Travel Blog

Rome Edition

April 26, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Sample Annotated Source for Proposal

Some sources I found for IDEA #2 for final project:

  1. Book Source: Richardson, Catherine. Shakespeare and Material Culture. Oxford University Press, 2012.
  2. Book Source: Riggio, Milla Cozart. Teaching Shakespeare through Performance. Modern Language Association of America, 1999.
  3. Journal: Dobson, Michael. Writing about  [Shakespearian] Performance.  Cambridge University Press, 2005.

April 2, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Final Project Ideas

Two possible project ideas to focus on:

  1. Write about Shakespeare’s love relationships in plays and how they might correlate with his own views or romantic relationships. Can we get to know more about Shakespeare’s relationship with his wife? The society view on marriage? Compare and contrast the relationship dynamic between: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar and his wife Calpurnia & Antony and Cleopatra. How does Shakespeare’s relationship with his wife and parents affect his storylines?
  2.  Write aboutPlay structure: Lopez and the function of the acts, language, or opening/closing scenes. Shakespeare’s bird imagery in text and performance (looking at Romeo e Giulietta and bird metaphors in the plays we’ve read)// Write about learning Shakespeare through performance. Look into how his writings of this play a role in the shift of modern literature. ( Shakespeare’s metaphors in plays, his usage of personal possessions and celebration), examining different ways in which material culture functioned on the stage in Shakespeare’s plays- how it interacted with language and action. Maybe narrow down to Romeo and Juliet play analysis while going back to the play we saw in Rome:Romeo e Giulietta. 

March 21, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Travel Posts

Before trip:

I am so excited, so excited that I did not sleep at all last night. I had this butterfly feeling in my stomach for a while now, a feeling I get every time I am about to leave the country. I love traveling but yet I get so nervous the day before. Today I had to wake up at 7 am just so I could finish packing. Last minute packing is a whole mood, I laugh at myself because I always save my packing for the day of the trip. After I finished packing I started to head over to Marymount to meet with the rest of the class. Both my parents decided to come with me to drop me off. This trip was so special for me because this was in some way a birthday gift to myself as my birthday was just a few days before going Rome. After all it was my birthday weekend and my best friend had told me she would meet me up in Rome to come and visit me. Although I have been to Rome once before, I have very high exceptions from Rome. From what I can remember I loved the views in Rome especially the views in Siena which is about 2hrs away from Rome. When I went I didn’t like it as much since it was prime tourist time and so packed I had lost my group many times. Although I went with a group of people I did not know, I met some of my closest friends while traveling. I am hoping this time around it won’t be as crowded so I could enjoy the museums, the Vatican and the Colosseum which are the most touristy things to do in Rome.However I will be traveling with my people I do know, people I see around campus all the time and in a smaller group. I don’t know much about Shakespeare in Rome since my last time in Rome was a complete different focus, however I am very excited to see how this trip can tie in to what we discuss in class. I think I am most excited to see the play of Rome and Juliet in Italian. I love hearing/ watching movies and plays in different languages however in this case there will be no subtitles!! I pray using Duolingo and my attempt of learning Italian in 3 weeks will pay off when trying to follow along what they are saying. I wonder if it would be similar to the plays I have seen here in VA of Rome and Juliet at all or will they have a different interpretation.

Durning the trip:

I love the lifestyle here in Italy. Walking everyday, more healthier food options, the people are nicer and the climate here feels great. Some thing that I really appreciate in Rome that is hard to find is just how safe I felt walking in the streets of Rome as a woman late at night with my friends. I travel pretty frequently and have been to many countries. And I have never felt so comfortable walking in the streets at night before. I didn’t see many people approaching people for some drinks or to go partying (which happens pretty often in places like Spain which I had just went to weeks before coming to Rome). Just a few nights ago, I went to the Spanish Steps with my best friend who came to visit me and another friend of mine and we just sat down and talked for hours. I think so far that has been my favorite thing I have done so far on this trip. It is so impressive to see Rome so vibrant at night filled with people (not many tourist that I saw) but rather people who came to have a good time with love ones. I didn’t see many people on their phones taking pictures, but rather people were just talking, laughing and having the time of their lives. That’s what I had hope to see more often but in such a touristy location that is just so hard to find.

Another thing I really like is all the places we have visited so far on this trip. So far we have visited some amazing museums and seen some amazing views like for example we visited so far: the piazza Cavour, visited the Colosseum and the Forum, in which Julius Caesar is buried which we saw just before we left, some Vatican art museums with Professor Kevin, the globe theater in Rome, the crypt of bones and the Italian play “Romeo & Giulietta”. I have been to the colosseum once before, however I was not able to appreciate the beauty of the ruins since it was packed durning the prime summer time. I noticed it looked a bit different from the last time I went, there was more walking space ( thats a bit odd to say, however I noticed that they where building a new ground that covers a bit of the ruins to allow tourist to walk on the ground floor. Its a bit upsetting that it looks different however they are making it so it will last another couple of 100+ years for tourist to see. After that,  we went to see the Forum which was my favorite “park” we went to see during the trip. It was so nice, relaxing and breath taking. There was many different levels of side walks, which allows one to envision what the older Rome was like. Because of the many flooding they had in Rome, it forced them to build things elevated and far from the ground which would explain why there are many ruins underground. Rome is build on top of the older Rome which can be found underground. While in the Forum I was able to see Julius Cesar “grave” or rather a big rock that is thought to be where Cesar lays. But one can never been certain that is where he truly lays. I say that because while we walked around, I don’t remember seeing other grave tombs around. Cesar was the only one I recall seeing. My favorite thing I have seen is the play of Rome and Juliet. Mainly because it was something new and something I have not experience before. I have been to the Vatican, been to the colosseum and the crypt of bones. But a play in Italian? Never! & funny enough I told myself I was last here that I will go see a play in Italy. I was just impressed just how well the play was. When we met the cast before the show, they had the curtains open and saw only ropes coming from the roof that made it look like a bird cage. It was not what I expected at all. I was confused on how they would incorporate this cage to their story. And truly it was impressive how well they pulled it off. My three weeks of Duolingo did come through as it did help me follow along the play. Although we did read the play in class, it’s not the same just basing it off with the readings. When translating in a different language, there is always something that gets lost in translation. It helped that I also can read a bit of latin and speak Spanish because I noticed some words in Italian are very similar to Spanish. I loved the makeup the actors had on their faces (dark black winds that covered their eyes like a face mask) and the impact this makeup had on Juliet in particular. For example, the story starts with the coming of Juliet birthday. In the beginning of the play, Juliet is the only one without the mask. As she prepares for her birthday, her mask starts to become visible, however she does not receive her “wings” until she meets Romeo and falls in love. It’s as if the makeup resembles these important milestones Juliet faces in her life. It’s hard to envision that transformation as the audience, yet they were able to show that by using just makeup which is really smart on their part. I loved the outfits of the actors and loved the energy they left on stage. I felt engaged and intrigue by their interpretation of Romeo and Juliet.

Reflection:

This trip was nothing compare to the trip I have made before years ago. The main difference was that we this time around I had more time to look at just the museums and look around. It was not as crowded and the weather was great to walk around. This trip also allowed me to reconnect with my former roommate and classmates within my cohort because ever since I moved out of campus it’s been harder to see them and hang out with them. I got to know more of my other classmates who are not in my cohort and allowed me to meet new people who I never had the opportunity to talk to in class. This trip was a great birthday gift to myself and would love to go again. One scene I would love to stage in Rome is Julius Cease death scene. I would stage it in the cat park we visited which is believed to be where his death originally occurred and not in the Forum which is where he was buried. It was interesting to see so many stray cats in that “park” that is located in the middle of the city. Just imagine if one was reenacting that scene and everyone who was walking would just watch. It would be a fish bowl scenario where the audience would be looking down to watch since this part is “underground”.  Honestly coming back to States made me miss traveling even more. The older I have gotten the harder it has been for me to travel since I have so many responsibilities. But traveling for just a week as part of a global class room series was perfect and is something I would recommend to anyone.

After reflecting on the passage I have chosen  to record, which is the speech given by Brutus to Cassius in Act 1 scene 2 which in some sense stirs the plot, I have decided that the best day to record it would be at the place of Caesar’s death-located in Rome’s Largo di Torre Argentina archaeological area, where is thought to be where he had originally died.

Click link bellow to article I found:

https://www.history.com/news/julius-caesars-stabbing-site-identified

I think this setting is the most fitting because it is located to which the climax of the story ( his death) which Brutus has caused.

The story of friendship betrayal.. is tragic on so many levels which is why I wanted to stick with a speech from ” Julius Caesar”, because it was the most relatable story we have read in the semester. In some shape or form we have groan through a friendship betrayal, maybe not extreme to the point of death, but it is a milestone we all pass through either when we were younger or the in the future.

 

February 12, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Genre in flux-Antony & Cleopatra

A scene from Antony and Cleopatra that represents a “genre in flux” would be the ending scene where Antony commits suicide and Cleopatra as well. At this point of the story, the story of Antony and Cleopatra shifts from a love story to a tragic love story. The world “tragic” which usually associated with Greek tragic heroes or even Shakespeare’s tragic stories implies a more complex story that foreshadows the death of the protagonist. In this story line, Antony although “successful” and thought to have had it all had all but one thing..the freedom to love whomever he pleased. In some way, this story does in fact reflect the classical story of Romeo and Juliet, about forbidden love which Antony had with Cleopatra, which happens to be so aesthetically pleasing to the readers. It’s so pleasing to read despite it being so over done because these stories remind us about our deepest fears, a unknown reality to most of pure forbidden love. Antony’s relationship with Cleopatra is seen to be the most mature relationship in all of Shakespeare’s works. However, I will believe the “tragic hero” or the tragic story was written for Cleopatra. I believe this because right before the death of Antony, Cleopatra mentions to him that if he had any love for her to not die ( this scene was right before Antony commits suicide). However despite hearing the love of his pleading for his life, he ignored her request and died. Just how tragic is to know that love alone is not enough for your partner to choice life. That his duty to his country that did nothing for him was much greater than than the love of his life. The story ends with her killing herself with poison (the bite of a poisonous snake) which parallels the death scene with Juliet like in Romeo and Juliet.

February 5, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Coriolanus-

 

In Act 1 scene 1 of Coriolanus, the reader first encounters the conflict or the main problem that the society faces that then shapes the protagonist’s actions. In Act 1, readers come across a mob, a group of citizens brought together to fight and demand change in Roman’s society. The poor are being treated unfairly and being looked down by the government. A great number of people are being starved and unjust laws are protecting the rich/ people in power to get away with so much. This scene is very similar to  Julius Caesar’s opening mob scene in Act 1 Scene 1. However in Act 1 Scene 1 of Julius Caesar, the citizens gather together to rejoice and celebrate unlike in Coriolanus where citizens of Rome gather to demand change. In each play, mobs are frown upon as they become loud and start to create chaos within the streets of Rome. However, most opening scenes in Shakespeare provide very little stage directions; allowing stage directors to interpret this scene in many ways. The director of the video posted above had a very interesting and intriguing point of view of Coriolanus opening scene. The mob wan’t your typical Shakespeare mob. They were somewhat peaceful and showed their emotions by their presence rather than by yelling in the streets in Rome. It had a very impactful message as one continues to read and reflect upon.

February 5, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Speech Idea For Rome:

Lines(170-184) from Julius Caesar ( Act 1 scene 2) :

BRUTUS:

That you do love me, I am nothing jealous.

What you would work me to, I have some aim.

How I have thought of this, and of these times,

I shall recount hereafter. For this present,

I would not, so with love I might entreat you,

Be any further moved. What you have said

I will consider; what you have to say

I will with patience hear, and find a time

Both meet to hear and answer such high things.

Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:

Brutus had rather be a villager

Than to repute himself a son of Rome

Translation from “No Fear Shakespeare” :

BRUTUS

I have no doubt that you love me. I’m beginning to understand what you want me to do. What I think about this, and about what’s happening here in Rome, I’ll tell you later. For now, don’t try to persuade me anymore—I ask you as a friend. I’ll think over what you’ve said, I’ll listen patiently to whatever else you have to say, and I’ll find a good time for us to discuss further such weighty matters. Until then, my noble friend, think about this: I’d rather be a poor villager than call myself a citizen of Rome under the hard conditions that this time is likely to put us through.
https://www.sparknotes.com/nofear/shakespeare/juliuscaesar/page_20/
These lines sound poetic to me. It shows the internal struggles of Brutus as he begins to question where his loyalty stands. Is it with his life time friend Julius Caesar or is it Rome?

Friendship Vs Leadership

January 22, 2019 by Stella Huitz | 0 comments

In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Act 1-2, one is introduced to Julius Caesar himself and to other important characters such as: Calphurnia (Julius Caesar’s wife), Brutus, Portia (Brutus’s wife), Cassius, Mark Antony and a Soothsayer. In the beginning of Act 1, we can get an insight of what type of person/ leader Julius Caesar is. People are rejoicing and flooding the streets to celebrate the return of a great warrior- Julius Caesar. Although the play never directly mentions what his leadership looked liked, one can concluded that he was a very successful person and very liked. Julius Caesar was looked up to and was able to sway public opinion. With this assumption we can say Julius Caesar was a good leader.   

Many important relationships were introduced in the first three acts such as the relationship between Julius and Brutus ( a very complex relationship/ friendship) , Julius and Mark Antony (a loyal friendship), Julius and Cassius (not friends, “enemies”) , Julius and his wife Calpurnia, and the relationship between Brutus and his wife Portia. These relationships are very important to focus on as the story progresses. Julius Caesar has a very complex relationship with Brutus, who we see in Act three goes on with the plan of killing Julius Caesar for the “sake of Rome”. Brutus justifies every action he does which shows the lack of character. This flaw will lead to his fall.

Some examples of foreshadowing Julius Caesar’s death in the first three acts is :

Act 1, scene 2: The soothsayer tells Caesar to “beware the Ides of March!”. This is said a couple of times before Caesar’s assassination in Act 1 and in Act 3, on the day of his death.      

Act 2, scene 2:  Calphurnia (Julius Caesar’s wife) has a dream, a “vision” of the assassination of her husband. She warned her husband to say home for the day but Julius Caesar ignored once again the signs in front of him.   

The character who is emerging to becoming the next leader the most is Mark Antony. You can see the sift of character as he mourns for his friends death in Act three. He was able to sway the public’s opinion of Caesar after Brutus’s speech. Mark Antony is the only trustworthy character I see because he is well grounded and is staying loyal to his friend and to Rome by reading Caesar’s will to the public.          

 

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January 21, 2019
by Stella Huitz
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Group Four:

GROUP 4 Discussion Questions:

1.“Actions speak louder than words” Do you think this is true in Shakespeare’s Rome?

2. What does the easy sway of opinion by the Romans in this scene (Act 3 scene 2)  say about Shakespeare’s Rome?

3.Brutus undergoes a drastic change of character as the play progressed. Mark Antony even mentions in his speech to the people how Brutus is a “honorable man” or rather “was” a honorable man. What does Brutus’s  actions say about his character now? What might happen to him in the next Act? Make predictions of what will happen to Brutus and to Mark Antony.

4.What was the importance of Act 3 scene 3? What can you draw out of this scene?

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