Introduction

Learn about the Swiss hero, William Tell in today’s Word Power episode from English Plus Podcast and lean ten keywords in the context of the story. The word are intrepid, conventional, incensed, impetus, obeisance, impertinent, reputedly, guise, egalitarian, and partisan.


Interactive Transcript

Click play and see the words as you hear them. You can search for certain words and you can press on any word to start playing from there. You can choose to auto-scroll as you listen to the episode; you can find the toggle below. Enjoy 🙂

William Tell, Man or Myth | Word Power

Audio Podcast


William Tell, Man or Myth

William Tell, the national hero of Switzerland, has long been a powerful source of artistic inspiration and the focal point of plays, musical compositions, paintings, and poems. Like Robin Hood, the intrepid peasant symbolized the struggle for political and individual freedom. Today, however, hallowed chapters of Swiss history are being rewritten, and Tell has been relegated to the realm of folklore.

According to the conventional version of history, the peasants of three cantons (states) in central Switzerland, incensed over their brutal repression by the Hapsburg rulers, stormed and destroyed the mighty castles of the Austrians in 1291. Their impetus came from William Tell, who refused to make obeisance to a governor’s hat that was displayed publicly as the symbol of Austrian authority. Viewed as impertinent, Tell was reputedly punished by having to shoot an arrow through an apple resting on his son’s head. Tell is said to have performed the feat but was thrown into chains when he confessed that had he harmed his son, he would have used a second arrow to shoot the governor. Later, while Tell was being taken across Lake Lucerne by the governor and his men to the dungeon in the governor’s castle, a violent storm broke out. The governor told Tell to steer the boat, promising him freedom in return for bringing them home safely. Under the guise of being helpful, Tell brought the boat to shore, but then quickly jumped out and pushed the boat back into the stormy waters. Realizing that the governor and his men might survive the storm anyway, he stationed himself along the only path to the governor’s castle. When the governor appeared, Tell drew his bow and arrow and shot the governor through the heart. Soon after, the peasants gathered in a meadow and took a solemn oath to unite against foreign oppression and to form an egalitarian and independent state.

Unfortunately, this uplifting story has almost no foundation in fact. No evidence that William Tell ever existed has been unearthed. Some medievalists believe simply that some of the deeds attributed to him have been culled from other heroic figures or mythical sources. Others conjecture that his origins stemmed from fifteenth-century humanists intent on finding a character who would appeal to the growing Swiss national consciousness. Perhaps William Tell’s significance lies in the power that he represents as a partisan of the universal passion for freedom.

Interactive Activities

Flashcards


Learning


Matching


Spelling


Test


Crossword Puzzle


PDF Practice Worksheet

Text Transcript

Danny:

Welcome to a new Word Power episode from English Plus Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about one of the legendary heroes from Switzerland. A very known figure that you all might have heard of before. Today, we’re going to talk about the Swiss hero, William Tell and discuss the meaning of ten keywords in the context of our story. Today’s words are intrepid, conventional, incense, impetus, obeisance, impertinent, reputedly, guise, egalitarian, and partisan.  

But before we do that, let me remind you that you can practice the words we’re going to learn in today’s episode on our website englishpluspodcast.com, so when you finish listening to the episode, take the link you can find in the description of the episode and practice the words we’re going to learn to make them a part of your permanent active vocabulary bank. There’s plenty of practice on the custom post I have created for this episode both interactive that you can do on the website directly or in the form of a PDF practice worksheet that you can download, print out and practice not only the ten keywords we’re learning in today’s episode, but you can also review the words we learned in the previous four Word Power episodes, so what are you waiting for, take your English and knowledge to the next level with our podcast. Never stop learning with English Plus.

And now without further ado, Ben and I are going to talk about William Tell and we will discuss the meaning of ten keywords in context. So, what do we have for today’s Word Power episode, Ben?

Ben:

Well, today, we’re going to talk about William Tell. Let’s start by talking a little about the man himself. Do you think he’s a real man or just a myth?

Danny:

So, William Tell. It’s kind of a tricky one, right? Some people say he was a real guy who lived in Switzerland a long time ago, and others think he’s just a myth. But here’s what we know— there’s a story about a guy named William Tell who was an awesome marksman. The legend goes that he had to shoot an apple off his son’s head as a test of his skills. This story has become really famous and important in Switzerland, and it’s still told today.

But here’s the thing— it’s hard to know what parts of the story are true and what parts are just, you know, made up over time. But even if some of the details aren’t 100% accurate, the story of William Tell has been a big part of Swiss history and culture for centuries, and it’s still a source of pride for the Swiss people. So, real or myth? Who knows, but one thing’s for sure— William Tell is a pretty big deal in Switzerland!

Ben:

Alright, let’s get to our story of William Tell and later we will learn 10 new keywords in context. Let us Start with the story itself. Why don’t you tell us about the story first, and then we will discuss the story and the meaning of the 10 keywords in it.

Danny:

Sounds great! Alright, so

William Tell— Man or Myth?

William Tell, the national hero of Switzerland, has long been a powerful source of artistic inspiration and the focal point of plays, musical compositions, paintings, and poems. Like Robin Hood, the intrepid peasant symbolized the struggle for political and individual freedom. Today, however, hallowed chapters of Swiss history are being rewritten, and Tell has been relegated to the realm of folklore.

According to the conventional version of history, the peasants of three cantons (states) in central Switzerland, incensed over their brutal repression by the Hapsburg rulers, stormed and destroyed the mighty castles of the Austrians in 1291. Their impetus came from William Tell, who refused to make obeisance to a governor’s hat that was displayed publicly as the symbol of Austrian authority. Viewed as impertinent, Tell was reputedly punished by having to shoot an arrow through an apple resting on his son’s head. Tell is said to have performed the feat but was thrown into chains when he confessed that had he harmed his son, he would have used a second arrow to shoot the governor. Later, while Tell was being taken across Lake Lucerne by the governor and his men to the dungeon in the governor’s castle, a violent storm broke out. The governor told Tell to steer the boat, promising him freedom in return for bringing them home safely. Under the guise of being helpful, Tell brought the boat to shore, but then quickly jumped out and pushed the boat back into the stormy waters. Realizing that the governor and his men might survive the storm anyway, he stationed himself along the only path to the governor’s castle. When the governor appeared, Tell drew his bow and arrow and shot the governor through the heart. Soon after, the peasants gathered in a meadow and took a solemn oath to unite against foreign oppression and to form an egalitarian and independent state.

Unfortunately, this uplifting story has almost no foundation in fact. No evidence that William Tell ever existed has been unearthed. Some medievalists believe simply that some of the deeds attributed to him have been culled from other heroic figures or mythical sources. Others conjecture that his origins stemmed from fifteenth-century humanists intent on finding a character who would appeal to the growing Swiss national consciousness. Perhaps William Tell’s significance lies in the power that he represents as a partisan of the universal passion for freedom.

Ben:

Well, that was the story of William Tell, so first before we start discussing some keywords from the story, why do you think these stories persist and stand the test of time although many details in them seem to be exaggerated and larger than life?

Danny:

Stories like William Tell persist and stand the test of time because they tap into universal themes and values that are timeless and deeply meaningful to people. In the case of William Tell, the story is about the struggle for political and individual freedom, which is a theme that resonates with people across cultures and generations. Additionally, the story has elements of adventure, bravery, and cunning, which makes it a compelling and entertaining tale.

Another reason why stories like William Tell persist is because they serve as a source of national pride and identity. For the Swiss people, the story of William Tell has become a symbol of Swiss independence and resistance to foreign oppression, and it has been passed down from generation to generation as a way of preserving and celebrating Swiss culture and heritage.

Finally, stories like William Tell can also be interpreted in different ways and can be adapted to different cultural contexts, which allows them to remain relevant and meaningful to people over time. So, even though the specific details of the story may be exaggerated or based on folklore, the larger themes and values that it represents continue to be relevant and impactful to people today.

Ben:

The story mentioned that William Tell is kind of similar to Robin Hood. What similarities do you think there are between their stories and what are the differences besides that they come from different countries?

Danny:

William Tell and Robin Hood are similar in that they are both legendary figures who have become symbols of resistance against oppression and the struggle for freedom. Both of their stories are set in a historical context in which the common people were being treated unjustly by a powerful ruling class, and both William Tell and Robin Hood are depicted as ordinary people who become heroes through their bravery and cunning.

However, there are also some differences between their stories. For example, while William Tell is primarily remembered for his legendary feat of shooting an arrow through an apple on his son’s head, Robin Hood is best known for his acts of charity and his habit of robbing from the rich to give to the poor. Additionally, while William Tell is often seen as a symbol of Swiss independence and resistance to foreign oppression, Robin Hood is generally viewed as a symbol of social justice and a champion of the oppressed.

Another difference is the historical context in which their stories are set. William Tell is set in Switzerland in the early 14th century, while Robin Hood is set in England during the reign of King Richard the Lionheart in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

So, while William Tell and Robin Hood are similar in that they are both legendary figures who have become symbols of resistance against oppression and the struggle for freedom, there are also some important differences between their stories, including their motivations, their methods, and the historical context in which their stories are set.

Ben:

But since we don’t have any proof that either Robin Hood or William Tell are real people? Would you say that people invented these heroes in times of distress to bring people together to fight against a common enemy, which is usually injustice?

Danny:

Yes, that’s a possibility. Throughout history, people have often created heroes and legends to help them cope with difficult times and to bring people together to fight against a common enemy, such as injustice. These heroes and legends can serve as symbols of hope, courage, and perseverance, and they can provide people with a sense of identity and belonging.

In the case of William Tell and Robin Hood, it is likely that their stories were shaped and adapted over time to reflect the concerns and values of the communities in which they were being told. For example, the story of William Tell may have originated as a folktale or a ballad, and over time it may have been embellished and adapted to reflect the political and cultural climate of Switzerland at the time. Similarly, the story of Robin Hood may have been created as a way of expressing the discontent and frustration of the English people with the Norman conquerors and the English monarchy.

In both cases, the stories of William Tell and Robin Hood have become powerful symbols of resistance and defiance in the face of oppression, and they have inspired generations of people to stand up for what is right and to fight for their rights and freedoms. Whether or not these stories are based on historical fact, they continue to be an important part of cultural heritage and a source of inspiration for people today.

Ben:

Alright, let’s now begin with our discussion of the keywords in our story. Let’s start with the word, “intrepid”. How did we use it in the story and what does in mean in this context?

Danny:

In the story, the word “intrepid” is used to describe William Tell. The word is used to describe him as a brave and daring person who is not afraid to take risks and to stand up for what he believes in.

The word “intrepid” is an adjective that comes from the Latin word “intrepidus”, which means fearless, bold, or courageous. In this context, the word “intrepid” is used to describe William Tell as a hero who is not afraid to face danger or to challenge authority, and who is willing to do what it takes to defend his beliefs and his freedom.

Ben:

Do we use the word, “intrepid” in other contexts as well?

Danny:

Yes, the word “intrepid” is commonly used in other contexts as well. It can be used to describe someone who is brave, daring, or fearless in any situation, not just in the context of a historical hero like William Tell.

For example, you could use the word “intrepid” to describe someone who is not afraid to explore new and unknown territories, or to undertake a dangerous or challenging adventure. You could also use the word “intrepid” to describe someone who is not intimidated by difficult or adverse circumstances, and who is willing to face any challenge with courage and determination.

So, the word “intrepid” is not limited to the context of William Tell, but can be used to describe anyone who demonstrates bravery and daring in any situation.

Ben:

Alright then, now let’s move on to talk about the next keyword. What about the word “conventional”? How did we use the word in the context of our story, and what does it mean in this context?

Danny:

In the story, the word “conventional” is used to describe the version of history that is widely accepted and commonly taught.

The word “conventional” is an adjective that means following accepted standards, customs, or practices, or conforming to the norm. In this context, the word “conventional” is used to describe the version of history that is widely accepted and commonly taught, and which is based on the idea that William Tell was a real historical figure who played a significant role in the struggle for Swiss independence.

Ben:

    But can’t we use “conventional” to describe people as well?

Danny:

Yes, absolutely! In addition to being used to describe ideas, beliefs, or things, the word “conventional” can also be used to describe people who follow traditional norms, values, and beliefs, or who conform to established customs and practices.

For example, you could use the word “conventional” to describe someone who is conservative in their attitudes, who follows traditional ways of doing things, and who is not open to new or unconventional ideas or experiences.

So, while the word “conventional” was used in the story to describe the widely accepted version of history, it can also be used to describe people who are traditional, conservative, or conformist in their attitudes and behaviors.

Ben:

Is the word “conventional” similar to the word “convention” or is there a difference?

Danny:

Yes, there is a difference between the words “conventional” and “convention”.

“Conventional” is an adjective that means following accepted standards, customs, or practices, or conforming to the norm.

On the other hand, “convention” is a noun that refers to a large gathering of people who come together for a specific purpose, such as a meeting, a conference, or an exhibition. A convention can also refer to an established practice or custom, or a widely accepted agreement or principle.

So, while both words have to do with the idea of following accepted standards or customs, they are used in different contexts and have slightly different meanings. “Conventional” is used to describe things or people that follow accepted norms and practices, while “convention” is used to describe a gathering of people or an established practice or principle.

Ben:

Alright then, now that we have talked about the first two keywords from our story, let’s talk about the third keyword that we want to focus on today. What about “incensed”? How did we use it in the context of our story, and what does it mean in this context?

Danny:

In the story, the word “incensed” is used to describe the peasants of the three cantons in central Switzerland who were upset and angry over their brutal repression by the Hapsburg rulers.

The word “incensed” is an adjective that means to make someone very angry or resentful. In this context, the word “incensed” is used to describe the peasants who were so upset and angry about their treatment at the hands of the Hapsburg rulers that they took action and stormed the mighty castles of the Austrians.

Ben:

But isn’t it a word we use to talk about that fragrant thing that we light, especially in religious occasions, and stuff like that?

Danny:

Yes, you’re correct! The word “incense” is a noun that refers to a fragrant substance that is burned to produce a pleasant aroma, often as part of religious or spiritual rituals.

So, while the word “incensed” is an adjective that means to make someone very angry or resentful, the word “incense” is a noun that refers to a fragrant substance used in religious or spiritual rituals.

It’s interesting to note that the word “incense” comes from the Latin word “incendere”, which means to set on fire. So, the word “incense” originally referred to the act of setting something on fire, and over time it came to refer specifically to the fragrant substance that is burned to produce a pleasant aroma.

So, while the words “incensed” and “incense” have different meanings, they are related etymologically and both come from the same Latin root word, “incendere”.

Ben:

But do we only use “incensed” as an adjective, or can we use “incense” as a verb as well in the same meaning of making someone very angry?

Danny:

Yes, absolutely! The verb form of “incense” can be used to mean to make someone very angry or to cause someone to become resentful or indignant.

For example, you could say “The news of the company’s lay-offs incensed the workers, who felt that they had been treated unfairly”. In this context, the verb “incense” is used to describe how the workers became very angry and resentful after hearing about the company’s lay-offs.

So, while the word “incensed” is most commonly used as an adjective to describe someone who is very angry, the verb form “incense” can also be used to describe the act of making someone very angry or to cause someone to become resentful or indignant.

Ben:

Alright then. That was really interesting information to learn about the word “incensed”. I guess we are ready to discuss the next keyword. What about “impetus”? How did we use it in context and what does it mean?

Danny:

In the story, the word “impetus” is used to describe the reason or the driving force behind the peasants’ actions in storming the Austrian castles.

The word “impetus” is a noun that means a force or stimulus that sets something in motion or that gives something new energy or direction. In this context, the word “impetus” is used to describe the driving force behind the peasants’ actions in storming the Austrian castles. The story suggests that the peasants were incensed by their brutal repression by the Hapsburg rulers, and that this anger and resentment was the impetus behind their actions.

Ben:

But wasn’t William Tell the “impetus” behind the peasants’ actions?

Danny:

Yes, you’re right! The story suggests that William Tell was indeed the “impetus” behind the peasants’ actions, and that his refusal to make obeisance to the governor’s hat and his subsequent bravery in shooting an arrow through an apple resting on his son’s head inspired the peasants to take action against their oppressors.

So, in this context, the word “impetus” is used to describe William Tell as the driving force behind the peasants’ actions in storming the Austrian castles. He provided the inspiration and the motivation for the peasants to stand up against the Hapsburg rulers and to fight for their rights and freedoms.

Ben:

So, now what can you tell me about the word, “impetus”? Can we use it in different contexts with different meanings?

Danny:

Yes, the word “impetus” can be used in different contexts with different meanings.

In addition to being used to describe the driving force behind a particular action or event, the word “impetus” can also be used more broadly to describe any force or influence that sets something in motion or that gives it new energy or direction.

For example, you could use the word “impetus” to describe the initial spark that starts a fire, or to describe the initial push that is needed to get a heavy object moving. You could also use the word “impetus” to describe the initial stimulus or incentive that leads someone to take a particular action, such as starting a new project or pursuing a new goal.

So, while the word “impetus” is most commonly used to describe the driving force behind a particular action or event, it can also be used more broadly to describe any force or influence that sets something in motion or that gives it new energy or direction.

Ben:

So, is “impetus” closer in meaning to “motivation” or “incentive”?

Danny:

The word “impetus” is closely related in meaning to both “motivation” and “incentive”, but it has a slightly different connotation.

“Motivation” refers to the internal drive or desire that prompts someone to take a particular action, such as the desire to achieve a goal or to overcome a challenge.

“Incentive” refers to something that provides a reason or a reward for taking a particular action, such as a financial bonus or a promise of recognition.

“Impetus” is similar to both “motivation” and “incentive”, but it has a slightly different connotation. The word “impetus” is often used to describe the initial force or spark that sets something in motion, and that gives it new energy or direction.

So, while all three words are related to the idea of prompting someone to take action, “motivation” refers to the internal drive or desire, “incentive” refers to the external reason or reward, and “impetus” refers to the initial force or spark that sets something in motion.

Ben:

Alright! Well, now that we have indeed understood the meaning of “impetus”, let’s move on to talk about the next keyword, “obeisance”. How did we use this word in context and what does it mean?

Danny:

In the story, the word “obeisance” is used to describe the act of bowing or making a gesture of respect to a governor’s hat that was displayed publicly as the symbol of Austrian authority.

The word “obeisance” is a noun that refers to a gesture of respect or homage, such as a bow, a curtsy, or a salute. In this context, the word “obeisance” is used to describe the act of bowing or making a gesture of respect to the governor’s hat as a symbol of Austrian authority. The story suggests that William Tell refused to make obeisance to the hat, which was viewed as impertinent and led to his punishment.

Ben:

Is “obeisance” the same like “obedience”? Are these two words kind of similar in meaning?

Danny:

The words “obeisance” and “obedience” are similar in that they both relate to the idea of following rules or directions, but they have slightly different connotations.

“Obeisance” refers specifically to a gesture of respect or homage, such as a bow, a curtsy, or a salute. It is often used to describe a formal or ceremonial act of respect.

“Obedience”, on the other hand, refers to the act of following rules or directions, or of submitting to the authority of someone else. It is often used to describe a more general act of compliance or conformity.

So, while the words “obeisance” and “obedience” are related in that they both relate to the idea of following rules or directions, “obeisance” is more specific to the idea of a formal or ceremonial act of respect, while “obedience” is more general in its reference to following rules or submitting to authority.

Ben:

But it’s like when you make an obeisance to someone, you’re kind of showing that you are obedient; I mean that’s a sign of obedience, is it not?

Danny:

Yes, that’s a good point! Making an obeisance to someone can indeed be seen as a sign of obedience, as it is a gesture of respect and homage that demonstrates a willingness to follow rules or submit to authority.

So, while the words “obeisance” and “obedience” have slightly different connotations, they are closely related in that making an obeisance can be seen as a manifestation of obedience. In this sense, the act of making an obeisance can serve as both a symbol of respect and a demonstration of obedience.

Ben:

Alright then. Let’s move on and talk about the next keyword in our story. What about “impertinent”? How did we use this word in our story and what does it mean in context?

Danny:

In the story, the word “impertinent” is used to describe William Tell’s refusal to make obeisance to the governor’s hat as a symbol of Austrian authority.

The word “impertinent” is an adjective that means disrespectful or lacking in proper manners or consideration for others. In this context, the word “impertinent” is used to describe William Tell’s refusal to make a gesture of respect to the governor’s hat as a symbol of Austrian authority, which was seen as a lack of proper manners or consideration for the authorities.

Ben:

Do we use this word in other contexts as well with other meanings?

Danny:

Yes, the word “impertinent” can also be used in other contexts with slightly different meanings.

In addition to being used to describe someone as disrespectful or lacking in proper manners, the word “impertinent” can also be used to describe something as inappropriate or irrelevant to the situation at hand. For example, you could describe a question as “impertinent” if it is considered to be inappropriate or irrelevant to the topic being discussed.

So, while the word “impertinent” is most commonly used to describe someone as disrespectful or lacking in proper manners, it can also be used in other contexts to describe something as inappropriate or irrelevant to the situation at hand.

Ben:

Alright, so the word is “impertinent”. Is there “pertinent” as a word?

Danny:

Yes, there is a word “pertinent”.

The word “pertinent” is an adjective that means relevant or appropriate to the situation at hand. It is often used to describe something that is directly related to the topic being discussed or to the problem being addressed.

So, while the word “impertinent” is used to describe something as inappropriate or irrelevant to the situation at hand, the word “pertinent” is used to describe something as relevant or appropriate to the situation at hand. These two words are often used in contrast to each other to describe the degree to which something is relevant or appropriate to a particular situation.

Ben:

Alright then. I guess that was enough information about “impertinent”. Let’s move on now to talk about another keyword. What about the word “reputedly”? How did we use it in context and what does it mean?

Danny:

In the story, the word “reputedly” is used to describe the punishment that William Tell was said to have received after refusing to make obeisance to the governor’s hat.

The word “reputedly” is an adverb that is used to describe something that is said to have happened or to have been the case, but that has not been proven or verified. In this context, the word “reputedly” is used to describe the punishment that William Tell was said to have received, indicating that this information is not confirmed or verified, but is only what is reported or believed to have happened.

Ben:

So, is it similar in usage to the word “allegedly”? As with this word as well, we talk about something that people say but that has not been proven or verified?

Danny:

Yes, the words “reputedly” and “allegedly” are similar in meaning and usage.

Both “reputedly” and “allegedly” are adverbs that are used to describe something that is said to have happened or to have been the case, but that has not been confirmed or verified. They are both used to indicate that the information being discussed is based on what is reported or believed, rather than on actual proof or evidence.

In this sense, “reputedly” and “allegedly” are often used interchangeably, with “allegedly” being more commonly used in modern English. However, “reputedly” is still used in some contexts, particularly in formal or written English, to describe something that is said to have happened or to have been the case, but that has not been proven or verified.

Ben:

Alright! I can see that the word “reputedly” is very close to the words “reputation,” and “reputable”. How are these three words similar and how are they different?

Danny:

The words “reputedly,” “reputation,” and “reputable” are related in that they all relate to the idea of what is said or believed about someone or something.

“Reputedly” is an adverb that is used to describe something that is said to have happened or to have been the case, but that has not been confirmed or verified.

“Reputation” is a noun that refers to the general opinion or estimation that the public or a particular group has about someone or something. A good reputation is an estimation of high worth, while a bad reputation is an estimation of low worth.

“Reputable” is an adjective that is used to describe someone or something that is considered to be trustworthy, dependable, or of good character. A reputable person or organization is one that is considered to have a good reputation, while a disreputable person or organization is one that is considered to have a bad reputation.

So, while “reputedly” is used to describe something that is said to have happened or to have been the case, “reputation” refers to the general opinion or estimation that the public or a particular group has about someone or something, and “reputable” is used to describe someone or something that is considered to be trustworthy, dependable, or of good character.

Ben:

I see. Well enough about “reputedly” I think. Let’s move on and talk about another keyword. How about the word “guise”? How did we use it in our story and what does it mean in this context?

Danny:

In the story, the word “guise” is used to describe the way that William Tell was acting when he took the governor and his men to shore during the storm on Lake Lucerne.

The word “guise” is a noun that refers to the appearance or manner in which something is presented or the way that someone is pretending to be. In this context, the word “guise” is used to describe the way that William Tell was acting when he took the governor and his men to shore, indicating that he was pretending to be helpful, when in reality he had a different motive.

Ben:

Why didn’t we just use the word “disguise” instead. Can we use it in this context?

Danny:

Yes, you could use the word “disguise” instead of “guise” in this context, and the meaning would be similar.

“Disguise” is a noun that refers to a disguise or false appearance used to conceal one’s identity or deceive others. In this context, the word “disguise” could be used to describe the way that William Tell was pretending to be helpful when he took the governor and his men to shore, indicating that he was concealing his true motives and deceiving the governor and his men.

So, while the word “guise” is used in the story to describe the appearance or manner in which something is presented or the way that someone is pretending to be, the word “disguise” could also be used in this context to describe the false appearance that William Tell was using to conceal his true motives and deceive the governor and his men.

Ben:

But do you think that we use the word “disguise” to describe more the appearance, while we use the word “guise” to talk about either appearance or manner, because in our story, William Tell didn’t change anything about his appearance, but only about his manner.

Danny:

Yes, that’s a good point. The words “disguise” and “guise” can have somewhat different connotations, with “disguise” often being used more specifically to describe a false appearance that is used to conceal one’s identity, while “guise” can be used more broadly to describe the appearance or manner in which something is presented or the way that someone is pretending to be.

So, in this context, where William Tell was not changing his appearance but was pretending to be helpful, the word “guise” is a good choice to describe his behavior, while “disguise” would be more appropriate if he had changed his appearance in some way in order to conceal his identity.

In general, both “disguise” and “guise” can be used to describe a false appearance or pretense, but “disguise” tends to focus more specifically on the appearance, while “guise” can be used more broadly to describe the appearance, manner, or pretense.

Ben:

Very well, that is enough information about the word “guise”. Let’s move on and talk about “egalitarian”. We use this word in our story, so how did we use it and what does it mean in our context?

Danny:

In the story, the word “egalitarian” is used to describe the state that the peasants formed after taking a solemn oath to unite against foreign oppression.

The word “egalitarian” is an adjective that is used to describe a political or social system or ideology that believes in equal rights, opportunities, and treatment for all people, regardless of social class, race, gender, or other factors. In this context, the word “egalitarian” is used to describe the state that the peasants formed after taking a solemn oath to unite against foreign oppression, indicating that this state was based on the principles of equality and fairness for all.

Ben:

Is this word originally French? I mean I still remember the word ” égalité” when I watch Roland Garros when the score is tied in the game? Is that related, or is it just a coincidence?

Danny:

Yes, you are right. The word “egalitarian” is derived from the French word “égalité”, which means “equality”. The word “égalité” is a core principle of the French Revolution, and was one of the main slogans of the Revolution, along with “liberté” (liberty) and “fraternité” (fraternity).

So, the word “egalitarian” is indeed related to the French word “égalité”, and both words reflect the idea of equality and fairness for all. The use of the word “égalité” in tennis, as you mentioned, also reflects this idea, as it is used to describe a situation where the score is tied and both players have an equal chance to win.

Ben:

It’s an interesting word with an interesting meaning, and with an interesting connotation, I might say.  I wish we could live one day in egalitarian societies, but that’s a far cry from what’s happening in the world today, or maybe what’s been happening since the dawn on man.

Danny:

Yes, indeed, the concept of equality and fairness for all is a noble and desirable ideal, and the idea of an egalitarian society is one that has been sought after by many throughout history. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, achieving such a society has proven to be a difficult and ongoing challenge, and many societies today still struggle with issues of inequality and discrimination.

However, despite these challenges, the idea of an egalitarian society continues to inspire and motivate many people to work towards a more just and equal world. And, although progress may be slow, it is important to continue to strive towards this goal and to work towards creating a world where everyone has equal rights, opportunities, and treatment, regardless of their background or circumstances.

Ben:

Alright then. Let’s move on and talk about the last keyword we want to focus on from today’s story about William Tell. What about the word “partisan”? How did we use this word in context and what does it mean?

Danny:

In the story, the word “partisan” is used to describe William Tell as a “partisan of the universal passion for freedom”.

The word “partisan” is a noun that is used to describe someone who strongly supports a particular political or social cause, especially one that is considered to be controversial or unpopular. In this context, the word “partisan” is used to describe William Tell as someone who strongly supports the universal passion for freedom, indicating that he was a person who was committed to fighting for the cause of freedom and who was willing to take action to defend it.

Ben:

But I can remember “partisan”, especially when it is used in plural, being used with a different meaning talking about rebels and guerrilla warfare?

Danny:

Yes, that’s right. The word “partisan” can also be used as a noun to describe a member of a military unit that operates behind enemy lines, especially in guerrilla warfare. In this context, a “partisan” is someone who is part of a group of fighters who engage in irregular military operations against an enemy force, usually without the support of a regular army.

So, depending on the context, the word “partisan” can have different meanings, including someone who strongly supports a particular political or social cause, or someone who is part of a guerrilla military unit operating behind enemy lines.

Ben:

So, partisans are not a part of a regular army, but more rebel-like instead, like the ones who fought the nazis in France and many parts of Europe after their countries were occupied and their armies kind of disintegrated, no?

Danny:

Yes, that’s correct. Partisans who engage in guerrilla warfare are often seen as members of a resistance movement, and are typically not part of a regular army. They operate in enemy-held territory and carry out irregular military operations against enemy forces, often using unconventional tactics and taking advantage of the element of surprise.

During World War II, for example, many resistance movements throughout Europe organized themselves into partisan groups that carried out sabotage, reconnaissance, and other military operations against the occupying forces of Nazi Germany. These partisan groups often worked in coordination with the Allied forces, providing valuable intelligence and disrupting enemy supply lines, and played a significant role in the eventual defeat of the Nazi regime.

Ben:

Alright then, so we have talked about 10 keywords in detail that we used in our story about William Tell. How about we summarize these ten keywords and tell our listeners again about their meaning in brief?

Danny:

Sure, here’s a summary of the 10 keywords we discussed—

Intrepid— meaning brave, fearless, or bold.

Conventional— meaning traditional or following established norms or practices.

Incensed— meaning to make very angry.

Impetus— meaning the driving force behind an action or decision.

Obeisance— meaning a gesture of respect or deference, often involving a bow or curtsy.

Impertinent— meaning rude or disrespectful, especially in a way that is not appropriate for the situation.

Reputedly— meaning according to what is commonly reported or believed, without necessarily being confirmed.

Guise— meaning an appearance or manner that is intended to deceive or mislead.

Egalitarian— meaning based on the principle of equality, especially in terms of treatment or opportunity.

Partisan— meaning someone who strongly supports a particular political or social cause, or someone who is part of a guerrilla military unit operating behind enemy lines.

Ben:

Perfect! I believe that will be all we want to talk about when it comes to keywords, but back to William Tell. We mentioned at the beginning that the Swiss Willian Tell is kind of similar to the English Robin Hood. Are there any other similar heroes from other cultures that you can tell me more about?

Danny:

Yes, there are many similar heroes from different cultures throughout history. Here are a few examples—

Joan of Arc, France— Joan of Arc was a young woman from rural France who led the French army to several victories during the Hundred Years’ War. She is revered as a national heroine in France and is considered a symbol of French resistance against English domination.

El Cid, Spain— El Cid was a Spanish military leader who fought against the Moors during the 11th century. He is remembered as a symbol of Spanish bravery and resistance, and is often depicted as a chivalrous knight who fought for his country and his people.

Davy Crockett, United States— Davy Crockett was a frontiersman and politician who fought in the Texas Revolution and died at the Battle of the Alamo. He is remembered as a symbol of American bravery and frontier spirit, and is often depicted as a rough-and-tumble hero who was unafraid to take on any challenge.

Miyamoto Musashi, Japan— Miyamoto Musashi was a legendary Japanese swordsman and martial artist who is considered to be one of the greatest warriors in Japanese history. He is remembered as a symbol of Japanese martial prowess, and is often depicted as a master of strategy and tactics who was unrivaled in battle.

These are just a few examples of heroes from different cultures who are remembered for their bravery and resistance in the face of adversity. There are many more examples from around the world, each with its own unique cultural and historical context.

Ben:

But these are all real people, not legends like William Tell and Robin Hood, right?

Danny:

Well, the historical accuracy of the accounts of these heroes is sometimes debated, and many of the details of their lives have likely been embellished over time. In some cases, there may be limited written records or other historical evidence to support the stories that have been passed down through the generations.

For example, while Joan of Arc is widely recognized as a historical figure and is considered a national heroine in France, the exact details of her life and the events that took place during her time are still a subject of debate among historians. Similarly, while El Cid is widely recognized as a historical figure in Spain, many of the details of his life have likely been exaggerated over time.

In any case, these figures are often remembered not for their historical accuracy, but for the cultural and historical significance that they hold within their respective societies. They are remembered as symbols of bravery, resistance, and cultural identity, and are often seen as inspiring examples of what it means to be a hero.

Ben:

Alright then. I guess that’s everything we want to discuss about William Tell and the 10 keywords in the context of the story.

Danny:

I really enjoyed discussing the meaning of the words and the story of William Tell with you, Ben. Thank you.

And to our listeners everywhere, thank you very much for listening to another Word Power episode from English Plus Podcast. Remember that there’s a lot more on our website, so don’t miss out on that and take the link you can find in the description of the episode and go there, practice the words you have learned here today, enjoy our interactive transcript and never stop learning with English Plus.

That will all for today’s episode. This is your host, Danny. Thanks for listening. I will see you next time.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<a href="https://englishpluspodcast.com/author/dannyballanowner/" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan

Author

Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

You may also Like

Three Laws That Must Be Obeyed | Word Power

Three Laws That Must Be Obeyed | Word Power

In this episode, we explore the meaning and usage of ten interesting keywords from a text about Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion. We discuss words like “apocryphal,” “behemoth,” “brevity,” “dally,” “depreciate,” “paraphrase,” “reinforce,” “relatively,” “respite,” and “svelte,” and share their definitions and common usage. Join us as we deepen our understanding of these words and learn how to use them effectively in our everyday conversations and writing. Don’t forget to follow our podcast on your favorite platform, share it with others, and leave us a rating and review to help us reach more listeners!

read more
Learning the Ropes | Word Power

Learning the Ropes | Word Power

In this Word Power episode – Learning the Ropes, we discuss 10 commonly used English keywords, including Gothic, impregnable, riven, insularity, elite, reverence, mystique, exhort, sundry, and primal. We define each of these words and explore how they can be used in different contexts. Plus, we offer tips for practicing these words to help expand your vocabulary.

read more
Stick Style | Word Power

Stick Style | Word Power

In this episode of Word Power, we explore the unique architectural style of the Great Camps in the Adirondack Mountains, and learn 10 new vocabulary words that will help you describe and appreciate this historic design. From the rustic charm of the buildings, to the prepossessing interiors filled with luxurious accoutrements, to the patina that has developed over time, we delve into the fascinating world of the Adirondack Great Camps. Along the way, we learn the meaning and usage of 10 new vocabulary words, including redolent, romantic, fastidious, and prototype. Plus, we provide exercises and resources to help you practice and retain these words in your own vocabulary. Don’t miss this engaging and informative episode of Word Power!

read more

Recent Posts

Categories

Follow Us

Pin It on Pinterest