Sunday, December 8, 2013

KING and I

TAKING NOTES ON A MUSICAL

01a. Title: "King and I"
01b.
Date Composed: 1956







02a. Composer: Richard Rodgers


02b. Lyricist: Oscar Hammerstein Jr.
Photo of Hammerstein in middle age, seated, wearing a suit

03a. Historical event, story, and/or novel on 
        which this musical is based:

                The popular 1944 novel "Anna and the King of Siam," is based on the true story about
                Anna Leonowens, a Victorian Englishwoman who became the governess to the children

                of the King of Siam in the 1860's.
Anna Leonowens

03b. Author of the original story or novel on which this 
        musical is based:
           Margaret Landon (1903-1993)

MargaretLandon



04a. What the story is about:
              The story is set in Bangkok in the early 1860s and tells the story of Anna, an adventurous
              Englishwoman hired by the King of Siam (King Mongkut) to serve as governess and tudor

              to his many children in an attempt to bring Western culture to his country.  Although Anna
              has many quarrels with the dictator, the two eventually fall in love, and her influence on
              the king helps to democratize the country.

05a. Where the story takes place (ex: name of city, 
        country, etc.):
              Bangkok in Siam which was the official name of Thailand until 1939 when it was officially 
              changed.
05b. Name possible clues in the movie that tell you this 
        location (ex: famous landmarks, speech accents,
        etc.)
              Asian architecture, non-western clothing and customs (ex: bowing), Asian speech 

              accents


06a. Setting of the story (ex: farm, big city, slums,

        affluent neighborhood, etc.)
             King's Palace (extremely rich)



07a. Time frame the story takes place in:
              1860's



07b. Name possible clues in the movie that tell you the
        time frame (ex: style of clothes and hair, types of 
        transportation, modern inventions, etc.):
        References to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, clothing (long dresses with  
              hooped skirts) and hairstyles, modes of transportation (ships, no automobiles)



Hooped skirt




08a. Names of main characters and short
        descriptions of each (ex: John Smith-salesman,
        Mary Smith-wife of John Smith, etc.
              Anna Leonowens: A widowed Briton, in Siam to teach the royal children
             The King: The King of Siam, in real life Mongkut
The real King Mongkut
               Lady Thiang: The King's chief wife
               Lun Tha: A Burmese scholar, in love with Tuptim
               Tuptim: A slave brought from Burma to be one of the King's junior wives
               Prince Chulalongkorn: The King's eldest son and heir

The real Chulalongkorn

                Louis Leonowens: Anna's son


sings the role of Anna (played onscreen by Deborah Kerr)
09a. Inner messages within the story (ex: morals, ethics, etc.) 
         and explain the message you think the author of the movie 
         (or story) is trying to convey:
              Issue of slavery (slavery in Siam compared to slavery in the United States), treatment       
              of women, differences and similarities between cultures and their customs from 
              different parts of the world, forbidden relationships between different cultures and 
              culture classes, and unrequited love.

10a. Personal opinion (your ENJOYMENT factor: why 
        you liked or disliked the musical): 
             Student is to write a personal paragraph about this.



10b. Personal opinion on the QUALITY OF THE 
        ARTISTRY in this musical: (ex: how well acted,
        quality of the singing voice(s), cinematography,
        memorable melodies, etc.):
              Student is to write a personal paragraph about this.

11a. Terms or phrases used in the movie that are new, 
         unusual to you, and/or not often used:


a person who behaves without moral principles




a country of southeastern Asia that extends southward 

along the Isthmus of Kra to the Malay Peninsula; now call Thailand




the criminal offense of marrying one person while still legally married to another




to behave humbly or abjectly, as before an authority


a member of a people considered by those of another nation or group 

to have a primitive civilization


An anti-slavery novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in the 19th century




the former name for the country Myanmar, a mountainous republic 

in southeastern Asia on the bay of Bengal



a dependent state partially controlled by another of superior power for protection


the custom of having more than one wife or husband at a time




a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than his wife or wives




the founder of Buddhism which is a philosophy and religion 

often practiced in many Asian countries 


12a. Song titles (hint: listen for repeated words or 
        phrases in the song and guess the name of the
        song if you don’t know the name):


Overture 


























The Small House of Uncle Thomas (Ballet) or 
the Siamese version of "Uncle Tom`s Cabin" 

 originally by Harriet Beecher Stowe






A"The King and I" Song that did not make it into the movie:  
Shall I Tell You What I Think of You
Sung by Deborah Kerr

VARIATIONS ON THE "KING AND I"

The Brine 2.jpg




video video



Anna and the King: The Real Story of Anna Leonowens
FROM A & E 
LESSON PLAN

Her story has inspired four screen versions and a stage play. Anna Leonowens is known throughout the world as the 19th century English woman who tutored the royal children of Siam. But what really was her relationship with the king and his wives and children? Who was this proper English widow whose adventures took her to exotic places in Asia? BIOGRAPHY takes a look behind the story and reveals a woman who defied gender conventions of her day and recreated herself over more than once. Anna and the King: The Real Story of Anna Leonowens would be useful for classes on World History, Asian History, Literature, Media Studies and Geography. It is appropriate for middle school and high school.

OBJECTIVES
Students will learn about the true life of Anna Leonowens and how the mythic story of her relationship with the king of Siam evolved. They will explore the systems of 19th century colonization as well as 20th century political ideology.

NATIONAL HISTORY STANDARDS
Anna and the King: The Real Story of Anna Leonowens fulfills the following National Standards for History for grades 5-12: chronological thinking, historical comprehension, historical analysis and interpretations, and historical research capabilities World History era 7.

Vocabulary
Discussion Questions

  1. The story of Anna and the King of Siam has captivated audiences for over a century. What is it about this story that makes it so interesting? Why does it continue to be a part of popular culture?
  2. Anna Leonowens was born in colonial India. Discuss the system of colonization of the 19th century, especially that of the British Empire.
  3. What are the differences between the colonizers and the colonized? How are their lifestyles different? What are some examples of these differences?
  4. Anna had a unique childhood in that she was well traveled. Discuss her childhood and its influence on her later life.
  5. Anna's beloved husband died at an early age of apoplexy. What is apoplexy?
  6. Anna Leonowens created the woman she presented to the world after her husband's death. How and why did she remake herself?
  7. When Anna went to Siam (modern day Thailand) she took only her son and not her daughter. Why did she send her daughter to England instead of taking her along?
  8. Discuss the strengths of King Mongkut as a ruler in the 19th century.
  9. Discuss the gender inequities in 19th century Siam.
  10. How did Anna teach her own principles and morals to the royal children of Siam?
  11. Anna's experiences in Siam became popular because of the stories she wrote. Why did she write these stories? How did these stories cater to the tastes of popular culture in the latter half of the 19th century?
  12. Anna was a woman ahead of her time. Discuss how she defied the gender conventions of her era.
  13. How did the story of Anna Leonowens become a mainstay of popular culture in the 20th century?
Extended Activities

  1. View one of the cinema versions of Anna Leonowens' story. Compare the movie with the real life of Anna Leonowens. What is true? What is fiction?
  2. Imagine that you lived in 19th century Siam. Research the history and culture of Siam (Thailand) and write an essay about what your life would be like.
  3. Imagine that you are an editor for a newspaper in 1915. Write an obituary for Anna Leonowens. How would you present her life for your readers?






    Discussion Questions from TEACH WITH MOVIES: 

    1.  See Discussion Questions for Use With any Film that is a Work of Fiction.

    2.  What are some of the possible routes that Anna's ship might have taken to get from England to Siam? 

    3.  Why did the King's Prime Minister dislike Anna? 

    4.  Who was Queen Victoria and why was her good opinion important to King Mongkut?

    5.  Why did Anna have to give advice to the King by "guessing" what he was thinking?

    6.  Do you think that Anna caused the King's death by setting up a conflict within him between the modern/Western ways and the old ways? How did the real King Mongkut die?

    7.  The King sings:
    When I was a boy, world was better spot;
    What was so was so, what was not was not;
    Now I am a man, world has changed a lot;
    Some things nearly so; some things nearly not;
    Was the world really better when the King was a boy? What had changed?

    8.  How does the character of the King use the term "scientific"? Is he using it correctly? What does he mean by it?

    9.  Can you tell the story of "The Small House of Uncle Thomas," the dance shown in the movie? What do you think of dancing that tells a story?

    10.  Why did the King tell Anna, "Your Moses shall have been a fool"? 

    11.  Why did the King dislike "The Small House of Uncle Thomas"? 

    12.  What biblical story gave Tuptim the idea to add a scene in "The Small House of Uncle Thomas" in which the ice on the river melted just in time to drown Simon of Legree?

    13.  What changes did the Crown Prince make as his father was dying? Why? 

    14.  Why was it important to the King that he not be regarded as a barbarian by the English?

    15.  Do you agree with the King that forks are a foolhardy utensil and that chopsticks are much better? If you were used to eating with chopsticks and unused to forks, would you have the same answer?