Study Guides, Teacher Resources
May 24, 2009 4:02 AM   Subscribe

Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
posted by netbros (10 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
The twitter of lit crit.
posted by Postroad at 4:39 AM on May 24, 2009

The litter of twit crit?

(Nah, looks cool.)
posted by Edwahd at 4:52 AM on May 24, 2009

Ooh, 130 is my favorite of the sonnets. Thanks netbros!
posted by shakespeherian at 5:57 AM on May 24, 2009

I like this.
posted by stbalbach at 6:14 AM on May 24, 2009

My love for Alan Rickman notwithstanding, my favorite performance of Sonnet 130 is still the one that starts at 4:38 in this video.
posted by katemonster at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is terrible. The first link I tried out was the entry for abolitionism. Here it is:

From the moment the United States was founded as a free and independent republic, dedicated to the proposition that "all men are created equal," slavery represented a fundamental contradiction to the nation's most cherished values. Chattel bondage was also a contradiction inherent in itself: human beings were treated as property, yet there was no escaping the essence of humanity that they embodied. Slaves defied the premise of slavery simply through their own existence, their cognizance, their humanity.

"Chattel bondage"? A "contradiction inherent in itself"? "No escaping the essence of humanity that they embodied"?

The entry is vague, poorly written, and generally useless. The advertising-free wikipedia entry is far better. This looks a lot like a crappy way to generate ad revenue to me.
posted by googly at 8:19 AM on May 24, 2009

Hearing poetry can be really enjoyable in class, and less intimidating than looking at a formal poem on the page. I'm resigned about how busy students would use the site, though. The homepage declares that it's not about cheating and warns against plagarism: "We hope that Shmoop inspires and excites students to think deeply for themselves." Mm. Not convinced about that. My students would be grateful to have someone decode all the hard stuff, even pull out quotations for their papers, but in practice it's a kind of a convenience store. Femininity? Aisle 3. Pick up a meaning, remember it for class, cut down the time for lit homework.
posted by woodway at 8:20 AM on May 24, 2009

Pretty jokey and borderline accurate in some cases, it might be a good last-minute resource for a harried middle-school teacher.
posted by kozad at 8:45 AM on May 24, 2009

Some of these entries do a fantastic job of writing with a tone as if you, the reader, don't know anything but with content that you'd have to know a reasonable amount to make any sense of. But, hey, it's way easier to simplify your tone than it is to clarify your content!
posted by Casuistry at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2009

"Shmoop" is a terrible name. If your website deals with poetics, why pick a name that rhymes with "poop"?
posted by hpliferaft at 4:58 AM on May 25, 2009

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