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Tutor profile: Kamaree S.

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Kamaree S.
Recent College Grad currently working as Substitute Teacher for Pittsfield Public Schools
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Questions

Subject: Literature

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Question:

Shakespeare is well known for his puns, double entendres, and word play that he often writes into his plays. Particularly important aspects of Shakespearean Comedy are witty banter and sexual innuendo; dirty jokes are Shakespeare’s trademark, Discuss his use of such double entendres using examples where you analyze the text, and the importance of that.

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Kamaree S.
Answer:

Shakespeare is well known for his puns, double entendres, and word play that he often writes into his plays. Particularly important aspects of Shakespearean Comedy are witty banter and sexual innuendo; dirty jokes are Shakespeare’s trademark, for his plays are filled with puns and inferences to sexual activities, genitalia, and syphilis. His comedies aren’t the only plays to be filled with such language, for the rest of his plays are peppered with such jokes and references as well. Even a romantic tragedy such as Romeo and Juliet is written with many puns and double entendres, alluding to sexual doings, and the verbal play often contains a second meaning once the text is analyzed. Whether they are simply there for comical affect, to counter sadness, or to showcase clever wit, the verbal play, puns, and double entendres that Shakespeare is so well known for make an appearance in all of his plays: in the tragedies as well as in the comedies. Certain scenes and parts of the play are meant as comedy, the dialogue being made up of nothing but puns and word play. For example, the beginning scene of the play immediately after the prologue: SAMPSON: Gregory, on my world, we'll not carry coals. GREGORY: No, for then we should be colliers. SAMPSON: I mean an we be in choler, we'll draw. GREGORY: Ay, while you live, draw you neck out of collar. SAMPSON: I strike quickly, being moved. GREGORY: But thou art not quickly moved to strike. SAMPSON: A dog of the house of Montague moves me. GREGORY: To move is to stir, and to be valiant is to stand, there- fore if thou are moved, thou runns't away. (1.1.1-9) This dialogue is all word play: punning on the similar sounds of the words “coals,” “colliers,” “choler,” and “collar.” To “carry coals” means to suffer humiliation, whereas “colliers” are professional coal porters, usually known to be sneaky; “choler” is anger, and “collar” means a noose. These two men of the house of Capulet use this word play as their conversation, talking and teasing each other about being moved with anger and therefore striking out, but by striking and moving instead of standing one’s ground they are acting cowardly. It is an extremely clever back-and-forth banter that Shakespeare’s characters are often written with, and usually the comedic relief is purposefully placed within the plot. In this particular case the clowning occurs right before a fight breaks out between the Capulets and the Montagues, provoked by only a few words. The mockery that occurs directly before the fight begins satirizes the feud and makes it seem petty and childish having been started by such jest. Another such exchange meant purely for comedy is the end of Act 4, between Peter and the musicians. Peter asks the musicians to play him a tune even though he can’t pay them to, making many jokes and puns about musical aspects: PETER: O, play me some merry dump to comfort me. FIRST MUSICIAN: Not a dump, we. 'Tis no time to play now. PETER: You will not then? FIRST MUSICIAN: No. PETER: I will then give it you soundly. FIRST MUSICIAN: What will you give us? PETER: No money, on my faith, but the gleek. I will give you the minstrel. FIRST MUSICIAN: Then I will give you the serving creature. PETER: Then will I lay the serving creature's dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets. I'll re you, I'll fa you. Do you note me? FIRST MUSICIAN: An you re us and fa us, you note us. (4.4.131-43) The speech here is interspersed with references to musical facets. For instance, “give it to you soundly,” soundly meaning thoroughly or with sound, “carry” which can mean both “to bear” and “to sing,” and “crochets” which are quarter notes. “Re” and “fa” are solfège syllables, and “note” means to heed but also references musical notes. Peter goes on to tell a joke about how musicians make no money, where we happen to learn the musicians’ names, Matthew Minikin, Hugh Rebec, and Simon Soundpost. The names of the musicians are in themselves puns: minikin meaning a small lute string, rebec being a three-stringed instrument, and a soundpost a part of a violin. This comedic exchanges occurs directly after a particularly sad scene; the scene in which Juliet’s family grieves and laments her loss after finding her dead the morning of the wedding. The purpose of placing such a lighthearted moment immediately after a woeful one could be to alleviate the audience from the sorrow and the struggle, considering the tragedy and deaths that have just occurred quite suddenly and all within the last few scenes. Up until Act 3, the play so far has seemed to be a happy romance, but has suddenly turned more tragic due to the death of the main comedic character of the play, Mercutio. Mercutio is the comedy of the play; the turn of the play from romance or comedy into tragedy coincides with his death. He is the comedic character because his language is consistently filled with puns, double entendres, and any possible dirty reference one can think of. For example, his words to comfort the love-sick Romeo infer a sexual exchange: If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down. Give me a case to put my visage in, A visor for a visor. (1.4.27-30) To “prick” means to stab, but it also means to sexually penetrate, and “case” literally means mask, but can also be slang for the vagina. Mercutio plays with the sense of satisfying desire by fulfilling it, and his suggestions to Romeo are about finding sexual satisfaction to help him get over Rosaline. He talks of love in relation to sexual circumstances: If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark. Now will he sit under a medlar tree And wish his mistress were that kind of fruit As maids call medlars when they laugh alone. O Romeo, that she were, O that she were An open-arse, and thou a popp'rin pear. (2.1.33-38) A medlar is a fruit thought to resemble the female sex organs, with a play on “meddle” in the sense “to have sexual intercourse with.” He teases Romeo about only needing sexual satisfaction: “wish his mistress were that kind of fruit,” as in wish she would not be chaste and would have sex with him. The language in this passage is especially crude: “open-arse” meaning medlar, but also a hint at a sexual encounter, and “popp'rin pear” punning on “popper-in” or “pop-her-in.” This comical language attempts to lighten the mood from Romeo’s melancholy to a more comedic tone and serves to showcase Mercutio’s wit and dirty mind even more. However, Mercutio is more than just dirty jokes, he’s extremely clever and has incredible wit. One such demonstration of his cleverness is when he talks of Tybalt and his skill in fencing: O, he’s the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song: keeps time, distance, and proportion. He rests his minim rests: one, two, and the third in your bosom; the very butcher of a silk button. A duellist, a duellist; a gentleman of the very first house of the first and second cause. Ah, the immortal passado, the punto reverso, the hai! (2.3.17-23) His excellent wit is shown through the cleverness of his comparisons of fencing and music. First off, being himself, he cannot resist a jab at Tybalt by giving him the obnoxiously prestigious title “courageous captain of compliments,” the alliteration only adding to the mockery. Nevertheless, it is the way he compares fencing to music that shows Mercutio to be truly clever and not just comical. He associates fighting in a duel with “time, distance, and proportion:” time in this use being both musical measure and the pace of a duel, distance being both musical intervals between notes and a set space to be kept between combatants, and proportions being both harmony in the music and form in fighting. He also refers to the brief strategic pauses in a duel as minim rests: short musical rests in a composition. He also demonstrates his knowledge by using the terms “passado,” “punto reverso,” and “hai;” fencing terms for a lunging sword thrust, a backhanded thrust, and a thrust that reaches through. Mercutio knows he is clever and uses his wit often throughout the play, up until the moment he dies. Mercutio even goads Romeo in to a duel of wit, Romeo proving he is every bit as clever as his friend: MERCUTIO: Sure wit, follow me this jest now till thou hast worn out thy pump, that when the single sole of it is worn, the jest may remain, after the wearing solely singular. ROMEO: O single-soled jest, solely singular for the singleness! MERCUTIO: Come between us, good Benvolio. My wits faints. ROMEO: Switch and spurs, switch and spurs, or I’ll cry a match. MERCUTIO: Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done, for thou hast more of the wild-goose in one of thy wits than I am sure I have in my whole five. Was I with you there for the goose? ROMEO: Thou wast never with me for anything when thou wast not there for the goose. MERCUTIO: I will bite thee by the ear for that jest. ROMEO: Nay, good goose, bite not. MERCUTIO: Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting. It is a most sharp sauce. ROMEO: And is it not well served in to a sweet goose? MERCUTIO: Oh, here’s a wit of cheverel, that stretches from an inch narrow to an ell broad! ROMEO: I stretch it out for that word ‘broad’, which, added to the goose, proves thee far and wide a broad goose. MERCUTIO: Why, is not this better now than groaning for love? Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo, now art thou what thou art by art as well as by nature, for this driveling love is like a great natural that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole. (2.3.55-80) Mercutio treats this exchange of wits as a duel of sorts, and when he feigns faltering, Romeo counters with “switch and spurs” telling him to continue or he’ll win. The banter continues: Romeo implying Mercutio is only good for jokes and Mercutio teasing him by threatening to “bite [his] ear for that,” as in an affectionate nibble, and the jesting carries on until it ends with Mercutio asking Romeo, “Is not this better now than groaning for love? Now art thou sociable. Now art thou Romeo” (2.3.76-77). He points out how Romeo is done moping and back to being himself after their exchange. Mercutio’s jests are meant both to mock and to lift spirits; he is the comical jester, the witty character that partakes in the verbal play and banter that Shakespeare must always include in his plays. Even The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare included his signature puns and double entendres; typically comedic affects that one would think would not belong in such a tragic romance. But clever word play and witty banter is about more than just comical effect: moments of punning dialogue can lighten an audience’s mood during a particularly sorrowful act in order to keep the audience enjoying the play. Puns can also provide character development by showcasing their wit, or Shakespeare’s cleverness by extension. There is purpose behind what Shakespeare does, and it is the reason why his plays remain well-known after years and years. Shakespeare is well known for his plays, his verse, and most of all, his puns, which he puts in even his most sorrowful tragedies.

Subject: Graphic Design

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Question:

Why is color important in Graphic Design?

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Kamaree S.
Answer:

Two words: Color Theory. Color theory dictates how colors can be combined for optimal use and allure. The importance of color design stems from the significance of color to the human mind. Color can evoke certain emotions, express a specific mood, and can spark or discourage interest. There is a psychology behind certain colors: for example, warm colors show excitement, optimism, and creativity and cool colors symbolize peace, calmness, and harmony. Some colors hold a universal significance. Red is a color for anger or warning and green is calming or means go. Put together, most would associate the combination with Christmas. Yellow in different contexts or paired with different colors can take on a different meaning. For instance, it can be a color of warning as in a yellow light of caution sign, but can also indicate happiness and sunshine if in a particularly bright hue. Bright colors tend to project a happy and positive mood whereas dark colors create the opposite. When it comes to choosing colors, it is not about choosing ones you like it is about aesthetic appeal as well as the presentation of particular message. If creating a logo, it is all about attention grabbing or creating a lasting impression so as to stick in one's memory. If you notice, most food labels are in reds and yellows and in bright colors, so as to capture one's attention as well as stimulate the appetite. A simple logo is easier to recall, especially if the color scheme is both striking and flattering to the design. Too many colors can overwhelm and confuse, whereas a particular simple color chosen is easiest to reproduce and particularly impactful. According to the famous color theory study of Joseph Albers, color is the most relative media in art. Color is especially manipulative, changing the colors next to/around it as well as taking on the tones of surroundings. Complementary colors create competition and make each other stand out, where as colors next to each other on the wheel blend together and create whats known as "soft boundaries." There are certain instances where one would want to create a blend that's easy upon the eye and others where one would wish to be bright and attention grabbing with the opposite: "vibrating boundaries" where to colors clash so as to confuse or almost hurt the eyes. There are a lot of factors to consider in creating a memorable design or a pleasing and welcoming website or brochure: font, type set, spacing, borders, use of imaging, etc; but I would argue that color choice and design has the most significant impact upon a viewer. My love of color and my fascination with color theory might make me biased, but a study of art history and at least a small knowledge about art movements such as Impressionism, Post-Modernism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop-Art; their significance in history; and their impact on the development of art culture would certainly support if not reinforce my theory.

Subject: Art History

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Question:

Under the broad title of Abstract Expressionism a variety of particular movements and practices occurred, such as Color Field Painting and Action Painting. Describe how each relates to the Abstract Expressionist movement, the differences between the two practices, and the importance of the distinction.

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Kamaree S.
Answer:

The Abstract Expressionist Movement was a post–World War II art movement in American painting in the 1940s and 1950s. Its predecessor was surrealism, whose emphasis was on spontaneous and subconscious creation. The term "abstract" means the art does not represent reality, but using shapes, forms, colors, and textures to achieve it's effect. Similar to Impressionism it is more about creating an "impression" or idea of a moment than representing it realistically. Such notable artists from this period are Clyffor Still, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Joan Mitchell. These artists viewed their art as expressions of the self, born out of profound emotion and universal themes. Color Field Painting is characterized by large fields of flat, solid color spread across or stained into the canvas. The movement places emphasis on consistency of forms and process rather than gesture and brushstrokes. The idea is to "free" color from objective context and let it become the subject in itself. Color field painting is about treating the canvas or paper as a "field of vision;" intended to exist without a central focus and emphasize the flatness of the work. This technique of painting is about creating tension by overlapping areas of color and interacting those fields of flatness. The bigger the scale of a work, the more the painting would envelop the audience, blurring the edges of vision and creating an overall emotional impact. Clyfford Still would be a perfect example of such painting style, being known as a representational, non-objective painter who was interested in juxtaposing different colors and surfaces into a variety of formations. Mark Rothko, known for his signature motif of soft, rectangular forms floating on a stained field of color, is another great example of "color fields." Looking at a few of his famous works: "Four Darks in Red", "The Rothko Chapel," and "Black on Grays," he uses such large color fields to represent figures, buildings, landscapes, and architecture. In contrast to the structured forms and composition of color field painting, the other technique of the Abstract Expressionist movement is the action-based, spontaneous expressiveness of Action Painting. Action Painting is about the process of and action in making the work. Jackson Pollock is a great example of such, known for his famous "drip" works in which paint was poured, splattered, and applied in an extremely physical fashion from above onto a canvas laying on the ground. It was seen as a process of expressing an internal emotional turbulence through gesture, line, texture, and composition. Action Painters were not interested in depicting scenes but rendering the energy and movement of life in a visible way on the canvas. Because the focus is in the act of creation, action painting is typically associated with gestural painting, the energy in making being captured in the emotion of the final product. Many of the painters insisted that their paintings were spontaneous acts, without planning or preparation. Franz Kline had his energetic palette of bold black and white strokes. He would often enlarge pieces of a subject and use them to represent the original whole, and the pieces, although entirely unrecognizable as to their original subject, still seemed to have an energy that connected them fittingly with their titles. Joan Mitchell was known to often read poetry or listen to music while she prepared to paint. The emotions aroused in these activities combined with her memories and thoughts to create beautiful, dynamic compositions. While to an untrained eye both these styles are quite obviously grouped into the same category of abstract expressionism, each technique had its own distinct methods and styles that rendered them quite different from each other. One was about the final result: fields of color specifically rendered to create impressions of scenes and evoke emotions, while the other was created in such emotion and energy that showed through and could be felt in the final result. It is that distinction about the creation of a work that gives it its value. Most would overlook the movement of Abstract Impressionism as canvases with blobs of color that anyone with paint and a brush could paint, but instead it is the idea behind the piece, the deliberation upon form and color, or the pure act of creating it, that makes it unique and so important in the evolution of art and history.

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