English 10: Writing Portfolio

 

Catholic Memorial High School

 

2007-2008

   
   
   
   
   
Research  
   
Creative Writing  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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Many people over the centuries have battled over the meaning, spelling, or pronunciation of the word
"battle." The spellings of this word have ranged from Bataile to Batayle and many others.
I took a brief survey on what people thought about when I said "battle" and most of the
people said the same things. The word "battle" has had many definitions over the course of
time and in this report you will be able to see the similarities and differences between them. Many
people think that "battle" means a war or fight and they are right but their are so many
other meanings to this amazing word. "Battle" has been used many times in context since
its birth in 1297 and many famous authors have used it in their writings. In times during the middle
ages battles were very important to the English and it was apart of their every day life.

I asked five people what they thought of when i said to them the word "battle." The first
group of people i ask was my three brothers and each of them said that when they thought of the word
"battle" they thought of wars and fights. When i asked my friend Justin the same question,
he said that he thought of "Battle Ship" the board game. In the results that i gathered
from my survey i concluded that 80 percent of the people that i said "battle" to would
reply by saying fight or war and only 20 percent said otherwise. I asked my grandfather, James
Ferucci, whose first language was Italian what he thought of when i said "battle?" My
grandfather replied, " when i think of the word "battle" I think of two soldiers
fighting against eachother for survival." i could also put my grandfather in the 80 percentile
because he also thought of a fight or war when he heard the word "battle." Nowadays the
word "battle" is not only used in times of war but also in sporting events. Sometimes on
the news or radio you might hear a baseball coach say, "Our pitcher really battled out
there." The word "battle" has been used in many way over time and the ways we use it
today are certainly different than how they were used in the times of castles and knights.

The word "battle" was first used in 1279 when the author R. Glouc wrote, " {Th}ere,
as {th}e batayle was, an abbey he let rere.. {th}at ys ycluped in Engelond, abbey of {Th}e
batayle." The definition of "battle" according to this text and according to the
O.E.D. is, "A hostile engagement or encounter between opposing forces onland or sea;a combat; a
fight. In times during the early to mid 1500s there was a system in the court of law called the,
"trial by bettel." This was when the defendant in a case of murder, robbery, or felony
could choose to have the right to battle someone for his freedom. This choice was taken away in the
year 1571 in Westminster. These peices of writings show us what the people in those days thought the
word "battle" meant. We can use context clues to figure out the defintitions and see how
closely related our definition is with the former ones.

In a Sunday edition of The Boston Globe the staff writer referred to the word "battle"
when he was talking about a young teenwho was in a car accident and suffered multiple injuries to
the chest and head. The writer said that the young teen was in critical condition and that he is
still battling for his life. In the sports page of the Herald one of the captions was "the
battle of a lifetime" In this article the writer was talking about a man who was handicapped in
the war in Iraq and is now trying to become the first person with one leg to swim across the English
Channel. Even though some ways to use the word "battle" are more different than others,
there are many other ways "battle" was and is used.

Many famous authors have used "battle" in their peices of writings during the ages. One of
the most notable and first authors to use "battle" was Chaucer. Chaucer was one of the
first major poets to use the English language. Chaucer wrote,"At mortal batailles hadde he been
fiftene." One of the most famous, if not the most famous play writers of all time, William
Shakespeare also used the word "battle" many times. His first usage was in 1596 when he
wrote, "Haue i not in pitched battell heard Loud larums." Another famous author who used
the word "battle in his writing was Caxton. Caxton wrote in 1480, "Kyng edward in a felde
fast by crescy hauyng iij batayle countred and met with Philip of valoys hauyng with him iiij
bataylles." A current book out by a not so famous author, Reg Grant, is title Battle. This
author used the word "battle" right in the title. The book is about 5,000 years of combat
history. Grant clearly thinks of the word "battle" as a fight or war because that's
what his book is based on. Those were just a few of the many famous and non famous authors that have
used "battle" over time.

Battles, wars, and fighting although brutal and of course deadly are a major part of our history.
The people that wrote down this history are the best of the best and that is something pretty
special. The word "battle" started off in its early years being written by someone as
famous as Shakespeare and today it is written and spoken by people all over the world. Battle has
come a long jway since 12790 and will in the future gain new meanings and usages. The word battle
will certainkly change as will the English language. I believe that as long as there is a war or
struggle on this Earth the word batte will live on as a common word in our vocabulary.

   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dear English Scribe,


I am writing to you today on behalf of the Prentice Hall Literature book. Due to budget cuts we were
forced to make some cuts of out own. This was a very difficult decision for us to make but we have
chosen to omit your book, Beowulf in the future edition of the Prentice Hall Literature book.
We know that your wrote the first book in the English language. We also believe that you have a very
unique writing style and that you provide a very good story line for the readers enjoyment. However,
The main character, Beowulf brags too much, your characters are very materialistic, and your book
has many sexist views.


One reason you were omitted from our book is because your main character, Beowulf brags about
himself often. For example when Beowulf arrives at Herot he introduces himself by saying who he is
and by boasting about his father. Beowulf says, “ Wise men all over the Earth surely remember him
still.” Today when someone brags they are thought of as rude or obnoxious people. Even though
boasting may have been very common in your days it is not today. The reader is supposed to like
Beowulf seeing that he is the protagonist but because of his boasting you come to disliking him.
When you wrote Beowulf your intentions were obviously to portray a character that the reader could
look up to and think of as a role model. In your time he probably was, but as you know times have
changed and the readers today do not look up to someone who brags about themselves. We know that
Beowulf had accomplished a lot in his life, but the fact that he tells about it himself makes him
sound arrogant. Today if your story had someone else telling Beowulf’s story we might have found it
easier to look up to Beowulf as a role model.


Another reason why we have chosen to take out your book is because of your sexist views. Even
though back in your time women may not have been treated as equals to men, today they are treated
very equally. People that are sexist today are thought of as ignorant people. An example of your
sexism is when you write, “ He was four times a father, this fighter prince: one by one they entered
the world, Heorogar, Hrothgar, the good Halga and a daughter, I have heard, who was Onela’s queen, a
balm in bed to the battle-scarred Swede.” This line proves that women were not important in those
times. Linda Allen a long time book critic agrees by saying that the sexism in Beowulf is offensive
and that we are lucky that the world is not like this today.


The last reason why we are going to delete your story from our new edition is because the
characters in your book are very materialistic. Materialism is something that is frowned upon today.
People are taught to not be materialistic and to enjoy the better things in life. Beowulf, on the
other hand is very materialistic. The only reason why he goes to help out Hrothgar is because he
wants to make a name for himself. By obtaining a name for himself he will then be known throughout
the land and become rich with power and wealth. Even when Beowulf is dying he does not tell Wiglaf
to go say good bye to his family but he tells Wiglaf to go bring him “stuff” or treasure. Wiglaf
brings Beowulf the treasure and this makes Beowulf happy and he feels that he has accomplished what
he wanted to and then dies. Beowulf’s materialism got him killed. He was so caught up in getting the
dragons gold that he risk his own life and the lives of others for it. Materialism is something that
plays a big role in your book and is part of a lifestyle that kids are being not to live by. Helen
Conrad-O'Briain comments that Beowulf’s materialism makes him look greedy and it takes away
from the fact that he is helping out a neighboring country with its problem.


I send you my apologies for omitting your writing in our future edition. I think that we are making
steps towards the future and that we cannot focus on the past and your writing is truly one of the
past. If a new edition of your book came out that had a more futuristic plot and was written in the
style of writing that books are written in today then I would be glad to put it in our book. Though
I don’t see this happening. I wish you the best anonymous scribe and maybe one day I will see your
work in my book again.


Sincerely,
Brian Besinger

   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the English Cricket Board or the ECB the game of cricket dates way back to the time of
Edward I in the 1300s. It was written about in a household account by Edward I himself. The game
cricket was said to be invented in the southeast part of England called Kent. In the 13th to 15th
centuries Kent was strictly a sheep -rearing country and the original game of cricket was played
with a ball of wool, part of a picket fence, and a crooked shepherd’s cane according to the ECB.
Cricket is now the second most popular sport in all of England behind soccer. Four of the most
popular newspapers in England have cricket as either one or two in there list for sports, which
shows how popular the sport is. The name cricket was first found in a literary piece in 1305
according to the O.E.D. The growth and development of this sport serves as a good analogy for
England and how it went from a rural farmland country to a huge super power of the world that
remains today.


According to Major League Cricket - news and history cricket started off as a rough rural sport
played in sheep pastures by farmers because of the short grass. However in the 18th century the
sport spread and became more popular throughout all types of people in Kent, Sussex, and London. The
first known organized match of cricket was played at the Artillery Grounds of Finsbury in London, in
1730 according to Major League Cricket - news and history. According to the Hampshire Chronicle
“200th anniversary of cricket,” the first cricket club was in Hambledon, Hampshire. They hosted many
matches that were sponsored by the wealthy but played in by local tradesmen. The club created
methods of hitting and throwing that are still used today. Hambledon now claims that there club is
the birth place of cricket. The first written rules of cricket were written in 1835 and they are
still used today wherever cricket is played. According to the Official ICC rule book major cricket
matches can last up to three to five days but with simple rule changes the games can be limited to 3
to 5 hours. Cricket teams are made up of 11 members. The idea of cricket is for the team in the
field to try to get out every member of the opposing team at bat. The games take two innings and can
last for a very long time. The way a team gets runs is quite similar to baseball. However you do not
pitch a ball in cricket you bowl it. Cricket terminal is very hard to understand if you are a
foreigner and the game itself is very hard to understand as well because there are so many
unwritten rules and guidelines.


There are many famous and professional cricket players in England that play in a wide variety of
places. One famous cricket player from England is Michael Vaughan. According to the official
Michael Vaughan website Michael was born on October 29, 1974 in Manchester, England. When Michael
was a young school boy he went to a cricket match with his grandfather and father that lasted for
three days. Michael went to every hour of the game and that is when he decided that he wanted to
become a professional cricket player. Vaughan is now the captain of the English international
cricket team and a very good player. Vaughan also played on the Yorkshire team in England where he
first made a name for himself according to the ECB. An amateur player of England is Kevin Pietersen.
According to the Amateur Cricket Forum Kevin plays for England’s junior international team and is
one of the teams best fielders. Kevin was awarded player of the month in England. On receiving the
award Kevin said to a Cricket Forum reporter, “ It is quite the honor to receive an award like this
while representing England, but in reality it is the team that wins not just one person.” Kevin has
already broken many youth records and one day he hopes to make it on the English International
squad. Many youth players strive to be the very best in their leagues so that they may be noticed by
scouts and hopefully one day make it to the big leagues. Michael Vaughan had the dream that many
players have today and some fortunately talented kids make it but others fall short. To represent a
country in the sporting world you must be very good and Kevin Pietersen looks like he is heading in
the right direction.


In England today when you look at a newspaper and you go to the sport section you will most
definitely see something written about cricket. The Telegraph is a very popular newspaper in London
and when I went to the sport section cricket was first on the list for sports. This proves that
cricket is a very popular sport. There are many articles written about cricket every day including
one about how England recently lost a traditional match against rival New Zealand, which came as a
surprise to all of England. Captain Michael Vaughan talked about the loss saying, “ The loss was
tough but we have to put the past behind us and focus on our upcoming matches against Australia and
India.” Michael Vaughan knows what it means to be a captain and that is, to put the past behind him
and lead his team to greatness in the present and future.


Since cricket is such a popular sport there is always something in the news about it whether it be
bad or good. About seven years ago in 2001 England was faced with a huge Cricket scandal that was in
the news for weeks. The basics of the scandal were that call girls or prostitutes were sent to
players who agreed to throw matches. According to the Observer newspaper in England the scandal went
on for a fairly long time until some of the girls came forward and confessed what was going on. The
players were punished to the fullest extent. Today in England match throwing is a very serious
offense and there are associations dedicated fully to preventing it.


Cricket is a really fun sport that is the equivalent of baseball here in the U.S. Cricket has shown
how Britain went basically from rags to riches. As the sport started out with no rules and barely
any equipment it has evolved into a highly sophisticated game played by all kinds of people. The
sport of cricket has grown for centuries and will continue to grow. As new technologies come out new
methods and forms of the game will be invented and the game can easily change with the times.
Cricket is a very popular sport in England and it will stay that way for years to come.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There have been many great British literature authors throughout time. The list goes on and on and
many can only begin to analyze their great works. From the earliest writers in British literature to
the latest many of them have written poetry compared to prose and even when they write prose it is
in a poetic way, like iambic pentameter. For example the scribe that wrote Beowulf wrote it in prose
that was very poetic in style and John Milton wrote his Paradise lost quite similar to that of
Beowulf and they were written years apart. For the most part however, British Literature relies
primarily on five devices. These devices are, Setting, theme, resolutions, gender, and form.
Throughout the generations of British literature many authors have written gender based stories
about women and men having gender feuds. In the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, Lady
Macbeth wants to become a man so that she may have the strength and will power to kill the king.
Lady Macbeth exclaims, “Unsex me here.” In a piece written by Jane Austen called Sense and
Sensibility , a husband and wife argue their differences. The husband thought he had more important
things to do with his man friends than his wife with her women friends. This is shown through this
line which says, “Men never know when things are dirty or not; and the gentlemen perhaps thought
each to himself, Women will have their little nonsense’s and needless cares.” This clearly shows
gender differences because it uses a stereotype by saying that women are always nagging and men are
lazy slobs. Virginia Woolf also has gender differences in her writings. For example in her story,
Orlando she writes about how a man became a women. She says, “She was becoming a little more modest,
as women are, of her brains, and a little more vain, as women are, of her person.” Doris Lessing is
another author that deals with gender differences. In her book, The Cleft she asks the question,
“What if men and women were stripped of the idea that one was superior to the other?” George Bernard
Shaw a critic from England Criticized Lessing for writing this book saying that she was too much of
a feminist. He writes, “Lessing tries to portray a fictional past where women were equal to men but
gets too caught up and makes it seem like true history.” The critic seems like a man who is pretty
straight forward. I don’t want to say that he is against feminism but he seems to not have time for
fantasies.
The resolutions in British Literature tales have been dominated by deception. For example Sir
Thomas Mallory wrote Sir Tristram and the Fair Iseult. This story is about two lovers who are
forbidden to be with each other. When Tristram is on his death bed he sends for Iseult. He tells his
messenger to sail with white sails if she is coming and black if she is not. The boat pulls in with
white sails but Tristram’s unwanted and jealous wife, Iseult of white hands lies and says they are
black. Tristram dies on the spot because his love was not here. Tristram was completely deceived.
This quote is from the end scene of the story, “Is she not come? The messenger was sure. Prop me
upon the pillows once again— Raise me, my page! this cannot long endure.” The jealous wife was very
wrong about lying to her husband because it killed him. It was the ultimate act of deceit. Another
author that used deception in her resolutions a lot was Doris Lessing. Doris even wrote one of her
stories under an anonymous name to prove that unknown authors get a ton less attention than known
authors even if their writings are better. In Jane Austen’s story Pride and Prejudice, she uses
deceit when she says, “I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!”
This story is about the love of two men. When one man was in love with a woman his so-called friend
said that they weren’t meant for each other and then the friend went and married her. The friend
blatantly betrayed his friend through deceit. In Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, a story about past and
present, a women named Shel is deceived by the past making her think she is married to many men of
the same name but when she is hit by the present she realizes she is married to one loving man. Shel
is deceived by everyone around her. Virginia Woolf writes, “ Nature, who has played so many queer
tricks upon us, making us so unequally of clay and diamonds, of rainbow and granite, and stuffed
them into a case, often of the most incongruous, for the poet has a butcher's face and the
butcher a poet's; nature.” Paula Stiles, a critic, criticizes Sir Thomas Mallory by saying,
Sir Thomas Malory, author of the 15th century Le Morte D'Arthur, didn't quite live up to
the ideals of his Knights of the Round Table. Paula believes that Sir Thomas’ interpretations of
King Arthur’s time was a little off.
A similarity in form that many British Literature authors share in their prose and poetry are that
their characters often speak in long speeches. A.E. Houseman wrote the poem, Fragment of a Greek
Tragedy. This poem’s character Seymour Adelman talked in long speeches explain his position in the
book . He starts by saying, “No less a work of genius then any of his other writings…” In the novel
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by master anonymous, at the main character Sir Gawain talks in long
speeches. One example is, “ I Sir Gawain will take on this feign to show thee thy faithfulness…” Sir
Thomas Mallory writes many of his stories using long speeches including, Sir Lancelot. The scribe
who wrote Beowulf also used long speeches. For example in Beowulf he wrote, “ Now Beowulf bode in
the burg of the Scyldings, leader beloved, and long he ruled…” These are just a couple of authors
who use long speeches in their writings. A critic on Beowulf named, Paul F. Baum, writes, “That the
manuscript's date being so much later than the original composition, combined with the fact
that the manuscript is written in a different dialect from the original, indicate that the poem
lacks a continuous history of reading or recitation.”
The theme of many British Literature authors have talked about the past. For example Mary Shelley
wrote Frankenstein which is a total recollection of a ship captain named Robert Walton. The whole
story happened in the past. If I were to take a quote to show you that the story is written about
the past I could just put every line from the book in it. However I will pick one, “ He cried with
sad and solemn enthusiasm, ‘I shall die.” Another author that talks about the past in his stories is
George Orwell in his novel, 1984. This novel is about a man who lives in a totalitarian government
and tries to find out how things used to be and how the past was different. A key quote from the
book is, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
This book is all about the past. Another author to use past is William Wordsworth. In Wordsworth
poem, “The World is too much With us,” he talks about the past and about how if one thing had
changed he might be a totally different person. A quote that shows this is, “For this, for
everything, we are out of tune;” The last author that uses the theme of past is John Milton. John
Milton wrote Paradise Lost. This story is about how the devil got kicked out of heaven. This was an
historical event and John Milton wrote about it in his novel. Milton writes, “What better can we do,
than to place repairing where he judg’d us, prostrate fall before him reverent, and there confess
humbly our faults, and pardon beg, with tears watering the ground, and with our sighs the air
frequenting, sent from hearts contrite, in sigh of sorrow unfeign’d, and humiliation meek.” This is
all historical text about what Satan was thinking and saying. The critic Samuel Johnson critiques
Milton by saying, “Paradise Lost lacked human interest.”
The last of the five devices is setting. One setting that is commonly use among British Literature
authors is stormy nights. For Example, in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The
climax of the story is when the ship runs into a storm and the whole crew dies because of the bad
luck brought by the albatross. The scene in which this happens is, “For all averred, I had killed
the bird that made the breeze to blow. Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to slay, that made the breeze
to blow!” In Shakespeare’s Macbeth when the main character Macbeth meets with the mysterious witches
it is a stormy night. Another Example of a story that has a stormy setting is Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein. When the Monster first comes to life Shelley starts the chapter off with, “It was a
dark and stormy night…” The storminess of these scenes adds to the mysteriousness and creepiness of
the characters in the scene and the actions they are taking. A critic name Kerry McKeever critiqued
Shakespeare’s Macbeth by saying, “The stormy scenes of the witches in Macbeth add to the spookiness
of the scene but also to the fakeness of it.
These five devices have defined British literature and many of the modern authors of today follow
these same devices that were followed by the scribe hundreds of years ago. There are many
differences and uniqueness’s in British authors but in reality there are also many similarities, as
shown by these past few paragraphs. All in all, many British authors have tried to break away from
the norm of the literature but they all fall back to the same routes.


Works Cited
Austen, Jane. “Sense and Sensibility” Puffin
Shakespeare, William. “Macbeth” Prentice Hall
Woolf, Virginia. “Orlando” Penguin
Lessing, Doris. “ The Cleft” Amsco School

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
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