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SCC English

21 episodes - English - Latest episode: over 3 years ago -

Podcasts from the English Department of St Columba's College, Dublin, Ireland

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Voices of Poetry 2020

June 17, 2020 16:17 - 40 minutes - 77.4 MB

In 2020, the annual Voices of Poetry evening moved online. Normally, we would be round a single spotlight in the Big Schoolroom listening to words in different languages from all over the world. This time, words were sent from all over the world inwards, to be gathered virtually in this recording.

Seamus Heaney's 'Sunlight'

February 02, 2012 15:52 - 8 minutes - 7.46 MB

Our 30th podcast is one of an occasional series on poems on the Irish Leaving Certificate English course. This examines Seamus Heaney's poem 'Sunlight', one of the dedicatory poems called 'Mossbawn', which open his 1975 collection North. 'Sunlight' is a poem of great warmth, recreating a scene from his childhood on the family farm, suffused with the love of and for his aunt Mary. However, it also prefigures disturbance and the eventual disappearance of such an idyll in a more violent society.

'Hamlet' revision podcast 4: the first soliloquy

May 18, 2011 14:45 - 11 minutes - 10.5 MB

Our 29th podcast is the fourth in a series looking at the play Hamlet leading up to the Leaving Certificate next month, and is a close examination of Hamlet's first soliloquy, 'O that this too too solid flesh...', putting the speech in its context and looking at how it expresses the character's deepest feelings about his mother.

'Hamlet' revision podcast 3: the first scene

May 08, 2011 16:38 - 8 minutes - 7.62 MB

Our 28th podcast deals with the first scene in the play Hamlet, which sets a mood of uncertainty, and prefigures some central themes of the play, such as the disruption of the natural order, identity and revenge. The first two podcasts in our revision series prior to the Leaving Certificate exams gathered together individual short talks on 10 characters in Hamlet - the first one was on 1) Fortinbras, 2) Horatio, 3) Laertes, 4) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, 5) Polonius; the second on 7) Opheli...

4 Characters in 'Hamlet'

April 04, 2011 08:22 - 19 minutes - 17.4 MB

Our 27th podcast gathers together the final four short 'audioboos' from our series 10 Characters from 'Hamlet', which deal with these characters: Ophelia, The Player King, Osric, The First Gravedigger. Click here for the first six characters. The series looks at the 'lesser' characters in the play, in five-minute chunks. Note that there is a brief gap between each talk.

Patterns of Poetry 9-15

April 02, 2011 14:12 - 30 minutes - 28.4 MB

Our 26th podcast brings together seven more 5-minute talks from the Patterns of Poetry series, which was runner-up in the 2010 Edublog Awards in the category 'Best Educational Use of Audio.' The talks are, in order: (9) Rhyme, (10) Repetition, (11) The Sonnet, (12) Punctuation, (13) Foreshadowing, (14) Metaphor, (15) Hyperbole. Note that there is a brief pause between each talk. The first 8 talks are available in a single podcast here.

6 Characters in 'Hamlet'

March 12, 2011 15:20 - 23 minutes - 21.2 MB

This podcast gathers together the first five short 'audioboos' from our series 10 Characters from 'Hamlet', which deal with six characters: 1) Fortinbras, 2) Horatio, 3) Laertes, 4) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, 5) Polonius. Another podcast will put together the remaining four when complete. The series looks at the 'lesser' characters in the play, in five-minute chunks. Note that there is a brief gap between each talk.

Patterns of Poetry 1-8

October 11, 2010 19:25 - 33 minutes - 31.1 MB

Our 24th podcast puts together in one handy track the first eight of the Patterns of Poetry talks, first published via Audioboo. The eight talks are all under 5 minutes each and are, in order: (1) Introduction, (2) Titles, (3) Alliteration, (4) Personification, (5) Symbols, (6) Onomatopoeia, (7) Cliché, (8) Simile. Note that there is a brief gap between each talk. There is a full list of the series here.

King Lear revision podcast 6: the end of the play

May 27, 2010 14:03 - 9 minutes - 8.61 MB

Our 23rd podcast is the final one of 6 on King Lear. This looks at the end of the play, considering how the famously bleak ending is constructed by Shakespeare. Lear so nearly becomes a play with a comic ending (like its sources and Nahum Tate's rewritten 1681 version). Instead, there is no mitigation: all is dark horror. To read Tate's version, click here (go to page 66 for the ending).

King Lear revision podcast 5: blindness and seeing

May 20, 2010 12:51 - 11 minutes - 9.52 MB

Using the notorious scene in which Gloucester is blinded as a starting point, this talk looks at ideas of blindness and seeing throughout the play, particularly in the stories of the two old 'blind' men, Lear and Gloucester. Lear undergoes a humanising process of development, and starts to 'see' real truths about himself and society; however, in the end this matters little, as he is exposed to devastating grief on the death of his daughter Cordelia

King Lear revision podcast 4: quotation auto-test

May 16, 2010 19:29 - 15 minutes - 14.2 MB

Our 21st podcast features ten quotations from King Lear; you can pause your computer or MP3 player after each, and test yourself on who spoke the words, and their context, and then listen to the answers and a commentary on the quotation. These commentaries examine the quotations as key moments in the play, linking them to the rest of the text, and again trying to prompt fresh reflection on the themes and characters.

King Lear revision podcast 3: Kent and Albany, two good guys

May 06, 2010 13:59 - 11 minutes - 10.3 MB

Our 20th podcast is the third in a series of revision sessions on King Lear, prior to the Leaving Certificate. This talk examines the role of two minor but important characters in the play, the Dukes of Kent and Albany, and how they affect the central story and its themes. Both are decent men; while Albany needs to travel on a path of moral development, Kent is the most clear-sighted and steadfast character in the play. In the end, however, their decency cannot prevent the tragedy.

King Lear revision 2: 'All's cheerless, dark and deadly'

April 29, 2010 14:12 - 11 minutes - 10.8 MB

Our 19th podcast is the second in a series of revision talks on King Lear, prior to the Leaving Certificate in early June. The first one examined Act I scene i. This second podcast looks at the extreme bleakness of Shakespeare's vision in the play, especially through its treatment of religion and the gods. The gods are often invoked in King Lear, and on the surface in it ancient Britain seems to be a highly religious society. But in fact there is no stage at which heaven seems to be active o...

King Lear revision 1: the opening scene

April 22, 2010 16:04 - 14 minutes - 13.4 MB

Our 18th podcast is the first in a series of weekly revision talks on Shakespeare's King Lear, leading up to the Leaving Certificate in early June. Like last year's Macbeth revision podcasts, these are designed to freshen up thinking. Each lasts about 10-15 minutes. The first King Lear talk examines the explosive and crucial opening scene, during which the King sets in train the disastrous train of events which leads to personal and public catastrophe.

'This Moment' by Eavan Boland

February 11, 2010 17:26 - 8 minutes - 7.82 MB

Our 17th podcast is the second in a series dealing with individual poems on the Leaving Certificate course (following the first on Yeats's 'The Wild Swans at Coole'). This one deals with 'This Moment' by the contemporary Irish poet Eavan Boland, examining how this apparently simple lyric achieves its memorable impact, and quoting from Boland's own comments and other writing.

Blogging in Schools

November 09, 2009 09:56 - 17 minutes - 16.2 MB

Our 16th podcast since we started six months ago is a joint effort with the Science Department's Frog Blog, in which teachers Jeremy Stone, Humphrey Jones and Julian Girdham discuss the value and purpose of blogging in schools, particularly for subject departments. The podcast (or, as the scientists call it, 'frogcast') may be of particular interest to teachers, since there's lots of advice here on how blogging can enhance teaching and learning in schools. The discussion examines the way blog...

'The Wild Swans at Coole' by W.B. Yeats

October 13, 2009 19:17 - 10 minutes - 9.9 MB

Our fifteenth podcast is the first of this academic year, and is also the first in a series of podcasts on individual poems on the Higher Level Leaving Certificate course. This one is on W.B. Yeats's poem 'The Wild Swans at Coole', and sets the poem in its literary and historical background. The second volume of Roy Foster's biography, which is quoted in the podcast, is The Arch-Poet. The Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland, is open now, and the website is here (you can see ...

Henry James's 'The Portrait of a Lady'

June 18, 2009 17:43 - 37 minutes - 34.1 MB

Podcast 14: our final podcast of this academic year, just in time for some satisfying holiday reading, is an interview with former colleague John Fanagan, who talks about Henry James's great 1881 novel The Portrait of a Lady. Set in England and Italy, the book examines the progress of the innocent American young woman Isabel Archer, as she comes into contact with the ways of an older civilisation. John discusses other characters in the novel, such as Ralph Touchett, Lord Warburton, Madame Mer...

Actiontrack: an interview with Nick Brace

June 11, 2009 08:42 - 29 minutes - 26.8 MB

Our 13th podcast is an interview with the Artistic Director of the Actiontrack Performance Company, Nick Brace. Actiontrack have been coming to us since 1993, working with II formers in March, and with Transition Year in particular at the end of each year in 'showbuilds'. Nick discusses the process in which a musical production is created from scratch in five days, involving song-writing, singing, dancing, set design and of course acting. He also talks about Actiontrack's work generally, incl...

The Great Hunger: MacIntyre, Kavanagh, Jameson

June 06, 2009 08:20 - 20 minutes - 18.9 MB

Our 12th podcast is an interview with Department member Evan Jameson, about the highly successful part he look in the Balally Players' production of Tom MacIntyre's The Great Hunger, his 1983 adaptation of the epic poem by Patrick Kavanagh (the first part of the poem is on the Leaving Certificate course). We reviewed this here six months ago. Evan discusses the rehearsal process for this very physical piece of drama, the nature of the writing itself, and the experience of going to amateur dr...

Macbeth revision VII: his tragic end

May 28, 2009 15:55 - 10 minutes - 9.48 MB

Podcast 11: The last of our seven Macbeth revision sessions deals with Macbeth as he faces his end in Act V, and analyses the crucial speech in Act V scene v, 'Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrrow...' It looks at why we consider his story tragic, given the horrendous deeds he has committed.