It seems as if I write about whatever strikes me in the scenes. First, I wrote about Shakespeare’s way of writing that combines comedy and tragedy in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It struck me that although this was meant to be a comedy, there were numerous tragic elements to the play and I enjoyed exploring that aspect of it. Second, when I wrote about “Much Ado About Nothing,” I was much more interested in the roles of men and women during Shakespeare’s time, how it affects marriage and the anticipation of marriage and what it means. Now we usually marry because we are in love with someone who shares our values not because the woman can have male children to inherit the land. Women have voices both in the family, at work, and in politics. As we now see how the Republican party is trying to press its patriarchal power over us, it is particularly important to identify that pressure when it happens and recognize it for what it is, male control over women. Finally, when I wrote about “Richard III,” in Act 1, it seemed so obvious to me that Richard thought of himself as ugly (as did, apparently, everyone else) and yet his confidence was almost incredible to conceive. This aspect of his personality struck me hard. It reminded me of a boy I went to high school with who was one of my lab partners. He was dealing with nearly daily dialysis and seemed angry at the entire world. When I showed up one day with stitches above my eye (from a skiing accident) he nastily told me that my fake eyelashes were falling off. I remember being so struck by that because you would think that someone with a debilitating disease would have more compassion and empathy, not less, but it was not so with him and it certainly was not so with Richard, Duke of Gloucester.
I think at the beginning of the semester my blog post was more focused and has become less so as the semester has gone on. I think the reason that is because I am feeling worse as the semester has progressed and as my chemo is progressing. Not that this is an excuse, but I know I am having a harder time focusing.
I don’t think that there is one broad theme that reoccurs in my writing. I am fascinated by history and by Shakespeare’s ability to write a great story and so many of his themes interest me.
The aspect of weekly blogging that I value most is the close reading of the text. Every time I read and re-read, I find some new and interesting aspect to the writing. To analyze and think closely about what Shakespeare is saying lends textural interest to the play that I had not recognized before.