Thursday, April 19, 2012

Final Reflection

So, first of all I'd just like to say a little bit about blogging. I enjoyed this experience. It was something that I had never before done, and so it took a little while to get into it, but I got into a groove midway through. I do feel bad though about it for two reasons. First, I got sick for two weeks during the semester and my blogging really died during that time. Second, once we started doing our group project I really stopped blogging at all. Even though I was working on stuff the entire time--whether through researching, coming with ideas, writing, etc.--I just didn't post anything. That's definitely a regret of mine. I also recently realized that I never put up my blog on my interview with Adam White from the play Merchant of Venice. So, I'll probably get that up tomorrow. I hadn't finished it, then got sick, and then forgot about it while I was really busy catching up and getting ready for finals. Sad day! Sorry Adam!!!

Now, on to the learning outcomes:

1. Gain Shakespeare Literacy
I definitely feel that I have achieved this part of the outcome. Before this class, I had only ever read Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. But that was back in high school. That was way too long ago. Now I have added to that list with The Tempest, Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, and King Lear.

I feel that I really understand A Midsummer Night's Dream a whole lot more now. I remember doing Hamlet and breaking into groups to further delve into different monologues (which was really fun). While I didn't do exactly that for this play, some of Emily's research really led me to look at it in a different way. As this play was really closely tied into our final project, I learned a lot more about the symbolism of it all and how certain phrases or writing methods could be compared to other plays. I kind of had to in order to get my ideas down well for the Shakespeare Discussion Panel that we did, as well as how we came up with the name Ortegia for Star-Crossed. Yet again, I didn't post all we went through for that, but we wanted it to tie into Artemis (Goddess of the Moon and the Woods/Hunt) as she fit in so well with A Midsummer Night's Dream. It took so long to find that!!!

Beyond Wishbone, I don't really know if I had ever seen even a basic production of Shakespeare. I don't know how I managed that. I really liked it though, seeing the characters come to life. The plays definitely have a better feel in that way. I still occasionally found it difficult to follow all the dialogue, which is why I was so glad I had already read and analyzed each play before watching. At least I had a general idea! Of course, it also led to me being more judgmental, like how a fan of a book is disappointed in the movie made based on the book. I also found that if I didn't like a play as much as others, I didn't like the play as much either.

Well, I definitely tried to understand it well. Hmmm, I am not sure if I can say that I REALLY know a lot about all the history--although I definitely did get some of that, like words and phrases Shakespeare came up with or popularized--as I more-so focused the actual text. I definitely saw how it was in popular culture though. If you remember my blog on The Lion King 2, you'll see the Merchant of Venice quote in there. There more I know about Shakespeare, the more I see references to his works in things around me. I always feel kind of happy when I see that.

2. Analyze Shakespeare Critically
Textual Analysis:
Hmmm. Although we did do a good bit of this in class, I don't feel like I dove into this as much as others. While I did have some posts about Hamlet's soliloquy and I remember talking about the rhyming in A Midsummer Night's Dream, I feel like I generally tended to focus more on how the plot of the play could be applied to life. Or math. Which is basically the same thing. :)

Contextual Analysis:
I applied the plot/words, etc. a lot to modern-day living, I feel. That's something I felt I did pretty well with. I don't know--I just seem to naturally try to always apply the plot to life around me and see it, so I always seemed to gravitate more to that than anything else.

Application of Literary Theories:
Well, I didn't do a whole lot with Literary theories. At least, I didn't do so specifically.

Analysis of digital mediations:
You know, I don't think I ever sat down and wrote about anything that I watched, besides Lion King 2--which doesn't count. And it's probably too late to do so now. Oops! But it is always interesting to see the different takes and styles that are pursued in a movie in comparison to a play. And, of course, it all looks pretty legit in comparison too. But not always. :)

3. Engage Shakespeare Creatively
Well, I'd definitely call my performances for our final project a good example of meeting this. I had really wanted to do the Hamlet soliloquy too before I got sick, but then after working on this one and hearing my voice I kind of lost steam for it. But then I had Kent compliment me on it after the final, so maybe I'll give it a go after all and put it up later, despite my nasally voice...

Individual Creative Work:
So, something I STILL really want to do is that idea I had of quoting Shakespeare to people, and then collecting data on reaction/results, etc. and kind of turning it into a mathematical thing. That'd be really fun! So, springtime will be busy, but come summer term I think that I'd like to still do that. If anybody wants to help out, let me know! And yes, I know nobody will probably read all of this because of all the words, words, I'll just let them all know via other media. :)

Collaborative Creative Project:
This was so much fun! And so much work! We spent some much time researching things to make it all sound good and convincing. For example, we all spent about a week individually coming up with Ortegia's name--we wanted it to be perfect, and to tie it in with the moon, the woods, Greek Gods/Goddesses, and Puck. Ortegia fit quite nicely. But we went through so many other possibilities! And there was so much good stuff that we had that just didn't fit into our time budget. Sadness. Emily had another scene, we had Ariel throwing some jabs at Puck about how he was in love (which fits in quite well with the feel to A Midsummer Night's Dream), Anne had gotten a lot more evidence with iambic pentameter, etc. So, it was sad to not include it all into our video, but I still felt it came out looking really nice. I especially liked how ours was a good original idea. I also like how it was my idea. Yes, I'm definitely proud of it. Especially since I found later on that I could come up with lots of ideas, but nothing would come up whenever I tried to write. It takes so long, and it was never anywhere near Anne's. but that's why we work together, right? :)

4. Share Shakespeare Meaningfully
Formal Writing:
Well, I did a lot of research for the final project, and some of my reviews and other posts could probably be placed under this category, so I feel like I did alright with it. I didn't do a research paper like the other class had to, and I didn't do a whole lot of in depth formal writing, but I did some.

Informal Writing:
I did a lot of this. I really like fun blog posts! I think they made my blog a lot more fun to read. Pictures, videos, jokes, etc. just make me want to read more about what was written, whereas I feel like this post will be kind of boring because it is so long. So I'll add a picture at the end for you to reward you. :)

Well, I've definitely shared our final project with people and they've all enjoyed it when they saw it. But whenever I tried to talk straight Shakespeare, most of my friends gave me the "what are you going on about?" look. Just the ones who don't really know Shakespeare though. I imagine that's because they didn't feel comfortable talking about something they weren't proficient in. But I definitely brought it up a lot throughout the semester! Infinitely more-so than before, as I never even gave Shakespeare a thought before this class. :) I have definitely become more cultured now.

5. Gain Digital Literacy
I feel like I "consumed" a lot. Especially in the beginning when I looked for many other sources that I felt related to our plays, like Arthur, Between the Lions, Wishbone, The Simpsons, etc.

Well, I definitely feel like I have done a lot with creating things using different media sources. It's something that I had never really gotten into, so it was nice to expand my horizons with the blogging, videos, sound studio room thingy in the JFSB, etc.

I feel like I have really gotten a lot out of this. Before the final project, I did things like the interview with Adam White (which I still need to put up after all this time--man!) and taking a date to a play, etc. But for the final project it was really nice to involve those in my bishopric. They really enjoyed it too and look forward to seeing the final project. Finally, I will definitely connect this summer when I do my social experiment of quoting Shakespeare to others and observing reactions. That will be so fun. :)

Yeah, it's a cool dinosaur. Just like you. And yes, that's pretty much the highest form of a compliment according to my roommate. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shakespeare discussion panel video

So, we final got a shot of the video. It was pretty funny how off-script we went, but I think it turned out just fine for how amateur I am. Here's the video:

Hmmm. It would appear that Google no longer hosts the videos, or something to that effect. That's what my research dictates at least. No wonder I always failed before then! Well, when we get this on YouTube, we'll be able to post it here. So look for it in a few days! Sorry!

And here's the rough script:

So, we are here today to discuss the validity of a supposed Shakespeare play that was recently discovered.  We are joined by _______, _________, __________, and _________ to discuss its validity. Now, let’s open it up.  Is this play a bona fide Shakespeare Creation?
I’d say that it is.  Though there are subtle differences between it and many of his other plays, I’d say that can be explained by how it was an early creation.  Perhaps he was in his formative years.  There are just too many similarities in the end for us to be able to throw it out as not Shakespeare.
Could you give us some examples?
Easily.  First, let’s start with the iambic pentameter.  Now, generally Shakespeare would stay very strictly to this scheme, but in certain situations, such as when a character is aggravated or caught off-guard, he would frequently break this rhythm.  I’ve heard some voice concern over how this happens, so I have compiled a list of other instances where he did so in other plays.  Some of the plays were Hamlet, King Lear, and Antony and Cleopatra.  For time sake, let’s just look at Hamlet’s soliloquy. He begins with 11 syllables: “To be, or not to be, that is the question.”  Obviously, he was under a lot of stress, and Shakespeare was not averse to using such a break in the rhythm in order to further stress the poignant feelings of his characters.
If I may, I’d like to jump in here too.  Many of the points in the plot relate well with other Shakespeare plays as well. For example, there is a “play-within-a-play” that takes place when a play is held during one of the celebrations.  Similarly, this happens in plays like Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, among many others.  The difficulties portrayed by both Puck and Ortegia are also very much in line with a typical Shakespeare romantic tragedy.
It’s also interesting to see the obvious similarities to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is very closely linked to it.  For example, Titania is derived from the Greek gods and can be attributed to the sun, whereas Ortegia comes from the story of Artemis, who is known as the goddess of the moon and hunting. It is pretty easy to see how the moon and the woods tie into a story such as this one.
Yes, yes, yes.  That’s all well and good, but the real issues here are a completely different topic.  I can understand saying that the largely two dimensional characters can be attributed to it being an early creation, but there are some really big issues we have to address.
Yes, like why it appears to be a prequel. I am not aware of any other play by Shakespeare that is like that. It seems like a very modern, Hollywood thing.
Well, I suppose it is possible that there were others, but they were either censored like this one or just weren’t any good.
Yes, but it just doesn’t seem too plausible. It is statistically unlikely.
And why isn’t Ortegia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? That’s a really big hole to fill when she played such a pivotal role in Star-Crossed.
I still feel that this play was written by Shakespeare.  The main reasons for this are the many small quirks that Shakespeare generally used.  Anyone who really knows Shakespeare will catch onto them while reading. Nobody would take the time to write it out and then hide it in a book just in case it was found. The book was genuinely at least decades of years old. It wouldn’t make sense for anyone to do something like that unless there was some profit for them. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Critique of Love's Labour's Lost

So, I thought that the play overall was quite well done.  My favorite parts were Costard's.  It just really helps to have a character like him come to life.  He is definitely the biggest reason, I feel, that this play is a comedy.  He just has so many lines, and I thought the actor did alright portraying him as a mischievous individual.

Let's talk about the setting.  It was interesting to have it set in the 40's, but I thought it fit very nicely.  It was very interesting too to have so much of it revolve around the United Service Organization radio show.  Although I never really did see much of why the "Duke" had so much sway and influence, nor did I see them really stay away from women AT ALL during the play, I thought just about everything else fit in perfectly well.  After all, Don Armado was supposed to be good at entertaining, so he fit into the radio show host quite well.

Reading through the director's note, I can especially see why this fit well.  After all, many of Shakespeare's romantic comedies end with a marriage scene, or scenes as the case may be.  However, in Love's Labour's Lost they don't end in this way.  In similar manner, none of the characters married at the end of this production as they didn't want to marry someone who'd just go off and die.  Although the director's grandparents did get married beforehand, I can definitely see how this ties in rather well.

I also thought that the use of props and accents went over quite well.  Especially in Don Armado's case.  It really added to the humor of it all.  Just a last thought on the setting they were all placed in.

I really liked how they revolved around the canteen for the actual set.  All transitions seemed to go really well, and they kept it very simple.  I especially liked how the mirrors were simple wooden frames.  We could all tell what they were, but with very little to help us out.  This definitely made moving them a lot easier!  And we could still see them.  That probably had a bit to do with it too. But I liked how they could just pull up or drop down a few things to make it all work, and that all the other scenes were either inside or outside of the canteen area.  It is also fun to note that I don't think the musicians ever had to move, but you never really noticed them when they weren't in the scene.  Very well done.

So, those are just a few of my impressions from the play.  It seemed to go very streamlined both in action and in going along with the original.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shakespeare discussion panel

So, am I terribly evil if I kind of envision our Shakespeare panel as this?

And now, to justify it:

I really like how serious they are about it. They bring in names, statistics, etc. as well and they do cover a few vital issues concerning their topic. So, as a Shakespeare panel, we should definitely be similar in these ways to them. I do like going at it with two for, two against, and one mediator.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

For Kent

As the title implies, this is mostly for Kent. :)

Originally, I had wanted the audio for this, but I can't quite figure out how to get that working. Basically, I think I need to get some other software on my computer first. But I haven't had the time to look into it yet. But, here it is without the audio (which is probably better for all of you, as I can't sing--I mean seriously, how many times have you gone Christmas caroling and had their dog come out and howl along with you???). 

So, since we did some recording on Saturday, I was thinking about how nice it would be if I had Kent's experience and confidence in acting. So, I quickly came up with this little song about it:

 If I could be like Kent
 I would give anything
 Just to spend one day
In his shoes

I figured the song choice was fitting for what we were doing. And yes, I am getting pulled off the stage there because my singing is so bad. If you want a second opinion, I'm sure Anne and Emily would agree.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sickly-sweet tones of a hopeless romantic

I'll just start this post off by expressing how happy I am that we will be watching this play. Mostly because I can see how fun a lot of this dialogue is going to be. It's just that it is so hard to read through all of these poems and letters that the men are writing!!! Ah, it's just too much!!!

So, finishing this play made me think: what do women really want when a guy comes to court them? Especially the ones in these plays--many of them seem to be wealthy and well-to-do. After all, if somebody wanted to make an impression on me, spouting poetry all day every day would lead me to the same fate as poor Katherine: killed by love.

Now, the ideal response to this question would definitely be to have all the girls who read this comment on what they (or their "friend") would most like to give the guys a better picture. Unless of course they do what this sickly-sweetness that I felt was overly-represented in this play. I don't know. I personally feel that such lines and phrases can be dynamite when used sparingly and in timely situations.

But, I guess I could share what I think girls want most. Correct me if I'm wrong.

1. Girls are crazy. Just don't even try to guess what they want.

But really. It sometimes is like that.

I guess, in general girls want someone they feel secure with, someone who always picks them up when they are down and makes them feel like they are someone others want to be like and be around (AKA the best thing in the guy's life is her), someone who will spoil her (is that just sometimes, or all time?), someone who helps her be her best, someone she is comfortable with, etc. Something like that, right?

Anyway, I just wanted to post about this today because I got so tired of the love poetry over and over and over and over and over and over and...kind of like you might already be tired of this repetitive sentence. :)

Anyway, what do all of you think? I do definitely want to have some comments on what people think about this, either on what girls (and guys for that matter) really look for, or what people thought about the poems and love letters in Love's Labour's Lost.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Star-Crossed overall plot

So, I just wanted to put this up for all to see. What does everybody think of this as our overall plot for Star-Crossed?

First, we begin with Ariel and Puck hanging out, pulling pranks and whatnot.  It should be a very fun scene and we are all working individually this week on pranks that they could pull. I should have mine up tomorrow.

Second, Oberon begins to notice Puck. He wants him to be one of his attendants. At this time, he learns of Puck's romantic engagements, and so he comes up with the idea of giving Puck a magical potion of some sort that will make him forget of his love. He then has Puck go get it for him, and we read of Puck's adventure in doing so.

Third, due to a miscommunication (possibly due to one of Puck's pranks), Puck thinks that his love has left him, though she really hasn't. Oberon responds by offering the potion to him, which he then takes. We then are thinking of ending with Anne's quote, as a monologue by Puck's love. It's pretty legit. :)

So, that's basically what we are thinking off right now.