In class we have explored many different plays like A midsummers nights Dream. Including various poems and short stories that help us the student’s better understand the concept of literature. However, I must say that throughout this class my favorite part was diving into some of Shakespeare's classic plays. I must say that compared to all the plays, short stories, and poems we have enjoyed in class, Shakespeare has to be my favorite. Which is why I am disappointed that we as a class have not dived into more works that were done by shakespeare.
More specifically, I would have enjoyed it if this class focused more on one of Shakespeare's best plays called Hamlet. I am fairly certain that this class may have read a passage or two of the story but I would have liked to have dived into the whole story as a class because out of all of Shakespeare's classics, Hamlet is my favorit. Hamlet is a Shakespearen tragedy that centers around the Prince of Denmark, whom you may have guessed is Prince Hamlet. In this story we follow Prince Hamlet and his quest for revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who murdered his father in order to seize the throne and marry his mother.
One of the reasons that I love Hamlet so much and I think that this class may benefit from reading it is because it tackles more mature themes like the theme of revenge and is revenge really worth it, through it’s morally complex main character Hamlet. In this story the reader’s come face to face with Hamlet’s internal struggle in his quest to obtain his revenge and external struggle from dealing with the consequences of his revenge. Consequences that eventually lead to the destruction of the throne of Denmark, the death of his family, the death of the woman he loved, and Ultimately his own death as well. Us reader’s are forced to question whether or not Hamlet's quest for revenge was truly justified, considering all the bad that came after Hamlet took his revenge for his father, is revenge for any reason truly worth it and if it is then what is the difference between Vengeance and Justice.
The internal struggle that Hamlet faces through his choice to seek vengeance for his father to me is one of the best hallmarks to this play. I mean the picture says it all “remember thee! ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat in this distracted globe.". Here Hamlet believes that he is speaking to the ghost of his late father, a man who was unjustly robbed of everything he had by a man he thought he could trust. I mean Hamlet shouldn't be hesitating with getting revenge, Considering all that his uncle Claudius has done to him it should be obvious that Hamlet is justified in his revenge against him. Furthermore, he is haunted by the ghost of his father that is craving for his son to provide him with some sort of justice. Therefore, we the reader’s don’t have to just consider whether or not Hamlet’s choice of revenge was justified or not, we also have to put in perspective that with all that Hamlet has gone through, did he ever have a choice in getting revenge?
Annotations like the word choice of the author of the story is helpful in understanding some context about when and where the short story is taking place. For example, I was unfamiliar with the word “yonder” from the short story “story of an hour”. However, after searching up the definition online I found out that “yonder” is a word that originated in the south that means far away. Which in turn allows me to infer that the short story is most likely taking place somewhere in the south.
I can use various online sources like google in order to learn the meaning of words and phrases that i do not know. However, no source is more reliable than the UNH library archives. The UNH library is fully accessible online and unlike google, not only do I get the definition of words or phrases that I don’t know. I also get historical insight on where and more importantly when the word or phrase was widely used.
Different contexts affect the way a short story is viewed by me because a story is meant to emphasize what someone is feeling or what they are going through. Therefore, it is not much of a shock to say that what people want to write about are their experiences during the time they have spent in this world. Furthermore, different time periods means different experiences for the people living in those time periods. That is why in order for us readers to have a better grasp on how people are thinking or feeling in their story. One must first be aware of when and where the story is taking place. Discovering the meaning behind the word choice of the author is one of the many annotating techniques that is prevalent in better understanding context.
I went on Youtube and found a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream by Summit High School. I have decided to use Act 3 Scene 2 of this production to explore the ways that seeing the script acted out on the stage. Influence the way that I understand the events that have taken place with Lysander, Demetrius, Helena and Hermia.
Seeing this play acted out is far better than just reading it in the book because the movements of the characters, not to mention how they physically interact with each other is just hilarious, but I suppose this is a comedy so that's kind of the point. I mean in this Scene Lysander and Demetrius are both professing their love to Helena, but I would have never guessed that they were so close to her. For example in one part of the scene Demetrius is actually touching Helena’s face while he pours out his love for her, which is just hellarius. But still, they are so close to her that at this point I would call their advances on her as an invasion of personal space. Furthermore, Helena is so put off by their advances because she believes that all their acts of love is just a ploy meant to mock her. Helena believes this to be so because Lysander and Demetrious were originally rivals in love who were pining after Hermia. The shock and disbelief that Helena is feeling towards the advances of Lysander and Demetrious in this scene leads her to make just the funniest facial expressions I have ever seen which makes it really hard to watch this scene without laughing. However, what really made this scene a joy to watch for me was when Hermia finally found Lysander. Here we have Lysander, the man Hermia loves and hope’s to marry, confessing his love to another woman who is Helena. I know that after this revelation in the book Hermia and Helena have a bit of a falling out, but no ware in the book does Hermia grabs Helena by the hair and begins to rudely insult her. However, watching this scene instead of reading it allows you to visually see just how angry Hermia is at Helena. I mean we as the reader’s know that Lysander is just under the influence of a love spell but Hermia does not. In her point of view it just looks like Helena, a person who Hermia once considered a friend has just stolen Lysander from her. So of course Hermia is angry with Helena but by watching the play instead of reading it I now have a better understanding on just how much anger Hermia has towards Helena.
Watching Act 3 Scene 2 of A Midsummer Night's Dream by Summit High School was a fond experience for me because it helped me to better understand the frustration and confusion felt by Helena. Towards the continued advancements of love displayed by Lysander and Demetrius. Furthermore, it helped me better understand the anger that Hermia must be feeling towards Helena because in Hermia’s point of view Helena is a traitor who stole the man that she loved. Honestly, this scene was just an absolute joy to watch. It was funny, it had a lot of drama, and it got me interested in wanting to watch more plays like this in the future.
I want to talk about the differences between Bottom and Quince, who so far are my favorite characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The difference between Bottom and Quince is in how they are first portrayed in A Midsummer Night's Dream. When we first meet Quince he is portrayed as a leader, we see that he is the one who is trying to give out roles to the play that the men gathered in this scene hope to put on during the celebration of Theseus and Hippolyta. Therefore, Quince is essentially being portrayed as the director of the play he is the leader of his group. However, When we first met Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream he first struck me as a bit of a goofball. Bottom is the character who feels that he is better than the other workers who want to put on this play and that he feels like he can play any and all roles in the play by himself. Which is evident by the way Bottom constantly interrupts Quince whenever he gives out a role in the play to someone else but every time Quince always tells him that he must play the role of Pyramus. For Example when Quince gave the role of the lion in the play to Snug because the part is nothing but roaring. Bottom intervenes “Let me play the lion too. I will roar that I will do any man’s heart good to hear me”(Act 1 Scene 2, line 58-59). Bottom is the one who is full of himself here believing that he can play the role of the lion better and that his roar will enchant any man who hears it. Quince is the one who always has to stop him from snatching someone else’s role and tells him that “ You can play no part but Pyramus”(Act 1 Scene 2, line 70). Here Quince is the one who is taking charge and he is essentially the one who is controlling Bottom’s arrogant attitude, that is what makes a leader. While Bottom is just the arrogant goofball who half the time says words that I don't think mean what Bottom thinks it means.
While Bottom is portrayed as the goofy and arrogant character Quince is portrayed as the more straightforward and practical one. I find that in a way their differences seemed to complement each other. Throughout this scene I just got the feeling that Bottom was just this funny guy and Quince served as the straight man in this comedy.
One of the things that really stood out to me this week was the diversity of figurative language that are used in the many works of poetry. My favorite type of figurative language had to be alliteration.
Alliteration is a literary device where two or more words in a phrase or line of poetry share the same beginning consonant sound. One poem that uses alliteration would be Natasha Trethewey-Myth. In her poem the sounds that are repeated are ‘ow’ and ‘ing’ and they all repeat at the end of each line of poetry. For example dying, waking, hollow, tomorrow, waking, trying, follow and tomorrow they are all examples of alliteration in poetry.
The reason why I like alliteration is because the repetition of certain sounds in poetry is one of the first things that I notice when reading a poem out loud. During the first readthrough of a poem, it's hard even for me to grasp the poet's true intent. However, if the poet utilizes alliteration then the poem becomes more memorable because it’s hard not to notice repeating sounds and rhyme in a poem. What makes alliteration so great is because it makes a piece of poetry memorable and succeeds in capturing the reader’s attention so that they may want to dive deeper into the true message of the poem
I never thought that poetry could be similar to rap or music before but now that I think about it, I can understand the similarities because like a poem I can more or less remember a full song. However, the one thing that I would remember about a song or poem above all else is the chorus or any repeating sound and that’s probably because the chorus always repeats and is more than likely meant to rhyme just like alliteration. Therefore, the notion that musicians and rappers are poets isn't far fetched, it could actually be true.
What I like about Harry Styles - Sign of the Times song is that it’s about moving past your grief and sorrow. However, what I find interesting about the song is how similar it is to poetry. Harry Styles frequent use of repetition and tone in order to express how he is feeling during different parts of his song is a great example as to how song’s like this is similar to modern poetry.
In poetry repetition refers to the use of the same word or phrase multiple times in order to put emphasis on a point. Harry Styles repeats the phrase “Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times” multiple times in his song. Furthermore, Harry Styles also repeats the phrase “ we gotta get away” multiple times too, all in order to emphasize his point on moving on from grief and sorrow.
Harry Styles use of repetition in his song is a narrative tool meant to emphasise the importance of not crying during times of hardships because tears are not going to change anything. Instead of crying it’s better to just move on with your life and not let the bad things that happen change who you are.
In poetry tone is the feeling displayed by the poet toward the subject of the poem. In Harry Styles song the tone is slow during the first verse but then the pace picks back up during the second verse only to slow back down by the end of the song.
The multiple shifts in the tone of the song is meant to emphasize different stages of the narrator’s grief. In the beginning the tone is slow because the narrator is sad and is only starting to grief. When the tone begins to pick up the narrator seems to be more frustrated than sad because he is having trouble in learning to accept and move past his grief. Finally, towards the end the tone slows back down because the poet has gotten over his grief and frustration and has begun to move forward with his life
The use of poetry tools like tone and repetition is so apparent in the song Harry Styles - Sign of the Times. That it makes me wonder what makes a poem a poem? And if a song can be this similar to a poem in almost every way. Then doesn’t that just mean that music in general is just another form of poetry?
This topic between music and poetry has gotten me curious and moving forward during this semester. I am looking forward to finding out how to distinguish a song from a poem and maybe I could probably learn how to write my own poem as well.