What are your first impressions of The Tempest
During my HSC year, (a time that seems like forever ago now) The Tempest was my prescribed text for the area of study essay on discovery. Although we spent several weeks studying the play, I never felt like I had a profound understanding of the Shakespearean classic, its characters or its themes. However, I did have a substantial 1200-word essay written based on the play, and during the HSC year, that was all that really mattered. I then spent the next ten months remoulding my essay to fit whatever discovery question was thrown at me. The opening lines of my essay will forever be engraved in my mind… ‘William Shakespeare in The Tempest combines the genres of comedy, tragedy and pastoral romance to develop the reader’s understanding of the concept.’
So It is safe to say that my first impression of Shakespeare’s great play was not exactly positive. You can imagine my excitement when Michael announced during the first ENGL210 lecture that The Tempest was one of the three central plays that we would be studying over the course of the semester.
However, after being thrown directly into the heart of the storm and delving briefly into the magical world of Prospero and Miranda, I think I may have prematurely judged the play. Who knows, The Tempest could easily become my favourite Shakespearean play. But I guess I will figure that out over the next few weeks.
Rachelle, I genuinely loved reading your blog post this week. Our idea of beauty is such a personal thing, and as you describe in your entry, beauty is ‘not simple. It is not something that one can easily comprehend.’ However, I think you do an excellent job of articulating your interpretation of beauty. Your post was descriptive and engaging, and I loved the inclusion of the two contrasting images at the end of your post as they highlight societies difficulties in looking beyond the physical definitions of beauty. Well done on an excellent blog post. Can’t wait to read more of your blogs in the future.
Write a short exposition of any of the sonnets we studied in class today. Say what you think Shakespeare is trying to express and whether what he is saying still has relevance to our own time.
William Shakespeare’s sonnet 65 focuses on the destructive nature of time.
Shakespeare begins the sonnet by listing seemingly powerful and indestructible objects that are destroyed by time. If brass, stone, earth and the boundless sea cannot escape times destructive force, what chance does beauty since beauty is no stronger than a delicate flower.
In Quatrain 2, Shakespeare questions how beauty which is now represented as summer’s honey breath can resist the ceaseless passage of time when neither invincible rocks nor gates of steal are exempt from the devastating force of time.
Quatrain 3 begins with Shakespeare expressing his fear of times decaying nature. In this quatrain, beauty is characterised as a jewel and Shakespeare questions where he can hide this most beautiful creation to prevent it from being destroyed by time. At the end of the third quatrain, Shakespeare has lost all hope of rescuing beauty from times force, as he emphasises that no hand is strong enough to halt times ravaging onslaught.
However, the final couplet offers some hope by suggesting that the black ink symbolic of his words which are instilled with love and human emotion will prevent the ravages of time. He concludes that the beauty of his beloved will be eternally immortalised in his poetry.
In sonnet 65, Shakespeare contends that even the strongest, most indestructible objects will perish over time but through his poetry, the beauty of his beloved will be preserved. Thus, while the language conventions have drastically changed since Shakespeare wrote, sonnet 65, the ideas introduced by the poem remain relevant in our modern context.
Link to blog post: https://mariahkaram.wordpress.com/2018/04/23/shakespeare-renaissance-blog-5/
Mariah, I too chose the same topic on my blog for this particular week, and as I was reading your blog post, I found myself agreeing with everything that you were saying. Although Bottoms prose is complex and has multifaceted interpretations, I think that you grasped the fundamental meaning of his monologue. I thought the question that you posed towards the end of the first paragraph, ‘Whether Bottom has finally awakened to his own lunacy and irresponsibility within the entirety of the play’ was an interesting take on Bottoms confusing dream, one that I had not considered myself. There were a couple of sentences that could have been rewritten to improve the flow of the blog post, but overall I thought you wrote an excellent synopsis of Bottoms prose passage. I can’t wait to read more of your blogs in the coming weeks.
Bottoms Dream Part 1: A brief synopsis of what Bottom was trying to express in his prose passage at the end of Act 4, Scene 1.
Bottoms Dream Part 2: Write a paraphrase of Bottom’s dream speech.
When my prompt comes, call me, and I will answer. My next line is “Most fair Pyramus.” HELLOOOOOO! Peter Quince? Flute the bellows repairman? Snout the metalsmith? Starveling? Oh My God, have they all run away and abandoned me sleeping here? I have had a strange visionary experience. I have had a bizarre dream, one greater than man can comprehend. A man would be an ass if he attempted to understand my strange dream. I thought I was – no man would be able to understand what I was. I thought I was, and I thought I had – but a person would be a fool if he tried to explain what I thought I had. The eye of man has not heard, the ear of an has not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to feel, nor his heart to explain what my dream was. I will enlist Peter Quince to transform my dream into a ballad. The ballad will be titled “Bottom’s dream” because it is so complex that it has no bottom. And I will sing it in front of the Duke at the conclusion of the play or perhaps, to make it the more gracious, I will sing it at her death.
Joshua, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post from this particular week. As I was reading your letter, I truly felt like I was reading a letter written by Hermia addressed to her father as you could feel her rage burning through every line. In under 400 words you were able to articulate Hermia’s anger towards her father in a sophisticated and engaging manner. My favourite line was ‘I am no longer the obedient daughter, the child who would do as she is told; for now I have a mind of my own, and a heart that roars to the rhythm of the name of the man I love: Lysander!’ as it emphasises both her love for Lysander and her need to break free from her father’s control.
There is not much that I can critique as your blog post was very well written. I am excited to read more from you in the future.
3/ Write a brief synopsis of what you think Bottom is trying to express in the prose passage where he describes his dream at the end of Act 4 scene 1.
At the end of Act 4 Scene 1, Bottom awakens bewildered by his adventures in the fairy world. He struggles to differentiate between what is real and what is merely an illusion.
In his monologue, Bottom reflects on the events of the previous night, but he realises that it would sound absurd and he would look like an ass (ironically) if he were to try and explain it. Therefore, he convinces himself that it was nothing more than a dream.
Bottom’s verbal confusion and hesitation in the soliloquy is a noteworthy change for he has shown himself to be overwhelmingly vocal throughout the play. According to Bottom, his experience in the woods cannot be understood by any of the human senses. ‘The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was.’ His language specifically the mixing up of his senses is an important technique employed by Shakespeare to add to the character’s comic appeal.
Instead, bottom decides that he will employ Peter Quince to transform his dream into a ballad as art and literature (poetry in this case) go beyond ordinary words in portraying events which defy reality. According to Bottom, poetry can depict his magical escapade in a way that ordinary words will not. He decides that the ballad will be titled ‘Bottom’s dream’ because similar to art and literature, ‘it hath no bottom,’ it is so profoundly complex that there are endless different understands, some of which cannot be understood within the realms of reality and reason.
Link to blog post: https://ngaireale1.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/1575/
Ngaire, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post. Giulio Cesare Procaccini’s painting is such a captivating work of art, and I think your description of the painting captured the true essence of the artwork. While the artwork is dull and dark, it is beautiful in the way that it captures the inner struggle of the people in the painting. There were a couple of grammatical errors, for example, you spell Procaccini with one c instead of two twice after your initial introduction of the artist’s name. However, those are minor issues in an engaging blog post. Can’t wait to read more from you in the next couple of weeks.