(After a series of computer related mishaps, including crashes, improper shutdowns, Google refusing to let me sign out of my hawkmail account, refusing to recognize my non-hawkmail account, and very possibly a temporary deletion of said account. This eventful journey finally culminated in several choruses of profanity, head-banging-on-desk stomp numbers, and a now working Google account from which I submit this Blog Post):
Going back and rereading my own blogs makes the old blog seem like a foreign language, a different person in a different time and tongue carving out ideas that seem to have once mirrored my own. The mind alters; new ideas and interpretations come and merge, meld, or even erase old conceptions. What is worse, I look back at the blogs and see a theme I hadn’t meant to express, and wish beyond all reason that I could go back and rewrite what I had said. For example, my first two blogs, when read from a new time and different perspective, can easily be read as “In Defense of Shakespeare” posts. I argue that Taming of the Shrew is not anti-feminist, and The Merchant of Venice is not anti-Semitic. This was not, of course, my intent, but now I hear myself as a childish Shakespeare nerd, shaking my head in defiance when someone insults my bard.
Something else I notice while rereading the relics of blogs past was that I tend to focus on specific characters; first Kate and Petruchio, then Shylock, and then Richard II. I suppose I am influenced by my theatrical background, specifically that of an actor, and imagine the different ways these characters could be interpreted and my writing draws from those ethereal imaginings. I know that, especially in the first two blogs, my work is heavily based on the idea of interpretation. Each company and cast imagines the text differently, and that is what changes Shylock from a cold-heart villain to an oppressed and bullied man of revenge, and what changes a mean, cold, brutish Petruchio (like John Cleese), into a playful, acrobatic clown with a massive codpiece (you remember the clip).
My blog on Richard II is the most different from the three piece cannon of my blogs. Instead of focusing on interpretation of a character, I focus on the words of a specific speech of Richard. I approached the text as something closer to a poetry explication rather than an actor’s analysis. Despite remaining closer to the text, my “King of Discontent” blog does not completely separate from the performance field because I still talk of Richard as a character, his words defending, describing, and justifying his own actions, or condemning those of others. I cannot account for the shift to a more textual analysis other than that at the same time I wrote that, I was also working on a poetry explication for another class. It is interesting how one paper can influence another work.
What I value the most in blogging is the freedom to write about anything I want to write about. Although I am an English major as well, much of my interest in Shakespeare comes from a theatrical background rather than a literature one, and having the ability to approach a text and write about it from a theatrical angle is not only quite satisfying, it links my two majors together in a way that many other classes would not and even cannot allow.