Introduction to Shakespeare

 RL.9-10.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence
to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as
well as inferences drawn from the text.
 RI.9-10.6: Determine an author’s point of view or
purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses
rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.
 What does the author/narrator say? Think about
descriptive adjectives, are there more positive or
negative adjectives, and what are they describing (the
 What does the character feel? Think about emotional
words that are used in the text. You will have a target,
so determine how the author feels about each target.
 What message is the author passing along to the
 Say? --- What is the author literally/explicitly saying
 Feel? --- What can the reader Infer
 What is the universal message or theme?
 Point of View
 Voice
 Bias
 Theme
 Message
 Thesis
 Tone
 Many people are under the mistaken impression that
crows were viewed as harbingers of death in Native
American cultures, but in fact, that is not true at all.
We do not know of any Native American tribe in which
crows were seen as omens of death. Indeed, just the
opposite, seeing a crow was (and still is!) considered
good luck by many tribes.
 Only a handful of people, including that of some tribes
of Native America, have viewed these dark emblems in
any kind of positive light. Many tribes, in contrast to so
many others, viewed them as guides meant to help
mankind along his journey in both life and death. A
few viewed them as those lucky enough to be granted
the power to see the soul as it leaves the human body
on its way to its final resting place.
 Other tribes view these birds as messengers who have
shared the secrets of The Great Spirit with his people.
Many Native American legends deal with the crow or
raven as the helper of mankind, rather than as a
trickster or a bad omen. The bird is often associated
with the creation as well as with helping mankind
learn how to survive.
 Bible Story: According to the Book of Genesis, Cain
and Abel were the two sons of Adam and Eve. Cain is
described as a crop farmer and his younger brother
Abel as a shepherd.
 Cain was the first human born and Abel was the first
human to die. Cain committed the first murder by
killing his brother. Commentators have typically
assumed that the motives were jealousy and anger.
Although the Cain and Abel story is found in the
Quran, the text refers to them simply as the sons of
Adam and neither of them is mentioned by name.
 The biblical account describes the Israelites being led
by Joshua and crossing the Jordan into Canaan where
they laid siege to the city of Jericho. There, God spoke
to Joshua telling him to march around the city once
every day for six days with the seven priests carrying
ram's horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day
they were to march around the city seven times and
the priests were to blow their ram’’s horns. And Joshua
ordered the people to shout
 The walls of the city collapsed, and the Israelites were
able to charge straight into the city. The city was
completely destroyed, and every man, woman, child
and animal in it was killed by Joshua's army by God's
command. Only Rahab and her family were spared,
because she had hidden the two spies sent by Joshua.
After this, Joshua burned the remains of the city and
cursed any man who would rebuild the city of Jericho
would do so at the cost of his firstborn son.
 Revelation 6:8
 And I looked, and behold a pale horse:
and his name that sat on him was Death,
and Hell followed with him. And power
was given unto them over the fourth part
of the earth, to kill with sword, and with
hunger, and with death, and with the
beasts of the earth.
 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the
last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book
of Revelation of Jesus Christ to Saint John the Evangelist at
 The chapter tells of a "'book', or 'scroll', in God's right hand
that is sealed with seven seals". The Lamb of God, or Lion of
Judah (Jesus Christ), opens the first four of the seven seals,
which summons four beings that ride out on white, red, black,
and pale horses.
 Although some interpretations differ, in most accounts, the
four riders are seen as symbolizing Conquest/Pestilence, War,
Famine, and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic
vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse
upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.
 Working with a partner, go through “Crow Testament”
and search for instances of symbolism. In stanza 3 and
4: What does the Crow symbolize? The Crow God?
The Crow Bible? What does it mean that the Crow
God looks exactly like a Crow? How would one
worship oneself.
 In your group, read through Sherman Alexie’s poem, “Crow
Testament” and respond to the following prompts in your
Cornell Notes.
 1.List at least 4 topics Sherman Alexie addresses in his poem.
 2.Identify one stanza from the poem that you feel best reveals
the main idea of the poem (by underlining the text)
 3.Explain what the meaning of this stanza is in your own words...
 4.What does it reveal about the author’s belief regarding the
Native American experience?
 When all groups are finished, the class will compare the groups’
answers and vote for the best one.