Shakespeare’s view on life

One similarity seen with hamlet and some of Shakespeare’s sonnets that we looked at in class is their outlook on life. As a tragedy, hamlet is written to show the negative affects that human decisions can have. It makes life seem almost hopeless… As if we are all doomed to this fate. Although many of the sonnets we read focused mainly on love and how glorious it can be, the thing that relates them to hamlet is the tone that they used when discussing “the end”, or the effects of ones decisions. Sonnet 18 shows that with time, beauty will naturally fade as a result of life. Sonnet 29 shows the fault in our society, social rejection, which leads to self loathing. Sonnet 1 shows the negative effects that selfish decisions have on others. These comparisons show the correlation between hamlet and Shakespeare’s sonnets. They both show that humans are doomed to a tragic fate that we have predestined, simply because we’re human.

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#7- How Hamlet Relates to Crime and Punishment

Hamlet and Crime and Punishment are both novels that we’ve read that have involved murders and question the idea of morality.  Both Hamlet and Raskolnikov struggle within themselves to determine if their actions are justified or not.  Raskolnikov’s internal conflict is more severe than Hamlet’s, as he is constantly going back and forth, deciding whether or not he should act, or if he should reveal himself to be the murderer.  He has a stronger sense of guilt.  Hamlet, however, decides pretty quickly that murdering would be justified because it would be avenging his father’s death.  Both of these characters suffer the consequences of their actions:  Raskolnikov punishes himself, with unending guilt, while Hamlet ends up dying himself. The idea of sanity is also brought up in both of these works.  Raskolnikov is seen as insane due to his fickle actions and the way he freaks out under pressure.  Hamlet makes himself seem insane, perhaps because of his deep depression due to the loss of his father. Neither of these cases are confirmed, but the idea is brought to light in both works, questioning whether an insane person’s actions would be more easily justified.

Who is William Blake?

One of the first things that stood out to me when I looked up William Blake’s biography was the few disagreements that he had with fellow artists.  I think the reason that this stood out to me was because of the most recent of his poems that we have read, “To the Muses,” which questions/criticizes the passion/inspiration behind other artist’s works.  Blake supposedly had conflict with the men he was working under, both as an apprentice under James Basire and as a student at the Royal Academy.  In both of these cases, Blake had stylistic differences and was not impressed with the artists’ attitudes.  These experiences in his personal life probably played a large role in his style of poetry, and his common idea found in them of rebellion, as well as the meaning itself of the poem, “To the Muses.”  

Being baptized into the Moravian church as a kid, Christianity played a large role on Blake’s life and influenced his poems in a great way.  He was Protestant, and in 1780, he was supposedly joining in with the Gidion Riots, protesting the revoking of sanctions against Roman Catholicism.  The Church and religious concepts seemed to conflict Blake for the entirety of his, because in a large number of his poems, he seemed to question the point of good and evil, life and death, as well as other aspects of the Christian faith.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Shortly after Beasts of the Southern Wild came out onto DVD in 2012, we rented it for family movie night. I was so excited because it had received such great reviews, so I had high expectations going into the experience.  The main character, a little girl, Hushpuppy, was what actually grabbed my attention.  She was so adorable and authentic, making it hard to believe that she was only six when the movie was filmed.  The film is about a Bayou community called the “Bathtub” that is being struck with a hurricane.  It shows the characters experiences and struggles in a very real way, which I appreciated.  However, come the end of the story, I did not feel any type of resolution inside.  I felt that there was a false sense of hope.  The creatures called Aurochs” from the melting ice caps were shown roaming free, but I did not get the symbolism.  They could not possibly be symbolizing Hushpuppy, because she is not found free, rather what appeared to me to be trapped in a life of despair as a result of her father dying and her still not really having a mother.  The movie ended in a weird place for me, where I was not quite satisfied.  It disappointed me, because I had heard such great things.  I think that artistically, it was beautiful, and it was very authentic and believable, but as far as a typical story following the standard plot structure, I was unimpressed.  I never really did much about my frustration; I just remember turning off the movie and saying, “That’s it?” I still wonder today what so many other people saw in the movie that I was unable to.  It makes me want to watch it again, knowing what I know now about it.  

Samuel Barclay Beckett. Who Dat?

There were several events in Beckett’s life that helped shape him as a writer. The first significant event being the death of his father, which scarred him psychologically.  The next big event was his joining into the French Resistance during WWII.  He was doing dangerous work, and the fact that he rarely spoke about those experiences in his later life leads me to believe that they were also psychologically scarring and painful to relive.  The biggest influence on Beckett’s writing style, however, were the other writers around him.  He felt that there was a repetitiveness to the common writing, of an overboard of knowledge, causing him to embrace his own stupidity and his interest in ignorance and impotence in his writing.  He is a main example of a playwright in the “Theater of the Absurd,” which was a style of plays filled with hopeless situations, meaninglessness, nonsense, and illogical thought. These thoughts and attitudes are very prevalent in the writing of Waiting for Godot, in the fact that it is a story where absolutely nothing happens… told twice!

Drown Project Review

Alyssa and I worked together to make a comic book of our interpretation of the short story “Negocios” in Drown. We decided to do a comic book, rather than an acting performance, for a few reasons. One, we had just done a filmed performance for The Laramie Project project, and we wanted to try something new. Two, we figured that a lot of other groups would be acting, and we wanted to be different. And three, we thought a comic book would be fun, and an easy medium to work on from separate locations. 

I’m just going to be completely honest, due to the situation, Alyssa really took the reigns on this, and I’m so thankful for that. We planned it out together and decided which scenes we were going to incorporate, and we both worked to find some clip art for the book. But as far as execution, she did most of the work. She used the software to put it all together and she had to present alone, seeing as I was unable to be there. I have talked to her this afternoon and she told me that there were printed off copies that the class read out loud. I’m not sure how the class received our comic book, but I know that i am very pleased with the final result. I think I should probably get a B, because I was not able to be the best partner for this and I wasn’t even there to present, but Alyssa should definitely get an A because of all the hard work she put into it. I think, ultimately, we were able to use the clip art to provide the class with mental images to go along with the story of “Negocios”, which was our goal.

By working on this project, I learned 1st off, how to make a comic book. I had never done anything like this previously. I learned that picking the key moments of a story like “Negocios” can be really challenging. Deciding which “scenes” to use was sort of a difficult process, because we felt that they were all so important to giving background into Papi’s life and revealing his character. Lastly, I learned that Alyssa Anderson is the greatest :).

The Hero’s Journey As it Applies to Ree

There are twelve common steps that occur in the Hero’s Journey that was created by Christopher Vogler. Ree’s journey throughout Winter’s Bone can be paralleled to this guide. I will evaluate which of these twelve steps apply to Ree, and how, if so.

1. The World of Common Day-  Ree lives in a small, poor town found in the Ozarks. She leads a normal life, considering her surroundings and lives the only way she knows how.

2. The Call to Adventure- Deputy Baskin shows up to report that Jessup is on the run and has signed over the house for his bond. Unless Ree can get him to show up at court, the house will be taken away.

3. Refusal of the Call- I don’t think that this point applies to Ree’s journey. She never even questions whether or not she should go looking for Jessup. For her, it is a matter of survival. She will do what she has to in order to be able to continue providing for her family.

4. Meeting with the Mentor- This step definitely doesn’t occur in Ree’s journey. By contrast, everyone that she meets with tries to convince her not to go after Jessup. She is told again and again that it will be impossible, but despite these discouragements, she vows that she will find her father. 

5. Crossing the First Threshold- Ree goes to ask Teardrop for guidance and assistance. He is unresponsive and warns against further investigation. This foreshadows how hard the rest of the journey is going to be, and how little people are going to be willing to help. 

6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies- Ree goes to visit Little Arthur, where she learns nothing. She visits Thump Milton, where he refuses to even meet with her. Then she goes to meet Blond Milton, where he only offers to take care of Sonny for her. None of these encounters lead Ree any closer to finding Jessup.

7. Approach to the Inmost Cave- After talking with Satterfield, Ree realizes that one of the Milton’s must have killed Jessup. She heads back to Thump Milton’s house, certain that she’ll find information this time.

8. The Supreme Ordeal- The women of the Milton household beat Ree up until she is in an extremely bad condition, because they assumed that Ree knew it was they (the Miltons) who killed Jessup.

9. Reward- Seizing the Prize- After recovering, the Thump sisters show up at Ree’s door and take her to see where Jessup’s dead body is. When she sees it, she has to saw off both of his hands in order to present them to court to prove that he’s truly dead.

10. The Road Back- After presenting Jessups’s hands to Deputy Baskin, Ree has to lie to him about how she obtained them. She does this in order to protect herself and the Miltons.

11. Threshold Crossing “Resurrection”- Ree is now promised to have her house because Jessup is proven to actually be dead. Ree is also granted the bond money. She can now buy a car and leave the Ozarks to go somewhere new where she can start over and live a good life with her brothers.

12. Return with Elixir- “Freedom to Live”- It’s possible that I just don’t understand the definition of elixir, but I don’t think that this part applies to Ree’s journey.