Saturday, May 08, 2004
* I would just like to say, I did not like this play. It’s just not my cup of tea.
* Desdemona’s end just works to accentuate her innocence and virtue. It works to provide a contrast with Emilia’s adultery speech. It also works to heighten the anxiety of the audience. I know it worked for me, it created a lot more tension while I read it.
* Iago destroys all trust Othello has. Trust is the cement that holds people together, once that starts to crumble, the whole foundation of ANY relationship while falter, crack, and eventually fall, if not repaired in time. Iago destroys all trust Othello has, even eventually including Othello’s trust in him. Othello has no one left, no one to trust, and he therefore kills himself.
* This whole play seemed to me to center around Othello’s insecurities in his relationship with Desdemona. He “steals” Desdemona away from Roderigo. If he was more secure in his relationship with her, this play wouldn’t be a tragedy, but rather maybe a comedy on marriage. He stole her, so maybe he isn’t so sure that someone else won’t be able to do the same thing, and sway her away from him. I think he really loves her, but with love, naturally comes jealousy. His insecurity in her makes it all that much easier for Iago to put his plot into motion. If Othello was secure, he would be able to confront her, instead of look for answers anywhere but to her. It’s his own insecurities that eventually lead to his demise.
* Alright, I read this and had to ask myself… why does Othello have to die? If Othello didn’t die there would be absolutely no closure to this play. In order for this play to have order, the villain, the bad guy, needs to die. The epitome of good in the play, Desdemona died, and we need someone bad to equal everything out. Reading this play, I kind of felt like Othello was that man in the cartoons with the angel and the devil on either shoulder. His wife, being the angel figure, Iago, being the devil, telling him to do bad things, things he knows are wrong. So, naturally, if the angel dies, I want the devil to die, but after reading this, I know it didn’t happen, yet I’m satisfied. I think throughout the course of the play Othello himself turns into the bad guy. I mean, I just wanted to reach into the play, and slap some sense into him. He was irrational, just not logical in any sense. I wanted to grab him, and sit him down with Desdemona, and make them talk, make him reach out to her, and talk to her, face to face. He kills her, and that aggravated me. That made him a villain in my eyes. He kills an innocent, succumbing to the devil on his shoulder, making him a bad guy. One bad guy dies in retaliation of the death of an innocent; an equal and opposite reaction that makes all right with the world. (Although I would still have preferred to see Iago go down.)
Posted at 04:31 pm by Unconditional
Kenneth Branagh's Henry V
Kenneth Branagh's Henry V
Difference between movie and the play
* In the play in Act 2 Scene 2 the Earl of Cambridge, Scroop, and Grey beg for mercy, but because of their arguments only a few seconds earlier, Henry doesn’t give it. In the play, the three acknowledge his justice before being taken away to be executed. I really liked that, it stuck out in my mind. But the movie version doesn’t have them doing this, they are all bitter and angry, and rebellious, I guess. I feel that kind of took something out of the play, at least for me.
* In the play Henry has Bardolph killed, and seems to show absolutely more remorse, and this made most of use question Henry’s humanity. In the movie we see Henry cry for the death of Bardolph. He mourns what he must do. This makes Henry’s character much more human, it kind of puts aside that figure I had in my mine of Henry being a very cold and cruel, unfeeling robot. I don’t know if this is what Shakespeare would have wanted, but I think it’s what his audience would have wanted, because then they can more easily justify what Henry is doing, because he still does have feelings for his old friend.
* Throughout the play, Henry is a very intense character. Much much different from the Harry in the previous play. I like the way that Branagh uses flashbacks to let the audience know he wasn’t always this intense figure we see in this new King. Through these flashbacks to his younger days we can see Henry seem a lot more light-hearted and someone you could understand having friends at one point. My favorite, for lack of a better word, flashback is when he gives the order to kill Bardolph, and we see how they used to be together. It had a big impact on me, and yes, it did make me cry.
Posted at 01:55 pm by Unconditional
* The chorus, not necessary, sometimes annoying, and a “Captain Obvious” candidate. I don’t feel the chorus is absolutely necessary in this play. I made me feel like the character’s weren’t able to tell the story on their own, and that annoys me. The random entrance of the chorus kind of stopped the flow of the play, causing the action to stop and start, which lead me to become bored. I seriously rolled my eyes when I’d turn the page to find yet another monologue from the chorus. I guess that’s probably because I don’t think they ever said anything real important. “Hi, this is a play, and because it’s on a stage, we have limited space and can’t actually make the war as diverse and as amazing and awesome as it was in real life.” Ummmm, duh! I found the chorus almost as annoying as I found the narrator in Oscar Wilde’s Our Town.
* I absolutely love when the Dauphin sent Henry the tennis balls. I thought that was the ultimate slap in the face, and I found it highly creative and witty. Henry goes a little too far (according to the Dauphin) in asking for certain dukedoms in France. The Dauphin sends Henry this chest or barrel or whatever of tennis balls, pretty much alluding to Henry’s younger days. I love that Henry asks for the dukedoms, and the French pretty much tell him to go do something he’s more suited for: playing games. As sweet a response as this is, it just seems to backfire in the French’s faces, because it only works to enrage Henry, and he uses it to motivate himself to declare war. I can just imagine Henry, “No you didn’t!” and then the French slapping their foreheads asking themselves why they crossed that line.
* Throughout the play Henry plays this kind of sick and twisted games. He gives the men conspiring against him their commissions, but their not really commissions, it’s pretty much their death warrants. He also plays another game when he disguises himself and goes into the camp to find out what his mean really think. Although these games are at a whole new level than the games he played when he was younger, they are still games. These games show, to me at least, that as much as he tries to completely sever all ties with his former life, that no one can run away from himself or herself. Henry can runaway and hide from his former life behind his crown, but he will always be Henry, and certain things you just can’t change about yourself.
* When we were taking about Henry as a king vs. as a man, someone said that him being a good persuasive speaker made him more humane, more of a man. I don’t really buy that. Yes, his speeches were very persuasive; they were very good pep talks. This is not so much evidence to Henry’s humanity as it just proves that he was a good speaker. Henry knows what people need to hear to get pepped up. He is a very elegant speaker.
* As human beings, we tend to define ourselves by the people around us, our friends, our family, our peers, our coworkers, etc … Henry is trying to start over. He seems to be slowly picking off his old life, his old acquaintances. He’s making it so none of the people who used to define him are around anymore to remind people of that life.
* Yeah total lack of women having a significant impact on this story.
Posted at 12:56 pm by Unconditional
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Posted at 02:40 am by Unconditional
Hamlet body count:
- King: His brother poisons him while he is sleeping
- Polonius -- Polonius is stabbed by Hamlet, in Queen Gertrude's closet, trying to be all sneaky sneaky with his espionage ways
- Rosencrantz -- Arrived at England, with orders that he be killed, yeah Hamlet, way to change the letters
- Guildenstern -- Arrived at England, with orders that he be killed, again, way to go Hamle, change a few names here and there
- Ophelia -- Ophelia drowns, "accidentally"; she fell, but reportedly made no attempt to save herself, way to go crazy
- Laertes -- Is stabbed, with his own poison-tipped sword, by Hamlet
- King Claudius -- Hamlet stabs him, and then pours poison down his throat
- Queen Gertrude -- Accidentally drank from a poisoned cup
- Hamlet -- Is stabbed, by Laertes, with a poison-tipped sword
But everyone else lived happily ever after ….. who does that leave? Poor Horatio is all alone.
Posted at 02:09 am by Unconditional
Hamlet’s main flaw is his inability to act.
Hamlet’s main flaw is his inability to act.
Hamlet wants to avenge his father, but procrastinate like the dickens!
Hamlet doesn’t immediately act after the appearance of the ghost = good choice. Who knows if ghosts are real anyway?
Wants more proof: Play within the play. So he can watch his uncle’s reaction to the play reacting his father’s death, the way the ghost described it. Then wants to compare notes with Horatio.
Middle of play uncle freak out = proof!
Morals and conscience comes into play, avenging father entails something against Hamlet’s values. More procrastination….
Hamlet eventually comes to terms .. hence the dual against Laertes
Hamlet knows something is going to happen at the dual. Hamlet states that he is ready to die, if that is what must be; he is as ready as he is going to be.
Hamlet comes to terms with fate, and accepts
play offers success, wisdom, and self-realization
successful in his quest
he learns of loyalty and deceit
he realizes his personal limitations
Posted at 01:58 am by Unconditional
* Gertrude marries Claudius in two months, right? That makes me question is she truly loved King Hamlet. If so, why’d she marry Claudius? Lust? Love? Power? Security? Or is she just as naďve and blind to the situations around her as Hastings was in Richard III? She seems rather weak and changes herself to suit the needs of whomever she is with. I’m sure it isn’t just black or white … there’s probably a million shades of gray in the middle.
* Alright, appearance vs. reality. This concerns Polonius a great deal. The man is definitely concerned with appearance. All that advice he gives his son, I don’t believe it’s fatherly advice at all. All that that is is Polonius worried about how his son is going to represent him and the family while he is in France. He doesn’t care if he’s really a good father or not, just as long as he appears to be one.
* So Hamlet starts off deciding he’s going to pretend he’s going crazy, but I think in doing so, he actually does drive himself mad. He takes it to far, and does it for too long that he loses that line between acting and reality, and kind of trips and falls back and forth between the two.
* To Be or Not to Be Speech: okay, so when I first read this I totally thought this was a pro-suicide speech. Wow, I was wrong. Hamlet contemplates it, but he’s afraid to be damned in the afterlife for his actions in this life, and his only two choices are suicide or murder, which should he choose? After all, his dad was killed before he obtained the proper church rituals of forgiveness and what not and he is in purgatory. Hamlet is screwed either way and he knows it. Should he kill his uncle, and pay for it in hell, or should he just sit and suffer through this now. It’s kind of like "Who needs this crap?!" and "If I kill myself, is there more (and possibly worse) crap in the afterlife?!" It’s also just more procrastination … argh (see below)
Posted at 01:46 am by Unconditional
* How purely evil is Richard III? I hate that everyone pities him. The man chose to be evil, free will. I think most people look at his deformity and try to use it justify his behavior. Maybe he had a rough childhood, was teased a lot, wasn’t loved enough, his mother didn’t love him, and wasn’t given enough attention… blah blah blah. We, as humans, have this natural tendency to want to have a reason for everything. We want to believe that deep down inside all people are more or less good. No one wants to believe that anyone actually has the capability to be that mean and evil. It makes us feel better to think that someone else forced him to become the man he became. But, in the first Act, Richard chooses to be evil, he chooses not to be good. He doesn’t say he can’t be good, he just doesn’t want to be.
Posted at 01:34 am by Unconditional
Ian McKellan’s Richard III
Ian McKellan’s Richard III
- Postive -
- Richard III is more human in this version than he is in Laurence Olivier’s version. There is a sense of humor to this movie, which one wouldn’t think to find in a tragedy like this. For example, when he pumps his fist after winning Anne over. Also, he shows a lot more emotion when his mom rejects him and curses him, than he does in the other version.
- Beautiful imagery. The images make the movie.
- I enjoyed the Nazi pageantry, nice spin. I also enjoyed the fascist over tones.
- All star cast, great acting overall.
- Negative -
- Some scenes are cut down to like two or three lines. A good chunk of the play is completely cut from the script.
- The beautiful imagery makes the movie, sometimes overpowering the acting.
- Robert Downey, Jr.? Come on. You can’t tell me they couldn’t find anyone better to play that part. Incredibly disappointing.
Posted at 01:28 am by Unconditional
Act 5, Scene 1
Buckingham is killed.
Act 5, Scene 2
Richmond is all optimistic about fighting Richard
Act 5, Scene 3
Both Richmond and Richard send messages to Stanley. Richard’s is a threat on Stanley’s son’s life. Richard goes to sleep, and has horrible nightmares. He is visited by the ghost of everyone he killed, or who’s death he caused. They all wish him despair and death, and turn towards Richmond, giving them their supernatural help. So Stanley doesn’t come back, and Richard orders that the kid be killed, but puts it off, because the fighting has started.
Act 5, Scene 4
A horse, A horse, my kingdom for a horse.
Act 5, Scene 5
Richmond kills Richard. He wins the girl. He wins the crown.
Posted at 01:14 am by Unconditional