Friday, October 29, 2010

Literary Device: Foreshadowing

 You probably already know about the literary device called foreshadowing, using hints or clues about the future story in an earlier section.   This paragraph tells about foreshadowing in relation to the Iliad.

Homer often gives his audience hints about what is going to happen later in the story. This technique is called foreshadowing and conveys a sense of the inevitability of important events. An example of foreshadowing occurs in book 6 when Hektor leaves Andromache to return to battle while her handmaidens mourn for him as if he were already dead (500-502). Note also Hektor's pessimism which he expresses to Andromache (447-465). This foreshadowing prepares us for Hektor's death in book 22. Achilleus's approaching death (which does not occur in the Iliad) is also foreshadowed as early as book 1 by himself and his mother (352; 416).

The above examples are only the most obvious instances of foreshadowing in the Iliad. Try to find other more subtle instances of anticipation of future

Go on to next section


Knowing about the device of foreshadowing can be helpful to you both as a reader and a writer.

As a reader, it helps you to make predictions as you read.  You even see quite young children being able to see a pattern of what is going to happen in a story based on the author's hints.  (sometimes, in picture books, you even see it in the picture rather than in the story).

As a writer, knowing about foreshadowing can help you keep the story from being jerky and confused.  You have probably seen in beginner's stories that one sign of inexperience is the lack of preparation in the story.  Things happen and you don't have a clue why.  

Have you ever used foreshadowing in your writing? (You might have done it by instinct because you have read so many books).

Can you think of one of your stories where putting in a clue ahead of time could make your story better?


Here is some information on how to write a compare and contrast paragraph.  

To use this in a fictional story, there are several things you can do.  Here are two:

  • Show comparison and contrast between two characters, in how they react to something.
  • Show contrast between two events and how they affect a character.
  • Describe two characters in terms of likenesses and differences.
If you remember Lord of the Rings from last year, you can see how an author might set up a natural comparison/contrast between two characters in order to show something important to his story.

  • Saruman and Gandalf 
  • Denethor and Theoden

A very easy quiz on comparing and contrasting (you hardly even have to read the passages)

Example of a Contrast

The Bible often uses a contrast approach to illuminate differences between those who follow the Lord and those who don't.  As you read, notice the differences and see if you can figure out the categories.  

(You can see that it's important to take two similar aspects in order to show a likeness or lack of likeness.  You could compare and contrast Aidan and Paddy, for example, but it might not be so easy to compare a Bionicle with the President of the United States, though interesting to try perhaps!)

Happy those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, Nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in company with scoffers.
Rather, the law of the LORD is their joy; God's law they study day and night.
They are like a tree planted near streams of water, that yields its fruit in season; Its leaves never wither; whatever they do prospers.
But not the wicked! They are like chaff driven by the wind.
Therefore the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just.
The LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Go on to next section

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tales of Egypt


Princess Ahura: The Magic Book

Hymn to the Nile

below -- an ancient Egyptian hymn to the Nile.   There is a little more information here.
The longest surviving hymn to the Nile flood is a literary composition in Middle Egyptian, of uncertain date. All surviving copies were written in the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC), and some scholars have argued that it was composed in the New Kingdom. However the style of language and echoes of other literary compositions, such as laments of the order overturned, suggest that it may date to the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC). No author is named on the surviving sources.

Hymn to the Nile

Adoration to the Nile!
Hail to thee, O Nile!

Who manifestest thyself over this land,

Who cometh to give life to Egypt!
Mysterious is thy issuing forth from the darkness,
On this day whereon it is celebrated!

Watering the orchards created by Ra

To cause all the cattle to live
Thou givest the earth to drink, O inexhaustible one!

Loving the fruits of Seb

And the first fruits of Nepera
Thou causest the workshops of Ptah  to prosper.

Lord of the fish, during the inundation,

No bird alights on the crops !
Thou createst corn, thou bringest forth the barley,
Assuring perpetuity to the temples.
If thou ceasest thy toil and thy work,
Then all that exists is in anguish.
If the gods suffer in heaven,
Then the faces of men waste away. . . .

If the Nile smiles the earth is joyous,
Every stomach is full of rejoicing,
Every spine is happy,
Every jawbone crushes its food. . . .

A festal song is raised for thee on the harp,

With the accompaniment of the hand.

The young men and thy children acclaim thee

And prepare their long exercises.

Thou art the august ornament of the earth,
Letting thy bark advance before men,
Lifting up the heart of women in labor,
And loving the multitude of the flocks.

When thou shinest in the royal city,
The rich man is sated with good things,
The poor man even disdains the lotus,
All that is produced is of the choicest,
All the plants exist for thy children.
If thou hast refused to grant nourishment,
The dwelling is silent, devoid of all that is good,
The country falls exhausted.

O inundation of the Nile,
Offerings are made unto thee,
Oxen are immolated to thee,
Great festivals are instituted for thee,
Birds are sacrificed to thee,
Gazelles are taken for thee in the mountain,

Pure flames are prepared for thee. . . .

O Nile, come and prosper!
O thou who makest men to live through his flocks,
Likewise his flocks through his orchards,

Come and prosper, come,

O Nile, come and prosper!