2014/2015 Honors English Literature and Composition


• Reading complex imaginative literature (fiction,drama,and poetry)
• Writing an interpretation of a piece of literature that is based on a careful observation of textual details, considering the work’s structure, style, and themes; the social and historical values it reflects and embodies; and such elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone
•Composing in several forms (e.g.,narrative, expository, analytical and argumentative essays) based on the analyses of literary texts
•Writing that proceeds through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by teacher and peers
•Writing informally (e.g. response journals, textual annotations, collaborative writing)


Some of the texts I analyzed

Beowulf                                 - anonymous
The picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
Gulliver's Travels                  - Jonathan Swift
Pilgrim's Progress               - John Bunyan
King James Bible       


I found a fascinating documentary from the BBC on the history of the historic epic "Beowulf" and could use many of the interesting things I learned there, in my exam.          


The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Literary Periods and Movements

Middle Ages - medieval Literature

memento mori

"Memento mori"  means something like: "Remember that you will die" and is a phrase that is characteristic of the Middle Ages. It represents a strong emphasis on the attainment of salvation and happiness in the afterlife, as opposed to expecting happiness and joy in your life on earth. This line of thought did not only develop under the strong influence of church and religion, but was also strengthened by the ever present death. Sickness, death and dying were normal parts of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Epidemics like the plague, the famous "black death" killed many people. Children died of ailments like measles and smallpox and tuberculosis (wasting) was a regular cause of death in adults, as was death after childbirth. For these reasons, it was only sensible and of great comfort, that life on earth was essentially a preparation for  'real' life in heaven. Authors and other artists like painters would often not be named, giving the honor to God. Characteristically, the author him- (or her-) self often remains anonymous, stories are told as narrative poems by travelling bards, to make them more easily remembered. 


In the Renaissance we leave the medieaval "memento mori" behind. "Carpe diem" is the word of choice for Renaissance. Enjoying the earhtly life, beautiful paintings, copious Greek and Roman inspired works of art. The "rebirth" (renaissance in French) of Classical Antiquity. Literary style became more important and Greek tragedies served as a template for Renaissance plays. 



This is the second part of the 2-semester course English Literature and Composition, based on the United States College Board AP Literature and Composition curriculum. In the first semester, focus was on literature. The second semester I have worked on composition: 

•Composing in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) based on my analyses of literary texts 

•Writing that proceeds through several stages or drafts, with revision aided by my mentor and friends 

•Writing informally (e.g., response journals, textual annotations, collaborative writing), to help me better understand the texts I am reading 

•Revising my work to develop

    - a wide-ranging vocabulary used appropriately and effectively 

   - a variety of sentence structures, including appropriate use of subordination and coordination 

   - logical organization, enhanced by techniques such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis 

   - a balance of generalization and specific, illustrative detail 

   - an effective use of rhetoric, including tone, voice, diction, and sentence  structure




project Guenberg