From the beginning of the course, I see that my blog posts generally focus on culture. I contemplate family relationships and women’s rights in my first post, where in my second post I discuss the culture behind being King, and the support that the people lend to an absolute ruler. Generally I write about topics like this because they are what interest me the most in the play at the time. I write not because I think that I can say the most about an idea, but because a line or section reminded me of themes that interest me in the non-literary world.
While reading The Taming of the Shrew, I wrote a post entitled, “‘Court her at your pleasure’: Father and Daughter Dynamics in The Taming of the Shrew”. For my post’s inspiration I was most intrigued by the line, “Leave as you have to court her at your pleasure” (1.1, 54). I have an interest in the treatment of women in Shakespeare’s time, and decided to explore this in my post. Re-reading it now, I still feel confident that Baptista was desperate to get rid of Katherine and that he showed no pride in her. If I had the chance, I would consider going back and elaborating on Baptista’s treatment of Bianca because she is the total opposite of her sister. This small section would have furthered my point, and would have shown how a father from Shakespeare’s time would have handled a well-mannered daughter’s marriage affairs.
My second post at the end of reading King Richard the Second entitled “The Power of Divinity” went in a different direction than my first post. This time, I took a hypothetical stance on Richard II over Henry IV, and what would have happened if Richard II was not killed. My thinking was that Richard II could have possibly regained rule if he was alive, and I set out to prove that this could have been the case. I think that I could have added some more content to support this theory, such as including more information on Aumerle’s possible allegiance with Richard II. If I write a similar piece in the future, I would have liked to play a bit of devil’s advocate and argue for Henry IV’s sake. By providing an opposing view and then disproving it, I would have made my case even stronger.
As the class has moved along in the course, I see that my comments on other students’ posts have become more analytic in nature. At first, I simply would agree with the poster’s statement and provide some anecdotal evidence. To be honest, I was not as interested in the play that I provided minimal analysis for— Romeo and Juliet— because I had little else to question. I read the play five times in total, and the reading became less enthralling every time. This is not to say that I did not pay attention to the piece; I certainly did. Once we began reading Henry IV however, I enjoyed myself far more than expected. I believe this is why my questioning became more engaging. I had more interest in the text, and therefore had more to think about question-wise.
I really do think that the weekly blogging assignments allow us all to further critically think about the texts. Not only do we write about themes that we discuss in class, each of us bring up ideas that our other classmates have not consider beforehand. Visiting these ideas lets us see the multiple perspectives in the class, making for diverse discussion. Sure we can solely go over the weekly questions assigned and answer those, but that shouldn’t be our only means of discussion. Critical discussion with ample opportunities to reply to other students is very helpful in further analyzing Shakespeare’s works, and allows all students to be scholars for their peers.