My 4th Year Literature – Shakespeare

1. ePortfolio Marie de Jesus

Dear fellow bloggers,

Welcome to my wordpress ePortfolio! I’d firstly like to thank you for pondering onto my page of critical, creative and peer review entries. During your stay, you will probably find how I pretty much knew nothing about Shakespeare (so my initial entries aren’t that great). The reason for this is because I initially had no interest in Shakespeare and his works, frankly, I hated the language barrier and didn’t see any relevance to learning about literature from centuries ago! BUT, having been forced to read and engage with Shakespeare over the course of 12 weeks has left me with a changed perception.

Shakespeare writes with such sophistication, capturing incredible depths and understandings about humanity and nature along the way. Shakespeare’s presentation of life as it is, is ironically surprising. Ironic because I shouldn’t be surprised if it’s about everyday life, but surprising because I am witnessing everyday life objectively through the eye of the audience. If it were the 21st or 31st century, I am absolutely certain the Shakespeare’s concerns, interests and characters will still be relevant to our societies.

The interests, concerns and experiences of Shakespeare and his characters are intricately intertwined to showcase and explore the complexities of human nature. For example, Shakespeare’s character Macbeth in some cases embodies the hope for the milk of human kindnessbut also embodies Shakespeare’s concerns for humanity being corruptable for desired status and materialism. This is the reason why I have a changed perception on Shakespeare and his works. He shows me what it means to be human. His characters and their actions ripple the waters in his plot and dive into psychological depths that unearth truths about how we think, why we react and act in certain ways and how it affects other. Seeing, acting and reading Shakespeare’s plays subverts our reality, and it is a reality that repeats itself, just like how wars and fueds repeat themselves on small to large scales. It is the reason history repeats, why battles and wars repeat themselves and how greed, love and desire are the pinnacle elements behind human actions. This is why Shakespeare is still relevant to the 21st century; because we never learn from our past. It is through great literary works from artists such as Shakespeare that we learn about ourselves through watching or reading a subverted version of our lives. As a future history teacher, I believe Shakespeare’s works are highly valuable and definitely relevant to the 21st century because of such universality and the depths it reveals about humanity.

Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows! each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy: the bounded waters
Should lift their bosoms higher than the shores
And make a sop of all this solid globe

                                                                                      Ulysses

(Shakespeare, Norton, Trolius and Cressida, Act 1; Scene 3)

2. Critical Submissions

These critical entries surely helped me tackle Shakespearean language and his plays. By blogging critical entries, I was able to hone in on minute details that I came accross in the week. From focusing on one specific concept, line, character or feature of  Shakespeare or his play, I was able to unlock a world of knowledge about Shakespeare and his plays. Through critical reflection and anaylsis, I found myself to understand and really know Shakespeare on a personal level. So much so that I found in myself in tutorials, discussions and peer review comments defending and explaining Mr. Shakespeare’s intentions.

P.S.  I am still anxious to recieve comments on my favourite critical blog which is Week 8. Please stop by to have a read and tell me what you think.

3. Creative Submissions

My creative entries this semester seem to have a common theme that has evolved from one of Shakespeare’s characters. Some of these were shaped from MG’s guided questions, but there’s a couple I have submitted that have deviated a little bit to his orginating questions. The biggest outcome I have gained through these entries is getting a stranglehold on Shakespearean language. As detailed in my Week 10 critical entry, Shakespeare’s language was my biggest challenge this semester. Having his characters bring it life helped me get a general sense of what they were talking about and what was going on. But it wasn’t until I attempted to re-create lines in Shakespearean language or translate it in modern day language that I was able to truly begin to decode Shakespeare’s language. Gradually, the complexities of Shakespeare’s language became less foreign and more beautiful in my eyes.

This blog space is my blank canvas.

4. Peer Review Comments in the Shakespearean Community

Peer review comments are my favourite part to this whole blogging experience. For some strange reason, not many people participate or share their understandings and perceptioins in class or the lectures, leaving me to assume that many people must be struggling with the content. However when my peers come online, it is almost as if they come alive with incredible depth and understanding of Shakespeare and his plays. Having the privilege to read the thoughts of my peers has been very enjoyable and academically stimulating. My peer review comments were not aimed to praise their thoughts, but more so aimed to instigate some kind of response or discussion to begin by implementing my own views and asking more questions.

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