Week 10 Critical Comment

May 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Peer Review on Daniel’s Blog

You have blogged a powerful concluding paragraph here. Great Job! I couldn’t help but think of that line “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”. However, I slightly disagree with one of your points though “We cannot examine our life any more than our dreams”. If we do examine our lives, we find the answer is not in life itself but it is held within us. I think that this is why Shakespeare has such extraordinary characters. It is not life that complicates their matters, but their own selves and they actions they choose. In saying this, I think Shakespeare’s plays are somewhat an examination of life. I’d like to know what you think.


Week 9 Critical Comment

May 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Peer Review on Joseph’s Blog

Wow! Great entry Joseph! Just thought I’d drop in with some thoughts.

Ariel’s song is beautiful! You cannot help but feel joy for his freedom and the language Shakespeare uses helps to bring this joy out to the reader. My joy is finding how Ariel connects to the insignificant and miniscule wonders of nature that compose the beauties and entities of life. It definitely takes me back to Blake’s “To see a world in a grain of sand”. Despite being a spirit, I think that it is the first song the Ariel actually connects himself to being connected to the land as one. As you pointed out, Shakespeare certainly emphasises how harmony is achieved in the miniscule and every day things of life – significantly coming at the end of the play where everyone has reconciled with each other, themselves and natural world that surrounds them. That of course just adds on to your points of interconnectedness.

Week 9

May 1, 2012 § 3 Comments

The Tempest’s P R O S P E R O

Good, old and wise Prospero is certainly the protagonist of this play. Through him, we embark on beautiful journey towards reconciliation and acceptance that not only harmonizes his past, present and future… but also harmonizes the world as he and Shakespeare see it. This web based resource is personalized by me to explore the simplicities and complexities of Prospero’s character. The image above is exactly how I pictured him to be. But that is not why I have included the image in this web based resource. I was captured by this image, by the actor’s face – the depths of thoughts, his vulnerability and strength showing at the same time. The ragged garment wrapped around his shoulders is his magical cloak that is interestingly earthy looking as supposed to a garment of status.

Using this garment, Prospero releases forces of his imagination to take his daughter and all the other characters in the play, AND his audience of course, on a journey to weather the tempest! Prospero’s complexities are inherent in the roles he plays within the play. Actively, Prospero is a father, magician and arguably a true representation of Shakespeare himself.

The following is my attempt to re-create Prospero’s emotions coming to a reconciliation, using the elegance and power of Shakespeare’s language. This is inspired by Prospero in Act 4, scene 1, 148–158 and Act 5, Scene 1 of Prospero’s epilogue.

To the mercy of destiny I surrender to God’s hands
In faith I trust you to care not for me
But beg you to turn your gaze to shelter Miranda and her beloved Ferdinand
Replaced by prayer
I trust in fate and faith and love
So much so that
I pluck my magic garment and lay it rest.
In mercy I retire to return to sleep 
To ressurrect in my dreams where no one will weep

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?

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


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
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 🙂