The English Network

The English Network header image 1

An Inspector Calls context (part two)

November 3rd, 2019

The second episode of our An Inspector Calls series looks at objectification theory.

Use the definitions here to help your understanding:

  1. instrumentality: the treatment of a person as a tool for the objectifier's purposes;
  2. denial of autonomy: the treatment of a person as lacking in autonomy and self-determination;
  3. inertness: the treatment of a person as lacking in agency, and perhaps also in activity;
  4. fungibility: the treatment of a person as interchangeable with other objects;
  5. violability: the treatment of a person as lacking in boundary-integrity;
  6. ownership: the treatment of a person as something that is owned by another (can be bought or sold);
  7. denial of subjectivity: the treatment of a person as something whose experiences and feelings (if any) need not be taken into account.

An Inspector Calls: Context (part 1)

October 19th, 2019

In the first episode of our new series on JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls, we take a look at the playwright, his politics, and the ideas that informed his iconic (and somewhat contrived) attack on capitalism and the British class system.

Macbeth: Kingship

May 11th, 2019

This episode explores the meaning and representations of kingship in Macbeth. We discuss Duncan's naive ineptitude, Macbeth's selfish tyranny, and Malcolm's balanced pragmatism. 

Lady Macbeth- The Fourth Witch?

April 28th, 2019

This episode explores the numerous interpretations applicable to Lady Macbeth. We discuss her influence on Macbeth, her subversion of Jacobean conventions, and her fateful dalliance with those dark forces that surround the play. 

Macbeth- A Tragic Hero?

April 5th, 2019

This episode considers Macbeth's credentials as an Aristotelean tragic hero. Listen along for discussion of character development, fatal flaws, free will, violence, relationships, psychology, philosophy, and more!  

Macbeth: Context

March 3rd, 2019

In the first in a new series of revision companion episodes for Macbeth, we discuss the social, political, and historical context of the play. We consider this knowledge to be a vital first step in truly understanding the play; it forms a solid foundation upon which you can build personal and conceptualised responses. Enjoy!

Episode 14: Tissue

February 16th, 2019

Our final poetry episode explores Imtiaz Dharker's Tissue. This episode includes discussion of motif, metaphor, politics, philosophy, economics, and the utility of establishing a critical voice.

Episode 13: Checking Out me History

February 3rd, 2019

This episode of the podcast explores John Agard's blistering assault against cultural assimilation in Checking out My History. 

Episode 12: The Charge of the Light Brigade

January 24th, 2019

This episode of the podcast considers the tragic tale of sacrifice and slaughter as immortalised by Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Charge of the Light Brigade. We discuss the mysterious historical context surrounding the event, explore the ambiguous position of the poet, and delve into his striking imagery and rhythmic expression.

Episode 11: Kamikaze

January 13th, 2019

This episode of the podcast explores the power of memory, identity, and culture in Beatrice Garland's Kamikaze. We discuss the unique mixture of culture and politics surrounding this brutal period in human history, whilst delineating how such influences impact the experience of the individual, and the ambiguity of identity. 

Episode 10: Storm on the Island

January 6th, 2019

Join us as we delve into Seamus Heaney's Storm on the Island. In a novel turn, Ted provides the contextual information as we interpret the poem as an allegory for the troubled history of Ireland, and the strange (often destructive) power held by ideas of nationality, identity, and religion. 

Episode 9: Exposure

January 6th, 2019

Our new year podcast explores Exposure, Wilfred Owen's first-hand account of trench warfare during the First World War. It certainly won't cure your January blues, but it will add depth to your understanding of this bleak and powerful poem.

Episode 8: The Emigree

December 2nd, 2018

This episode of the podcast analyses the power of place and identity as expressed through Carol Rumens' The Emigree. This is a complex and nuanced poem which can entertain numerous interpretations- listen along for ours!

Episode 7: War Photographer

November 27th, 2018

In the seventh episode of the podcast, we discuss Carol Ann Duffy's War Photographer. This poem explores the morally ambiguous role of the media (and those who consume it) in reporting conflict, as well as delving into the psyche of those who occupy that strange grey area between peaceful nations and violent war-zones. 

Episode 2: Remains

November 20th, 2018

This episode of the podcast delves into Remains, Simon Armitage's viscerally violent exploration of war, and its effects on those who experience it. This poem is rich with vivid descriptions of the brutal reality (and tragic consequences) of conflict.