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Chris Moran English Portfolio


Forward

Over the last year I believe my writing skills have greatly improved. I feel that I am much more prepared to go to college and continue my education than I was back in August. I am looking forward to my next semester as a college student, rather than dreading it. The main parts of writing that I have improved on through the year are the originality, and my overall grade. I feel that I no longer have trouble coming up with ideas to write about. Instead of spending most of my time just thinking of a topic to write about, I spend almost all of my time improving the body of my paper. I no longer have to spend hours researching every bit of information there is on the subject, just get an idea to begin writing. Another one of my improvements this year is my overall grade. Last year English was one of the classes that I struggled the greatest in. I was terrible at writing essays. My grades this year on my essays have been much better then they were last year. My overall grade in English is much better then it was last year. I feel that I have come a long way this year, and that I am ready to move on to a college level English.


Table of Contents 1.

Chaucer Character Essay “The Black Knight of Beech Grove”

2.

Beowulf Compare and Contrast “Beowulf and Grendal” 4.

Gawain Critical Essay

5.

Diary Project “The Day of Destruction”

7.

Frankenstein Essay

9.

Prose piece “The Lady of Shallot”

10.

Literary Analysis “Love in Shallot”


Chris Moran

1

Period 7 The Black Knight of Beech Grove Good day to all of you fine men and women. For those of you who do not behold the intellect to recognize me simply by my looks, I am, of course, the Black Knight of Beech Grove. For you who have not heard of the glorious town of my birth, let me tell you now. Beech Grove is quiet little town in the south. Yet, it is considered one of the utmost training grounds for Knights. I had spent many winters in Beech Grove training to become a remarkable knight. Not only have I accomplished my dream set out to become a knight, I had received the highest honor awarded only to those who are not acquainted with the word “defeat.� That honor, of course, is the Black Knight. Many men look upon me with fear in their eyes, but let it be known to you that I am not one to be feared. I fight only that which is evil. My good friends, for this reason, I will be traveling on your pilgrimage. For only the smallest price negotiable, I will risk my life in order to protect you people. The road in which you are traveling is very dangerous and is known for evil creatures to be lurking. From this point on, no man shall fear the creatures of Hell. Whether it be demons, goblins, or even dragons, I will slay them with ease. Thus, insuring that all of you make it to your destination with comfort and refuge. From this point forth, I will be but a mere shadow on the outskirts of trail. I will watch and wait for evil to try and surmount us. Then, I will arise from the shadows and triumph over the beasts. You no longer must fear the path ahead.


Chris Moran

2

Period 7 Beowulf and Grendel The epic poem, Beowulf, and the story, Grendel, gives two very different views of the story of Beowulf. Grendel, by John Gardner, was written to show the story from Grendel’s view. The two stories differ because Grendel is characterized differently, Hrothgar portrayed as a drunk, and the Anglo-Saxons are characterized differently. Firstly, Grendel is characterized much differently when the story and the poem are compared. In Grendel, Grendel is given more of a human-like appearance, rather than a hairy beast. He is also very smart, and he is able to speak in the Gardner piece. However, in the poem Beowulf, Grendel is portrayed as a hideous beast that does not talk. The only common characteristic between the two is that they are both intelligent. This can be seen in Beowulf when the speaker says, “The monsters thoughts were as quick as his greed or his claws.”(Raffel 24). This is saying that Grendel is intelligent because he is a very quick thinker. Secondly, Hrothgar is portrayed as a drunk. In Beowulf, Hrothgar is shown as a very honorable king. Many of the Danes looked up to him, and would have died for him if they needed to. On the other hand, in Grendel, Hrothgar is shown as a drunk. He seems very pitiful and pathetic. Hrothgar is shown as a greedy king who mistreats his soldiers, because he would sit in the meadhall, which was piled to the rafters with gold, “Meanwhile, those who paid tribute to him were forced to strike at more distant halls to gather the gold they paid to Hrothgar…” (Gardner 40).


3 Lastly, the Anglo-Saxons are characterized much differently in Grendel, than in Beowulf. In Grendel, the Danes, like Hrothgar, are portrayed as drunks. It would irritate Grendel that the Danes would go around killing each other, when they had no reason to. In Beowulf, the Danes were showed as people who were very loyal to their country and their king. Also, “Hrothgar’s men lived happily in the hall…” (Raffel 24), and they got along with one another. Beowulf and Grendel are two stories that have the same plot, but completely different characterizations of the characters. Beowulf shows Grendel as a monster, and shows Hrothgar and his men as loyal men, and heroes. Grendel shows Grendel as a kind beast who is out to kill Hrothgar and the Danes for their stupidity.


Gawain Critical Essay 4

This article, by Sharma, is basically describing Sir Gawain’s character in the story of the Green Knight. Sharma first states that Gwains intent of killing the Green Knight was his first failure. Sharma believes that this shows a lack of Christianity and a lack of chivalry in Gawain’s character. She backs this up by saying the Green Knight’s game was not necessarily intended to kill anyone. She says that because the Green Knight did not say how hard the strike had to be, Gawain should have not hit him as fiercely as he did. I would have to disagree with Sharma. It seems that she is trying to hard to blame Gawain for something anyone there would have done in a heartbeat. I would have done the same thing as Gawain because no one would have expected the Green Knight to be “magic”. This is also unfair to Gawain because the Green Knight knows that he cannot be killed, and he will be able to hit Gawain back. Also, in Gawain’s defense, he at least went to search for the Green Knight when it was his turn to be hit. Even though he wore the sash from the women, knowing that he would be safe. He did not do anything that any other normal human would have done in order to save his life.


The Day of Destruction

5

April 25th, 2003 Math class is so pointless, it’s not like we will ever have to solve these equations later on in life. I don’t even know why we have to take it. I never thought that sixth grade mathematic would be so difficult. Today we learned how to do these complicated things called fractions or something. At least the day is halfway over. Since it looks like it’s about to rain outside I’ll probably just stay inside and color, rather then ride my bike like every other night. Now I’m in music class. The sky has gotten really dark and the wind is blowing so hard that I think the flag pole might fall down. Mr. Craney is so old. I don’t know why he still teaches. He even taught my mom when she was my age. The songs are kind of funny though because they are really weird, and he takes them seriously. While we were singing jingle bells, I thought I could hear the tornado sirens going off. The Principle just came on to the announcements and told everyone to do what we did for tornado drills. I can hear the classes above us moving desks and walking down stairs. Some girls in our class are even crying because they think that a tornado is going to destroy our school. I’m not scared though, I consider myself pretty tough for a Sixth Grader. Plus, I think that it would be super awesome if the school blew up. I would probably get to miss at least the next two weeks! School is finally over. So far the ride home has been crazy. I only live about five minutes away from school, but since every tree has been blown over it has already taken fifteen minutes. Luckily there is no damage to my house or to my bicycle, which I left


6 outside. Today has been one of the most awesome days ever; I got to miss science and English!


Frankenstein Essay

7

Whether to create a female monster or not, was one of the hardest decisions that Victor has to make in the entire story. In order for the monster to discontinue his slaughter he says to Victor, “You must create a female for me..” (104). The monster felt that having a female companion would finally make him happy, after living a life being hated by everyone. At first, Victor immediately refused to create a female. Victor is worried about creating another monster when he says, “Shall I create another like yourself, whose joint wickedness might desolate the world?”(104). Unlike the monster, Victor realized everything that could go wrong if a female was created. The monster goes on to say, “If you consent, neither you nor any other human being shall ever see us again.” (105). Victor began to realize that by doing this, all of his pain and fears would go away. He was also filled with compassion after hearing the monster’s story, when he says to himself, “ did I not as his maker, owe him all the porion of happiness that it was in my power to bestow?”(105). Victor and the monster come to an agreement, and Victor begins to work on the female. As Victor finishes up the body of the female, he begins to think of all the things that could go wring. “She might turn with disgust from him to the superior beauty,” Victor thought to himself (121). Victor knew that if this happened the monster would have even more hatred towards humans. Victor also realized that another, “result of those sympathies for which the daemon thirsted would be children, and a race of devils.” (121).


8 Victor, Unaware that the monster is watching, begins to destroy the female body. Victor does the right thing because the possibility for failure was too great. Victor was very smart when he realized the countless reasons of why he should not create a female.


Chris Moran “The Lady of Shalott” Period 5

9

The first part of this poem starts off talking about fields of barely and rye that lead to Camelot. A river runs through the fields and along the river is a road the leads to Camelot, which many people travel. In the river is an island called Shallot. On the island a women called, “The Lady of Shallot” is trapped inside of a castle. No one really knows if the lady of shallot is real, but farmers claim to hear her whispers. In the second part of the poem, the Lady of Shallot weaves a web. She weaves a web to distract her from looking a Camelot. If she looks at Camelot she will be cursed. A mirror is in front of her the entire time she is weaving, and through it she can see shadows of people on the road. Eventually, she gets tired of weaving and wishes she could look at the Camelot. The third part of the poem is about a knight name Sir Lancelot that decides to see what is on the island of Shallot. While he is on the island, the sun reflects off his armor and the Lady of Shallot can see the brightness through the mirror. When Sir Lancelot gets to the river he sings to the Lady of Shallot. The Lady of Shallot then ran out of the castle knowing she would be cursed. In the last part of the poem it begins to storm as the lady of Shallot gets into a boat and flows toward Camelot.


“Love in Shallot”

10

Many different themes can be interpreted from “The Lady of Shallot” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. One of the main themes that comes form “The Lady of Shallot” is the idea of love. Tennyson attempts to emulate a midevil romance in the form of a Victorian style poem. In the story there is the common stereotype of a damsel in distress and a night in shinning armor. In “The Lady of Shallot” Tennyson begins by describing a fairy tale-like place called the island of Shallot. On the island stand “four grey walls and four grey towers” that act as a prison. Inside the walls lives the Lady of Shallot. There, she spends all of her time weaving a colorful web, because that is all she can do. A curse had been placed upon her and if she dares to look out the window she would die. The only vision of the outside world she has is the shadows of people she sees through a mirror that hangs above her as she weaves. The curse is unknown to the reader and, “the main reason that this poem is able to successfully present a magic spell without explaining why or how the spell occurred is its setting.” (Kelly 1). The setting of the story is in Camelot. One day while the Lady of Shallot is weaving away, a knight by the name of Sir Lancelot decided to explore the island of Shallot. As he approached the towers, the Lady of Shallot could see the glimmer and shine of his bronze armor. By accident the Lady of Shallot sees Sir Lancelot’s face and immediately knows she is doomed. She then gets in a boat and floats towards Camelot as she dies. As the boat reaches Camelot, the people of the town are confused and afraid. Then, Sir Lancelot appears and says, “She has a


11 lovely face; God in his mercy lend her grace�(Tennyson) and tells the people of her true beauty.

The ending of the poem is what brings the idea of love as a main theme. Although Sir Lancelot and the Lady of Shallot never speak or see each other the reader feels a strong connection between the two of them. This love story is unlike many midevil romances because there is no happy ending. The Lady of Shallot dies because of Sir Lancelot, rather then saved by him. In a way, Sir Lancelot saves the day by reassuring the people, as well as the reader, that things will be fine and the Lady of Shallot will rest in peace.


Enlgish Portfolio