Shakespeare Blog Entry #8

For the final Shakespeare blog entry I have decided to answer the second blog topic presented:

“Blog Topic 2: In Act 1 scene 2 what image do you get of Caliban? Is he being mistreated by Prospero”

After both watching the globe theatres rendition of The Tempest and reading along with a script the image I get of Caliban is that of a man who has been broken down over time by a cruel ruler, however, from Prospero’s perspective I can understand why he would have such a disdain for Caliban as he did try to rape Miranda. From his own description of event sit sounds as if Caliban, while uninhibited by the English language was a much more peaceful living man. He was one with the island and nature itself which in a way I think was a clever way for Shakespeare to make the audience question the role that language has on society and whether it truly makes us more civilised.

I can see both sides of the argument about his treatment from Prospero. On one hand, it would be very valid to argue that Prospero is a complete tyrant. Causing immense pain and suffering to be brought upon Caliban as well as essentially stealing the island from him.
On the other hand, I can also see the argument that Caliban brought this pain and suffering upon him when he tried to rape Miranda and that Prospero is doing what he is doing out of a mix of anger, resentment and to some extent fear, fear that his daughter was almost harmed by someone he helped become the man he is today. And despite knowing what extent I would be punished by the law if I were to commit violence against someone who attempted rape on my hypothetical daughter, It would be very hard to not do so.
Which at that point I ask my own question in response to anyone viewing this. Is Prospero’s mistreatment of Caliban warranted?scene-from-shakespeare-s-the-tempest-william-hogarth-a9433965.jpg

Shakespeare Blog #2

So I didn’t realise this one was up, but here I am doing it now so let’s jump into it.

This week I chose to do a critical question:
“Explore the opening speech by Philo (lines 1-13), say what you think it means and discus why this speech is so important to the drama that unfolds hereafter”

The opening speech by Philo sets the tone for the entire play, I believe that within this opening speech Philo is telling the audience directly that Antony, a man once revered as one of the three men who helped Rome conquer many empires, has now become distracted with his love for Cleopatra and that all the attention he once had for his army is now put onto her. Philo is telling the audience to look and see, the fall of a man who once had it all.
I think this speech is so important in the drama because it shows that from the very start it would be Antony’s love for Cleopatra that will cause his downfall. It shows that maybe caring for someone, possibly to the point of obsession, can be a dangerous thing to do, essentially warning the viewer in a way, to not put all their eggs in one basket. If Antony were to keep his tactical army mind while still caring for Cleopatra is possible that Egypt would have defeated Rome in the later battles, but Antony let his emotions get the better of him and ultimately caused his demise.



American Lit – Blog #9

For this week’s blog, I wanted to talk about which writer inspired me the most out of the beats.
After reading various poems and working on them during tutorials I didn’t really have a favourite out of the lot, but after sitting down and fully listening to “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror by John Ashbery I knew I had a favourite.
The reason I chose Jon is that there’s something hypnotic and immersive about his poems, while I was listening to the reading I felt like I was completely zoned into and interested in the poem. This was probably due to the way it was written.
It felt more like an intriguing storybook, giving you the information you can understand on a base level straight from the start, rather than having to re-read or listen to the poem again just to understand what’s going on.
I also really enjoyed how he was able to pinpoint a certain object, in this case, a convex mirror, and write about it in a way that created a solid image within my head with a level of precision I rarely get to experience from poetry.

I always love reading authors that are able to entrance a reader and fully immerse them within their writings, and John Ashbery managed to do that for me.

I give John 5 ‘scruffy beat beards’ out of 5.

American Literature – Blog 8

For this blog I wanted to try the first creative question, of making a voice for someone I don’t know, for this I wanted to use a guy I saw while I was on the train coming home from the city, he was probably in his mid 40’s early 50’s, he looked quite worn down in his old suit and old leather brief case. When I overheard him he was talking on the phone to someone, he said “dear” and “What did your mum say?” so I’m assuming he was talking to his daughter in her late teens. He looked fed up of the conversation as if he’s had it multiple times before.

Saying all that, let’s begin, shall we?

Every time her mother says no she rings me.
“Dad can I go to so and so’s house tonight?”
“Dad can I borrow some money?”
“Dad can you give me a lift to my friends?”
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter, and I would do anything for her, but after being at work all day, the last thing I want to do is drive 30 minutes each way to bloody Susan’s house. I keep telling her she needs to get her P’s.
“Do your hours with your mum after School.” I keep telling her, but her response is always the same.
“No, mum always nags me when I’m driving, she made me go 20kms under the limit last time!’
Why kids have to do so many bloody hours for the P’s I don’t know. She keeps telling me “dad everyone else fakes their hours why can’t I?”
“If everyone else also jumped off a cliff would you?” I often reply dryly.
I don’t want to be the bad guy, and neither does her mum, but I know im only asked if mum says no because in her words “Dad always lets me!”
One day she’ll learn that her mum just wants what is best for her, but until then, I guess I’m stuck driving to bloody Susans…



American Literature – Blog 7

So for this blog I wanted to respond to Mina Loy’s quote “unconditional surgical destruction of virginity”.

After reading her Feminist manifesto I hope I understood this quote in the context she meant, if not please correct me.
I understood this quote as essentially saying, we need to destroy the importance we put behind virginity, I got this from a later section which reads:

“The value of man is assessed entirely according to his use or interest to the community, the value of woman depends entirely on chance, her success or in success in maneuvering a man into taking the life-long responsibility of her”

If this is the case, I think that outside of religious contexts that the importance on virginity is practically gone already.  I know personally, I couldn’t care less about someone’s sexual status as it has no bearing on myself. If a woman wants to sleep with men before marriage then I don’t see anything wrong with this, I believe everyone should have full permissions over their body, as long as those permissions do not endanger another person or being.

American Literature Blog – 6

So this week we looked at both Robert Frost and Robert Lowell, two American poets, and due to this I wanted t answer the first question, “Write a paragraph that says succinctly which of the two Roberts you preferred and for what reasons.”

It took me a while to decide on which of these two poets I actually liked more as I think both of them write some amazing poetry, however, after reading “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” I knew I had to choose Frost. On first read I really enjoyed this piece, but when we deconstructed it in the tutorials it made me appreciate the piece even more. I love how Frost leaves his poems ambiguous to its true meaning, how there can be so many different interpretation’s of one piece of work, how at the same time it can be both a poem of nature and escaping society while at the same time could be read as a dark poem about death or suicide. To me, deconstructing and analysing shows, games, books etc. is something that I find extremely engaging and satisfying, and Frost’s poems seem to lend better to this kind of analytical mind set. I’m usually am not a big fan of poetry, but Robert Frost has definitely changed my opinion of poetry.

American Literature Blog – 5

So I’ve been struggling to keep up with these blogs due to a combination of essays, placement and illness but I’m hoping to catch up asap.

For this entry, I wanted to try answer what I believe this statement from Du Bois means “The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line”.

I believe Du Bois is referring to the racial divide that can still be seen within America even today. During Du Bois’s time, he would have seen the segregation of the black and white community first hand. Unfortunately for Du Bois, he would have not seen an America free from legal segregation as he passed away a year before segregation was outlawed.
While segregation has been abolished and racial relations have improved over time the pain of the past can still be seen in present America with various groups popping up in recent years, from white nationalists to the BLM movement, largely due to the rise of Donald Trump’s Republican party.

I’d like to pop in my own 2 cents at this part to say that any group/person that tries to justify the use of violence as a retaliation to having their feelings hurt by words are wrong. And as long as we continue to demonize and refuse to see those who oppose our political, ideological, and cultural beliefs as people but instead label them as the enemy, no process will be made in defusing the violence. It is only through discussion that we can solve our problems, Violence just breeds violence. If groups have clashing thoughts, talk to them, find out why they believe what they believe and actually listen to what they have to say. Because if we don’t do this, horrible instances like what happened at Charlottesville, Virginia will continue to occur.