Thursday, November 1, 2012

Midterm Blog Assignment

I think that, whenever I read and study Shakespeare, I often take into consideration the historical context of the time, as well as Shakespeare's intent in the writing. I tend to concern myself with Shakespeare's writing style and also the way in which he inputs himself into his characters and plot lines. Most of my posts have to do with Shakespeare's intended audience response, along with an analysis of his characters. I've had a hard time keeping up with the weekly blogging, however, my comments and thoughts on the readings generally do revolve around Shakespeare's role as an author and a commentator on his society. I find literature an interesting means to study history; an authors popular fictional works used as a method of commenting on their current events generally speaks more to the attitudes and disposition of the people at a certain time than a history book ever could. While his plays were meant to entertain- the plot twists and characters were obviously not merely meant to educate or convey moral dilemmas based on the current events of the time- they also spoke a lot about their author, as well as his audience. My analyses of his plays tend to seek out both of these motivations- I attempt to investigate his works in a way that gives him credit as a social commentator, in addition to his linguistic and entertainment achievements. On the other hand, being an English major, I cannot help but analyze the text from a linguistic and literary standpoint. I focus a lot on his character development and literary devices, the way in which he uses character flaws and fully developed characters and devices such as foreshadowing, puns, his plays within plays, and verse to elevate his plays to a literary level that surpasses the historical merit of his writing. The combination of these effects, his plays as a historical document as well as a literary triumph, is what makes Shakespeare the timeless and highly revered playwright and poet that he is known as today.

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