I find that in my posts I tend to focus a lot on theme of gender and relationships between characters. Shakespeare intricately incorporates gender into his plays for added complexity and tension.
For my first post I thought about the comedy of the relationship between Oberon and Titania, and I focused a lot on how the toxicity of their relationship was seeping into their surrounding worlds, including the lives of the other characters as well as the functions of the natural universe.
For my second post I found I was able to do a better analysis of the text and write a lot more about a topic that truly intrigued me. Again, I decided to write about inter-textual relationships, and how this added another layer of tension to the play. Writing on Twelfth Night, I was intrigued by the way Shakespeare used gender to promote comedy, and by leaving the characters almost androgynists, Shakespeare left room for fluidity in the relationships, and in the movement of the plot as a whole.
My Third post focused on a woman character (Lady Anne), and the unsettling feeling I was left with after reading Act 1 scene 3 of Richard the III. I delved more into her role as a mourning wife, and her immense vulnerability.
What surprised me while glancing back is my frequent struggle between understanding Shakespeare as a contemporary reader, and as the audience of his time would have grasped him and his works. Both perceptions are important to me in my study of Shakespeare and I find myself going back and fourth between the two when I interpret the texts. For example, I tend to think a lot about the roles of the women in Shakespeare’s plays as a contemporary, as well as his play on gender as a whole. I feel that I am prone to noticing LGBT themes and suggestive language in Shakespeare’s plays because of the huge emphasis that is placed on sexual orientation in my own society. I feel that the ability to parallel Shakespeare with contemporary ideas, keeps Shakespeare’s texts alive and relevant for me at least. I truly enjoy considering both the past and the present while reading these plays, and being able to express my burning concerns with the disorderly world of Shakespeare through blog form is a therapeutic and fun process.