My three blog posts, covering A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and Richard III do not outwardly appear to have anything in common, though there are certain themes I’ve identified as reoccurring. While the posts all have varying topics I’ve enjoyed focusing on characters and character development in all three posts; I’ve even compared characters such as Iago in Othello to Richard III in my last post. Another theme—overlapping with characters—is focusing on elements that surprise me as a reader: Helena is a overwhelmingly modern woman figure in her pursuing of Demetrius; Feste is the most well-spoken character in Twelfth Night even though he is a clown; Richard is straight-forward in his tyrannical intentions though he can be considered both the pro and antagonist in his work. Though Shakespeare’s use of characters, I am also led to mentioning the “mix up” of social order that occurs throughout nearly all of Shakespeare’s plays. We see women becoming more masculine, intelligent fools, and terrible men striving to be heroes. Shakespeare loves these dichotomies and the concept of putting things at odds with each other; apparently I share this love with him through my blog posts.
Other common elements I’ve taken note of in my posts are the use of rhetorical questions. For example: “Was A Midsummer Night’s Dream the birth of the first love-triangle? Was this the first Chick Flick?” And “Is Richard both the pro and antagonist?! [Can] we really blame Richard of Gloucester that much for wanting to claw his way to the throne?” Even my title for my most pervious posts asks what he has that Othello doesn’t. Hopefully these questions are helpful to my peers in their analyses as well as their comments.
Overall my posts encompass the same voice; I’ve purposely tried to become as specific as possible in my explanations and citations since my first post was the broadest and perhaps unclear. However, the same first post mentions modern interpretations of Shakespeare, which I continue to think about in each of the plays I read. Shakespeare was so well-tuned into his social surroundings that almost everything he wrote about is still relevant today: questioning taboos, turning social order on its head, and so on. We see the same dichotomies: the educated/wealthy and the uneducated/poor; strict parents and rebellious children; treacherous villains and noble princes. We see love triangles and claims that “love is blind,” fickle young lovers, wise old women, nasty old men, prophets, sorcerers, fairies, and deformed beings—not only throughout the history of our literature, but in television, movies, and advertising. His stories laid the ground-work for so many stories and phrases we still love today. Through re-reading my posts, there is no doubt in my mind why we are still studying Shakespeare nearly 400 years after the publishing of the First Folio.