Midterm Evaluation

All of my blog posts so far have received perfect scores, so in one sense I’ve nothing to complain about. Still, in reading my three posts, I find that I have certain nagging issues with all three of them. I wasn’t exactly surprised by that reaction, as I tend to be rather pessimistic in my evaluation of my own writing. But it does go to show that one can always learn from their past work and make improvements. Ideally, my evaluation of these three posts will allow me to do just that.

My first blog post is about the romantic relationships in Twelfth Night; specifically, how the deceitful nature of the many characters helps to illustrate the hollowness of the characters’ feelings. Most of this analysis comes in one large paragraph where I briefly go over the different relationships in the play and display their inherent shallowness. The points I made about the relationships were sound, but I feel I should have gone into more detail with all of them. Of course, these blog posts aren’t supposed to be overly long, and it’s not as though my post was shorter than the requirements, so I suppose it is a bit of a nitpick. Still, I feel I could have done better with this one.

My second blog post contains a very similar theme from the first one, as it is again an analysis of a play’s portrayal of romance (in this case, the romance between Benedick and Beatrice). Given that the two-dimensional romances in many of Shakespeare’s plays tend to irritate me, it does not surprise me that I chose to write about the instances where I felt he managed to overcome that weakness (although he overcomes them in entirely different ways in the two plays). This post, however, was a bit more general than the former, as I attempted to discuss the overall relationship rather than one specific element of it. That topic is a rather large one, and probably too ambitious for a blog post meant to be 500 words long; it likely would have been better served in a longer essay. I think I did okay with the length that I did have, but it might be better in the future to choose a topic with a bit more specificity.

My third blog post takes a shift from the romance angle of the first two, but there is still a similarity, as I am still displaying an interest in a development that defies the trends seen in many Shakespeare plays. In this case, I discuss how Shakespeare surprisingly kept Iago alive at the end of Othello, and how the character’s ultimate fate is actually an even more painful one than the usual death that so many characters meet in tragedies. This post is probably my simplest, with a simple idea and a simple execution of it. As a result, it is simultaneously and paradoxically the post which I have the fewest issues with and the one which I find the least interesting. Nothing is inherently wrong with it, but it is not the most memorable of posts. There are worse writing sins, but it’s one I’d like to avoid in the future all the same.

In general, I find it interesting that I’ve been focusing on the ways that the plays we’ve read differ from other Shakespeare plays. On one level, that trend displays my growth as a reader of Shakespeare; I would not have been able to make those kind of judgments a year ago. And in spite of my nitpicking, I still feel that my three blog posts are basically fine; I won’t lose sleep over any of them. But after reading these three posts, I’m interested in seeing both what my future ones will be about and whether I can make the necessary improvements.

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