Over Sea, Under Stone Study Guide

Kinds of Artistic Knowledge

Earlier this quarter we suggested that artists employ three kinds of knowledge in their creative activities:

  1. Artists must possess the skills necessary for their art (dance movements, brush strokes, instrumental and/or voice skills, writing skills, etc). That is, they must be able to actually "do" what it is that they do. A poet isn't much of a poet if he can't write a poem!

  2. Artists must also have a knowledge of the conventions within which they work. Picasso may paint in the cubist tradition, but he is knowledgeable in the realist tradition as well.

  3. Artists must have a message, point, thought, or impression to convey in their work. When Gershwin wrote "Rhapsody in Blue" for piano and full orchestra, he was trying to suggest that blues could be treated as serious music.

Over Sea, Under Stone Study Questions

These three points suggest how you might want to go about studying and writing about the novel you're reading, Over Sea, Under Stone. Below are some study questions which reflect each of these kinds of knowledge:

A writer must be able to do or manage the skills of writing fiction:

A writer must know about the Arthurian tradition in general and the grail tradition particular:

A writer must have a message, theme, point, or lesson to communicate.


Your assignment for the literature portion of this unit is to write a review (3-4 pages) of Over Sea, Under Stone. In your review you will