Are You Not Entertained?!
Good morning! Our adventure today started nice and earlier with a journey to one of the most famous sights in Rome: The Colosseum! After reserving our tickets ahead of time, we were inside by 9:15 am, doing our best to beat the heat (which is nearly impossible on this trip) and the crowds. We wandered around the perimeter of the stadium until we found a nook large enough to sit down in the shade for a lecture.
Today the students learned about the purpose of the Colosseum: entertainment. As we walked into the Colosseum, the students noticed what they thought was a maze at the bottom. They weren’t wrong! Beneath the Colosseum was a networks of tunnels and cells where wild animals and slaves awaiting execution were kept. A typical day at the Colosseum included animal hunts, criminal executions, and gladiatorial games. Gladiators were slaves, prisoners, or condemned criminals, and attended a gladiator school where they received training for the fights. During the games, 10-13 pairs of fighters were chosen, and they would fight until one was wounded, forfeited or killed. There was also the opportunity for the audience to sway a decision based on the performance, granting slaves freedom.
After exploring the Colosseum, we headed to the Roman Forum; walking under the same sun that relentlessly beat down on the Julius Caesar so long ago. The Forum was the city center of Rome, where people gathered from political speeches and victory parades. All religious, commercial, and ceremonial life took place in the Forum; whether in the surrounding temples, assembly halls and law courts. We explored the Forum for as long as we could stand the heat before breaking for the afternoon.
We reconvened at Castel Sant’Angelo for a lecture on Shakespearean sonnets. The students started their exploration ofShakespeare’s language by participating in one of our favourite activities: Create-your-own Shakespearean insult. The students chose three slips of paper with insults from Shakespeare’s numerous plays, and chose their victim. In pairs, the students started facing each other as close as possible.
Alternating between the partners, the students would start by whispering their insults and then taking a step backwards. Each step the students took, the louder their insults became. Let’s just say it was a good way for the students to let off some steam. When the students couldn’t scream any louder, we called the activity to a close and had a short lecture on Shakespearean sonnets. The students then broke into groups and, in less than 30 minutes, wrote a sonnet about a topic of their choice. The groups did very well considering the short amount of time they had to work on them. One group even added a dramatic component while presenting their sonnet, titled The Plague. Way to go, guys! We’re looking forward to your Julius Caesar presentations.
– The Odyssey Crew