Monday, January 14, 2019

I'm Not Sure If Lady Macbeth Is Evil or If Macbeth Is Just Whipped

Read the following passage from Macbeth.  This takes place right after Macbeth kills the king.

“Neptune’s ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No. This my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.”

What literary term is being used to express Macbeth's inability to deal with his guilt?

a. imagery
b. verbal irony
c. juxtaposition
d. hyperbole

Scroll down for the answer.

a. is incorrect.  While it does describe the blood, it is not being used to express guilt.
b. is incorrect. There is no irony in this passage.
c. is incorrect.
d. is correct.  Macbeth is saying that the whole ocean does not have enough water in it to wash away all the blood on his hands.  

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Lesson on the Birds and the Bees Part 2

Read the following passage:

     It would be a never-ending if not hopeless task to try to assemble into anything less than several volumes all the misinformation regarding pregnancy.  But certainly some of the most common myths can be exploded.  Old wives' tales abound, of course: that eating ice cream will cause the baby to "catch cold"; that the baby may be "marked" if the mother is frightened; that getting the feet wet will flood the baby with "water"; that reaching for something on a top shelf will wrap the umbilical cord around the baby's neck, and so on and so on.
     None of the above is true.  Nor is it so that broad-hipped women necessarily have easier births than the narrow-hipped -- it's internal, not external, measurements that count.  Nor will wearing high heel cause cross-eyed children, though some actually believe this.
Based on the above passage, what is the author's tone toward those who believe the old wives' tales?

a. incredulous
b. he feels it is all good fun
c. he feels it is harmful for the baby
d. it is a part of the pregnancy culture and should be embraced, but not taken too seriously

Scroll down for the answer.

There are a few words and phrases that really clue us in on the author's tone (or point of view as the MSL may (incorrectly) call it).  He says these myths can be exploded, he calls them old wives' tales, he refers the many myths as "so on and so on," and, the most telling of all, he says, "though some actually believe this."

This lets us know that the author really does not like these myths and does not understand why anyone would believe them.  That rules out b. and even d.  Since he doesn't mention any harmful effects of this belief, we can rule out c.  That leaves us with the correct answer - a. incredulous, which, by the way, means hard to believe.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Edge of Venomverse

Read the promo sent out by Marvel comics:

Kicking off this June, EDGE OF VENOMVERSE unleashes sinister symbiotes across the Marvel Universe, wreaking untold havoc and wanton destruction! Featuring some of the most popular characters from March’s Venomized Variant Program, this in-continuity series brings you deadly new Venom combinations, giving fans dream matchups from some of comics’ hottest creators! The Marvel Universe is about to play host to an army of Venomized heroes…but whose side will they be on?! Look for more information, including characters and creators to be revealed soon! 

Based on the above passage, what might wanton mean?

a. deliberate, unprovoked, cruel
b. lightning quick
c. precise and effective
d. soft and delicious

Scroll down for the answer.

The correct answer is A.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Death and the Soldier

Read the following paragraph from the Russian fairy tale, "Death and the Soldier":

A long time ago in Russia there lived a Soldier who served the Tsar faithfully for the space of twenty-five years, fighting battles on many fronts and receiving, alas! far more grievous wounds than golden coins.  At the end of his twenty-fifth year in the Army, when he had grown old and was no good to fight anymore, he was summoned by his captain.

According to the passage above, what is most likely the meaning of the word "Tsar"?

a. general
b. God
c. devil
d. ruler of Russia

Scroll down for the answer.

d. is the correct answer.  a. is not a bad answer and you could certainly make a case for it based on the snippet of text that you were given.  What can I say?  The tests are often unfair.  Make your best guess and move on.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Take a Shot at This One

Look at the following image:

This is an example of which literary term?

a. pun
b. situational irony
c. metaphor
d. alliteration

Scroll down for the answer.

The correct answer is:
   a. pun

See teachers, this is why you should consider creating some questions yourself or having your students do it as a project and send them to me.  Otherwise, you're in for a lot of these corny ones.  Fair warning.

Monday, January 7, 2019

I Have No Words for This

Look at the picture below:

This is an example of which literary term?

a. situational irony
b. dramatic irony
c. verbal irony
d. pun

Scroll down for the answer.

The only irony in that picture is that it looks like it is about irony but there is no irony in it.  This is a pun.  d. is the correct answer.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Did you ever think when a hearse goes by...

Read the following passage from Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and answer the question:

Mr. Vandemar, on the other hand, simply walked. It was too consistent, too steady and inexorable a walk to be described as a stroll: Death walks like Mr. Vandemar.

Which literary device represents Death?

a. allusion
b. hyperbole
c. tone
d. personification

Scroll down for the answer.


Answer: D - one of the clues that alerts the reader of personification is that sometimes the thing personified will be capitalized (like Death here).  This is not always the case, but when you see something like Death or Time capitalized, then think personification.

Thanks to Ms. Parsons for this question!  I was trying to come up with some clever thing to say about Death and her class, but nothing really seemed to work (they were all either cheesy, morbid, or both), so... :(