The first few attempts at creating an adequate blog targeted broad themes and narrow incidents or a single quality of a specific character. The two most recent posts focused on relationships between various characters rather than a theme of Shakespeare’s writing. The posts shifted towards an exploration of the text and the characters. My first post reflected on the overall theme that I felt Shakespeare was addressing. I related it to multiple characters and even to the audience for whom Shakespeare wrote. However, the second blog focused solely on evidence from the text, and did not explore the external context of the text. Similarly, the third post limited itself to the realm of the text. The last blog, although limited, questioned Shakespeare’s decisions. I find this to be both beneficial and detrimental. It allows for a deeper expression and exploration of a specific thought, but did not permit the reader (myself included) the ability to have wandering thoughts. The thoughts were limited to a specific idea and character, rather than questioning multiple avenues or instances in the play. The reader was forced onto a narrow path without many turns, and the post did not allow for many trains of thought to be taken. This was a weakness.
I would like to revisit the third blog, but I would like to take a slightly different approach. Exploring other father/son relationships to determine why Shakespeare focused so much on Aumerle and his father could present an interesting topic. Perhaps I could look into the common relationships of Shakespeare’s time and that of King Richard’s time.
My blog posts show the attention I pay to the characters and the interaction between them that is assigned by Shakespeare. I do not focus on plot development or the overarching conflicts of the plays. My fascination seems to remain with the feelings, emotions, and connections of characters, not actions. This could be result from my lack of imagination; Shakespeare employs little stage direction and focuses on dialogue (it is a play, after all). A better understanding of the demeanor of the characters when speaking could help in my conceptualization of action within the play.
The blogs have helped me to think critically about Shakespeare’s decisions within the text.They have forced me to think about the other paths he could have taken in creating the plays, and thus fostered my reasoning for why he chose the text as we read it. Reflecting upon the reasons behind the text allows me to make more connections throughout the text and the plots. It facilitates a greater understanding of the text, and also forces me to revisit the text. Any amount of time spent examining the text after the initial exposition to it strengthens my understanding or critical thinking of it. It is almost like having a class discussion of the text with my mind adapting multiple perspectives. Although I previously expressed disappointment with my use of questions within the posts to explore a specific idea, questioning the text guided my thoughts regarding character development. Questioning is still pertinent to the blog posts, but the slew of questions I ask myself may not need to be included in the post. Using them as guidance to lead to ideas is helpful. However, I need to refrain from limiting the path that my ideas follow.