Saturday, October 13, 2012

Learning Shakespeare

Red--Adjectives out of order
Orange--Intransitive verb in passive voice
Pink--Transitive verb in active voice
 In this essay I had to write about what my previous experiences with Shakespeare were and also how I feel about Shakespeare now, after taking a university level Shakespeare course. I wasn't in class the day we talking about using intransitive verbs in in passive voice and transitive verbs in active voice, so I'm going to give it my best shot. Enjoy!

Learning Shakespeare
            The idea of having to read Shakespeare in an English class is enough to make almost anyone terrified, quivering in their boots. Shakespeare is known for being extremely difficult to read and understand, and most people seem to associate Shakespeare with English majors, snooty and egotistic. This idea of Shakespeare is wrong; with Shakespeare we need to take a different kind of approach to be able to understand the stories fully, but nonetheless it seems Shakespeare will never get out of that rut of a stereotype. Being in a university Shakespeare course has helped me change my way of thinking about Shakespeare and how to approach other works by Shakespeare.
            Before taking this course on Shakespeare, I had little experience with it. I, like most freshman in high school, had the unfortunate experience to read Romeo and Juliet. Most of this experience I don’t remember much—probably blocked it out due to trauma. The only thing that still remains of this memory is when we were watching Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo Di Caprio, as Romeo, my teacher had to move in front of the television screen when Romeo's butt shows, which is, of course, (Hoe else can I punctuate this sentence? Dashes don't feel right, but I feel there are too many commas) inappropriate for a high school audience. I also had the opportunity to participate in A Midsummer’s Night Dream as a play for my high school—I was Moth, a purple sparkling fairy of Titana's court. I had few lines but it was enjoyable nonetheless. My teachers that taught me those two stories of Shakespeare did not go into detail about the play, their main concern was if we understood the language and didn’t delve much deeper into the play than what was on the surface. Since then, I only knew the most basic concepts of the Shakespeare stories; I could tell you what the story was about and what happened, but I more than likely could not tell you the meaning the play was supposed to have or if it had any morals. This all changed, however, when I took this university level Shakespeare course

          The first play that was read in this Shakespeare course was The Taming of the Shrew. I had heard a lot about this play before having to read it; I knew that it was a hot topic for feminist groups, calling it misogynistic and cruel. I never took the theme to heart and found the play rather comical; however, after reading this play in class I was able to discover a hidden meaning to the play, that Petruchio isn’t just being a jerk and trying to “tame” Katherine, but rather showing her how she treats others and then trying to show her a way to get back at others in a more practical sort of way. Petruchio’s last test for his Kate is when they were walking to the dinner and he says, “Kiss me, Kate” (V.i.143) and at first Katherine, legs freezing, refuses, but Petruchio threatens to leave the town; she explains that she is just embarrassed about being in the street, then Kate kisses him anyway, then Petruchio says, “Is not this well?” (V.i.149). They show that they do have strong affections for each other in this passing, so the idea that Katherine has been broken down just doesn’t seem to fit here. Katherine gets to show all that she has learned at the end of the play in her speech to everyone at the dinner, but most people feel that this is just her finally being broken down to become the “ideal” woman—the one that listens and asks no questions. Katherine finally understands what she can do, think about the reaction that this speech had on all the Paduans—they were all shocked to silence. Katherine was finally able to bash her sister, Bianca, on how she was supposed to act as a lady and get her father to look down on Bianca—what a victory! I never would have been able to see this true hidden meaning to this play if it wasn’t for taking this class.

1 comment:

  1. pretty good, Becca. You'll need to study up on passive voice, but you'll also get more practice (and explanation) with it this week.