In looking back at my blog posts, I realized that my posts all tend to focus on characters: their identities, actions and motivations for those actions.
My first post on A Midsummer Night’s Dream was titled “Shakespeare’s Complex Characterization.” I wrote it about the love square between Helena, Hermia, Lysander, and Demetrius, and the ways in which each of the characters do or do not break out of their stereotypes; the people that the audience expect them to be. However, I did not go nearly as far with this analysis as I should have, and relied much more than I should have on plot summary. The post is primarily an exploration of my thoughts on the characters, but it does not have a solid argument or thesis statement. If I could redo this post, I would potentially explore why it is that Shakespeare chose to structure the story this way and what the play is showing us about love through this plot device and the fluidity of the characters relationships with each other. I would also focus more on gender roles and how Hermia and Helena both break female stereotypes in their characterizations.
My second post on Twelfth Night was titled “We are who we pretend to be.” In this post, I chose to focus on three specific characters: Viola, Feste, and Malvolio, the ways that they disguise themselves, and how those disguises relate to whom they truly are. Viola is a very strong and independent character who displays a lot of qualities that would normally be attributed to men, especially in her society. In disguising herself as a man she is inadvertently portraying herself as she truly is on the inside and is given the ability to show others a side of herself that she wouldn’t have previously been able to. Feste, in disguising himself as a jester, is able to finally get to be the intelligent person that he is deep down without having to act as a fool because that’s how people perceive him. Malvolio, in being tricked into appearing crazy, ends up becoming so and making the audience wonder how much of his behavior is characteristic of the situation and how much is his true self. This in my opinion is probably my most effective blog post. However, if I could go back I would use more quotes and make more specific references to the text and proof for my analysis. I would also make sure to include more characters who disguise themselves in more ways than physical, such as Sir Andrew, as one of my commentators stated on the post.
My last post on Richard III was titled “The Idea of Power.” In this post I spoke about how characters in Richard III as well as some of Shakespeare’s other works are all focus on the gaining power, but yet those who have power aren’t happier or much better off than those who don’t; they’re still fighting with others about it. In my opinion the characters are much more interested in the idea of power than the thing itself. The majority of my post, though, was much more of an observation than an analysis and I did not delve into the text enough to truly support this argument with the text. If I could go back and do it again I would make my points much more details and supportive of my argument.
Overall, each of my posts had good intent, but none were as developed as they could and should have been. In the future I will make sure to make my arguments clearly stated and always provide textual evidence to support them.