Tara Butler Midterm Blog Post

Looking over the three blog posts I have composed thus far, I have noticed an improvement, I think, in the way I construct my responses. My first blog post received a three out of four, and my last two posts received a four out of four. I am a big fan of constructive criticism; I have high standards for myself when it comes to school, so any feedback that helps me improve my grades is something I am grateful for. I thought my writing had been decent and that my post adhered to the rubric. However, the comments I received informed me that my post was lacking an appropriate amount of quotes. I would like to think that I remedied that error in future blog posts.

When I approached the first blog post, I knew that I wanted to address the topic of class structure. Our in-class discussions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream covered a wide range of topics, but to me, they all seemed tied to this idea of class structure that Shakespeare presents in the play. Each character seemed heavily influenced by his or her status in society. I thought this would be an interesting idea to explore, especially considering the various ways in which the class structure is presented and critiqued. It is presented in the human characters, the mystical characters, and is even relevant to the audience who would have watched this play performed. In hindsight, my post would have been stronger had I supported it with more textual evidence.

In the next two posts, I focused more on issues dealing with emotions rather than strictly social issues. My post for Much Ado About Nothing was fun to write since that is my favorite Shakespearian play. I was excited to explore whether or not eavesdropping, a practice many of the characters partake in, could result in a positive outcome. In my reading of Othello, I took note of how several characters trust the wrong person, or people, and ultimately suffer the consequences for it. I had noticed this was somewhat of a theme in the plays we read so far, and I could understand why Shakespeare would be drawn to this idea. Even today, people have a tendency to act with their hearts instead of their heads and to hear what they want to hear or believe what they want to believe. This often results in believing, trusting, or being influenced by a person who is either misinformed or has malicious intentions.

I think the reason I tend to be drawn to topics dealing with social and emotional issues is that I find these topics the most relatable. I am fascinated whenever I read a piece of literature or a play from centuries ago that deals with issues that are still present within our society. I think this says a lot about the human species; we have made extraordinary advances and have grown socially, but there is still a lot of room for improvement and growth. As I grew older and became more socially conscious, I began to notice the social norms that our society is rooted in. I began to wonder where these social norms came from and why they have persisted for so long. It is interesting to see how these literary archetypes that were created centuries ago are still being used today. It goes without saying that the longer we allow these archetypes to exist in literature, film, and television, the longer our society will expect men and women to adhere to these roles.

Overall, I have enjoyed this blogging assignment. I have found that it forces me to examine the plays more deeply than I have in other Shakespeare classes I have taken, and, as a result, I understand and enjoy the plays more. Furthermore, I prefer this style of assessment since it allows us to explore topics that actually interest us, rather than being assigned a topic or asked to complete a rigorous written exam covering a wide range of material. I think that I, and certainly many others, perform better when allowed to write on my own time and in a less stressful environment. Lastly, I have enjoyed commenting on my peers blog posts and in return, receiving comments on my own blog posts. In many cases, comments I have received have expanded upon my topic, allowing me to understand it better and think about it in a way I might have never thought of.

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