Monday.

Lessons 11-14 ( Reading Assessment) See http://www.litstudies.org/APEnglish2013_2014/reading-assessment/

A Common Man Tragedy: three fundamentals of tragedy are fulfilled.

First, through a torturous process of self-examination an individual arrives at a new realization of himself and his relationship to the world at large.
Secondly, the individual discovers in the necessity of making a decision in the face of insurmountable odds.
Thirdly, although the movement toward self-recognition leads to destruction, an affirmation of life is ultimately propounded
One of the most important influences on Miller’s way of writing is to say why a man doesn’t simply walk away and say to hell with it, the moment when a man differentiates himself from every other man.

Lesson 15

Objectives: Students will be able to compare Oedipus, Hamlet with Willy Loman and Okwonko and make a venn diagram to show the connections and differences among these “tragic men”.

Aim: Can a common tragic man be a tragic hero? Why or why not?

Do Now:

1. Check Homework ( AP Reading passages)

2. Point out issues about the Open-ended questions for Hamlet essay

3. Talk in pairs your knowledge of Willy Loman and Okwonko

Mini Lesson

A Common Man Tragedy: three fundamentals of tragedy are fulfilled.

First, through a torturous process of self-examination an individual arrives at a new realization of himself and his relationship to the world at large.
Secondly, the individual discovers in the necessity of making a decision in the face of insurmountable odds.
Thirdly, although the movement toward self-recognition leads to destruction, an affirmation of life is ultimately propounded
One of the most important influences on Miller’s way of writing is to say why a man doesn’t simply walk away and say to hell with it, the moment when a man differentiates himself from every other man.

According to the theory, how does Willy Loman and Okwonko receptively fulfill the three fundamentals of tragedy?

Independent Practice/Group Activity Questions (3D):

Create a Venn Diagram to show the connections and differences between Willy Loman and Okwonko using your notes.


1. Select 5 interesting ideas from the three  Hamlet articles and type them. Explain why these details interested you. What new perspectives do they reveal about Hamlet, Ophelia and Gertrude? Provide the title, author’s name

2. Read Poetry Analysis poem and student essay. Prepare notes for class discussion.

2. Prepare notes for writing an  an essay  on Death of a Salesman or Things Fall Apart.

Lesson 16

Objectives: Students will be able to analyze Willy  Loman and Okwonko by using the three foundamentals of a tragic hero ; students will examine some larger issues implied in the two works through the examination of the main characters.

Aim: How are Willy Loman and Okwonko both tragic heroes and yet differ?

Do Now: Share notes from your reading.

Mini Lesson: the “bigger issue”

Some issues to examine  in Death of a Salesman

  • Shame, guilt, empathy and the search for identity
  • the agony of deceit, self deception, pretense: American Dream of deceit
  • Corruption of American Dream
  • Willy’s death  as a social tragedy
  • false values
  • Absence of fathers in American literature
  • patriarchal and authoritarian figures in american literature

Some issues to examine  in Things Fall Apart

  • gender and tradition
  • cultural violence

Independent Practice

Choose a strand from above and compare and the two characters using venn diagram.

Homework: DO in depth research using one of the topics suggested in the lesson. Bring in the articles and annotations to tomorrow’s  class.

Lesson 17

Objectives; Students will present their comparison of the main characters from eath of a Salesman and Things Fall Apart; they will also make thematic statements ( overall meaning) as well as major literary elements based on the play and novel.

Aim: What themes can we infer from each work and how does each author uses conflict, motif and setting to portray the themes?

Do Now: Present the comparison between Willy Loman and Okwonko.

Mini Lesson

AP Essay open-ended questions are always about themes of a literary work and how that theme is conveyed through a specific part in the text such as a minor character, or a supernatural element or the concept of madness etc.

Step 1: Interpret the major concepts included in the question.

Step 2: State what the overall meaning is of the work.

Step 3: How does the author use certain literary element or a part to convey the whole?

Step 4: Follow “sandwiched paragraph” format to write each paragraph.

Step 5: To include a thesis in your intro- which is your response to the essy question.

Step 6: To include a topic sentence for each paragraph beginning with the author uses_________ to portray _____.

Step 7: After the elaborating each example, connect back to your thesis in a” so what” sentence.

Independent Practice:

Write an essay responding to the essay question below-

“And after all,our understanding influences our lives and characters as much as fate, destiny or any supernatural agency.” Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces

Chose a novel or play in which cultural, physical, or geographical surrounding shape psychological or moral traits in a character. Then write a well-organized essay in which you analyze how surroundings affect this character and illuminate the meaning of a work as a whole.

Homework: Complete the essay at home. Due tomorrow.

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