Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Dramatic Significance of Autolycus in The Winter's Tale

In the play The Winter’s Tale, the character named Autolycus infuses the play with comedic energy. The play begins in the winter and expresses the turmoil that devastated the Sicilian kingdom; and is juxtaposed to the spring that overwhelms the remainder of the play is highlighted with the light hearted humour delivered by Autolycus. Although his role in the play is perceived as minor, the hilarity of each scene that his is featured adds to the play's entertainment.
In each scene that Autolycus is introduced, he enters singing. The songs that he sings often times reflect the setting and what will transpire in the scene. His singing is almost taunting and mocking of the other unsuspecting characters in the play, however it reveals to the audience his deceptive and comical ways. This musical attribute maintain the audiences interest and keeps them entertained.
In Act 4, Scene 3, Autolycus disguises himself as a servant to a kinsman who has just been beaten and robbed by a man on foot. The Shepherd’s son, Clown becomes a victim to his trickery as he offers help to the “ailing” Autolycus. The robber whom Autolycus accuses of the crime shares the exact features that he himself possesses. The audience is left to witness the oblivious Clown be robbed by the alleged plaintiff. The Clown who is unsuspected offers money to Autolycus who has already helped himself to the contents of his pocket. This vagabond succeeds in his endeavour due to the naive nature of the Clown.
Autolycus, although a vagabond, he is also an opportunist. He assists Florizel and Perdita to escape the wrath of Polixenes and having them flee to Sicilia to seek Leontes’ help. He also uses the opportunity to escape persecution for his own wrong actions. This aids in the revelation of Perdita’s identity and the concretes Autolycus’ new role as the Shepherd’s loyal servant. His treacherous ways prove to be somewhat beneficial in the end.
The role of Autolycus is ideal in lightening the initial winter struck mood of the play. His deceitful peddling ways aided in the entertainment and the comedic underlying that was much need in the play.

Role of Disguise in The Winter's Tale

Disguise is an element that is often present in play in order to add to dramatic prowess. Disguise refers to the manner in which characters in the play, alter their appearance to prevent disclosure of their identity. In the play, The Winter’s Tale, the characters employ the use of disguise, to reveal truths about themselves and each other.

Perdita is the begotten daughter of King of Sicilia, Leontes. After being abandoned, she was raised by a goodly shepherd in Bohemia. She is a clear example of unintentional disguise due to her unknown status when she was found. She grows up as a Shepherd girl and is later pursued by the Prince of Bohemia, Florizel who is oblivious to her royal blood but falls in love nonetheless. When her disguise is revealed however, it does not alter the relationship that was developed between herself and Florizel. Florizel disguises himself as a commoner; however, he is a prince as Perdita is a princess. However, this disguise is intentional as to ensure that Perdita’s love is true and not guided by promise of wealth. This disguise shows Florizel underlying distrust in women who are not of “royal blood” as he feels unsure if they can love a prince for his character and not his social stature.

King of Bohemia, Polixenes and Camillo disguise themselves in order to investigate the reason for the prince’s absence in his royal curt. Polixenes displays his over protective and imperious traits as he disguises himself to spy on Florizel. The disguise reveals that the welfare of Florizel is considered dearly by his father. It is rather an extreme action for a King to carry out but gives the audience insight to the depth of a father’s love.

Autolycus disguises himself as various characters in the play which adds comedy to the play, as the audience knows something that the characters are not conscious. The peddler traits of Autolycus are highlighted in every scene that he is present and lightens the former winter struck mood that was littered in Acts 1-3. He is first seen disguised as a nobleman who was allegedly robbed by a man who shares the same likings as himself, however, the Shepherd’s son, Clown, falls into his deceptive trap and is robbed by the clever thief. His deceptive antics, however aid in revealing various truths hidden in the play such as Perdita’s true identity.

Shakespeare often employs the use of disguise to heighten dramatic agility and The Winter’s Tale is no different. The underlying truths that are hidden within the play are effectively revealed by the use of this literary element.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Winter's Tale - Evidence of Foreshadowing in the play

In the play, The Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare, there is evidence of foreshadowing. This foreshadowing happens at different intervals of the play, however are all vital in maintaining the audience’s interest and enhancing drama within the plot.

In Act One Scene One, the dialogue between Archidamus and Camillo foreshadows events that will be revealed in the play. The admirable conversation of the King of Sicilia and Bohemia’s bond that has flourished since childhood is seen as unbreakable. The praise given to this friendship gives the audience whim of the downfall that is soon to come. The talk of young Mamillius as
“a gentle man of the greatest promise that ever came into note” (Act 1: Scene 1: Line 32-34)
foreshadows the f=death of this young prince. This is solidified By Archidamus’ response that
“if the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one” (Act 1: Scene 1: Line 43-44).
These small innuendoes disclose to the audience what is to come and urges them to stay tuned. This first scene set the tone for teh rest of the play and gained the audience's interest.

In Act Two, Scene Three, the audience witnesses the revelation of Mamillius sickness since his mother was imprisoned for adultery. Hermione has been separated from her son and sent to prison for allegedly committing adultery with King of Bohemia, Polixenes and conspiring to kill King Leontes with Camillo. She is separated from Mamillius who is quickly affected by her absence. The King asks in dear concern for his only heir,
“How does the boy?” (Act 2: Scene 3: Line 11)
. The talk of Mamillius as a “gallant child” in Act One has dwindled and the audience begins to fear the worst as the servant replies to the King
“Tis hoped his sickness is discharged” (Act 2: Scene 3: Line 13).
In Act Three, Scene Two, King Leontes has called for his prisoner and wife, Hermione to receive the judgement from the Oracle. Many within the Sicilian kingdom have pressured the King to have mercy on his wife as they believe that she in virtuous and innocent. A jealous Leontes has risked a lot with his adulterous accusation, even by shunning Hermione new born daughter, regarding her bastard and having her abandoned in a forest. The judgement of the Oracle is thus important to Leontes to prove those around him wrong and himself right as their supreme ruler. The judgement of the Oracle was retrieved by Cleomenes and Dion, arrives and is read. It states
“Hermione is chaste; Polixenes blameless; Camillo a true subject; Leontes a jealous tyrant; innocent babe truly begotten ad the king shall live without an heir, if that which is lost be not found”, (Act 3; Scene 2: Line 137-141)
. The subject of Leontes rejoiced in Hermione’s innocence; however Leontes dismissed the Oracle’s prophecy and continues in his jealous tirade. Suddenly, it is reported that Mamillius has passed due to fear that he will lose his mother, and Hermione takes the news as impetus to swoon. The Oracle’s word quickly comes to pass as Hermione is pronounced dead as well. Leontes’ kingdom begins to crumble as he loses his heirs to the throne, the newborn baby is lost. She remains lost for sixteen years. Leontes, the jealous tyrant mourns for these years all whilst still hoping his daughter will be found.

In Act Five, Scene Five, Leontes’ family is restored, ironically joining together his family with that of his child hood friend Polixenes.. Leontes’ begotten daughter, Perdita has agreed to marry the prince of Bohemia, Florizel who knows her as a shepherd girl and not a princess. However, Polixenes disagrees with this marriage which forces the two youth to flee to Sicilia to seek Leontes’ help. It is then revealed that Perdita is Leontes’ living heir and Leontes mourning is dissolved.Paulina who has kept Leontes from marriage over the years has foreshadowed in that action that Hermione was somehow still alive. She reveals a statue of Hermione in her home, which comes to life. Leontes' family is restored and he acknowledged his wrongs.

The foreshadowing techniques that Shakespeare employs aids grasping the audience's attention an dmaintaing it throughout the play. These different aspect of foreshadowing truly emphasises the good quality of work that was produced by the playwright and indeeed deserves great applause.

Tutorial Assignment: The Winter's Tale- Character Sketch and Sumnmary

Character Sketch
Archidamus – A lord of Bohemia, who shows great admiration for the friendship shared between the King of Bohemia, Polixenes and the King of Sicilia, Leontes.

Camillo- A servant of Sicilia, who finds himself caught between loyalty to his King and the protection of the King of Bohemia’s innocence. He proves to be a good judge as he courageously refutes the claims made by Leontes against Hermione. He seeks Polixenes best interest when he is ordered by Leontes to poison him but instead flees to Bohemia. Camillo was loyal and trustworthy to both kings.

Leontes- He is King of Sicilia, with a remarkable temper and jealous streak. He accuses his wife, Hermione and child hood friend, King of Bohemia, Polixenes of committing adultery and conspiring to take his life. He feels betrayed by those around him and tries his best to convince those around him that his wife was indeed untrue. Infused in jealousy, he breaks apart his family, marriage, and friendships. He was a man who trusted in the prophecies of the Oracle of Apollo; however he dismissed the judgement of the Oracle when the innocence of Hermione was proven. He is unable to realise the damage he has done, and quickly looses those he loves and lives a life of regret. The oracle allowed that if his daughter was found then he would be redeemed and forgiven.
Hermione- She is the Queen of Sicilia. Introduced at nine months pregnant, she is revealed as a kind, virtuous, loving and humble individual who is respected and praised by those around her. Although shocked by her husband’s accusations of her infidelity, not once did Hermione act un-ladylike or disrespect her King and husband. She is a loving mother who enjoys the company of her son, Mamillius; however, she loses her composure when the news of her son’s death is revealed.

Polixenes- He is the King of Bohemia and child hood friend of Leontes. He was accused of having an affair with Leontes wife, Hermione and fathering her unborn child. He proves to be a virtuous and true friend to Leontes but an over protective father with deceiving traits. He spied on Florizel, his son and petitioned him from marrying Leontes’ begotten daughter, Perdita.

Paulina- Paulina is the wife of Antigonus and close and loyal friend to Hermione. She is head strong, courageous and diligent. Paulina was determined to prove the innocence of her Queen Hermione, and was the only person who stood up to Leontes’ jealous tirade throughout the kingdom. She remained present after Mamillius and Hermione’s death, ensuring that Leontes did not marry anyone else or forget his faithful queen.
Florizel- He is the young and ambitious Prince of Bohemia and son of Polixenes. He is very adventurous and sweet. He falls in love with Leontes’ begotten daughter, Perdita and decides to marry her without the notification of his father. He thus flees to Sicilia with Perdita, seeking the help of Leontes.

Perdita- She is the begotten daughter of King Leontes who was sent into the wilderness as an infant due to her father’s jealous tyranny. She was thus raised by a good shepherd and grew up in Bohemia as a Shepherd girl. She falls in love with Florizel, son of Polixenes and is thus reunited with her father after the two flee to

Antigonus- He is a faithful Lord of King Leontes and husband of Paulina. He appears to be a soft spoken man who feared for the queen, as he believed she was innocent and indeed virtuous. However, following orders of the King, he takes Perdita, as an infant and abandons her in the forest. However, he is mauled by a bear thus leaving his wife a widow.

Autolycus- He is a joker and pickpocket, who takes full advantage of the naive Clown that is the Shepherd’s son. He plays a major role in the play despite his antics as he lead Perdita to her biological father.

Clown- He is the naive son of the Shepherd and Perdita’s adopted brother. H e is very foolish and easily lead on by Autolycus.

Shepherd- H e is the kind shepherd who found Perdita in the forest as an infant and raises her as his own. However, when accosted by Polixenes, he makes clear that she was not his daughter and reveals her identity.

Summary of Act One, Two and Three

The play The Winter's Tale begins with the dialogue of two lords, of both the King of Sicilia and the King of Bohemia. Archidamus and Camillo's dialogue reveal the admirable friendship between their Kings and its strength. They are in awe of the duration from child hood and how it has grown into a brotherly connection; both emphasize the potency of this friendship which foreshadows the events to come. The destruction of this friendship begins to fester in the mind of the audience as the dialogue progresses. Later on, King of Sicilia, Leontes, his pregnant wife Hermione, their son, Mamillius and King of bohemia, Polixenes are introduced. The audience experiences the friendship that was previously discussed. Polixenes had been in Sicilia for nine months and urges that he needs to return to Bohemia for he fears the worst. Leontes tries to reassure him that all is well but Polixenes avertedly declines. A frustrated Leontes, asks his wife Hermione to persuade his child hood friend. She is successful; however, Leontes begins dislike how the two interact with one another, and suspects that the two are having an affair. This assumption festers and causes Leontes to begin to question the paternity of his son, Mamillius and the unborn child that Hermione is carrying. The jealous tirade begins. Leontes shares the matter with Camillo who refutes it confidently. Leontes sees him as a blind and foolish servant and sees him as unfit to serve him; however, Camillo is redeemed when he promises to poison Polixenes as Leontes has asked. Moreover, a confused Camillo, shares word with Polixenes that the King wishes to see him dead and thus assists him in fleeing to Bohemia. This action deepens Leontes jealous rage and causes him to further doubt his wife’s innocence.

Leontes thus has Hermione arrested for treason and conspiracy, all whilst pregnant. She pleads that the King would reconsider but hopes that she will see him regretful for what he has done. Leontes is headstrong that she is an adulterous woman and tries his uttermost to convince his lord and Antigonus. Both men have already sworn on their lives and their children’s fertility that Hermione is indeed guiltless and pressures the King to reconsider his claim, A stubborn Leontes, thus retorts to seeking Apollo’s Oracle for divine judgement of Hermione, and he hopes his claims are solidified. Furthermore, Hermione’s most vibrant supporter Paulina begins her campaign for the Queen’s release. Paulina takes Hermione’s new born child to the king and in jealous rage; he has the child taken to the forest to be abandoned. The oracle then reveals that Hermione, Polixenes and Camillo are all innocent and Leontes acted rashly without proof. His jealous tirade caused his son Mamillius’ and wife Hermione’s death which leaves him without an heir to the throne. Leontes is now mournful of his behaviour and hopes to find his begotten daughter.

Off the coast of Bohemia, Antigonus has revealed that Hermione had visited him in a dream and revealed that the child is to be named Perdita and he will die. He leaves the child with treasures, such as gold, silver and jewels and is then mauled by a bear in the forest. A shepherd finds Perdita and decides to raise her as his own with the aid of his clown-ish son. It is later revealed that sixteen years has passed, and Polixenes and Camillo are seen discussing events in the play. Camillo wishes to return to Sicilia; however Polixenes urges that he is in need of his assistance to manage his kingdom. The subject of Polixenes son Florizel and his wayward ways is exposed. He has apparently been frequently visiting Perdita and is often absent from court. They both plan to disguise themselves and see the extent of the relationship. The pick pocket Autolycus has chosen the Shepherd’s son as prey and steals his money that was set aside for the grand sheep shearing. When successful, he decides to repeat this act disguised as someone else.

Monday, 8 October 2012

What role do prophecies and the gods play in the The Winter's Tale?

In the play, The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, the life of King Leontes of Sicilia is displayed as he battles the trials of love, friendship, marriage and regret. Leontes has accused his wife, Hermione of adultery with his child hood friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia. This claim dissolves throughout the play as Leontes breaks apart his family due to his jealous impulse and highlights the influence of Greek mythology, prophecies and gods. The Oracle of Apollo played an essential role in the play, as Leontes relied on the judgement as proof to his claim that Hermione was an adulterous woman who conspired with Camillo to have him killed. He was sure of his wife’s guilt and was only interested in the Oracle’s solidification of his perceptions. He therefore, sent Cleomenes and Dion to Delphos to receive the judgement. The doubt of those around him, such as Archidamus and one of his lords, who both swore that Hermione was truly innocent, Leontes pushed for the celestial input. Leontes’ lack of proof for his claims against Hermione is greater reason for him to seek the aid of the Oracle of Apollo. Hermione in despair called out for the assistance of Apollo, in order to escape the adulterous crimes that restrained her. Hermione cries out
“I do refer me to the Oracle: Apollo be my judge!”
in desperate hope to reassure her innocence and regain the respect of her husband and reunite with her two children. Moreover, In Act Three, Scene One, the audience witnesses Cleomenes and Dion returning to Sicilia. The two comment on their trip to Greece and express their dislike for the charges that are forced upon their noble Queen, Hermione. Both men hope that the judgement of the oracle will truly prove that the King was mistaken and the Queen ever faithful, true and virtuous. In Scene Two, Hermione is put to trial by her husband. The judgement from the Oracle is revealed:
“Hermione is chaste; Polixenes blameless; Camillo a true subject; Leontes a jealous tyrant; his innocent babe truly begotten; and the king will live without an heir, if that which is lost be not found.”
The Oracle divulges the true characters of those in question and helps to foreshadow the upcoming events of the play. The news of Hermione’s innocence after word from the Oracle does not change Leontes’ mind however, his jealousy takes full control of him as he dismisses the judgement. The prophecy made by the Oracle however, quickly fulfils with the death of the Sicilian prince, Mamillius and the death of the queen Hermione following. The King is left without a family and no knowledge of his begotten infant’s location. Furthermore, the love of Florizel and Perdita surrounded itself with many symbolic references to gods. In Act Four, Scene Four, the fresh and youthful love was symbolic of spring, and is seen in the line
“But Flora peering in Aprils Front...”
as Flora is the goddess of nature. Moreover, the reference to Flora could also be symbolic of Perdita’s innocence and beauty. This reveals to the audience that the characters in the play were very superstitious, and deeply believed in honoring the gods, this is highlighted in the line
“this your sheep-shearing is as a meeting of the petty gods,”
as the sheep shearing was a pagan festival, and was a celebration of the gods. Florizel claims that
“ the god’s themselves humbling their deities to love”,
which is seen as his way of persuading Perdita to fall in love for the gods will allow it as they do among themselves. He continues to compare the beauty of gods, such as Jupiter, Neptune and Golden Apollo to the youthful beauty of Perdita, claiming that they cannot compare to her. Even the love that is shared is influenced by the prophetic gods that are sovereign. Prophecies and gods, play a key role in the play, The Winter’s Tale. The plot is based on Leontes attempt to prove his wife an adulterer, however the influence of the prophecies and gods prove otherwise and deter the outcome hoped by the king. The many comparisons and references made to the Greek and Roman gods throughout the play solidified their influence in the play’s plot but also the lives of the characters.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare Review Questions on Act 3

Short Answer Questions - Act 3, Scene 1
1. When Cleomenes says "fertile the isle/the temple much surpassing", what is he referring to? Cleomenes is refering to the divine home of the gods, as he departs from Greece and returns to Siclia.
2. In what city is the Oracle located? The Oracle is located in Delphos.
3. In what country is the Oracle located? the Oracle was located in Greece.
4. How many characters speak in Act three, scene one? In Act Three, Scene One, two chracters share a dialogue.
5. What is one of the topics of conversation between the men in Act three, scene one? One of the topics of conversation between the men in Act Three, Scene Two was the charges against Hermoine and the importance of proving her innocence.
6. What do the men, in Act three, scene one, want the Oracle to say? The men hope that the Oracle proves the Queen Hermione's innocence.
7. How do the men, in Act three, scene one, say the journey to the Oracle is? The men state that the journey was very "celestial" as it surprised their senses.
8. Act three, scene one offers more support for the proposition that the king is the only person who thinks that Hermione is what? Act Three, Scene does show that the King's subjects have disregarded his claim that the Queen is an adultress and they dismiss the claims especially because proof is insufficient.
9. Who is the God the Oracle is dedicate to? The Oracle is dedicatd to the Great Apollo.
10. What does "Apollo's great divine seal" refer to? "Apollo's great seal" refers to the judgement that has been passed by the Oracle that will reveal the truth.
11. At the end of Act three, scene one, what do the men get to make their journey home faster? The men acquire horses to make their journey more rapid.
12. What do the men, in Act three, scene one, think of forcing faults on Hermione? The men find the faults forced on Hermoine to be ludicrous, and highly dislike the claims that are being forced upon their Queen by the King.
Short Answer Questions - Act 3, Scene 2
1. What does Leontes call for at the beginning of the trial? Leontes calls for "the prisoner", his wife and Queen, Hermione.
2. What is one of the charges laid against Hermione at her trial? One of the charges laid against Hermione is that she conspired with Camillo to take King Leontes' life.
3. What does Hermione think is sufficient proof of her innocence? Hermione thinks that her behaviour prior to Polixenes visit is sufficient proof of her innocence.
4. What does Hermione say makes her life not worth living? The accusation against makes her life not worth living as she has lost teh comfort of her children and her husband.
5. Hermione tells her husband that his accusations exists only where? His accusation only exist in his dreams.
6. Who reads, at the trial, what the Oracle says? An officer reads.
7. How does the Oracle characterize Leontes? Leontes is characterized as a jealous tyrant.
8. What does the king live without, according to the Oracle, if that which is lost be not found? The King will live without an heir.
9. Who tells the king that Mamillius dies? A servant gives the news.
10. What does Hermione do when she hears the news that Mamillius dies? Hermione swoons.
11. Who tells the king that the queen dies? Paulina tells the King of Hermione's death.
12. How many times does Leontes say he visits the graves of his wife and son? He promises to visit their graves once everyday.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

View of The Winter's Tale by Willaim Shakespeare

1. Tragicomedy/Romance. The Winter’s Tale is unlike any of the the plays we have read this quarter. It is neither a pure tragedy or comedy but contains elements of both. This genre is referred to as tragicomedy or, more commonly, romance. Pay attention to how these two parts of the play function, or don’t function, together. Notice the different choices in the tragic versus the comedic section, and how the transition is made from one to the other (the chorus Time). How does this blending of genre effect the mood and meaning of the play?
The design of The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare, which consists of both tragic and comedic twists, aids in the play's grasp on reality. The life of King Leontes of Sicilia is played out during the course of sixteen years. It depicts the trials and pleasures of life. The beauty of motherly love and long term friendship that is caught up with the sting of betrayal and the tragic loss of lovedones. The depth of human emotions are explored as Leontes battles with his demons and those around him. Shedding light also on the fact that people make mistakes and as we grow through life, we may be able to correct the wrongs we have done. This simply makes the fictional play, that was written so many years ago, relatable to modern life experiences. The comedic aspect lightens the tragic mood that is littered in the play as well, which displays the small and simple joys of life that spring up unexpectedly. However, just as the comedic twists lighten the mood, the tragic darkens it as well, which clearly shows taht life is filled with ups and down, turns and twist but one just has to take it one day at a time.
2. Tragedy. The first section of the play is the tragic story of Leontes’s misbegotten jealousy and its disastrous consequences among his family and friends. Notice that this part of the play is set in winter, and pay special attention to the metaphors of snakes, spiders, and darkness that Leontes uses. What else contributes to making this part of the play a tragedy?
The play indeed proports a tragic beginning. What makes it especially tragic is the background story that is given in Act One Scene One, as Camillo and Archidamus converse. The two statesmen discuss the extent of the childhood friendship of the two Kings, Polixenes and Leontes that has grown into adulthood as well. The friendship is displayed as being a strong, unbreakable bond, and ignites a sense of faith within the audience, however this simple foreshadows what is to come of this "unbreakable bond". Moreover, teh symbol of the story that is told by Leontes and Hermione's son, Mamilius was said to have been a frightful story that was said to have fit the winter mood. This "story" signalled the tragedy that was to come and the harsh reality that it would indeed be a "frightful" winter.
3. Can you think of characters from other fairy tales that are similar in personality to Leontes? Hermione? Mamillius? And Perdita? If you were the author of The Winter’s Tale, how would you write the ending?
Leontes is reminiscent of the Queen Grimilda from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Both chracters sought after someone who was innocent and just as the Queen sought advice from her magic mirror, Leontes sought his from the Oracle. Both characters appeared to have insecurites that drove them to persecute others. Hermoine is reminiscent of the Fairy Godmother of Cinderella. She appears to be very celestial and wise, just as the Fairy Godmother. Her innocence proprts this aura divine presence that propells the audienece to believe that she is not guilty. Mamillius is reminiscent of Little Boy Blue. Boy Blue, just as Mamillius is the apple of his mother's eye. Both boys are very playful and loving, especially with their mothers. The close maternal bond really brings the two fictional characters together. Both boys a threatened with the loss of their mothers, however unlike Boy Blue, Mamillius does not get the chance to help his mother as he dies before her. Perdita is reminiscent of the Princess Rapunzel, who is most well known for her extremely long locks, however that has nothing to do with here comparison to Perdita. Just as Rapunzel was trapped in a tower from the real world, Perdita was seperated from her reality oof being a princess, instead she lived as a peasent, shepherd girl. Howver she is "rescued" by a handsome prince that she falls for and hopes to marry. Through meeting her prince,Perdita discovers her true identity just as Rapunzel did after escaping the tower due to the help of a heroic prince as well.
If I were the author of The Winter's Tale, the ending of the play would be altered. Instead of teh life of Hermione being restored, I would instead have her remain a statue as a constant reminder of Leontes' tragic mistake. Perdita would not have married the prince, mainly because as the friendship of Leontes and Polixenes is mended, herself and Florizel would be considered family do to the bond. However, the relationship of Paulina and Leontes would becoem romantic and the two would be wed. The former life of Leontes would be left in the past, except for Hermione's statue.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Elizabethan Theatre

Elizabethan Theatre evolved during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. This era of theatre helped to set the bar for play productions worldwide. Not only was this era a stepping stone that developed theatre but it aided in the augmentation of one of the world’s greatest playwrights, William Shakespeare. This pioneering era had many diverse elements that supported the theatrical experience. The first theatre was erected in 1576, called The Theatre. Shakespeare is believed to have been twelve at the time of its assembly. This theatre was built by James Burbage, who was an actor. According to Gabriel Egan (2005)in Plathonism and Bathos in Shakespeare and Other Early Modern Drama , the theatre was polygonal wooden building that cost approximately seven hundred pounds to construct. The open space at the front of the stage was standing room for spectators who paid "penny", whilst the stands were priced higher. The atmosphere of such a production was one where the crowd was very interactive with the characters on stage, especially theose who paid "penny", which is contrary to the astmosphere of modern day theatre. The characters did not have the perks of modern day technology, such as mikes and special effects lighting/ Plays were often performed in daylight as music and songs conveyed the atmosphere of each scene. Female actors were not present as they are presently, boys played the role of women in Elizabethan time.
In 1597, The Theatre closed. Six months later, Egan states that Richard Burbadge, son of James Burbage, rebuilt the theatre abd named it The Globe. This new theatre drew audiences of 2,500 to 3,000. In the Summer of 1599, the theatre opened with the production of Henry V by William Shakespeare. According to Andrew Gurr (1991) in The Shakespeare Stage 1574-1642 , in 1613, the Globe Theatre was down due to a dramatic Henry VIII performance that ended tragically. Mulryne (1997) in Shakespeare's Globe Rebuilt stated
"Like all the other theatres in London, the Globe was closed down by the Puritans in 1642. It was pulled down in 1644, or slightly later—the commonly cited document dating the act to 15 April 1644 has been identified as a probable forgery—to make room for tenements."
This was not the definite end of the Globe Theatre entertainment however, Sam Wanamaker, rebuilt a new Globe Theatre on the 8th of June, 19997 with teh production of Henry V which helped to rekinkdle the essence of theatre. Today, Shakespeare plays , among others are constantly performed and revised by many although they have intilized modern casualties as well. The addition of stage props, costumes, lighting and even women have dramatically enhanced the quality of modern day theatre and refined this artform. The Elizabethan era of theatre wa sonly a foundation to the flowering world of theatre that is present. It has increased the quality without detering the dignity of these legendary plays that were written so well. This era of creative reformation has continously impacted generations gone and generations to come.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Winter's Tale Assignment due 12th September, 2012

♀ What is a theme? A theme is described as a main idea, or thought that is subject to discussion.
1. My personal view on friendship is that it is a close and trustful bond between two or more individuals. To me, it is a rare commodity that is hard to maintain as one grows through life.
2. I have a childhood friend that is currently still my friend, however, there is evidence of changes in our relationship, that have both weakened and strengthened our friendship.
3. Loyalty is the most important aspect of friendship. Loyalty is the complete devotion and reliabilty shared between two persons, in terms of friendship.
4. If my best friend betrayed me, I would be completely distraught due to the trust that I have placed in this person. The height of neglect for my feelings from someone who is seen as my best friend will surely evaporate any trust or feelings left for them.
5. I once felt betrayed by my "friend" who I believed shared a very personal secret with others about but it was revealed that this accusation was untrue.
6. I have not been cheated on.
7. The betrayer will no longer be apart of my life.
8. I would not try to ensure payback in any way, the higher judge shall administer it.
9.I recall calling someone out of their given name which caused others to laugh and that person to feel discomfort and greif.
10. The punishment fit for that crime wil have to be left for the higher judge.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cambridge by Caryl Phillips

Character Sketch

Emily Cartwright is one of the main characters in the novel and one of the protagonists. She is rich, classy and strong willed white woman. From the beginning of the novel readers learn of her high expectations and kind heart towards everyone she meets. As she narrates the first chapter, the readers learns of plantation life through the eyes of an heiress.

Cambridge is a strong willed and God fearing Negro slave. He is strengthen by his Christian faith but weakened by white oppressors. He is a very determined character and helps to create conflict within the novel. He is one of the protagonists in the play and reveals himself in the second chapter as he narrates his plantation experience.

Isabella is a willing and dedicated servant of Emily Cartwright. She dies on their journey to the tropical island from a fever. She was a good example of the different reasons aiding to the trials of those who decided to settle in the Caribbean during the era of slavery.

Stella is a bold, large Negro woman. She was very caring towards her "madam" Emily and did not hesitate in fulfilling her assigned duties.

Mr. McDonald is the well able physician of the plantation. He was a very caring,intelligent and humane man. He was well versed in understanding the life in the tropical island and was very willing to share his knowledge with anyone who would listen.

Mr. Wilson is the stern manager of the plantation. He was a very strong-willed white man who not very popular around the entire tropical island. He was assigned to report to to Emily's father but instead he turned out to be a thief. He constantly stole from the plantation and eventually fled to a neighbouring island.

Mr. Brown was the overseer of the plantation. He was well known for being the enforcer of stern punishment in order to keep the slaves in line due to fear of revolt.

Mr. Rogers was a weary old man who lived on the plantation but seemed really bored with his life in the tropics.

Narrative Techniques

This novel employs the use of many narrative techniques. It is extremely vivid in description. Each scene is clearly explained by the narrator which creates great images in the mind of the reader. As the book plays out one learns of plantation life during the era of Slavery through the eyes of an heiress and the eyes of a tormented Negro Christian. Intense details is given of each of their encounters as the novel unravels. The intentions of the writer becomes exemplifies by the strong use of personification and diction that hooks the reader.

Personal View

My personal view on the novel is that it is very vivid in detail, so one has a clear understanding of what the writer is emitting. The novel takes the reader back into the times of slavery, and gives one the appreciation for being a young black girl within these modern times. The experience of our Negro- forefathers in intensely underscored by this novel. Although at first hand one sees it through the eyes of the slave owner, emotions are still played upon and the perceptiveness of wanting freedom as a slave is inevitable. The trails of the slave Cambridge are heartbreaking. His constant fight for freedom is commendable as many of the slaves were not as bold in their fight to be freed and return to their native land. As his brutal fight ends with him being hung, one can't control the melancholic feeling deep within.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

F. Scott Fitzgerald Youtube Video Summary

In efforts to "save western civilisation and bring culture to the unwashed masses", OldGrumpyGuy, according to his youtube username started a video series called Great Writers, beginning with F. Scott Fitzgerald. The video begins with a short biography of Fitzgerald, where his childhoood, onwards to adulthood is briefly explained. OldGrumpyGuy gives his feelings towards what is often said about Fitzgerald, he glorifies the writer and dismisses critics who compare his work to Ernest Hemingway. He feels that Hemingway is obessed with masculinity and must have something to hide so he does not care much for his work. He refers to Fitzgerald as the Mozart of American Literature because of the poetic flow of his work and the depth and range of emotions as well. he adds that Fitzgerald's work reflected his life with great humor and tragedy in both. He reads an excerpt of Fitzgerald first published novel, written when he was twenty-one "This Side of Paradise". The excerpt is taken from the beginning of the novel where Amerie Blaine, the central character is introduced along with his excentric mother and inaffectionate father. OldGrumpyGuy was evidently impressed by the excerpt, especially with knowing that Fitzgerald was only twenty-one when he wrote it, he add that after his first novel he went on to write even more exceptional novels, some of the best in American Lierature.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was one of the best known American authors of the 1920s and 1930s and is closely linked with the sanguinity and immoderation of that era's "Jazz Age." Fitzgerald was born on the 24th of September, 1896, to parents Mollie and Edward Fitzgerald in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His first literary effort at the age of thirteen was a detective story and it was published in a school newspaper. When he was 16, he was expelled from St. Paul Academy for neglecting his studies. He attended Newman School, a prep school in Hackensack, New Jersey, in 1911–1912 after having left two others. He later entered Princeton University in 1913 as a member of the Class of 1917. There he became friends with future critics and writers Edmund Wilson and John Peale Bishop and wrote for the ‘Princeton Triangle Club’ and the ‘Princeton Tiger’. This led to his submission of a novel to ‘Charles Scribner's Sons’, where the editor praised the writing but ultimately rejected the book. He was a member of the University Cottage Club, which still displays Fitzgerald's desk and writing materials in its library. An ill-fated student, Fitzgerald left Princeton to enlist in the US Army during World War I; however, the war ended shortly after Fitzgerald's enlistment.
While working in adverting and writing short stores, Fitzgerald feel in love for a young woman named Zelda Sayre. He proposed marriage to her but she was unconvinced that he would be able to support her so she broke off the engagement. Fitzgerald returned to his parents' house at 599 Summit Avenue, on Cathedral Hill, in St. Paul, to revise ‘The Romantic Egoist’ which was renamed ‘This Side of Paradise’, it was accepted by Scribner's in the fall of 1919. After which himself and Zelda resumed their engagement. The novel was published on March 26, 1920, and became one of the most popular books of the year. Fitzgerald and Zelda were married in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. Their only child, Frances Scott "Scottie" Fitzgerald, was born on October 26, 1921.
Fitzgerald accomplished great success in the 1920s, decade which proved great development. The Great Gatsby, considered his masterpiece, was published in 1925. Fitzgerald made several excursions to Europe, mostly Paris and the French Riviera, and became friends with many members of the American expatriate community in Paris, notably Ernest Hemingway. Fitzgerald’s friendship with Hemingway was quite vigorous, as many of Fitzgerald’s relationships would prove to be. As did most professional authors at the time, Fitzgerald supplemented his income by writing short stories for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, Collier's Weekly, and Esquire, and sold his stories and novels to Hollywood studios. This “whoring”, as Fitzgerald and, subsequently, Hemingway called these sales, was a sore point in the authors’ friendship. Fitzgerald claimed that he would first write his stories in an authentic manner but then put in “twists that made them into saleable magazine stories.”

Although Fitzgerald's passion lay in writing novels, only his first novel sold well enough to support the opulent lifestyle that he and Zelda adopted as New York celebrities. Because of this lifestyle, as well as the bills from Zelda's medical care when they came, Fitzgerald was constantly in financial trouble and often required loans from his literary agent, Harold Ober, and his editor at Scribner's, Maxwell Perkins. When Ober decided not to continue advancing money to Fitzgerald, the author severed ties with his longtime friend and agent. Fitzgerald offered a good-hearted and apologetic tribute to this support in the late short story "Financing Finnegan".
In the late 1920s, Fitzgerald began working on his fourth novel but was sidetracked by financial difficulties that necessitated his writing commercial short stories, and by the schizophrenia that struck Zelda in 1930. Her emotional health remained fragile for the rest of her life. In 1932, she was hospitalized in Baltimore, Maryland. He husband rented the "La Paix" estate in the suburb of Towson, Maryland to work on his latest book which was about the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychiatrist who falls in love and marries Nicole Warren, one of his patients. The book went through many versions, the first of which was to be a story of matricide. Some critics have seen the book as a thinly-veiled autobiographical novel recounting Fitzgerald's problems with his wife, the corrosive effects of wealth and a decadent lifestyle, his own egoism and self-confidence, and his continuing alcoholism. Indeed, Fitzgerald was extremely protective of his ‘material’. When Zelda wrote and sent to Scribner's her own fictional version of their lives in Europe, “Save Me the Waltz”, Fitzgerald was angry and was able to make some changes prior to the novel's publication, and convince her doctors to keep her from writing any more about what he called his ‘material,’ which included their relationship. His book was finally published in 1934 as “Tender Is the Night”. Critics who had waited nine years for the follow-up to “The Great Gatsby” had mixed opinions about the novel. Most were thrown off by its three-part structure and many felt that Fitzgerald had not lived up to their expectations. The novel did not sell well upon publication, but like the earlier “the Great Gatsby”, the book's reputation has since risen significantly. In the 1930s, Fitzgerald and Zelda became estranged, she continued living in mental institutions on the East Coast, while he lived with his lover Sheilah Graham, the gossip columnist, in Hollywood.
Fitzgerald had been an alcoholic since his college days, and but it took a whole other toll in the 1920s for his extraordinarily heavy drinking, leaving him in poor health by the late 1930s. According to Zelda's biographer, Nancy Milford, Fitzgerald claimed that he had contracted tuberculosis, but Milford dismisses that it was a ploy to cover his drinking problems. However, Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli contends that Fitzgerald did in fact have recurring tuberculosis and Nancy Milford reports that Fitzgerald biographer Arthur Mizener said that he suffered a mild attack of tuberculosis in 1919, and in 1929 he had “what proved to be a tubercular hemorrhage”. Fitzgerald suffered two heart attacks in late 1940. After the first, he was ordered by his doctor to avoid strenuous exertion. He moved in with Sheilah Graham, who lived in Hollywood on North Hayworth Ave. On the night of December 20, 1940, Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham attended the premiere of ‘This Thing Called Love’. As he and Sheilah were leaving the theater, Fitzgerald experienced a dizzy spell and had trouble leaving the theater. He became upset set that bystanders may have thought he was drunk.
According to Wendy Fairey, author of "The Recollection of Sheilah Graham," the following day, as Fitzgerald ate a candy bar and made notes in his newly arrived Princeton Alumni Weekly, Ms. Graham saw him jump from his armchair, grab the mantelpiece, gasp, and fall to the floor. She ran to the manager of the building, Harry Culver, founder of Culver City. Upon entering the apartment and assisting Fitzgerald, he pronounced him dead. Fitzgerald had died of a massive heart attack. His body was moved to the Pierce Brothers Mortuary. His body was shipped to Baltimore, Maryland, where his funeral was attended by twenty or thirty people in Bethesda, among the attendants were his only child, and his editor, Maxwell Perkins. Fitzgerald was originally buried in Rockville Union Cemetery. Zelda died in 1948, in a fire at the Highland Mental Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. Frances "Scottie" Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith worked to overturn the Archdiocese of Baltimore's ruling that Fitzgerald died a non-practicing Catholic, so that he could be buried at the Roman Catholic Saint Mary's Cemetery where his father's family was interred. Both Scott's and Zelda's remains were moved to the family plot in Saint Mary's Cemetery, in Rockville, Maryland, in 1975.
Fitzgerald died before he could complete ‘The Love of the Last Tycoon’. His manuscript, which included extensive notes for the unwritten part of the novel's story, was edited by his friend, the literary critic Edmund Wilson, and published in 1941 as ‘The Last Tycoon’. In 1994 the book was reissued under the original title ‘The Love of the Last Tycoon’, which is now agreed to have been Fitzgerald’s preferred title. He was a true talent that was so clever in his literary skills which he used well to develop and produce wonderful novels and short stories, his legacy will surely live on.