The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County

By Mark Twain

A Semiotician’s Shakespeare edition

October 27th, 2011 · 1 Comment
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Step 1 – Analyze the Words in the poem, identify the significant words and formulate a meaning for them.
Step 2 – Identify the use of the words. How are they supposed to be read in the poem? Could other words work in the place of these words as well?
Step 3 – Analyze the poem from the information that is not provided and discuss what they poem is based on everything it is not.

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65:
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O, none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

1 – mortality- death or dying, stronger – ability to have strength , power – The ability or official capacity to exercise control.
2 – Mortality is used to speak about death, other words may have been able to been used but mortality gets the job done.
Stronger is used to measure the strength of the different things in the earth that are susceptible to being destroyed.
Power is used to show that many things that we may assimilate power with aren’t as powerful as we think.
3-The Poem is not discusses a different number of things for example it is not talking about birth or construction by using words like mortality and decays. From analyzing the content that we have in front of us we can see that the topic of the poem is based on what can withstand the test of time and to Shakespeare “black ink” or literature can.

– To be a semiotician is a hard job but if i had to try i believe with the steps i have given they would first pull what they felt were the most important words, get the connotation and denotation of each and analyze each meaning of the words in respects to what they are not to determine what they are. After learning what the poem is not trying to say the semiotician can now sit and observe what it is trying to say based on what it is not. So since the poem is not talking about marriage or joy the poem has to be about death or destruction for example.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1    Henna // Oct 30, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    In step one, how might one identify which words are significant. But, further, to understand the poem, might you not need to understand all its word — the “less” significant and “more” so, alike? Because the poem is a linear progression, it’s a matter of all words considered as a single unit, as opposed to just individual “significant” words by themselves.

    Something mind-numbing I’ve been thinking about, if just intellectually, is the process of definition development by comparison: we take one word, and through comparison to another, assign it a definition. However, the second word (the word the original word was compared to) can only be defined after it goes through the same process, that of being compared to a third word, which too must be compared to a fourth, etc.

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