ACTIVITIES

LANGUAGE ARTS

1. As you look at the Black-Figure Panel Amphora, review the story of Achilles and Memnon. Imagine you are the scriptwriter for a Hollywood version of this story. Write out a working script. This should include directions about the location, the costumes, the camera position, the action of the characters, and a title. Finally, write out the conversations, including what is said by Memnon and Achilles as they battle hand to hand.

You may want to treat this production like a real business deal and 'hire' different people to write different sections of your working script.

ACHILLES AND MEMNON
Achilles was the son of the human Peleus and a sea-nymph named Thetis. Achilles was one of the greatest heroes of the ancient Greeks and he took a leading role in the war between the Greeks and the city of Troy. Memnon was the son of Eos (Dawn) and Tithonos, the brother of Troy's King Priam. Memnon became the king of the Ethiopians and led a great army of ten thousand men to aid his uncle's city. Memnon was famous as a fierce warrior, but he was not fated to live long.
During one of the many battles outside the city walls, Memnon killed Antilochus, the young son of Nestor and the friend of Achilles. The Greeks were very saddened by this loss, and Achilles challenged Memnon to battle. Although Memnon's mother was a goddess, she could not help her son against Achilles. Achilles was very strong and well-trained as a warrior, and in addition, he was protected by a special, impenetrable armor. Thetis had this armor made especially for Achilles by Hephaistos, the Olympian craftsman god of the Greeks, and in the end, Achilles won the battle and slew Memnon.

2. The way to write Achilles in Greek is ACILLEUS. Using the Greek alphabet with English equivalents, write the names of today's heroes and heroines in Greek. You might use Troy Aikman, Jackie Joiner, Hulk Hogan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and YOUR NAME too.

3. In the movie Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere (the French word for candelabrum) was a cheery person who enjoyed life. Consider the candelabrum from the Meissen Porcelain Factory. Would the young woman on this object be a good companion for Lumiere? Why or why not? What would you name her? Compose a short story about their meeting.

4. Pretend you are a speech writer for the Committee for Public Safety. Write a speech for Mr. Billaud-Varenne. Be sure to keep his personality in mind as you write.

5. The painting Apple Picking at Eragny-sur-Epte has been described as a hymn to rural life. A number of poets in the 19th century actually wrote such works. Read aloud the poem, "The Solitary Reaper." Now discuss the work. Do you think this poem reflects the spirit of this painting? Try making a poem or song of your own that reflects the feelings you have about nature.

The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travelers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In springtime from the cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of today?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending;-
I listened, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

6. Compare The Forest of Fontainebleau and Apple Picking at Eragny-sur-Epte. Make your comparison by choosing adjectives that apply to each painting. Take a sheet of paper, separate it into 2 parts, and list the adjectives you think are appropriate for each one.

When you have finished, look at the words. Do some of the adjectives show up in more than one column? What does this tell you about the paintings?