Week 8 Critical Comment

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Peer Review on Leona’s Blog

Hey Leona, Awesome! Fearful as a crab! Reminding us that we are animals ourselves. I could see a modern day Lady Macbethian character using these analogies. Although if there was a modern day Lady Macbeth,  I see a different kind of way that you have written in this post. I imagine her to be very aggressive in her language and be really full on, the kind of person that will be in your face because she’s trying to convince and provoke almost Macbeth to commit murder. That’s how I see her anyway. Because language and personality are one in the same with Shakespeare, what kind of person do you think Lady Macbeth is judging from your blog post?

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Week 8

April 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

Arthur Golding’s translation From Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1567) is a critical source for Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Describing the Four Ages of man in the cycles of nature and psychology, Golding translates Ovid’s understanding of man’s metamorphoses into evil.

“For when that of this wicked once opened was the vien,
Therein all mischief rushed forth: the Faith and Truth were fain”

Golding’s translation expresses emotion and plot in itself that can be found in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Upon first reading Golding’s translation, my initial thoughts followed the parallels between the two texts from a virtue to evil. However after closer inspection, I’ve come to conclude that Shakespeare’s Macbeth does not folllow Ovid’s plot of metamorphoses. Ovid’s metamorphoses is describes man’s transformation to true evil as Golding translates “All goodness lies underfoot, and Lady Astrey, last/ Of heav’nly virtues, from this earth in slaughter drowned passed.” In my translation, this means all the goodness and virtues and justice slaughtered as it drowns under man’s foot. It is through here that I saw the difference between Ovid’s metamorphoses and Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Certainly, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth had committed sins unforgivable in morality’s eyes when the vein of wickedness was opened within them. Although I’m not 100% sure when this vein was opened for Macbeth, it debatedly could be the first time he saw the witches or when Lady Macbeth convinced him to proceed murderously. For Lady Macbeth, it is certain that her wicked vein opened when she conjured evil spirits to “unsex me”. With the crimes they had committed, you would think that they had transformed in accordance to Ovid’s metamorphoses of pure evil. However, both characters were unable to bear the guilt of their actions and therefore were unable to drown and silence justice in their minds as to how Golding’s translation concluded Ovid’s metamorphoses. In fact, both characters submitted themselves to their own laws of justice with their own deaths. In turn, Shakespeare’s Macbeth ultimately challenges Ovid’s metamorphoses, almost to the extent that it brings some hope to humanity. This of course leaves questions for audiences and readers to think about.

Please leave your thoughts because I’d really like to know what you think to help me tackle this.

Week 7

April 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

C R E S S I D A

I love how Shakespeare uses language to involve the audience along Cressida’s psychological battle. Although Cressida, like many of his other characters in different plays (e.g. Macbeth and Falstaff) rambles on to what appears to be beside the point, Shakespeare ties everything in so that we are able to follow the internal thoughts and emotions for these characters. As Cressida struggles through her thoughts and her judgement of herself, Shakespeare includes us on that very same intrinsic journey Cressida battles with which exposes her character and unfolds the reality of how we, as humans, process our thoughts. In saying this, I have attempted to narrate and keep up with my own thoughts using Shakespearean language below. It is for my own little scenario and it is my first attempt, I hope you can make sense of it and what is going on.

I speak in truth when I saw I had not noticed
Or had I noticed but not taken upon action?
To suspect is not to notice or so I thought
I notice now beyond suspect
so what action I take upon is the deeper conscious pain.
What horrid creature allows the troubles
of their beloveds to suffer silently
In the name of love
What love is there at all that allows such suffering?
Yet she does not know
Therefore she does not suffer
Until I take action
On truth which will shatter her heart.
The dimples of a child, she smiles
Comforted with a chaste heart
Yet the man that loves her
Not
Makes a mockery of her
But shields her from such pain
All at the same time
What discord and accord!
Oh! Why do the heaven’s abandon my thoughts
In irony’s earthquaking roar.
What action am I to take when
I am but a child in an adulterous world or so it seems.
Is not a child’s eyes the eyes of the world?
For all that is taught is absorbed by mine
She teaches of honesty, loyalty, love through pain
Innocent joy now, yes,
She is yet to find the purest joy
Which in faith I trust she will find with such resilience.
And only then, will she know what love and happiness really is.
I must go forth and tell her.

Week 6 Critical Comment

April 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Hey thanks for the quick sum up of the play 🙂 You will probably hate me for being a bit of a fence sitter here, but with the questions you ask at the end. The play is meant to be funny and tragic, it’s classic a Shakespearean technique to have the dichotomies in one play. To make it tragically comic he makes the play about love AND loss, for you cannot have love one without the other. Shakespeare plays with the tensions inherent in opposite themes as you mention in your questions. It’s something very important because their contradictions actually complement each other and help our understandings. Through both comedy and tragedy, audiences learn. If  you ask me personally, from love you learn and experience what you think love is  (just like how Cressida and Trolius were), but it is through losing love that you truly dive into the depths of love as Trolius experienced. The real debate I guess is if Cressida learned from losing her love with Trolius? It doesn’t seem like it as she falls madly in love with Diomedes all too quickly, but then again, she had the freedom to choose him and love him freely without the influence of Panderous. So is it really love? The depths of these ambiguities are very debatable. Although you summed up the play, i’d really like to hear your own thoughts to the questions you raised. Happy posting 🙂

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Week 6

April 5, 2012 § 4 Comments

Dear Peers, I have taken a slight change on today’s post as I did not feel a connection composing a letter to the Prime Minister of Australia in order to convince her of the importance of studying Shakespeare in today’s curriculums. Instead I have chosen to address this letter to an educational board such as ACARA who are in the middle of changing the curriculums for all schools in Australia. I had to shorten it otherwise I’d blab on for many pages, but I hope it is enough for your enjoyment 🙂

To whom it may concern,

It has come to attention that the board is in consideration of removing Shakespeare from the English Curriculum for secondary students in order to cater for contemporary literature within the classroom. I write this letter out of concern, wishing to plead the importance of studying Shakespeare for our students today.

Firstly, I would like to applaud your intentions in attempting to motivate today’s students to take a deeper interest in literature, particularly young adult literature to broaden their horizons. However, I do not think this should be at Shakespeare’s sacrifice. As a teacher, I am aware that students complain and wonder the reasons for studying Shakespeare since his sonnets and plays were written centuries before our time. But it is for this very reason that I believe it is essential to study Shakespeare, as we are able to explore universal themes that every human being can relate to regardless of what time frame they belong to. Shakespeare’s themes are of course highly related and can fascinate students as he often intertwines love, comedy and tragedy to create a masterpiece. This in itself is perhaps stronger than today’s pop young adult fiction that seemingly follows mainstream trends such as vampires VS. werewolves. Furthermore, the Elizabethan context that Shakespeare wrote in pressed him under great pressure and censorship, yet he still found ways to subvert and challenge his audiences. In a world of a teenager where common emotions of entrapment, pressure and conformity occurs more than regularly, this offers creative hope and expression. As young adults, Shakespeare teaches them at their prime age to think, live and be freely through his witty characters, ironic storylines and meaningful metaphors. Although his language is something that students may battle with, it is something that will develop higher order thinking skills in students as Shakespeare’s words can hold multiple meanings. The rawness and messages of reality as it was back then and how it still is today is pivotal for students of today’s society to understand as it unlocks doors into the bigger world beyond school. Decoding and understanding Shakespeare and his works helps us all understand life, the kind that transcends all structures.

Before you make any decisions in excluding Shakespeare from our curriculums, I urge to read any of his Sonnets or his plays to allow himself to speak directly to you instead of through me. There you will hear Shakespeare’s wisdom which has been passed on since his first publications and performances. I thank you for your time in reading this letter.

Regards,

Marie

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