Looking back on my blog postings earlier in this semester I was pleasantly pleased with my writing. I had remembered my posts being fairly contrived but I was happy with some of the points I forgot I made; I suppose the cynic’s worst critic is himself.
My first post was regarding The Merchant of Venice and explored the fourth act of the play in which the characters are attempting to come to a final resolution about the many debts owed in this story. I examined the ethical dilemma surrounding the actions and treatment of Shylock in this act. Specifically, I reacted with split emotions to Shylock’s behavior. On the one hand, Shylock is being an outwardly violent and cruel wretch, demanding his agreed upon settlement of a pound of Antonio’s flesh. As objectively as we can view the situation, Shylock’s request is absurd and would send a man to his grave. Conversely, Antonio knowingly agreed to the terms of their contract so Shylock’s insistance on his collection, while disturbed, is inarguably warranted. Despite his blood-lust, I see Shylock as the victim here. I’d call him a product of his environment, reacting with violence and agression against the characters in this play who treat him as cruelly mainly because of his religion. Commenters on my post shared similar sentiments, those of split feelings of sympathy and criticism for Shylock.
In my second post, I looked at the rulers in Henry IV and explored the characteristics that each have and which characteristics make a good king. I commented that most of the candidates for the crown were all severly flawed in different ways that would make them poor rulers and that the only person who had a claim to the throne was Prince Harry, although he was still massively immature. Yet, Harry understood the way the game was played; he acted immature and aloof so that once the crown was his, expectations on him would be lowered and people would revere his leadership skills. Yet later in the play, Harry really does seem to understand the responsibility of the crown and begins to take it seriously which I find to be a turn not even Harry expected.
Overall I think that my blogs, while making good points, could use more depth and specificity. Diving deeper into ideas could definitely be something my writing and idea development could benefit from. Punctuality is also another issue I would be happy to be rid of. I like the external blog assignments because they allow for more critical thinking on topics we address in class and give us the chance to form our own opinions and conclusions from our readings and compare or contrast those with our peers. I understand and appreciate the value of such an experience, my problem is that I let things fall by the wayside (as he posts his entry some 19 hours late). Discipline and diligence are my main areas of weakness, I think, and I would like to use the last few weeks of this semester to fortify those.