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ENG220 Shakespeare

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ENG220: Shakespeare Sept 6, 2011 -culturally ubiquitous -contemporary relevance -seen through a particular cultural lens -historicizing: view of the world at a particular time, fills in generational gaps -theatrical and literary genres: system of classification, audience expectations. How Shakespeare manipulates genre -convention: naturalized responses: lantern=night, chair=sick -audience -venue -adaptation. Most of his plays were adapted from known stories -stage action and innovation -repertory system Sept 8, 2011 -ben Johnson; rival to Shakespeare -called Shakespeare ‘soul of the age’ -ability to reach people over the ages -saying Shakespeare lives on through his works -johnson prided himself on his learning -criticizes Shakespeare’s lack of greek and latin -also comments on his performance as an actor -great writers take nature as the content of their work -nature is the poet’s matter, yet he cannot give nature all: nature is being formed and molded by Shakespeare's work, changing the way we view the natural -swan of avon: associated with Shakespeare, graceful, associated with evil -tremendous afterlife of Shakespeare’s works through publication even after his death -look to shakespeare’s origins -born in 1564 in Stratford -john Shakespeare; glover -son of a working man, skilled in a trade, member of the community -humble origins affect people’s perceptions of Shakespeare -likely he went to a very good grammar school in Stratford -many people visited Stratford in the 1570’s and put on plays; shakespeare’s exposure to plays -1572: law was passed, outlawing the performance of plays by actors unless they had aristocratic frontage; under the wing of nobleness. Actors diminished to a lower status -don’t know a lot about his childhood -1582 married anne Hathaway -1585-1592: know nothing about Shakespeare -made his way to London as an apprenticed actor -someone writes a critique of shakespeare’s acting: accuses him of perhaps stealing content from Robert greene, undeserving of fame -johannes factotum: ‘jack of all trades’ -thomas nashe accused of writing the critique -1592-94: theatres closed from plague; recurring theme. Easy to spread the disease, place of public discourse, place of riots, public order always at risk. Time of great upheaval, unrest, sense of mortality/death, impending mortality -1595: reorganization of companies’ chamberlain’s men founded; Shakespeare becomes a sharer -shakespeare’s company -founded with james burbidge as the manager, father of Richard burbidge, considered the greatest actor of shakespeare’s day -burbidge’s took 50% of profits -96: hamnet dies, john Shakespeare makes an application for a coat of arms: chamberlain’s men the only troupe to perform at court -1583: the queen’s men acting group formed, pillaged England of most of their successful actors -shakespeare’s company becoming the dominant theatrical group -98: boys’ companies allowed to play once more; Shakespeare listed as a principal actor in jonson’s every man in his humour; makes fun of shakespeare’s pretentions to aristocracy -motto on coat of arms: ‘not without right’ -sense of acronism and how it affects shakespeare’s career -1602: Shakespeare purchases 107 acres of aerable land in Stratford and and 20 acres of pasture -1597 purchased the second largest house in Stratford -1599: globe theatre opens -the aristocratic types wear rapiers -satirical comedy was the boys’ specialty -the common stages: the public theatres -satirical comedy offended people coming to watch them -ran plays that were politically charged -shakespeare had to be very careful about impacting who comes to see his plays -the master of the revels: putting on entertainment for the queen, must approve all plays for performance, nothing that was going to upset people -all shakespeare’s plays were subject to censorship -who maintains them: question of patronage -the poet’s war: writers from different companies come to blows, arguments between theatres, tendency to make personal attacks against different playwrights theatre in England: 1576-1603 -ways to keep people coming to the theatre: -plays must relate to all audiences -recurring characters and themes -25-38 plays in 40 weeks; half were new plays -measure of its tremendous success and popularity -lots of recycling of costumes, props, etc -sacrifices quality for quantity an Elizabethan theatre -wide open courtyard; save money on light -lots of seats -pit for standing room; cheapest seats -stage is thrust out; enables spectators to see action on all sides -encourages a lot of movement from the actors -roof over the stage: place for ‘above’ -curtains in the back; lots of places for entrances and exits to be made -underneath the stage: trapdoor; entrances, exits, discoveries -roof provides shelter for actors from the rain; ‘show will go on’ -architectural elements of the stage -bare stage, no backdrops; puts pressure on the text, more pressure on the actors -verbal scenery; aural theatre; theatre of an audience; those who are listening rather than those who are watching -benefit of no excessive scenery: less expensive, action can move quickly without disturbing audience with long pause, switch scenes quickly, speedy dramaturgy September 13, 2011 Titus Andronicus -revenge -self consciousness of genre: self reflexivity -‘handling of the hands’ -mixture of high seriousness and dark humour -verile: manly -culture of warfare/bloodshed -engaging with classical sources -roman characters: stoic figures -revenger must die by the end of the play -tradition of violent self-harm -violence: entertainment value -revenge tragedy “kill bill” -the most lamentable romanic tragedie of titus Andronicus -old version of the play -projects emotion/genre -roman: what type of tragedy: claims noble lineage -identifies several different companies: theatrical lineage -‘Rome’: 53 times in the text -nobility, honor, discipline -Elizabethans identified with these things -paper copies of the plays sold out in theatres also -First impressions: -eliot reading titus through lens of other great tragedies -characters not as psychologically complex; no act of projecting intention -one accepts the convention in a revenge tragedy; no need to explain source of the revenge -stage hung with black drapes if it’s a tragedy -shakespeare wrote titus to appeal to audiences who enjoyed Spanish tragedies -one-upping Seneca -an act is not revenged unless it is one-upped -familiarities/anticipations of shakespeare’s other works -titus: insanity, madness, revenger’s madness -shakespeare looking back to tradition September 15, 2011 -sympathy that Titus evokes in us is questionable by end of first act -one doesn’t need a more compelling reason to identify with titus’ grief than the violence that’s been enacted on his daughter; image of daughter’s rape is compelling enough for us to understand titus’ grief -titus and marcus being ovidian -3.1.220-34 -titus confronted with daughter’s ravaging -length of the lines varies; disorder to his thoughts -drawing comparisons to natural forces -distances the audience from his suffering; struggling to piece this metaphor together, investing them in a grandiosity -could find solace if he knew why it happened -failure to discover the wrongdoers and to understand the motive behind it -could impose rational limitation on his suffering if he knew why, but he cant, so he must express himself in this huge fashion -sense of unspeakability of the violence, yet characters and audience always confronted with horrors and feel strong urge to put it into words -give suffering meaning, place limits on what they see before them -use language to deal with terrible unrepresentable atrocities -rhythm serves to mimic the images; waves crashing against the earth -titus becomes sublimes image of ocean of tears -end of play, titus is not really mad; sees through everyone’s allegorical disguises -takes revenge against tamara, Demetrius and - madness: cooks tereis’ child in a pie. Destabilized mentality -driving his own revenge plot, self conscious theatrical manner; world stage metaphor -conventions of play are exposed to the audience; certain type of awareness of what’s going on on the stage; distance from the action, different perspective, -connection between rituals of public execution and rituals of violence made theatrical in titus -look for moments where the actors know they’re playing parts, fact that it’s a theatrical production becomes apparent -death seen as a place of peace, silence -kills daughter in order to give her undisturbed silence, rather than silence she has been confined to by having her tongue cut out -dj palmer -madness in titus is his obsessiveness with bringing the wrongdoers to justice -play’s comic elements complicate the tragedy -titus responds with laughter when marcus says titus should take revenge; confounds marcus’ expectations of him, acting like he’s not suffering. Reaction puts an audience off, but only way he can deal with his grief at that moment -marks a turning point in the play -place of laughter in certain scenes -irony/puns: distances us from the play emotionally -titus making jokes of hands -adds to how disturbing the violence is -confronted with horrible images and ovidian rideric and irony; conflicted audience, simultaneous distancing and closure of distance, variety of conflicting emotions exist at once -tension between tragic and comic, ironic and pathetic Genre -3 main genres of Shakespeare’s plays: tragedy, comedy, history -genres orient an audience’s expectations -contract between author and auditor -when play is of a certain genre, there will be a certain type of experience -audience must respond appropriately to genre -audience must recognize that there is room for elaboration/change -cultural habit of mind; one might have a tragic way of thinking about things -certain generic structure upon matter; makes things culturally intelligible -certain associations with tragedy and comedy -spatial relationship between audience and action in a comedy: -more distance, audience laughs because they believe they have knowledge superior to that of characters on the stage -view events of play with certain detachment -less realistic, strive less for realistic -tragedy -distance is closed so audience becomes lost in the performance -actor trying to draw audience in -achieve some sort of efficacious result -series of sympathetic vibrations, -> text, actor, audience -history -drawn from history -plays with audience’s rising expectations; surprise us -innovation within; how genre develops -shakespeare plays with generic frameworks; reorienting our perspective through comic means deliberate and exuberant haste -repertory system; demand for new plays dictated; written with haste -encourages certain commercial principles -imitation and duplication drive repertory system -more times work is repeated I repertory, more successful it is seen the Spanish tragedy (1587) Thomas kyd -popularity and influence -original revenge tragedy -theatrical deaths produce real ones -inset spectacles to point out theatricality of the play itself titus’ success -most profitable play of the season -very successful vindicta mihi; ‘vengeance is mine sayeth the lord’ -Elizabethans viewed private revenge as unacceptable -francis bacon: revenge is a wild justice: beyond the scope of the law -says best sort of revenge is when law cant take any recourse -wrongdoers in revenge tragedy are royals; they are the law, no recourse for them -must make wrongdoer aware of their crime -titus keeps visual reminders of the violence; lavinia’s body, his severed hand -‘keep wounds green’ -titus’ revenge: public? Or private? -personally motivated, but in a public form -in sight of all -public and ‘spectacular’ fashion -private revenge wrapped in a public cloak conventions of revenge tragedy -protagonist lacks recourse to justice -wrongdoers are in high place of justice -violence -blood -revenger dies in the end -healthy renewal of the capital -justice/mercy -investigative element; uncovering signs -element of delay; protagonist delays revenge; play would be over very fast ; audience’s anticipation to build -stylization; stylized in uses of violence Sept 20, 2011 th -MIDTERM NOV 24 -artificiality and consciousness of fiction -alright to enjoy suffering because we are aware that it’s fiction -how does the audience become aware? -stylized: step into theatre with certain expectations -reminds audience of fictive effect -shocking instances that reveal conventions of the drama as conventions -how is the play stylized? -heightens consciousness of fiction -psychologically unconvincing characters -intensity is unnatural -pace of the play -emblematic staging -verse and poetry; not in prose -symbolism -rituals -slaughter -triumphant march of titus back to rome; convention of pageantry -burial -election -tableaus -striking opposition -crisis of succession -all serve to stylize the action -the peacham drawing of titus Andronicus -no consistency in costumes -anachronism was the norm -goths kneeling before roman justice -blood thirsty ghosts -stagecraft and structure -visual representation of status of characters -saturninus ‘aloft’: heavens -decasibus: wheel of fortune -trapdoor being used -pit: associate with the wounds -space beneath: hell and the underworld -emblematic -emblem: mark of something that represents something else -the emblem book: mute pictures that need to be interpreted -apply meaning to particular action -artificial constructed quality -act 1 scene 1 -introduces conflict of revenge -parallels to king lear -crisis of succession is important to Elizabethans -who will rule/how will they rule? -civil war+strife in England, problems with religion -elizabeth had no husband or kids, people wanted to know who would rule -how successor is named -up to the monarch to decide: England -self conscious anachronism: roman republicism -saturninus: tradition, he is the eldest, thus eligible for the throne -bassianus: virtue: most virtuous person rules effectively -titus names saturninus the ruler; still goes with tradition Sept 22 2011 Rome and barbarism -staging as emblematic -shakespeare complicates oppositions -‘irreligious piety’ vs religious sacrifice and ‘Andronicus, surnamed pious’; being honored for serving his country, serving roman ideals; also deemed to aenius; Trojan war hero -andronicus associated with roman virtues, roman ideals, in purest sense -being accused of barbarism, must question those ideals -act 1 scene 1 -lots of talk of justice -bassianus appeals to citizens; merit -saturninus appeals to his right; always depicted as the wrong choice -titus picks saturninus because he’s the eldest child; titus more concerned with upholding a principle than making the right decision for rome -opposition between the state/government, and the countryside -country signifies a place where darker things can happen -outside the bounds of the state/controlling arms of the law -well suited to illicit acts -opening up of boundaries -loss of control, loss of prohibitions -exposure -plots; plotting, plots of land, argument of the play, treacherous plot -titus calls rome a wilderness of tigers -setting -bassianus running away with lavinia -no proper dramatic preparation -‘suum cuique’ : to each his own -‘might is right’ -protects the notion of property -safeguards one’s own right -status of women -lavinia claimed by bassianus as property -even positive sense has a dark undertone -seed of disintegration of the roman state lavinia and tamora -status of women in the play -patriarchal society -saturninus relates to the men -entrenched in tradition -lavinia doesn’t have a lot to say -not suggest that she has any say in such matters -no consultation between bassianus and titus when he asks for lavinia’s hand lavinia -very servile -completely obeys her father’s wishes -silently joins saturninus at his side, since she’s been captured by bassianus -tries to appeal to tamora on the level of sorority/feminism -sense of sisterhood developed in her character -passivity of lavinia is emblematic in her being rendered speechless -tamora talks a great deal more than lavinia -represented as an evil figure -lavinia’s chastity/virtue/honor attacked -becomes symbol of lack of agency, yet somehow is able to name the criminals -given one last shred of agency -living emblem of the powerlessness of a certain type of woman in this particular culture -implied that in order to have agency, one has to be something of a tamora -a ‘dangerous’ figure -lavinia killed to represent value of chastity -begs to be killed instead of raped -classical precedent; titus saying she has already been killed by the violence done to her -when lavinia captured -saturninus: rape as in abduction -bassianus: rape as in sexual assault -critique of the institution of marriage -B has a right to lavinia as if she is his property -equating it with the notion of rape -seizing his property -sexual violence being equated with institution of marriage itself -lavinia becomes an emblem of wounded innocence -innocence that has been lost -2.4 -marcus speaks on lavinia’s behalf -branches in her arms: further dehumanizes her -motivates marcus’ use of that particular image -if she didn’t have branches, then it would be a strange imagined vision by marcus -motivate marcus’ lines by placing him well in the distance, but changes meaning of his lines on the stage when he sees her right away -no longer self-identical with herself -her being abstracted -wide open space of lavinia’s rape -stumps of trees around rape scene; representative of what was done to lavinia -visual pun -visual manifestation of lavinia’s trauma -hunter becoming the hunted; bassianus killed -reversal of affect -most valuable relationship is between aaron and the audience -marcus’ speech upon seeing lavinia -shakespeare uses verbal scenery -ornament; lavinia referred to rome’s ornament at the beginning of the play; something supplementary to rome -associated with loss of roman innocence -marcus itemizes each of her parts -acts as the interpreter; as men have been doing for her all her life -abstract and dissect the lady into her various parts -grim parody of the blazon tradition -refigure the mutilation; perform again an act of mutilation -instantly summons classical precedent; tereus -nobody actually knows she’s been raped for sure until she writes in the dirt -marcus goes to a classical precedent right away -model for contemporary behaviour sept 27, 2011 A midsummer night’s dream -title page -shakespeare’s name made more prominent -samuel pays in 1662 says ‘most insipid and ridiculous play’ -not been taken seriously in the past -fairy ring -earthiness -nature of fairy realm -enter the ring represents entering another realm -structure -marks artificiality of it -young lovers prevented from being together: parental issues -flight from place of authority, go to the forest-as characters look back on their night, they diminish it’s events and they think it’s a dream; actually not a dream -move to fluid space of the forest -transformed by their experiences in the forest -madness of desire -mechanicals’ play -questioning nature of reality -interdependence of different realms -athens -patriarchal rome; like titus -hyppolita: queen of the amazons, matriarchal, carry a threat to patriarchal societies -lysander and Demetrius are of the same birth and status -false problem: they are equal, so who hermia wants to marry should not be a problem -but Demetrius could not have been considered for marriage because he had been previously engaged. Sept 29 2011 A Midsummer Night’s Dream -potential for subversion -dominant idealology is threatened -athens represents patriarchal realm of order -world of the forest -natural realm where boundaries are blurred -identities mistaken -natural courtships are impacted upon by magical herbs smeared on eyes of lovers to change their perception of the world -chaotic, violence to the disordered nature of the comic universe -athens represents intellect, order -forest represents irrationality, passion -drawing oppositions -taking hold of passions that threaten to destabilize the natural order of things -is order restored at the end? Passion vs reason -demands of passion have met demands of reason; harmonious concord between the two lovers -natural course of things is revealed to be in concert with the reasonable course of things -concords with Athenian, patriarchal understanding of how events should take place -midsummer night -solstice -longest day of the year -references to may games -generation, fertility -midsummer’s eve associated with supernatural, spirits walking the earth; irrational; associated with realm of fairies -maygames associated with midsummer’s eve -st valentines day: associated with play of the lovers -acceptable for women to woo the man -people being paired off by chance -how they fit in the dominant ideology of that time -what kind of subversive potential do these games have stubbes, the anatomie of abuses -theseus: man of great gravity and reputation -uncomfortable about the peasant games -associates them with fertility, reproduction -ties the sense of sport with it -lysander put off by hermia shows her attitude towards the may games -play is largely innocent -sense of subversion of ordinary social norms -the carnivalesque -medieval feast of fools -subversion and inversion of dominant ideologies and entrenched hierarchies -festivities that turned everything upside down -why would it be allowed?; time of licensed misrule, attacking representations of misrule -carnival that comes right before lent; all the pressure of society building up, rebellions were common, licensed misrule was a way of letting people let their steam off, eventually return population to subservity -all were considered equal -all encompassing; everyone is a participant -midsummer encourages this participatory sense -tearing down fourth wall: everyone participating to a certain extent, trying to traverse gap between audience and stage -laughter generates carnivalesque bond between actors and audience -analogy being set forth between stage world and actual world -approximate universal sense of how adolescent love unfolds, characters operate in a cliché fashion -helena vs hermia, Lysander vs Demetrius, dramatic situations differ, but ultimately are identical by the end of the play, differences are superficial, same intellect, same speech, speak language of conventional love -identities become deeply confused; motives remain the same -come to represent abstract representation of young loves -abstract quality enables them to be seen by the audience as universal figures of the type -subversive potential -offers certain inversions of typical order of things -politically effacious -older Athenians, younger Athenians, fairies, mechanicals -not a huge difference between characters socially -mechanicals vs royals -royals vs tradespeople; biggest opposition -biggest social inversion in the play: bottom becomes the lover of the queen of the fairies -bottom concerned about the efficacy of his performance -brings up death early in the play -concerned that the women will be afraid, doesn’t want swords on the stage -has a naïve impression of theatrical efficacy, aware of the dangers of theatrical -act 5: bottom confronts theseus; something enables bottom to do so -love and desire -dominant theme -sense of expectation brought to the woods; may games, midsummers eve -play enables it to work out for the lovers because they’re all of equal status -play is sympathetic to the lovers -sympathetic view of lovers in general -unreciprocated love, -jan kott uncovers a darker side -masochistic tendency with Helena; ‘spaniel’ -bottom becomes love object of desire, wants to get out of the wood, titania denies him; forcible confinement -coercive bestiality; bottom sleeps with titania -there is a civilized middle course between love and desire -theseus and chastity: moon characterized as solitary and lonely image, chanting associated with some sort of religious rite. Reference to Diana, goddess of chastity. To live a virgin’s life is to not participate in the natural world -fickleness of theseus reminiscent of lives of young lovers -being outed for his sexual ways in the past -jealousy of the fairies -copia: piling on as much description as possible onto one idea; supposed to convey vastness of the natural world; seen in its superabundance -one of the dark sides of the represntation of love love and convention -natural disruptions -stichomythia; lines cut off by one person and finished by another -two lovers trying to one-up each other -lysander and hermia -talking about love and how it gets frustrating -abstracts characters; figures of the type rather than fully individuated developed characters Helena on love -qualities are superficial -love invigorates these things that have no value but adds value to them -love gives superficial things meaning, transposes them to form indignity Oct 6, 2011 “A Midsummer Night‟s Dream” Bottom, Fairies, and the Inset Play Bottom  He is one of the most fully developed and interesting characters of the play.  How he‟s funny: o “Malapropisms”  wrong humor for the moment o Rogue o Preposterous (literally meaning “bottom first”) o His name o He wants to play all of the parts in the play of “Pyramus and Thisbe” (bravado)  Wants to be seen  Playing all of the parts would align him with Puck (shape-shifter)  How he attracts us: o Charisma o Intent on controlling the action of the play  He “stage-manages” (much like Aaron in “Titus Andronicus”)  He‟s also like Puck, but Puck‟s stage-managing seems to be more effective o Meta-theatrical character  he has a dialogue with Theseus and with us  Transformation: o Associated inter-text: King Midas o In this story of King Midas, there‟s a showdown between Pan and Apollo o Pan is a bit of a trickster among the gods; he is also a demi-god, being the god of nature o Pan plays rustic, pan-flute music o Apollo is basically the opposite of Pan because although he‟s also a demi- god, he plays the lyre and gets his powers from Zeus (higher music) o Midas chooses Pan as the winner, so Apollo punishes him by giving him donkey ears (“asinine”  poor music judgment) o Bottom‟s reference to this is when he calls for tongs and bones, which would create rustic music o Things that are parodied:  Theatrical conventions  Taste (in the lines about “wall” in Act V), which imitate other plays and make fun of audiences  Ass‟ head: o Bottom is not aware of his physical transformation at first, creating dramatic irony for the audience and generating some pathos for him (he was already an “Ass”) o But, he is given some of the most beautiful lines in the play when he wakes, after having transformed back into being fully human Bottom‟s Dream  “Eye of man hath not heard…ear or man had not seen” o Mixes senses with body parts o Misquotation of I Corinthians 2:9 (puts him in the mystical realm) o He‟s trying to describe something beyond humans (God)  Emotion: wonder  “I have had a most rare vision…Man is but an ass…this dream” o Dream is beyond the wit of man o Quasi-mystical experience: confusing how we comprehend experiences (how he feels) o “Ass”: there is a distance between him as an “ass” and how he is now; this implies that he is no longer asinine  He wants to get Peter Quince to write a ballad about him o Self-aggrandizing o The dream will be twice removed o He defers to an artist  “„Bottom‟s Dream,‟ because it hath no bottom” o Perpetuates; endless: he‟s been transfigured by his experiences o Nothing to ground it (a “bottom”); it is a shadow with no substance o Pun: “no Bottom” because he is no longer in the dream o He will take a new life in art and his love I Corinthians 12: 14-15  Organic image of parts of the body: linked and equally important  Like the various realities; social classes  Bottom is re-valued within the social body (i.e. Carnivalesque) “Titania and Bottom” Henry Fuseli 1786-1789  Light and dark (light represents the fairies and makes them seem nice/kind) o Reflects the idea of transformation (“Into the light”)  There are some deformed, scary fairies in the picture  Fairy holding a baby  in folklore, they would steal human babies and replace them with “Changelings” (deformed babies)  Malevolence and danger surround the world of fairies; but it is not quite the same from the fairies in the play o Puck is only a mischief-maker o Titania and Oberon bring up that the happy couples (in A Midsummer Night’s Dream specifically), would not be given Changelings o Titania snatched away a changeling and wanted to keep it, but Oberon wanted to keep him as a servant (part of the “royal train”)  Disagreements: Oberon cannot control his wife  The boy is their captive and in danger of the fairies Fairyland  Function: scapegoat for the inexplicably right and wrong things that happen in the play  Symptomatic  Fairies are “shadows” but are also real in the play (metaphor becomes physical)  Human characteristics  like the Greek Gods  Hippolyta and Theseus typically double as Titania and Oberon in productions (to show their similarities) o Discord/implied discontent (Hippolyta) o More different than similar  fairies vs. the people who reject fairies  Stage-managing: Puck and Bottom  On-stage audiences o “I am invisible”  unseen by other characters; watching  Fairies = surrogate audience o Encourages us to see ourselves in them (voyeuristic impulses) o Meta-theatrical  Fairies: metaphor fir theatrical performance (“shadows”) o Stage = reflection of reality (“Life is but a stage”) Fairies and Representation (beginning of Act V  after weddings)  Reflecting on night  “I never may believe these Antique Fables” o Irony: Theseus is a mythical character and he‟s saying these lines o “Antique” = “Antic”  crazy; theatrical context  Irony: he‟s an actor in a play  “Lovers and madmen”  love is madness  “Shaping fantasies”  “apprehend” more than cold reason “Comprehends” o Righting of Bottom‟s dream o Mystical experience  “All compact”  all is the same  Poetry transfiguring things o Part of Theseus‟ theory o The power of art to shape things is more important/is greater than reporting them  “Airy nothing” becomes “shapes” (which is what Shakespeare is doing)  “How easy…bear”  Lysander mistakes a bush for Demetrius  “Apprehend…comprehend” o Belief in fairies perpetuates itself, like imagination, emotions o Reminds us of status of reality or theatrical enterprise o He = “airy nothing”  Hippolyta agrees, but the lovers grow and are transfigured by this o It has an impact on the lovers‟ lives (like “Bottom‟s Dream”) o Constancy Pyramus and Thisbe  Significance  parallels with main action of the play o Parodies impulses of the lovers o Provides and alternative to the overall play‟s comedy with the threat of death at the beginning  Tragic potential sets off the comedy  In the movie, the mechanicals put on a poor performance except for at the very end o The good acting makes the hecklers in the audience feel dumb for having laughed at the poor aspects of the play o Encourages us to reflect on our own response October 13, 2011 -allude to things you’ve learned in class from passage; close reading -imagery; identify correspondences, things causing images to take on new meanings -breath, sun, elements -repetition of words, may be semantic variation, alliteration, pleasant sounds and angry sounds, -allusions to other literary works, myths, bible, proverbs, commonplaces; titus: metamorphoses, roman gods, moon, chastity as a personification, Philomel; acknowledges play’s resemblance to its classical sources -form of the speech, play; artistry of a passage, how well/ill suited the form is to a specific content -where does the speech come in the play? What immediately precedes and follows it? -how does the speech introduce or echo and develop the play’s key ideas/concerns? -why is the speech in the play? -bolingbroke ‘limits’ himself, takes very few poetic flights Anachronism and historical continuity -samuel Johnson on Shakespeare; anachronism seen as productive; coexisting comfortably -didn’t trouble Elizabethans -people were interested in rome; ‘new troy’ -tendency in renaissance mindset to identify with roman values and seize upon what can be culturally instrumentalized from conception of rome -shakespeare saw contemporarily relevant things for the Elizabethans -sir Thomas north in plutarch’s lives -serve as examples of how to or how not to conduct oneself -may learn from the past -elizabethan attitudes towards history in general -use it as an example to reflect upon their own place and time -thomas heywood’s an apology for actors -very strong didactic intent; teach, instruct -arguing for theatrical ethicacy; seeing actions on stage will make us moved -play within a play; hamlet historical heteroglossia (many tongues) in the chronicles : holinshed -chronicle; timeline, chronology -believed to be one fact following another -certain shape applied to this history -encyclopedic tendency in the compilation of facts and opinions -chosen to record various facts/interpretations, allow readers to apply their own interpretations to the text -differs from positistic view of history -many sources speaking through Holinshed history plays and re-presentation -thomas nashe -making present the past -allowing history to be reborn on stage and reused, instrumentalized by Elizabethan contemporaries tillyard, providentialism, and the conservative view of Elizabethan historiography and history plays -‘the Elizabethan world picture’ and the’ great chain of being’ -the tudor myth and the wars of the roses -metanarrative -plays intended to reinforce the great chain of being; there’s a place for everything, and everything in it’s place; maintain the order of the great chain of being; don’t step above your place. Great social anxiety about class jumping. Obedience. -original sin; obedience is the principal virtue of all virtues; rebellion is a bad thing; you will be damned -tudors were ordained by god to take the power and give people peace and prosperity -tillyard says shakespeares plays recite the tudor myth -plays discourage rebellion the Elizabethan history play; conventions -generic inclusivity; will take on many different generic identities depending on the content -purports to represent historical fact -close adaptation of chronology, character, and actual lines from the chronicles -audience’s familiarity with the past is negotiated -historical accuracy is less important than the demonstration of ideas and historical forces at work through the characters -patriotic element; set piece speeches, serving to unify popular opinion -function as exempla intended to resonate contemporarily Richard II -protagonist; could be Richard or Bolingbroke -left ambiguous on purpose -given strong sense of richard’s unfitness to rule -rift in the law -sympathies more with Bolingbroke in first act; Richard has played a part in gloucester’s death, which is why he wants mowbray and Bolingbroke to make up. Richard II Structure, Ideological Interpretations, 3.2, The Deposition, And Richard‟s Death Structure and Significance  The basic trajectory of the play and of the fates of Richard and Bolingbroke (“Wheel of Fortune” idea): o In 1.1, Richard starts at the top, while Mowbray and Bolingbroke are both exiled o In 3.2, we see the turning point (where Richard realizes his bad timing for his arrival), and we can start to see his downward fall  There is a strong image of Richard‟s descent, after a comment where he is described as the sun  Bolingbroke‟s fate is on the rise  Crossing of fortunes (the bucket speech) o By the end of the play, Richard is dead and Bolingbroke is in power  Scenes that embellish/echo previous scenes (ex. Bolingbroke starts reflecting Richard further along in the play)  “Chiasmus”: o Linguistic inversion  ABBA o Example: “Ay, no. No Ay.” (Richard‟s response when he‟s asked to depose himself)  It represents his psychological distress and him recognizing his fall.  It is also a word-play/pun because it sounds like: “I know no I” (Identity crisis)  The play starts with Gloucester‟s death hanging over Richard, and ends with Richard‟s death hanging over Bolingbroke/Henry IV. o Just like how Richard tries to distance himself from Gloucester‟s death, Bolingbroke tries to distance himself from Richard‟s death. o At the end, Bolingbroke talks about taking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem (because of Richard‟s death), and that hangs over him in Henry IV. o Richard‟s death also marks the beginning of civil wars in England. Fundamental problem/Paradox:  Personal tragedy/legal fiction (the king‟s two bodies); Richard takes a long time before he realizes that he‟ll be deposed  Ideological problem: Richard presents himself as an unfit ruler, while Bolingbroke is presented as a fit ruler, but he usurps Richard o We might not know who we are supposed to side with or care about. o After 3.2, we see more political theatre than decisions from Richard, but we‟re drawn closer to him (partly because we don‟t see Bolingbroke as much) o Richard is the only character who gets the stage to himself in the play, and it‟s during the scene where he‟s in prison.  He doesn‟t have to compete for the audience‟s attention.  We can sympathize with him.  Indirect address at one point (calls out “sir”, or something to that effect). o National tragedy in suspension. What‟s at stake?  National Tragedy  Usurpation/specter hanging over.  Issue of succession.  York and Magna Carta: taking Herford‟s rights away destabilizes Richard and sets the cosmos/realm out of stability. Structure and Interpretation  De Casibus tragedy and fortune (Tillyard): o The Tudor Myth is God‟s plan/design as a response to the chaos that happens after the events in Richard II o Shakespeare gives us the play as a conservative history (there‟s a need for a ruler to keep the nation stable and together) o Because Henry IV/Bolingbroke‟s usurpation is illegal, he deserves what he gets (in the plays that follow)  If the play is intent on a balanced view (and does include the Tudor Myth), then it shows the Tudors (and Elizabeth) in a good light o Richard is figured as a usurped prince; a martyr o Reward for this  Tudor dynasty  Tillyard‟s thesis can be answered: whoever has power will assert himself  According to Hollinshed, Richard had good reason to kill Gloucester, and the fact that it was a private execution saved embarrassment  Kernan (a critic) tries to reconcile these two previous views: o The play represents a loss of innocence o Medieval worldview (ritualistic; Richard) to modern worldview (Bolingbroke) o Recognized Bolingbroke as opportunistic o Northumberland sees all of this out; after Richard deposes himself, Northumberland presents the list of crimes that he (Richard) has committed o Henry has a more pragmatic use of political power Gaunt: Nostalgia and Prophecy  Blue lines: pithy utterances that have the ring of proverbial wisdom (rhetorical trope); series of clichés that seem like wisdom on his deathbed  Strong claims about Richard‟s reign  Nationalistic/patriotic writing: “This royal throne…this England” o He figures England as completely sullied o Great military country (Mars reference) o Strong, organic, natural connection between good rulers and England as paradise  “Eden”  paradise, but it is also the fall from grace; innocence destroyed  They are bound together by documents, rather than by people  (Kernan) Medieval sense of innocence and grace; it is lost through Richard to Machiavellian, real politic Private Property and Identity  Bolingbroke (and Gaunt earlier)  Issues of succession and hereditary right  “Misinterpret”  Patriotic, pithy characterization of exile in France  Garden of Eden (the scene where the gardener resembles old Adam)  Caterpillars of the state feeding the king bad advice  Loss of self-identity  complaining about this loss; tearing things off the walls Differing Interpretations  Holderness recognizes it‟s not a straightforward clash between rulers, rather their ideas o Richard as an absolutist vs. Bolingbroke as a feudalist (Magna Carta; agreement/contract between the rulers and the ruled) o Suggests that Richard dramatizes his divine right o While it allows Richard‟s dramatization of the Tudor Myth, it scrutinizes divine right Absolutism vs. Feudalism (1.1)  Richard denies chivalric contest  He banished Mowbray and Bolingbroke in the name of the king‟s peace  Fairness  Tries to prevent chaos in banishing, but this ironically causes chaos  Asserts absolutism  “Our” (Richard and England)  king‟s two bodies 3.2: A Turning Point  Refer to movie for most of these points  Richard seems a little deluded  There is emphasis on his “favourites”  “Can‟t wash off the balm of an anointed king”  close-up; more intense and serious  “Mock not my senseless conjugation, lords…”  ironic  The sun (which recurs throughout the play): o Self-prophet-izing (possibly as a rhetorical move) o Ironic  To what extent does he buy his own hokum? About Face…  also from the same scene in the movie (but after he realizes he‟s in trouble)  He changes his tone: more heartfelt; different type of performance (political); still self-dramatizing  The elements  Pie-top reference (in a footnote in some books, it compares it to essentially a coffin)  “Sit upon the ground and tell sad stories about the death of kings”  recognizing his fate (in the wheel of fortune) o The stage direction calls for him to sit upon the ground, but as a defeated, unseated king; we can compare this to him ritualistically touching the ground earlier in the scene o History plays (also makes reference to other king‟s deaths); murdered and deposed kings in recent theatre memory (including after Richard II‟s actual life); identifies himself entering history  He doesn‟t talk about the earth as rising up, rather it consumes him; he‟s recognizing his own mortality  “Antic”  fool; “antique”; element of acting  “A little scene”  self-consciously (meta-theatrically) allowing himself a “little scene”; inset play  “Hollow crown”: o Place-holder o Meaningless (“hollow”) in the face of death (death is personified)  Art style (“vanitas”)  portrait with skull: o Ex. “Hamlet” o Meaninglessness of the crown in the face of death o Recognition of death  “Little pin” image  the body/body politic can be taken away with a “little pin”  “Subjected thus”  finally coming to terms with mortality at this instance; he never had to reckon with it before Richard and Divine Right  Puts aside self-conscious theatrics and starts to become a sympathetic character  Deposition scene: o Only the king can depose himself (paradox) o He reverts all of this attempt to throw away theatrics: mirror smashing; giving the crown to Bolingbroke (“seize the crown”)  Bucket speech: o Bolingbroke is unwilling to participate in the embellishment of the situation  Very strong image of self: o Political theatre o Paradox of the act he‟s doing How much his claims are ritualistic October 27, 2011 Henry iv -looks back to Richard ii with crusade -reiterates his desire to go crusading -reason for crusading: intends to distract his lords at home and prevent civil strife -it’s too late; uprising of the scots and the welsh -Henry confronts the percy’s; demands of them their prisoners -use hotspors desirability of honor against him -gad’s hill robbery: comic plot does not move drama forward in historical plot -falstaff and the prince engage in a robbery: shows how far they’re willing to go, tells us about their characters, prince is positioning himself in anti-authoritarian light, robbing form the king like Bolingbroke robbed Richard of the crown; steal from falstaff money he’s just stolen -3.1: wales -glyndwr’s castle -men calling upon demons -4.1: shrewsbury -fight for the control of hal’s soul -hotspor killed -hal redeems himself in father’s eyes -carving up of the realm: lack of unity -wales: place of exoticism, mystery, danger, magic -north: feudal power, traditionally a threat to the unity of England and power of monarch -court of henry: seeks to extend power (prisoners hold great material value, ransom), Richard II’s mismanagement of his realm is seen here, henry seen as overstepping his bounds -eastcheap: inn in London, characters who represent middle and lower classes comment on matters of state but do not directly affect them, relative lawlessness, commentary is made on the main action; parodied by these lower fellows, matters eventually effect everyone when the members of the tavern are called to go to war; tavern group have very little impact on play. Included because presents an alternative vision to everything. Falstaff provides a foil to certain ideas in the play; alternative view of things. Lower class included in play is important because he wanted a relatable side for the audience, helps with prince hal’s character plot -diverse array of characters and geographical locations; Shakespeare paints a broader picture; suggests that the small folk are important to history as well, values lower classes by representing them alongside the important authority figures -most recognizable narrative plot: hal’s conversion -goes from young prodigal to enacting the story of the prodigal’s son -visits his father and makes amends of his riotous youth -psychomachia -psycho: soul -machia: battle/struggle -battle for the soul -medieval morality tradition; common theme is psychomachia -the vice is an agent of the devil who tries to lead every man on the path of wickedness -vice also a figure of sport, comic figure, audiences invited to laugh at his antics -most interesting figure in a morality play -favorable relationship with the audience -locus: are on Elizabethan stage: mansion, place that would have a fixed location, represent a castle, throneroom, inn, -platea: undifferentiated playing space around the locus, would extend into the audience, signify other locations -vice often occupies platea, lets audience in on his tricks -priviliged relationship with the audience -various symbols representing virtue try to lead him on the right path -battling for the man’s soul -vice in henry iv: falstaff -hal plays with temptation: plays with falstaffs ways but ultimately rejects him to become king -conservative view does not take into account attractions of falstaff’s character -dual psychomachia for control of hals soul: henry iv on one side, falstaff on the other -bildungsroman rather than a psychomachia -coming of age story: child becoming an adult -two fathers and a sibling rival: king Henry, falstaff, henry percy (hotspur) -henry wants his son to take on the mantle of kingship -most admires hotspur because he wants hal to be like that; noble, honorable -wishes hal would be kidnapped and replaced with hotspur; says this in front of his whole court -in the chronicles, hal’s conversion is a central aspect of the history, but is coded as a ‘miraculous transformation’ how does the play’s account differ? -it’s not miraculous -fulfillment of a promise -premeditated transformation -taken upon him self this responsibility and eastcheap people in order to control his image hal: ‘I know you all’ -using the eastcheap people as a cover, has no other use for the people -talking about his friends in terms that would not be associated with vitality -refers to them as ‘base contagious clouds’; potentially dangerous to him and his nobility -emphasis on disease and decay -richard compares himself to the sun -magisterial emblem -‘imitate the sun’: playing a role amongst his friends -playing a role when he assumes the mantle of kingship -making a very strong class distinction -setting up this strong contrast between holiday and working -holidays come rarely; more desired -metaphor for himself; going to behave bad so when he does behave good he’ll be more celebrated -anticipating the type of language his father will be using -sport/holiday: holiday realm of the inn at eastcheap -language of debt and credit and currency -falsify: taking on this role and falsifying himself -by putting on a role he’s lying -foil: sullen ground on which his bright jewel will shine more remarkably -falstaff as a foil, eastcheap, Henry percy, all foils to hal’s greatness -once you see how strict Henry iv is, it’s easy to see why hal would want some refuge away from him Macchiavelli on oath keeping -comes across as someone who will use his friends to his advantage, deceiving them and using them as a means to set up his royal image -in this regard he follows in his father’s footsteps by getting power through deception and lies -‘a prince should appear to be compassionate, faithful to his word, guileless, and devout. And indeed he should be so. But his disposition should be such that, if he needs to be the opposite, he knows how’ -if he needs to lie and deceive he should be able to do so -has the malleability to play either role as he sees appropriate -achieve aims by any means necessary -falstaff -selfish, self interested -must also consider Henry and Bolingbroke to be the same way -using and deceiving his friends to appear better off -characters listed in terms of political importance -hierarchal perception of the dramatis personae -in tune with keeping tillyard’s thesis -consider what subversive energies encouraged by the play -how power is revealed to be constructed -authority is a cultural construction kings and clowns and thieves -gadshill and chamberlain -gadshill alerting chamberlain to the presence of the money that’s being transported -he’s referring to -sir
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