After reflecting on my posts, I find that I write a lot about what I think the texts are critiquing or exposing social structures in Elizabethan England. I’m interested in teasing out whether the text makes arguments for or against topics like otherness, royal hierarchies, and gender roles. Generally, I find myself writing about broad themes in Shakespeare, but taking a scene or two from the text to prove my point about the text as a whole.
In my first blog post I wrote about gender roles in the first scene of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but then I jumped to how the Mechanicals were putting on the play for the royal wedding. Although I called the third scene a foil to the first, I did not make the explicit connection to how these scenes work together. In the next two posts though, I feel that I have had a more narrowed thesis and therefore I was able to cover more of what I set out to do. After getting feedback from Professor Mulready about the incoherence of my first post, I was able to refine my arguments more specifically. I find that my blog posts raise questions about what questions Shakespeare is attempting to raise, yet I do not aggressively argue for side or another. My posts serve to expose issues that Shakespeare might be raising.
I’d be interested to revisit Richard III with the idea of the play as a critique of fate and royal hierarchies, and revisit Twelfth Night through the lens of how appearance is deceiving. I feel as if I could add evidence to both of these posts, and create a more in depth argument for either—I think I could put these themes in conversation with other plays we’ve been reading as well if I was going to make a full paper out of my argument.
Both aspects of blogging help the way I think about a complex author like Shakespeare. During the week that I must come up with an argument, I find myself engaging more closely with the text by looking for a theme that interests me that I can expand upon for the blog. On the week I must respond, I get to see how my classmates are engaging with the text, which gives me a different perspective from when I was reading the plays on my own.