Friday, November 18, 2011

Suddenly I see

I just want to talk about something real fast. Now I know symbolism is really cool in plays or stories and sometimes it may go right over the head of those who are watching the play, so in order to have the symbol or clever twist noted sometimes it needs to be pointed out.

I just want to tel Oedipus and Gloucester that they don't have to let us all know that they suddenly see the light of the situation by bringing attention to sight when their eyes are stabbed out. Stabbing out your eyes with a brooch or having them plucked out by a very angry man is gross. Instead can't you just do what Rapunzel does and sing a wonderful song in a boat about how "At last I see the light." That goes over so much better.

Well, I was shocked by the eye plucking out thing. It's clever I suppose, but disturbing.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nothing comes from nothing

Reading the play King Lear I found a line that seemed interesting. It is the title of this post. I kept reading and was surprised to see it again. I decided to write a post about it but wanted to see if it appears anywhere else in the play and so I held off as I kept reading. Becoming impatient, I looked it up, and it appears only the two times I found it.

"KING LEAR: ..what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
CORDELIA: Nothing, my lord.
KING LEAR: Nothing?!
CORDELIA: Nothing.
KING LEAR: Nothing will come of nothing, speak again.

I was curious if this was a common idea in Shakespeare's time and I looked it up. Turns out the phrase, nothing comes of nothing (in latin "ex nihilo nihil fit"), was first talked about by the Greek philosopher Parmenides. It is an idea that continues today and is called the law of conservation of mass. That energy cannot be created or destroyed. It merely changes form. If you burn a piece of wood, the wood is not destroyed but is changed into heat, smoke, and ash. There were cool articles that were interesting, but a little beyond me about zero-energy universes and so on.

This quote of Lear's goes to the Bible. Where the more common translation of Genesis says "God created the earth". Other sources, like the Joseph Smith Translation, show that the Hebrew word which is commonly translated as "created" would be better translated as "organized", implying that the world and it's parts was organized from already existing matter.


Another line King Lear says that makes him seem more a philosopher than the senile grumpy old man he comes across as, comes as he is suffering in the storm. He looks at poor naked Edgar and says:

"Why, thou wert better in thy grave than to answer
with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.
Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou
owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep
no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! here's three on
's are sophisticated! Thou art the thing itself:
unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor bare,
forked animal as thou art.
Off, off, you lendings!
come unbutton here."

Is man no more than this? It is a line that reminds me of Psalm 8:4, "What is man that thou art mindful of him." It is a humbling moment for Lear and he realizes, now outside of the comfort of his palace, how frail and sad man really is. Its a Siddhartha Gautama moment here! In reading about Lear's line I found this interesting quote from a well written article:

"When Lear sees Edgar’s cold, shivering, and “uncovered body,” he asks the eternal question “Is man no more than this?” (3.4.105). When Lear says that “The unaccomodated man is no more / but such a poor, bare, forked animal,” he is essentially saying that human beings, like their naked bodies, are pitiable creatures (3.4.109-110). Likewise, when he proceeds to strip of his garments, he is making the symbolic gesture that he is no better than Poor Tom; that is, he realizes that he, too, is pitiable. Lear’s recognition that his own body is pathetic, the literary critic Paul Jorgensen argues in his book Lear’s Self-Discovery, is Lear’s first insight."

Lear, the old senile downfallen king, and budding philosopher.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Combined Blog of Power

Hey everyone. I have two blogs. This new blog that I have is geared more towards collaboration with my Shakespeare group with our final project. Recording our process and posting results. I think it's going to be cool and worth taking a look at even if you're not in the group.

For the new members of my group, I made the new blog that we all can write on. The only thing that I am missing is all of your email addresses. Once I have those I can add you as administrators so you can post on it too.

I really didn't know what to do for the title, so ideas are welcome.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Art Gallery

Hey everyone, so with this idea of an art gallery of Shakespeare art I have had a lot of ideas ruminating in my mind. I'm looking forward to the feedback and communication to refine this undertaking.

Basically the idea that I was thinking is that we have enough people in the class who are interested in art, that we could get together and come up with enough works to display it in a gallery. Even if you don't feel like you are a good artist in any way I'm sure you can come with something, especially with the groups powers combined!  This could be a good moment for all of us to learn how to make art together all in the context of thinking critically about Shakespeare and how to analyze his works and do enough justice to them.

One thing we might want to do is get a theme put together or ideas of how we will organize this. That way we can go to a gallery with a solid proposal and a strong portfolio of work rather than a maybe theory hopefully thing.

There are art galleries everywhere, I just checked out the one in the Provo Library and that may be a place to look at. If we really look for a place I'm confident we will be accepted somewhere, the biggest thing against us will be preference. Most schools or galleries give preference to art students or professionals more than a Shakespeare class.

HOWEVER, this might be a great connector piece to Cassandra's wonderful education idea. Schools. What local public school would not be overjoyed to have an exhibit like this. English teachers would love it.

Anyway, lots of ideas. Needs refining, lets get collaborating!

Sketching Shakespeare: The Tempest Act One Scene 2 - End of the Play

Well, here you go, the rest of the Tempest. I like it. The only explanation I feel I need to make is the final painting. I started the Tempest with a painting and felt like I should end it that way. It's meant to convey the sense of completion and calm that comes at the end of the play as opposed to the raging storm of the beginning.

For The Tempest Act One Scene One click here.

Act 1 Scene 2
Why speaks my father so ungently? This
Is the third man that e'er I saw, the first
That e'er I sigh'd for: pity move my father
To be inclined my way!

Act 2 Scene 1
You cram these words into mine ears against
The stomach of my sense.

Act 2 Scene 3
Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows

Act 3 Scene 1
O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound
And crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true! if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me to mischief! I
Beyond all limit of what else i' the world
Do love, prize, honour you.

Act 3 Scene 2
Monster, I will kill this man.

Act 3 Scene 3
You are three men of sin...
Being unfit to live I have made you mad

Act 4 Scene 1
Let me live here ever;
So rare a wonder'd father and a wife
Makes this place Paradise.

Act 5 Scene 1
I'll deliver all;
And promise you calm seas, auspicious gales
And sail so expeditious that shall catch
Your royal fleet far off.