Common Core Standards: ELA
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL.9-10.7. Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.
Many artists draw from the same sources and/or from one another, which means that themes in literature can also be found in paintings, music, and other assorted arts. Since each person sees a particular work of art differently, however, any work that’s based on another work will naturally emphasize some points and de-emphasize others. It’s even possible for one artist to respond to another artist’s work in a way that would make zero sense to the first artist - not merely because the medium is different, but because the first artist didn’t intend to convey any of what the second artist saw in the work. Not surprisingly, being able to look at different scenes and themes from various perspectives is crucial in developing a deeper understanding of Western literature, art, and music, which is so often based on itself.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Raisin in the Sun Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Beowulf Teacher Pass
- Death of a Salesman Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Hamlet Teacher Pass
- Heart of Darkness Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Macbeth Teacher Pass
- Moby Dick Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- Oedipus the King Teacher Pass
- Of Mice and Men Teacher Pass
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- Romeo and Juliet Teacher Pass
- Sula Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Bluest Eye Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Wife of Bath's Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The House on Mango Street Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- The Scarlet Letter Teacher Pass
- The Tell-Tale Heart Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- Things Fall Apart Teacher Pass
- To Kill a Mockingbird Teacher Pass
- Twilight Teacher Pass
- Wide Sargasso Sea Teacher Pass
- Wuthering Heights Teacher Pass
Sample Activities for Use in Class
1. A Poem Based on a Painting
Read or have students read “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden.
Also, have students examine Brueghel’s Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, on which the above poem is based.
1. Are the poem and the painting related? If so, how? How can you tell? (For instance - have students point out the falling Icarus, the green water, the ship, and so on.) What elements from the poem are not in the painting?
2. How does the poem treat the fact of Icarus’s death? How does the painting treat it? What parts of the poem or painting support your interpretation? (You may need to explain the myth of Icarus and Daedalus and/or spend some time discussing the moral thereof, which is usually given as “pride goeth before a fall” or something similar. Both Auden and Breughel seem to treat Icarus’s fall as just another thing that happened, but nothing earth-shattering - except, presumably, to Icarus.)
3. Does the poem handle Icarus’s death in a way the painting does not do, and if so, what is it? (Possible Answers: The poem identifies Icarus’s death as suffering or tragedy that is, like all suffering, tucked away in a corner from the regular activity of the world, which goes on whether or not suffering occurs. The image of no one really caring about Icarus’s fall is apparent in the painting, but the underlying theme of suffering is less so.)
2. A Painting Based on a Poem
Have students examine William Maw Egley’s painting The Lady of Shalott.
Then, read or have students read the poem “The Lady of Shalott” by Lord Tennyson.
1. Which portion of the poem does the painting depict? Which details in the painting tell you this is so? (Possible Answers: The painting depicts the moment the Lady of Shalott looks out her window at Camelot. Note the loom behind her and the mirror hanging at the left of the painting, which shows a knight in its surface.)
2. What parts of the painting are not in the poem? Why might the painter have added them to the painting? What might they tell you about the person, place, or events in the painting that you can’t learn from the poem? (Possible Answers: The poem does not mention the colors the painter chose, or the Lady of Shalott’s dress, or the details of the reflection of Sir Lancelot - which isn’t “bright” in the painting, as it’s described in the poem. This may indicate the reflected knight is actually the lady’s doom, rather than her “knight in shining armor.”)
Quiz 1 QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
I. Questions 1-10 are based on William Maw Egley’s painting Prospero and Miranda and the following extract from Shakespeare’s The Tempest:
If by your art, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them.
The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,
But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheek,
Dashes the fire out. O, I have suffered
With those that I saw suffer: a brave vessel,
Who had, no doubt, some noble creature in her,
Dash'd all to pieces. O, the cry did knock
Against my very heart. Poor souls, they perish'd.
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth or ere
It should the good ship so have swallow'd and
The fraughting souls within her.
No more amazement: tell your piteous heart
There's no harm done.
O, woe the day!
PROSPERO No harm.
I have done nothing but in care of thee,
Of thee, my dear one, thee, my daughter, who
Art ignorant of what thou art, nought knowing
Of whence I am, nor that I am more better
Than Prospero, master of a full poor cell,
And thy no greater father.
--Act I, Scene ii
Quiz 2 QuestionsHere's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.
II. Questions 1-10 are based on Henry Stacy Marks’ painting Dogberry Examining Conrade and Borachio and on the following extract from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing:
Is our whole dissembly appeared?
O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton.
Which be the malefactors?
Marry, that am I and my partner.
Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition to examine.
But which are the offenders that are to be examined? let them come before master constable.
Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your name, friend?
Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, sirrah?
I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
Write down, master gentleman Conrade. Masters, do you serve God?
Yea, sir, we hope.
Away! you are an ass, you are an ass.
Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow, and, which is more, an officer, and, which is more, a householder, and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina, and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses, and one that hath two gowns and every thing handsome about him. Bring him away. O that I had been writ down an ass!
-- Act IV, Scene i