Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Second Exam L220 Summer (1) 2017

Second Exam: The Merchant of Venice and Antony and Cleopatra

Due Friday, 23 June, 9 a.m. via email:

4-5 pp. 

Shakespeare seemed to have loved women, and infused their roles in his plays with as much vigor and subtlety as he believed the boys playing their parts could manage credibly in their impersonations of femininity. This was at odds with early modern culture, which promulgated misogyny and stereotyping that any twenty-first century woman would ruefully recognize. However, some commentators believe that Shakespeare could not escape the limitations in which his society was so deeply dyed.  Based on your reading of Portia and Cleopatra, and to a lesser extent Charmian and Nerissa (and Viola and Rosalind if you like), what do you think? 

Here are some passages to get you started.  Feel free to incorporate others.

If it be love indeed, tell me how much (Ant. 1.1)

Excellent falsehood!
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? (Ant. 1.1)

She is cunning past man's thought (Ant. 1.2).

I am quickly ill and well,
So Antony loves (Ant. 1.3)

As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
As with a woman (Ant. 2.5).

These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
A meaner than myself; since I myself
Have given myself the cause (Ant. 2.5)

Show me, my women, like a queen: go fetch
My best attires: I am again for Cydnus,
To meet Mark Antony (Ant. 5.2)

My resolution's placed, and I have nothing
Of woman in me: now from head to foot
I am marble-constant; now the fleeting moon
No planet is of mine. (Ant. 5.2)

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
When neither is attended, and I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection! (MV 5.1)

There's something tells me, but it is not love,
I would not lose you; and you know yourself,
Hate counsels not in such a quality.
But lest you should not understand me well,--
And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,--
I would detain you here some month or two
Before you venture for me. (MV 3.2)

You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
Such as I am: though for myself alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish,
To wish myself much better; yet, for you
I would be trebled twenty times myself;
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich;
That only to stand high in your account,
I might in virtue, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account; but the full sum of me
Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractised;
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn; happier than this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king. (MV 3.2)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

writing for 12 June: Antony and Cleopatra

Antony and Cleopatra, Act 1.  In your assigned scene, find two seemingly disparate lines and explain how they actually work together.

Zeke, 1.1

At the beginning of the play Antony swoons over Cleopatra and attempts to explain how much she means to him after she says, “If it be love indeed, tell me how much” (AC 1.1.15).  While seemingly unconnected, Antony’s response to a summon from Caesar shows not only how he tries to grant her earlier request but also reveals his true feelings about Cleopatra.  Complaining about the messenger, Antony says, “Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch / Of the ranged empire fall.  Here is my place”  (AC 1.1.36-37).  He uses the intrusion as an attempt to further pronounce his affection for the queen, explaining that the empire is of no consequence compared to her. 
His dialogue also bares similarity to the Cleopatra’s earlier line.  In both instances, the person tries getting what they want verbally.  This alludes to future circumstances in the play where characters say one thing and then do something else.  For example, Antony agrees to marry another even though he has just professed his feelings for Cleopatra.  This also brings up speculation as to whether Antony actually loves her as much as he says he does.  If he truly did, he would have heard from Caesar’s messenger immediately when Cleopatra asked him to.  As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words.  However, instead he chose to complain about the intrusion and sidestep her request by flattering her.  In this way, he is actually looking out for his own self-interests and not Cleopatra’s. 

Abbey 1.2

This scene starts out with Cleopatras two attendants, Charmin and Iras, asking a fortune-teller to reveal their futures. They are told they have the same fortune. Charming is furious and tells the fortune-teller off. Then Cleopatra comes into the room complaining that Antony, her lover, is now going to Rome again and not coming home. She sends a follower after him, but then changes her mind. He is coming back first so she runs to hide from him. A messenger then appears to give Anthony a message about loosing the battle, and says he has another message, however he doesn't really want to give that message. Anthony tells him to and he tells him that Anthonys wife, Fulvia, is dead. The follower that Cleopatra sent after Anthony arrives and tries to comfort him. However Anthony things that his wondering mind, and commitment to Cleopatra is the reason his wife is dead. Anthony then leaves and returns to Rome.

            The first line, or rather lines I choose was:

            “Our worser thoughts heavens mend. Alexas! (to SOOTHSAYER ) Come, his
            fortune, his fortune! Oh, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I
            beseech thee, and let her die too, and give him a worse, and let worse follow
            worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold!
            Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight,     
            good Isis, I beseech thee!(1.2.64-71)

            The second line I choose was:

            “Fulvia thy wife is dead.”  (1.2.131)

            The reason I choose these two lines is because while they may seem unrelated they come together quite nicely. The first set of lines is spoken by Charmin. She is very mad that her and Iras have the same fortunes. She then wishes that Fortune-teller will marry someone he can not satisfy, she will cheat on him, and then she dies. Iras does responds, and agrees, saying that he will get the fortune he deserves. I related it to the second line because moments after this all happens Anthony gets the news that his wife is dead. Here is Charmin and Iras, who are Cleopatras attendants wishing death to a mans wife. Then moments later Cleopatras lover gets the news his wife is dead. To me this seems like Shakespeare is setting this up for something, either that or it was complete coincidenceBut one will never know. Also they are wishing a cheating spouse on a man, saying it is the worse thing a spouse can do, when they know that their mistress is sleeping with a married man and he is a cheater. It all seems condescending when they know what is happening with Anthony and Cleopatra.

Laura 1.3

In 1.3, Cleopatra is looking for Antony and asks her attendant Alexas to find him. In instructing Alexas to retrieve Antony, she says “I did not send you. If you find him sad,/ Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report/ That I am sudden sick” (1.3.4-6). Cleopatra gives Alexas opposing states of being to report to Antony, but this is in line with her volatile and manipulative nature. Her instructions seem contradictory, but ultimately whatever Alexas tells Antony, it is intended to direct his attention back to Cleopatra, and perhaps also to create trouble. She cannot be satisfied by an even-keeled relationship with Antony. Rather, she seems to thrive off of creating disharmony between the two of them and provoking Antony’s anger. Her other attendant Charmian recognizes this, and advises Cleopatra that the way she treats Antony is probably not the best strategy for getting him to love her in return. She suggests that Cleopatra instead submit to Antony on every front, always letting him have his way. Cleopatra disagrees: “Thou teachest like a fool the way to lose him” (1.3.10). Cleopatra believes that an overly-theatrical game of cat-and-mouse is the best way to keep Antony’s affection. She demonstrates her tactic when Antony enters the scene and she suddenly becomes standoffish, telling him to stand farther away, insisting he’s betrayed her, and calling him a liar. She taunts him when he says that he must go, telling him that his love is fickle and that he has forgotten her. Though Antony seems to become angry with her, the scene resolves with Cleopatra acknowledging the game she’s been playing and asking Antony’s forgiveness, and she wishes him victory. Despite Charmian’s warning, Cleopatra’s method seems to work, at least for now—Antony takes his leave, but says that even as he goes, his heart remains with Cleopatra.

Kayla 1.4

“Our great competitor: from Alexandria/This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel; is not more man-like/Than Cleopatra;”- Octavius
            “Let his shames quickly/Drive him to Rome: 'tis time we twain”. –Octavius
            Both of these lines, spoken by Octavius Caesar to Lepidus, are referencing to Antony. Caesar is upset and annoyed that Antony is currently spending his time living by Cleopatra’s side living in a luxurious and wasteful lifestyle. He condemns Antony, but at the same time with the second line he hopes that news of war will spur Antony into action and he will return home where Octavius hopes that he can train Antony to be a better soldier and leader.  This is preceding of course the events that will ultimately lead to a war between Octavius and Cleopatra, where Antony will ultimately side with Cleopatra against his fellow kinsman. Shakespeare’s take on these events truly is interesting, as it makes Octavius and Antony’s relationship seem all the more personal and tragic. However the depiction of Cleopatra in all of this seems a bit stereotypical and depicts her as a jealous seductive woman. She is charismatic and intimidating but at the same time seems childish and overtly manipulative. That’s not to say that Cleopatra herself was not manipulative considering her history, but Shakespeare portrayal makes her seem more like a vixen versus a cunning ruler. Nevertheless this act is foreshadowing the final conflict of this play.

Isabelle 1.5

In Shakespeare’s play, Antony and Cleopatra, in act one scene five, Cleopatra contradicts herself, more specifically about Antony. The statesman has just left her as civil war is about to break out in Rome. He has also just found out that his wife Flavia is dead. Cleopatra expresses her distress at his departure to her eunuch Mardian and Charmian. Then the messenger Alexas arrives and gives Cleopatra a pearl with a message from Antony. Cleopatra is so troubled that she has sent nearly twenty messengers herself to Antony, on a daily basis, and says she will do so even if it means she sends everyone from Egypt, leaving no population. It all seems so over the top and deep or at least desperate love.
However, from one of the quotations I chose, I believe it is more desperate than anything. Cleopatra refers to her previous affairs with Caesar and Pompey, those of similar statute to Antony. Within the same scene, she tells Alexas not to compare Antony to Caesar. This is contradictory in that Cleopatra mentioned him herself, asking if she loved Caesar like this, begging for a comparison. Cleopatra is the only one allowed to say anything about Caesar as she does not like what her attendants have to say on the matter. With or without Cleopatra trying to look at Caesar and Antony side by side, there are definite similarities. It seems as if Cleopatra may not be over Caesar.
In the first quote, “Broad-fronted Caesar, / When thou wast here above the ground, I was / A morsel for a monarch. And great Pompey / Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow. / There would he anchor his aspect, and die / With looking on his life. (1.1.31-36),” Cleopatra refers to previous affairs almost fondly. She recalls aspects of how they looked and how she was fit to be with a king. This belief is not lost in her romance with Antony, who has a lot of political stout and later becomes one of the three to rule part of the kingdom.
Though Cleopatra again names Caesar, she threatens to hurt anyone that dares compare him to Antony. “By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth / If thou with Caesar paragon again / My man of men. (1.1.73-75).” Despite the pugnaciousness of this claim, she is greatly exaggerating and this is just a continuation of her complaints. Cleopatra mentions Caesar in comparison with Antony more than once in this scene but threatens to hurt anyone else that does so. Even though they are no longer lovers, Cleopatra is very possessive of Caesar similar to how she is reluctant to let Antony leave. Cleopatra may not be willing to let others see what Caesar and Antony have in common, but it is happening whether she likes it or not.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Writing for 6 June

Everybody: one of the great speeches in Shakespeare: "The quality of mercy" (MV 4.1).  What does it mean, and how could it be construed as ironic, given the play as a whole?

Saturday, May 27, 2017

L220 Midterm, Summer 2017

Here is your midterm. Please type and send in email to the usual spot.  This should be about 4-5 pp.  Due 9 a.m. via email on Friday, 2 June. Early papers will be looked on with great favor. Late papers: 0.  

Below, you'll see several passages from AYL and TN that your classmates chose for analysis. 
Choose four (4) of the following and write a good, unified, solid paragraph on each.  

What I want you to do is to relate the chosen passage to the OTHER play 🔃
That is, if you pick a section from TN, relate it to AYL, NOT to TN.  
Understand? Make sense? If not, let me know. 

You can do it!  

Be as specific as possible by relating the quotation your classmate chose to a specific line or lines in the other play.  It would not hurt you to look at the Analytical Writing handout on my Writing Papers webpage:

When quoting Shakespeare, it's best to use (act.scene.lines) in Arabic numerals.

1. C: Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
R: I would we could do so, for her benefits are mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her gifts to women. (AYL 1.2)

2. If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself.
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not. (AYL 1.3.48-50)

3.  Nothing that is so, is so. (TN 4.1)

4. Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head (AYL 2.1.12-14)

5. there is no love-broker in the world can more prevail in man's commendation with woman than report of valor. (TN 3.2)

6. My desire, more sharp than filed steel, did spur me forth.  (TN 3.3.4-5)

7. Some are born great; some achieve greatness; and some have greatness thrust upon them. (TN 3.4)

8. Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
Than to die well and not my master’s debtor. (AYL 2.3.75-76)

9. WILD CARD:  relate this pair of lines to BOTH PLAYS.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. (Son. 116.11-12)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Writing for 30 May, As You Like It

Let us step up our game a little bit.  One page or so is fine.


What is the point of AYL 3.3?  How is Touchstone's "the truest poetry is the most feigning" (3.3.16) central to the play, and true generally?

Act 3 scene 3 which follows the side “love” story of Touchstone the clown and Audrey a countrywoman, acts as a foil to the ongoing romances between other characters. This scene is placed directly in the middle of the unfolding ploy created by Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede, with Orlando. It seems to interrupt the more romantic part of the play instead with something rather raunchy. Touchstone and Audrey’s relationship is not very conventional, and the wedding they were attempting to have then in there in the forest was not either. In this scene, Touchstone and Audrey go back and forth with insults, and for the most part, Audrey confuses them for compliments. Audrey is not impressed with Touchstone’s “features” and Touchstone refers to Audrey as ugly and a slut. Amongst all this, however, Touchstone says he wishes Audrey were poetical, which, again, she does do not understand. He explains saying, “the truest poetry is the most feigning, and lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.” In simpler terms, Touchstone is saying that poetry is very fake and frequently used by lovers, and in their poetry, they come up with a bunch of lies.
                To relate this scene back to the play as a whole, for one, we can see how Orlando, who claims to be very much in love with Rosalind, writes poetry, which he has put on display, attached to trees in the forest. Touchstone’s explanation of poetry works to discredit Orlando’s poetry as something that is not truthful. Touchstone may also be pointing out on a bigger scale, that love itself is not very truthful. Orlando and Rosalind met but once and instantaneously, they are both in love with each other. Rosalind, as Ganymede, creates an even greater lie in her disguised state with the man she claims to love. Within this, we eventually see that Orlando does not keep his promises that Ganymede/Rosalind created for the sake of showing his love, like showing up on time.
                Touchstone’s marriage to Audrey seems to be the “honest” one in the play despite the fact the play uses that word to represent chastity to which Audrey is not. Touchstone and Audrey both blatantly describe one another as unattractive yet they still intend to get married. Touchstone is warned about the imminent failure of their marriage and that likely, Audrey will be unfaithful, but he still wants to get married. At the very least, Touchstone takes the advice of Sir Oliver Martext and waits to get married by a priest in a church, in hopes of better omens for their marriage.

                The other romances are not nearly as honest. In the end, they all happen because of a trick Rosalind/Ganymede came up with for everyone to marry each other. Rosalind and Orlando do not know each other very much but nonetheless are obsessed with each other. Oliver and Celia have only just met but experienced love at first sight. Silvus wants to marry Phoebe but after being rejected and Ganymede/Rosalind scolds Phoebe for doing so, she then finds herself wanting to marry Ganymede instead. There is certainly a lot of poetry, or lies, surrounding the other marriages in the play.


AYL 3.5: Ganymede-Rosalind excoriates Phoebe, her sharpest line "Sell when you can, you are not for all markets" (60). What larger message does this line and scene have for the play?

In this scene, Silvius begs Phoebe to reconsider her harsh denouncement of his affections.  As per her nature, she ignores this request and proceeds to mock his words.  This interaction urges Ganymede/Rosalind to speak up on the behalf of Silvius.  She criticizes Phoebe’s severity by pointing out that she is no great beauty and would be lucky to obtain Silvius.  Then she compares her to the goods in a marketplace and explains that there are better products (women).  For this reason, Phoebe should be happy with what she can get and not attempt to have more than she deserves. 
            While this insult is directed at Phoebe, it can be seen as part of the overall message of the play.  Throughout the story, multiple people refuse to accept their current situations and as a result, conflicts evolve that nearly cause their lives to end up worse than before.  Like Phoebe, this is all because they believe they deserve more than what has been allotted to them at the time.  However, had they accepted their current situation in life than the major events of the play would never have happened.  It was because Oliver was jealous of his brother that he almost died at the hands of a lion in the forest of Arden.  Similarly, Duke Frederick nearly loses his daughter forever after usurping the throne and then banishing his niece Rosalind.  
            As these examples attest, Shakespeare is suggesting that people should be thankful for what they have.  Demanding more than is deserved will often result in less satisfaction than before.  Additionally, only after a person has changed their ways can he/she truly be happy.  The success of these transformations can also be seen when Oliver and Duke Frederick have their life altering encounters in the woods.  Only then were they able to truly be content, allowing the play to end happily.  


Ganymede-Rosalind's impromptu seminar on love for Orlando's benefit would seem counterintuitive, since she insists that no one has ever died for love (4.1.82-94) and then seems to wax misogynist, since Celia makes the remark about the bird and her nest (175-79). What is the point of this scene, and is Celia right?

I am going to be honest when I say I am just not 100% sure about this scene and what it is really coming across as saying, but I am going to try. The fact that Ganymede-Rosalind gives this seminar to Orlando but yet is really kind of going against everything she is saying the whole time left me rather confused. She starts off talking about how no one has ever died for love, but then gives two examples of Greek mythology people who died for love. Troilus, although he had his brains smashed out in battle, was in love. According to the foot note he was the lover of Cressida. After doing a little bit of research you will realize he was in this battle to be able to have her as his wife. Therefore he died for love. The next example she gives is Leander, who was the lover of Hero. The footnote tells us that he swam every night to visit her but in the end drowned. Ganymede-Rosalind makes the point to Orlando that Leander would not have died had he stayed in place, or rather at home, which may be true. But he did in fact die for love.
            Not only does she seem to be saying things that do not support her, she almost seems to be telling Orlando all the bad things that come with loving someone. The whole point for her going to Orlando is to convince him that he should follow his heart and give in to his feeling for Rosalind and help him learn to express himself, but then she is telling him all these awful things that happen to people who are in love. In the same time she is bashing on women, saying if it wasn't for them those Greek mythology people would still be alive. She is basically saying love will cause you to die. Therefore I feel like this scene is basically her making bad decisions and saying things that could affect her fate with Orlando. But in all this she is just having Orlando pretend that she is Rosalind, and she is rejecting him. But yet I am still confused how this is going to help Orlando.
            The part with Celia, however, does confuse me. She seems to be telling Rosalind that everything she said about love being bad is wrong, but all at once I am not sure that is how I am too take this scene. While I think that is the purpose, I could be out of context. At this point Celia seems to be getting angry at Rosalind for the way she portrayed herself. I would agree that she did not do so well as acting the part and building Orlando’s confidence.


Orlando arrives in AYL 4.3, and he seems to be cured of his awfulness! Huh? These things never happen in real life, do they? What does he say that seems to justify this miraculous conversion?

When Oliver arrives in the forest in 4.3, his demeanor is surprising. Based on the way the audience saw Oliver treat Orlando in Act 1, they might expect him to enter the scene heated and aggressive, ready to hunt down the younger brother he resents. Instead, Oliver’s manner is mild, and at Orlando’s request, he is seeking the boy who has been roleplaying as Rosalind with him. Oliver explains to Rosalind and Celia that his miraculous change of heart came about because Orlando saved him from a lioness. He was sleeping on the ground, and she was lying nearby, eyeing him, ready to attack if he should stir. Though Orlando turned his back twice, his kindness and good nature ultimately won, and he defended his sleeping brother from the lion, and suffered an injured arm for it. Oliver is ashamed of his old attitude, but is glad for his conversion, which “so sweetly tastes,” (4.3.136).

n reality, such an extreme reversal is unlikely. However, that Orlando should happen upon the opportunity to demonstrate his innate nobility and save his brother is a contrivance not outside the realm of possibility for Shakespeare. Indeed, the “life-debt” trope is relatively common in western literature—a protagonist finds himself presented with an opportunity to save the life of an opposing character, does so, and as a result the opposing character is endlessly grateful and indebted to him. In this case, Orlando saves Oliver, and Oliver eschews his old contempt for him and agrees to deliver the bloody handkerchief to Rosalind with Orlando’s explanation for why he could not meet her.


How does Shakespeare resolve his plot complexities in the final scene (5.4). Why does he seem to think that Rosalind's Epilogue is necessary--in the persona of the boy actor playing her? "If I were a woman."

                        Shakespeare’s main objectives for act 5 scene 3 seem to be primarily focused on tying up the loose ends of the play. In this scene Shakespeare easily solves the complicated romantic entanglements through Rosalind as she manages to not only secure her own marriage to Orlando, but solves the issue of Phoebe and Silvius. As Ganymede, Rosalind promises that “Ganymede” shall marry Phoebe unless something occurs to cause Phoebe to change her mind. Of course minutes after this vow, she disappears and reappears as Rosalind once again causing Phoebe to realize that her love is actually a woman. This is strangely reminiscent of Olivia and Viola in twelfth night, whereupon realizing that Viola was a woman, Olivia transferred her affections to the nearest available male love interest.
            Nevertheless the love knot is solved and marriages between Rosalind and Orlando, Phoebe and Silvius, Touchstone and Audrey, and even Celia to Oliver take place. Shortly after the marriages take place the exile plot is tied up as it is revealed the Duke Fredrick had a religious revelation and has conveniently carted himself off to a monastery leaving behind his crown, his army, and even his own daughter. These are clean simple endings appropriate for a comedy, however Shakespeare seems to be focused on simply getting the play done and over with. 
            The final performance is done by Rosalind who gives the epilogue. This scene is interesting because it seems to break the fourth wall as Rosalind addresses the audience. She acknowledges that it is unusual for a woman to deliver the epilogue breaking the traditional theatrical customs in that day and age. She asks the audience to enjoy the play appealing to both the men and women individually. To the women she declares they like the play as much as possible, “for the love they bear to men”. To the men she breaks character essentially by saying if “she” were a woman she would kiss all the handsome men and beguile them into loving the play. This is of course in reference to the fact the Rosalind is indeed a woman. This break in character seems rather odd as clearly it is an attempt to make clear that as a man he would not kiss them since religiously that would be considered completely inappropriate in that day and age.
Yet Shakespeare does not seem to care at any other moment in the play when the men playing women were kissing the other men and making declarations of love to each other. Perhaps when it came to addressing the audience themselves Shakespeare felt that it was necessary to make this distinction in order to avoid offending anyone. Thus “Rosalind” completes her speech curtsies and exits thus ending the play. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

L220 writing for 25 May: As You Like It

Please summarize your assigned scene or scenes in As You Like It and find a significant line or brief passage for us that seems significant for the play so far. Due before class starts. Thanks. 

Isabelle 1.1

As You Like It begins with Orlando, the youngest son of Roland de Bois, brother of the eldest son and recipient of their father’s inheritance, complaining to his attendant named Adam. Orlando is angry about being left only a thousand crowns (25,000 British pounds) and the promise of a good education provided by his brother Oliver, the second part of which is not being fulfilled. Their other brother, Jaques, is receiving a good education but Oliver is forced to stay in the country. He goes as far to say that Oliver’s horses are treated and trained much better than even he is. Oliver then enters the scene where he asks what he is doing to which Orlando responds he has never been taught to do anything. Oliver acts insulted by what Orlando says. Orlando even acknowledges his older brother’s birthright but asserts that he, himself, is also noble by birth. Oliver hits Orlando who then grabs onto his older brother. Oliver accusingly call his brother a villain. Adam intervenes saying for the sake of their father’s memory, they should make peace. Orlando reminds his brother of his responsibility to provide an education for him as their father intended and demands that he have this education or his part of the inheritance to leave. Orlando exits the scene and Oliver proceeds to order the same for their family’s loyal servant, Adam.
Oliver has his attendant find Charles the wrestler to speak with him. Charles informs him that the old Duke Senior has been banished by his younger brother, the new Duke Frederick. Some loyal lords have followed him into exile, giving up their lands and money to Frederick. They relocated to the Forest of Arden, living like Robin Hood once did. However, Duke Senior’s daughter Rosalind has reminded at the court with her dear cousin Celia, the daughter of Duke Frederick.
Charles goes on to warn Oliver that Orlando is planning to compete in a fight against him. Charles fears Orlando will consequently be injured due to his inexperience. Oliver says he will try to convince his brother otherwise and promises to reward Charles for telling him of this. After Charles exits, Oliver tells how he plans to get his brother worked up to fight because of his hatred for him.
A lot of implications are made when Charles relays “They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England. They say many young gentlemen flock to him every day and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world” (1.1.100-104). Comparing a character and his lifestyle to Robin Hood carries a lot of weight. Robin Hood’s notoriety was well known by the audience then as it is now. Without having finished reading the play, I am placing a lot of valor on the shoulders of Duke Senior as Robin Hood was renowned as a hero. In the original folklore, Robin Hood was a supporter of King Richard the Lionheart who was banished by his brother John. This is similar to how Duke Frederick exiled his own brother, Duke Senior, loyal lords following. This comparison to Robin Hood, is likely to foreshadow Duke Senior completing some ploy to undermine those in power, some way or another, to a greater extent than living with others of the resistance in the woods.

Kayla 1.2

Act one scene two is an incredibly dense section that essentially sets the stage for the remaining plots of the play.  In this scene we see Rosalind and Celia display their adoration for each other as they vow to remain true to one another, and Celia swears that when her father Duke Fredrick passes on she will give the throne back to Rosalind.  Despite her grief over her father Duke Senior Rosalind is cheered by Celia’s promise and vows to be more content despite her sorrow. To distract themselves the girls begin to debate the essence of Fortune and Nature and how they determine women’s lives. Both seem to favor Nature over fortune. A wrestling match is held within the castle and it is here that Rosalind meets Orlando and they become smitten with one another. However true love is deterred when after winning the wrestling match against Charles, Orlando announces that he is the son of Sir Rowland one of Duke Fredrick’s enemies.  Duke Fredrick refuses to congratulate him and very shortly after Orlando decides he must flee from the duke.
            This sets up not only one of the main romantic plots of the play but it also demonstrates the very deep bond Rosalind and Celia share which spurs many characters actions in this play. It is also interesting how well a female friendship is displayed here. In most Shakespearean plays the main females often only have deep meaningful relationships with their male counterparts. Even in the twelfth night the main interaction Oliva and Viola have with one another is when Viola is dressed as Cesario and Olivia falls in love with her. Here Celia and Rosalind display a deep true love that only the best of sisters have. Their relationship is also one of the most integral facets of the play which I enjoy very much. The line that I feel seems to capture this essence is this quote from Celia and Rosalind when discussing Fortune and Nature. “CELIA Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from//her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
ROSALIND: I would we could do so, for her benefits are/mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman/doth most mistake in her gifts to women.” 
            I essentially feel that this quote kind of displays that while these women have high statutes in the world and are otherwise fair and beautiful, both are rather powerless in how their lives are led. Rosalind has been disinherited by the banishment of her father and Celia must choose between her beloved cousin and father, as he sets out to take away everything that was his brothers. Both are at the mercy of fate at the moment but it doesn’t take them long to take control of their own nature and destinies. 

Laura 1.3

            Scene 1.3 demonstrates the strong relationship between Rosalind and her cousin Celia. Rosalind, embarrassed and upset that Orlando had no reply to the gift of her chain, is unusually quiet. Celia insists that Rosalind tell her what is the matter, and asks if she is sad about her usurped and exiled father. Rosalind replies that her dejected state is not for her father, but for the man she would have as her child’s father, and compares her feelings for him to burrs stuck in her heart, which she cannot shake away. Celia encourages Rosalind to reign in her emotions, and asks whether it is possible for her to have fallen in love with Orlando so suddenly. Rosalind explains that her own father dearly loved Orlando’s father, but Celia refutes this explanation—her father hated Orlando’s father, but that is not reason for her to hate Orlando. Rosalind implores Celia not to hate Orlando, but to love him for her sake. Duke Frederick, Celia’s father and Rosalind’s uncle, interrupts and demands that Rosalind leave the court as quickly as possible. He warns her that after ten days, if she is found within twenty miles, she will die for it. Rosalind asks her uncle what crime she has committed, as she’s never so much as had a thought which might have offended him. Duke Frederick replies that all traitors proclaim their innocence, and that he simply does not trust her, and that is all the reason he needs. Rosalind persists, saying that his mistrust does not make her a traitor, and asks again of what she is accused. Duke Frederick replies that it is because she is her father’s daughter. Rosalind says that treason is not inherited, and even if it were, her father was not a traitor. When Celia tries to protest, Duke Frederick hushes her and says that it was only for her sake that Rosalind was not exiled with her father. Celia says that isn’t true, that she did not ask that Rosalind stay; it was out of guilt that he kept her at court. She says that if Rosalind is a traitor, then so is she. They have grown up together and are inseparable. Duke Frederick remains unmoved, however, calling Celia a fool and claiming that Rosalind is stealing attention from her. Celia tells her father to banish her, too, as she cannot live without Rosalind. Again her father calls her a fool, and he leaves, warning Rosalind that she must leave before her time is up, or face death. Celia swears to Rosalind that she will go with her, and suggests that they escape to the Forest of Arden to find her uncle, Rosalind’s father. Rosalind worries for their safety, so Celia suggests disguising themselves in dirty, plain clothes to avoid attracting attention. Rosalind decides that because she is so tall, it would be better for her to dress as a man. She decides that she will be called Ganymede, and Celia decides that she will be called Aliena. Rosalind suggests taking the court fool along with them, and Celia agrees to convince him to come, and they resolve to collect their things and go.
            In lines 48-50 of this scene, Duke Frederick rejects Rosalind’s claim of innocence, saying “If their purgation did consist in words,/They are as innocent as grace itself./Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.” He says that all traitors proclaim their innocence, and if they could purge themselves of their sins merely by their words, they would be wholly pure. Because words alone cannot cleanse someone of his guilt, he does not trust Rosalind or her profession of innocence. This is a haughty remark coming from a man who betrayed his own brother and usurped his position. It would seem as though Frederick is projecting some of his own guilt onto his niece; no matter how much he might proclaim his own innocence, the betrayal of his brother still weighs on him.   
Abbey 2.1 and 2.2

Scene one opens with Duke Senior, who we know has been exiled by his younger brother. This scene takes place in the forest and is between Duke Senior, Amiens, the First Lord, and the Second Lord. Duke Senior opens the scene by talking about the forest. He is actually rather happy to be in the forest. He says the forest is freeing, there is no envious court, life is pretty sweet. There is no danger in the forest and says their only worry is the cold winter wind. He says the forest provides everything they could ever need. He end ends his talking by saying he wouldn't change a thing. Amiens then agrees with him talking about how quiet and sweet their new life is. Duke Senior then suggests they go hunt some venison, but there is a sadness behind it. He is mourning the death of the deer. The First Lord seems to be comparing him (Duke Senior) to the deer, his fortune has not been so great. He claims that Lord Jaques agrees with him. Declaring that Senior is guiltier of taking someones power by killing this poor deer, then his brother his for exiling him. This seems a little extreme. This however doesn’t seem to get Duke Senior down. He requests that Jacque is brought to him for he enjoys arguing with him. The First Lord says he shall go get him.
            Scene two starts a little different. We are back in the court with Duke Frederick, which is Duke Senior’s little brother that exiled him. This is a brief scene, only 21 lines. This scene is really about Duke Frederick discovering that Rosalind is gone, but Celia, and Touchstone also seem to be missing with her. The First Lord is claiming no one saw them leave. Lord Frederick is questioning how they could disappear without anyone seeing them. The Second Lord comes in an states that it was overheard that Celia and Rosalind were in favor of Orlando. The Second Lord then says that where Celia and Rosalind are is probably where Orlando is as well. Duke Frederick then asks that someone fetches Oliver for he is going to send Oliver to search for his brother, Celia, and Rosalind.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head (2.1.12-14)
I chose this set of lines because I feel like this is actually a really good quote. While there are great uses to adversity, which seems horrible like a toad, it is still a great thing.

Zeke 2.3 and 2.4

Orlando returns home after winning the fight against Charles, the wrestler.  His servant, Adam, greets him and comments on his recent victory.  Despite the good news, Adam is concerned that his good qualities will be his undoing and tells Orlando that he recently overheard Oliver plotting to burn him alive as he slept.  Orlando is unsure where he should go if he leaves his home and wonders if he is expected to beg for food or become a thief.  Adam offers to fund the trip with the five hundred crowns he has saved over the course of his life.  Not all does he do this, but Adam also asks to go with him and continue on as a servant.  After a bit of convincing, Orlando agrees and compliments Adam’s sense of duty.  The scene ends with Adam proclaiming:
Master, go on, and I will follow thee,
To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.…
Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
Than to die well and not my master’s debtor. 
            (As You Like It 2.3.69-76)
This passage is an important one because honor is an important theme throughout the play.  Characters take this belief very seriously and those that lack the quality appear to lash out at those that do.  This may explain why by the play’s end, even Oliver and Duke Frederick have changed their ways and embraced sanctimonious lifestyles. 
            Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone arrive in the Forest of Ardenne.  In order to remain safe on their journey, the woman have disguised themselves with dress.  Rosalind dresses like a young man and goes by the name of Ganymede while Celia dresses as a shepherdess and uses the name Aliena.  Exhausted from their travels, they decide to rest but soon cross paths with Corin and Silvius.  Wrapped up in discussing Silvius’ love for Phoebe, the two men do not notice the three people resting nearby.  Though Corin says he knows about love, Silvius doubts that he has ever loved as deeply as he does for Phoebe.  At this point, Silvius exits and Corin is asked about a nearby location for them to find food and rest.  Corin explains that his master’s house is for sale and offers to take them there to check it out. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

L220 syllabus Summer 1 2017

Dr. M. L. Stapleton
English L220:  Introduction to Shakespeare
Summer (1) 2017   MTR 10-12.20 LA 116
Office:  LA 109   Hours: by appointment
email:    phone: 260.481.6841 (message)

Text:  Greenblatt, et al., eds., Shakespeare: The Essential Plays / The Sonnets (ISBN-13: 978-0393938630) Any edition with footnotes and scholarly apparatus is acceptable, but this is the one I’ll be using.  Be advised that page and line numbers vary from edition to edition.  Always bring your book to class. Please turn off your cell phones and texting devices. If I have to, so do you!

15 (M) Introductions: comedy, the theater, history; Twelfth Night
16 (T)  Twelfth Night
18 (R)  Twelfth Night; exercise due
22 (M) Twelfth Night
23 (T) As You Like It
25 (R) As You Like It; exercise due
29 (M) No class
30 (T) As You Like It; exercise due

1 (R) The Merchant of Venice
2 (F) exam on Twelfth Night and As You Like It, due by 9 a.m.
5 (M)  Merchant  
6 (T)  Merchant  exercise due
8 (R) Merchant   
12 (M) tragedy; Antony and Cleopatra exercise due
13 (T) Antony and Cleopatra
15 (R) Antony 
19 (M) Antony
20 (T) Antony exercise due
22 (R) No class
23 (F) exam on last two plays, due by 9 a.m.


1.  We’ll write six exercises, due on the above dates, assigned the previous class period. These are credit only, comprise 1/3 of your grade, and are a page in length. (I’ll assign prompts based on your place in the alphabet.) Do all six: 100% for that part of your grade (like an A); five: 90% (still like an A); two: 20% (like a D).Caveats: a) if the exercise is performed with great inadequacy or a discernable lack of effort, no credit; b) exercises are due at the beginning of class on the given dates; after that, they’re late, and no credit; c) you need to email me your assignment in a Word document only

2. Because I think highly of you and want to share your ideas with the world, I will be uploading these exercises to our class blog, .  Please be assured that your exercises will be posted anonymously. And, of course, if you really object to being included, we’ll leave you out.

3.  You are allowed three (3) absences for any reason you choose:  Students who miss more than this will fail the course, without exception, regardless of circumstances.  I do not distinguish between “excused” and “unexcused” absences; nor am I responsible for material that you miss because you are absent.  Students who miss the attendance call (the first five minutes), who depart unannounced, and who blow us off at the break will be marked absent. Please do not get up in the middle of class for bathroom breaks: take care of your business before class begins. If you must leave early, please be polite and let me know beforehand.  If you have an emergency, use good manners.

4.  You’ll have two exams, due on 2 and 23 June, both on Friday. These are essay in form and will be emailed to me by 9 a.m. on those dates in Microsoft Word form. Late exam, failure to take exam = F. No exceptions.

4. It should also go without saying that students are also expected to do their own work; indebtedness to secondary sources (either printed or electronic) must be clearly indicated so as to avoid plagiarism:
--(piecemeal) using someone else’s words and phrases as if they were your own, not paraphrasing or summarizing properly, even with proper documentation;
--(grotesque) using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own, without proper documentation;
--(more grotesque) allowing someone else to write your paper for you

5. Grades are not personal or negotiable.  The breakdown is fairly simple: exercises (1/3); midterm (1/3); final (1/3).  Attendance is a grading factor only if it causes you to fail the class (see #2).