My blog posts have so far been about the main themes in Shakespeare and how they are manifested. I have tried to also explore any variations on these themes and also provide examples as well as my own speculation. In my first post I started with power and manipulation in The Taming of the Shrew, how it trickles down from more prominent characters such as Petruccio to lower-class characters such as Curtis. I talked about Petruccio’s motivations, Katherine’s reactions to him, and lastly her final speech. This post was my longest but I can tell how unconfident I felt writing it and wish that I was more concise and used less uncertain or passive language. I do like the larger amount of examples (8) I used from the text though. In my second post I wrote about the structure of Richard II and Richard II as a character. I highlighted how his inexperience is shown, the effects of starting in media res, and finally random questions I had about the historical context of the play. I used 4 examples and fewer rhetorical questions but also less uncertain language such as “perhaps” or “seems.” I can see myself getting more confident with my blogs and my third post is about Falstaff and Hal’s relationship and the nature of Hal’s position as the King’s son. I feel the best about this post despite its length but could have used more than the just the 2 examples from the text.
I have stuck with exploring power and manipulation in relationships between characters but I also tackle Shakespeare’s language and use of structure. My posts progressively became shorter in length, more informal in tone but more concrete as far as my points. For example, I used more rhetorical questions and unsure language in my first two than my last one. I feel I was more confident in my third post and the reduction in size as time went on was more a result of focusing on concision and choosing my examples more efficiently. I was surprised at how thorough and precise I thought I was being at the time because looking back now I could have been way less vague. In my third post I could have spent more energy on explaining the duplicity of Hal’s position as being both a prince and a careless youth. This is an idea that I would like to return to in the future.
I feel my blogs show that my experience with Shakespeare so far is very speculative and that in order to reach the level of concrete analysis that I’d like for myself I need to think with more of an open mind to the possibilities of simple close reading. My strategy seemed to be with these posts to pick a theme and then find supporting evidence, but looking back this strategy seems forced and could have been planned better, for example, by picking specific parts of the work and developing themes from there. Also I realize I could have been exploring more unique topics other than just the main themes. Perhaps aspects of a work that I had found interesting while reading but forgot about by the time posting came around. I value the pressure of having to post to blackboard for the rest of the class. It makes me think harder about the information I post although I can get a little too vague in making sure that I don’t post anything specific that is misleading or inaccurate.