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The Nightingale and the Rose. Oscar Wilde Lesson 4. Background. Author: Oscar Wilde’s early school years

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The Nightingale and the Rose


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    1. The Nightingale and the Rose Oscar Wilde Lesson 4

    2. Background • Author: • Oscar Wilde’s early school years In 1871, Oscar was awarded a Royal School Scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin. Again, he did particularly well in Classics, earning first in his examinations in 1872 and earning the highest honor the College could bestow on an undergraduate - a Foundation Scholarship.

    3.  In 1874, Oscar crowned his successes at Trinity with two final achievements.  He won the College's Berkeley Gold Medal for Greek and was awarded a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford.

    4. 1874-1878, He had a brilliant career at Oxford, where  he won the Prize for English verse for a poem. Even before he left the University in 1878 Wilde had become known as one of the most affected of the professors of the aesthetic craze, and for several years it was as the typical aesthete that he kept himself before the notice of the public.

    5. Oscar Wilde’s works • Poems  1881 • The HappyPrince And Other Tales      1888 • Dorian Gray         1890 • The House Of Pomegranates (石榴)       1891 • The Ballad of Reading Goal  1898

    6. Plays:    •        Lady Windermere's Fan         1892. •        A Woman of No Importance      1893. •        An Ideal Husband 1895 •        The Importance of Being Earnest  1895

    7. Criticism a man of far greater originality and power of mind than many of the apostles(使徒) of aestheticism undoubted talents in many directions as a typical aesthete that  he kept himself before the notice of the public a poet of graceful diction playwright of skill and subtle humor

    8. a dramatist whose plays had all the characteristics of his conversations • All these pieces had the same qualities--a paradoxical humour and a perverted (反常的) outlook on life being the most prominent. They were packed with witty sayings, and the author's cleverness gave him at once a position in the dramatic world

    9. Oscar Wilde’s belief • Art for art’s sake • The only purpose of the artist is art, not religion, or science, or interest. He who paints or writes only for financial return or to propagandize political and economic interests can only arouse feeling of disgust.

    10. Quotes from Oscar Wilde’s Works: • Quotes on Men • Men become old, but they never become good.  Lady Windermere's Fan. • Rich bachelors should be heavily taxed.  It is not fair that some men should be happier than others.  In Conversation.

    11. Men are horribly tedious when they are good husbands, and abominably conceited when they are not.  A Woman of No Importance. • Lady Windermere: ...I don't like compliments, and I don't see why a man should think he is pleasing a woman enormously when he says to her awhile heap of things that he doesn't mean.  Lady Windermere's Fan.

    12. Quotes on Woman • One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age.  A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything.  A Woman of No Importance. • Crying is the refuge of plain women but the ruin of pretty ones.  Lady Windermere's Fan.

    13. Women know life too late.  That is the difference between men and women.  A Woman of No Importance. • Women are meant to be loved, not to be understood.  The Sphinx Without a Secret.

    14. Quotes on Love • One should always be in love.  That is the reason one should never marry.  In Conversation. • To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young. • Young men want to be faithful and are not; old men want to be faithless and cannot.   The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    15. Genre of this story and its characteristics: • Fairy tales (10 min.) • - fairies play a part •  - contain supernatural or magical elements •  - children’s stories • - full of veiled comments on life

    16. Characteristics: • 1)   personification of birds, insects, animals and trees •        2)    vivid, simple narration --- typical of the oral tradition of fairy tales •        3)   repetitive pattern

    17. Post-class work: • 1. Please write down the characters’ different attitudes toward love: • (1)     The Student’s • (2)     The Lizard’s, the Butterfly’s and the Daisy’s • (3)     The Nightingale’s • 2. Is love better than life, as the Nightingale believed? Please write down your opinion on this.

    18. Vocabulary to work on.

    19. Please bear in your mind this question while we go through the text: What are the symbolic meanings of “Red rose”, “Lizard” “Butterfly” and “Nightingale” in the text?

    20. Text analysis--structure • Nightingale struck by the “the mystery of love” • Nightingale looking for a red rose to facilitate the love • Nightingale sacrificing her life for a red rose • Student discarding the red rose

    21. Language Points 1.jewels (gems): emeralds(绿宝石),  ruby(红宝石),    sapphire(蓝宝石), jade(翡翠)diamond plants: daisy(雏菊), rose (玫瑰花),  oak-tree(橡树), daffodil (水仙 花)                                                                • animals: nightingale, lizard(蜥蜴), butterfly • subjects: philosophy, metaphysics(形而上学),  logic • stringed instruments: harp(竖琴), violin

    22. 2.want: 1)the condition or quality of lacking something usual or necessary     for /from want of 由于缺少 The plants died for/from want of water.    2) pressing need; 贫困 to live in want = to live in poverty 3) something desired:       in want of = in need of       Are you in want of money?       He’s a person of few wants and needs.

    23. 3. fling 1)to throw violently, with force          Don’t fling your clothes on the floor. 2) to move violently or quickly          She flung herself down on the sofa.          She flung back her head proudly. 3) to devote to          He flung himself into the task.

    24. 4. ebb n. 1).The tide is on the ebb.     2).The financial resources have reached its lowest ebb. vi. 1) fall back from the flood stage           The tide will begin to ebb at 4 o’clock.          2) to fall away or back; decline or recede        The danger of conflict is not ebbing there.

    25. see    • see about doing: attend to, make arrangements for, deal with安排,处理 • It is time for me to see about cooking the dinner. • see something out: to last until the end of 熬过,度过 • Will our supplies see the winter out? • It was such a bad play we couldn’t see out the performance and we left early.

    26. see through sb./ sth • The paper is too thick to see though. • It was a hard time for us, but we managed to see it through. • see to something: to attend to, take care of负责,留意 • If I see to getting the car out, will you see to closing the windows?

    27. Symbolic meanings: •    Red rose --- true love, which needs constant  •                            nourishment of passions of the    •                             lovers.    •     Lizard --- cynic (cynical people) •        cynic: a person who sees little or  no good in anything and who has no belief in human progress; person who shows this by sneering and being contemptuous.

    28. Nightingale --- a truthful, devoted pursuer of  love, who dares to sacrifice his  own precious life •  Student --- not a true lover, ignorant of love, not persistent in pursuing love

    29. Wilde’s comments in a letter to one of his friends(May 1888):(5 min.) The nightingale is the true lover, if there is one.  She, at least, is Romance, and the student and the girl are, like most of us, unworthy of Romance.  So, at least, it seems to me, but I like to fancy that there may be many meanings in • the tale, for in writing it I did not start with an idea and cloth it in form, but began with a form and strove to make it beautiful enough to have many secrets and many answers.    

    30. Figurative speeches used in the text: (10 min.) • v     Personification • v     Simile and Metaphor • Writing techniques: • v     Climax and Anticlimax

    31. Personification • give human forms or feelings to animals, or life and personal attributes to inanimateobjects, or to ideas and abstractions. • E.g. Time, you old gypsy man!

    32. Simile •  (the use of) an expression comparing one thing with another, always including the words 'as' or 'like': • The lines 'She walks in beauty, like the night...' from Byron's poem contain a simile. • …her voice was like water bubbling from a silver jar. • …as white as the foam of the sea…

    33.  Metaphor: • an expression which describes a person or object in a literary way by referring to something that is considered to possess similar characteristics to the person or object you are trying to describe: • 'The mind is an ocean' and 'the city is a jungle' are both metaphors.

    34. Climax • --derived from the Greek word “ladder,” implies the progression of thought at a uniform or almost uniform rate of significance or intensity • e.g. I came, I saw, I conquered. •        Some books are to be tasted, others to be  swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.

    35. Anti-climax: • --- stating one’s thoughts in a descending order of  significance or intensity, often used to ridicule or satire. • eg.   1.  As a serious man, I loved Beethoven, Keats, and hot dogs. •          2. For God, for America, for Yale. •          3. You manage a business, stocks, bonds, people. And now you can manage your hair.

    36. Syntactic device • Inversion • …yet for want of a red rose is my life made wretched. (for emphasis) • …Crimson was the girdle of petals, and crimson as ruby was the heart. • … She passed through the grove like a shadow and like a shadow she sailed across the garden. • Night after night have I sung of him.