Shakespeare and Rome

Daalder, Joost. “The ‘Pre-History’ of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing.” English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature 85, 6 (2004): 520–27. EBSCOhost.

Daalder presents information about the pre-history between Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. He suggests that the prehistory is important, and that the relationship might be overlooked because it is not understood. Although Daalder focuses on pre-history he shows the wider view by informing context through gender differences in the play. He says, “… by which I mean differences in conduct or psychology which can be imputed to the gender of person rather than that person’s individual characteristics” (Daalder 2). The added element that focuses on pre-history of two characters, gender differences helps to show that Shakespeare does not define characters by characters but through gender (Daalder 2). Daalder also believes the difference that Shakespeare shows variety of differences from gender to age in characters. This article will give me great information about Beatrice and Benidick and their actions throughout the play along with why Shakespeare portrayed them the way he did.

Frye, Roland Mushat. “Characterization.” Shakespeare: The Art of the Dramatist. N.p.: Routledge, (2005): 227-46. Print.

In Shakespeare, the art of the dramatist, Roland Frye has a specific chapter called characterization that speaks about how Shakespeare defines his characters through creativity and influence. He mentioned information about why Shakespeare might have personified his characters the way he did, for example Frye says, “some of these were based on social and psychological stereotypes, while others were merely names commonly assigned to standard roles in popular plays and stories” (Frye 227). He also claims that the creation of his characters follow the theatrical developments during his time and the Elizabethan era. The characterization in Shakespeare’s work goes further than just characters reflecting each other, Frye explains that there are different levels, like the characters who come alive later in the play, but serve as tools for transmitting information or discharging acts (Frye 227). I believe this source will help me in getting many different perspectives from an author about how Shakespeare characterizes his characters.

Grazia, Margreta De, and Stanley W. Wells. “Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare.” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. N.p.: Cambridge UP, (2009): 129-46. Print.

Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells have a chapter in their booked called Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare. They mention how Shakespeare approaches characters by sex, gender, and sexuality to human identity and political power. Shakespeare achieves this through analyzing through sexuality and gender. The two authors explain that “What it means to be a woman or a man, or to desire the same or the opposite sex, varies from culture to culture changes historically. Mansculatnity, for instance, is typically associated with sexual aggression in our own time, whereas during Shakespeare’s life, women were considered to be more lustful than men” (Grazia and Wells p. 129) Male and female roles in the play are shown through the time era in which they were written and also cultures. The patriarchal society is when gender roles and sexuality began to be understood throughout Shakespeare’s works. This source has many helpful information explaining the gender roles and sexuality of the characters; it will also help me analyze why certain characters are portrayed the way they are throughout the plays.

Heather, Jennifer. “Shakespeare and Masculinity.” Literature compass. 12, 4 (2015): 134–145. Web.

Jennifer Feather has excellent views on how Shakespeare portrays masculinity in his plays. She explains that the male characters featured in Shakespeare’s work are derived from long years of history; not only do the characters play a significant part in the play itself, but male roles represent mankind according to Feather. Feather also says that the Shakespearean masculinity has taken shape since the last three decades. That means that masculinity can be defined in traditional ways that are influenced by social class. This source can help me identify specific scenes to realize how masculine Shakespeare made his male or female characters and whether they are usually in a more favorable social class or not.

Hume, Robert D. “Individuation and Development of Character through Language in Antony and Cleopatra.” Shakespeare Quarterly, 24.3 (1973): 280–300. JSTOR.

Hume explains that his aim is to present how the language functions to display the dramatization that the characters show individually. Hume chooses Antony and Cleopatra to conduct his studies because of the maturity that the play presents and the characters’ language that is striking to him. There are three categories that Hume separates his methods into: sound, rhetoric, and deviations. Hume breaks his method into three categories because he claims that “distinctively personal speech of each individual contributes to our apprehension of his character” (Hume p. 281). Although Hume has methods, he splits his entire study into sections: structural significance of the language, development of the characters, and the final development of the play. This article will help me understand the language of individual characters and identify key words and patterns that characterizes the characters.

Lopez, Jeremy. “Characters.” The Arden Introduction to Reading Shakespeare. London, UK: Bloomsbury Plc, (2019): 124-38. Print.

Lopez opens the characters chapter by stating that the poetic language in Shakespeare’s plays are incorporated into the characters so they are distinct and are able to portray a dramatic characteristics. Lopez focuses on a characters action from scene to scene, and how the audience’s view might shift along with the different actions that are showed throughout the scenes as well. He also says that the characters are almost alway doing other things simultaneously throughout the play at some point. Overall, Lopez wants to give the readers a different perspective than just focusing on the personalities of characters; instead, to have readers focus on the analysis of a characters, perhaps through dramatic form. This source will help my overall project because it is a book that was always referred to for many assignments having to do with deeper analysis in a specific scenes.I will use the source to specify dramatic form throughout my chosen scenes.  

 

 

My ideas for my final topic is to understand then present the characterization/characteristics of the characters in the Shakespeare’s plays with focus on specific plays and scenes. The plays that I will use are Julius Casear and Much Ado About Nothing; According to Shakespeare,  Julius Casear is a tragedy and Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy. Since the plays are different genres, I can also briefly mention how Shakespeare shifts tone, and the mood to feel the difference in the play; Shakespeare can achieve this by how he ends the play. When Shakespeare gives traits, language, and dramatic forms to his characters, it is likely that the characters are connected to the real world outside of literature, especially during his time. I want to connect how his characters reflect human kind and not just fictional characters that have no meaning. Shakespeare uses many literary tools and manipulates the language for his characters to create diversity and distinction between them. He can achieve this by rhetoric, pattern, and emphasis; the audience is able to see this when it is performed. I want to further explore the steps Shakespeare took when developing his characters as well. I also want to link gender and sexuality through specific characters, Beatrice, and Brutus. Although, both plays contain significant characters throughout the play, the notable characters to contrast are the male and female roles that both Brutus and Beatrice play; by the masculinity and a sense of independence that the characters possess. To develop a character it requires more than one single thing such as tone, or facial expressions and my intent is to research the deeper meaning of what lies behind the characters that Shakespeare incorporated into his plays. I will fulfill my proposed ideas by referring to primarily secondary sources and possibly incorporating a primary source by using a poem written by Shakespeare.

Annotated Bib

April 9, 2019 | Uncategorized  |  4 Comments

Daalder, Joost. “The ‘Pre-History’ of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing.” English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature 85.6 (2004): 520–27. EBSCOhost. 

Daalder presents information about the pre-history between Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. He suggests that prehistory is important and that the relationship might be overlooked because it is not understood. Although Daalder focuses on pre-history he shows the wider view by informing context through gender differences in the play. He says, “… by which I mean differences in conduct or psychology which can be imputed to the gender of a person rather than that person’s individual characteristics” (Daalder p. 2). The added element that focuses on the pre-history of two characters, gender differences helps to show that Shakespeare does not define characters by characters but through gender (Daalder p.2). Daalder also believes the difference that Shakespeare shows a variety of differences from gender to age in characters. This article will give me great information about Beatrice and Benedick and their actions throughout the play along with why Shakespeare portrayed them the way he did.

 

Frye, Roland M. “Characterization.” Shakespeare: The Art of the Dramatist. N.p.: Routledge, (2005): 227-46. Print.

In Shakespeare, the art of the dramatist, Roland Frye has a specific chapter called characterization that speaks about how Shakespeare defines his characters through creativity and influence. He mentioned information about why Shakespeare might have personified his characters the way he did, for example, Frye says, “some of these were based on social and psychological stereotypes, while others were merely names commonly assigned to standard roles in popular plays and stories” (Frye p. #). He also claims that the creation of his characters follows the theatrical developments during his time and the Elizabethan era. The characterization in Shakespeare’s work goes further than just characters reflecting each other, Frye explains that there are different levels, like the characters who come alive later in the play but serve as tools for transmitting information or discharging acts (Frye p.#) I believe this source will help me in getting many different perspectives from an author about how Shakespeare characterizes his characters.

 

Grazia, Margreta De, and Stanley W. Wells. “Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare.” The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. N.p.: Cambridge UP, (2009): 129-46. Print.

Margreta de Grazia and Stanley Wells have a chapter in their booked called Gender and Sexuality in Shakespeare. They mention how Shakespeare approaches characters by sex, gender, and sexuality to human identity and political power. Shakespeare achieves this by analyzing through sexuality and gender. The two authors explain that “What it means to be a woman or a man or to desire the same or the opposite sex, varies from culture to culture changes historically. Masculinity, for instance, is typically associated with sexual aggression in our own time, whereas during Shakespeare’s life, women were considered to be more lustful than men” (Grazia and Wells p. 129) Male and female roles in the play are shown through the time era in which they were written and also cultures. The patriarchal society is when gender roles and sexuality began to be understood throughout Shakespeare’s works. This source has much helpful information explaining the gender roles and sexuality of the characters; it will also help me analyze why certain characters are portrayed the way they are throughout the plays.

Topic 1: The differences in love between Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, and Beatrice and Benideck

 

Topic 2: The battle choosing love and duty in Antony and Cleopatra

I want to further explore why Shakespeare chose such diverse love stories between the lovers. What did he intend to show us, the maturity levels when in love, the unrealistic and realistic aspect in the characters love story.

I am going to build off the The Arden, George Lopez addresses patterned language and characters that will help me analyze the love language that the two characters are speaking in. George Lopez says “The expository and thematic content of any speech, scene, act or play of Shakespeare is expressed through and by means of overlapping patterns of sound, syntax, words, images, and ideas” (Lopez p. 114). In Romeo and Juliet, the language that took place in Act 1 scene 5 lines 91-116. When the two characters first seen each other their language was dramatically romantic, but in Much Ado About Nothing, when Beatrice and Benedick seen one another in Act 2 scene 1 lines 111-143 theirs can be contrasted. The language between Beatrice and Benedick was more comical, and far from romantic. Benedick and Beatrice have a history together where they are able to makes jokes about each other. Lastly, Antony and Cleopatra’s would be considered the more mature love because of the duties that they both have that weighs on their shoulders along with the love they share. The juggle that Antony faces is his duty in Rome and devoting himself to Cleopatra.

For this presentation, I will present it in a narrated slideshow.

The sculptures made by Bernini were the sculptures in the house of Borgeous. To be able to see the original sculptures through my own eyes in person was so fascinating. Our tour guide made our visit especially special  by having my class closely examine what exactly is going on in each sculpture. There was a significant action happening in each one, and Kevin, our tour guide, would ask us questions that boiled up to the activity that was going on in the work of Bernini. For example, the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne, there was so much going on this work. (Picture down below)

The moment when we visited the Globe Theatre in Rome was the most challenging because I was trying to imagine what plays might have been performed there, and weather the audience really stood in the pit. I was trying to imagine the outside world that surrounded Shakespeare to get a real feel of how it was like when he was living in Rome. For some reason, before going to Rome I was imagining that the Globe Theatre would have much more to it in the inside that better represented Shakespeare, like pictures, or plays hanging on the wall, things like that to help  me get a better feel of the place. I imagined the Globe to be different so that site challenged me because I was expecting something else, which meant I was not prepared to see anything else.

When visiting the Colosseum, I imagined the balcony scene between Romeo and Juliet to be in the pocket where we stood for a little while showing the landscapes and scenery of Rome from the Colosseum (Picture down below). In the night of course, when Romeo is listening to Juliet talk about him, and when he responds to her and they exchange their loving words to one another. Another scene I would like to stage in Rome is the party scene in Romeo and Juliet at the Palazzo of Barberini. In the last room that our tour guide, Kevin took us was a tall ceiling with so many beautiful paintings, Kevin told there were parties held in that hall, and even today it can be booked or weddings(Picture below with the paintings on the ceiling).

 

The site that helped enhance my connection of Shakespeare to Rome was the Romeo and Giulietta play performed in Italian. The performance itself played a big part but other factors were very influential to my connection such as, meeting the cast, questions from other students to the cast and lastly, watching the play in Italian versus English. Although I can not understand Italian, watching the actors perform came together from previously watching Romeo and Juliet in English. Since Shakespeare took the story from Italian lovers and wrote the sonnet called Romeo and Juliet, it is not surprising that the play is performed in Italian rather than just English. The theme of restricted love was presented well in the play of Romeo and Giulietta when the director made the characters as birds. How I took that was that Romeo and Juliet were love birds that were stuck in a cage, their love not thriving or growing but restricted. Their love was restricted by their last names but especially because Romeo killed Tybalt.  The restriction of love was personified through birds and cages that was shown in the play. Overall,  This site as a whole added immense insight of how influential Roman culture was to Shakespeare’s work. and even though Shakespeare was from England, Italians accepted his work and till this day show appreciation for his works.

 

While visiting Rome, art and expressing art into physical paintings, sonnets, or sculptures was considered the Roman Renaissance. Art is and was very popular by well known artists such as Caravaggio, Rafael, Michael Angelo, Bernini, and many more that has influenced Shakespeare’s works directly and indirectly. Shakespeare’s works had many themes that are represented all throughout Rome especially throughout the museums we visited. Love, hate, violence, family feud, betrayal, etc. All of these themes were matched when visiting the museums by the sculptures and paintings. With the information that was told to our class throughout the tour helped me envision the time in which Shakespeare lived in Rome, and what external factors surrounded him.

The excitement in reading Shakespeare’s work is being able to be in the same country where Shakespeare’s wrote his most famous sonnets. Although I am fairly familiar with how Italian culture shaped his works, that is only a small portion of the Italian influence in his play’s and aspirations when he was writing. I would like to learn more outside of the politicals, the culture that shaped his works, maybe there was something else that inspired Shakespeare’s work other than those aspects. I am hoping to get a feel of how in particular Romeo and Juliet became so popular and universal, why was Verona the chosen location.

Hopefully my sight will give me insight as to who might have been the main major influential people in Romeo and Juliet. What theatre did he first perform Romeo and Juliet in, and was it first successful when the play was first performed. When Romeo and Juliet was written it was in a patriarchal society, women were not allowed to play the part of Juliet, the nurse, or Lady Capulet; did that mean that when women started playing the role of the Women, the play became more popular? The plot of the family feud between the Capulet and Montagues, could this have been apart of Shakespeare’s real life experience expressed into his works… I have interest in learning about Shakespeare’s motivation in writing his plays, maybe it will make more sense to me. Perhaps he wrote them just based off of creative and critical thinking.

2/26 blog post

February 26, 2019 | Uncategorized  |  Leave a Comment

The day that I want to record my speech spoke by Cleopatra is if we were to visit anywhere that has a more quiet setting so I am able to project my voice and no one can speak over my dramatic speech. One of the sites that I am very curious is the play in Italian. I am most curious about how the theatre will look, whether it is old or new, maybe in Shakespearean time. I wonder who will attend, what kind of attire they will wear. Who attends the plays, why do they attend the play? Just because or because they have a passion for watching theatre.

Antony & Cleopatra

February 22, 2019 | Uncategorized  |  Leave a Comment

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