Prometheus and Twelfth Night: Misrule Challenges the Status Quo.
It is good to see so many of you hopping straight into WordPress with such keenness and proficiency. Remember that you have free help at hand by simply going to http://lynda.acu.edu.au and entering your student username and password. When there go straight to WordPress: Essential Training. It seems that most of you have by now joined your groups and shared your URLs. If you have not done this yet, please be sure to do it before this weekend is over otherwise you will find yourself suddenly left behind and it is always harder to catch up than it is to keep with the crowd. Please remember you are not asked to do very much each week, but it is important to post something and also to provide some feedback to one other person in your group. All the details you need are in your LEO Announcements.
This week we have, in both the Nineteenth Century and in Shakespeare and the Renaissance covered some amazing territory. Prometheus Unbound is a hymn to the freedom of the creative spirit on planet Earth.
Twelfth Night is – in a very different genre- also a hymn to the rebellious spirit of misrule challenging the Puritanism of Shakespeare’s times.
It is amazing to see how so many of our great writers and artists are – each in their own powerfully different ways- giving expression to their sense of what restricts human beings from their birthright. And their expressions are a potential gateway to that birthright if we read, listen, watch in a receptive way. So this is the joy of having to write a short essay on either Prometheus Unbound or on Twelfth Night. While there is always an agony in trying to drag ideas, responses out of oneself, there is a real joy once the response has been expressed. Why? Because through this process you actually fish out, from the dark depths of your own silent rivers, the gleaming fish(es) of your response to the creative word in the text you are focusing on.
So how about a few short complementary questions (as a complement and therefore a support to your essays ) for your weekly blog.
Try these for size:
- Imagine yourself into the role of any one character in either Prometheus Unbound or Twelfth Night. In the form of a short monologue and in the style of the character you have chosen tell your story: why are you here in the play? What is your agenda?
This task could give you a real connection with the language of the play you are writing about in your essay. It could really make the essay task come more alive for you.
Once a few such characters make their appearance in your WordPress Group, try writing a rejoinder, a challenge from the perspective of another character in the play you are studying. For example: one person in your group writes in the voice of Maria or Asia; you in response write in the voice of Sir Toby or Prometheus. You can post the response both as your Blog entry AND as Blog comment. Make sense?
- Imagine yourself into the role of either Shelley or Shakespeare. In a short prose paragraph see if you can express (from what you know already- don’t need to go into great research depths) why you wrote Twelfth Night or Prometheus Unbound.
This task might really help you to see the play as a whole and could give you a real insight into the essay question you are dealing with.
Incidentally I have just started teaching a very keen class at Mission Australia in Surry Hills (we are doing Australian Literature). They are also about to start blogging and I would be very keen to have a few on-campus students befriending members of this fragile group and giving them support in their blogging. They are all studying the Certificate in Liberal Arts on completion of which they will have access to an on-campus BA course. When their blogs start appearing I will post their URLs and we will see what magic happens.
Have a great weekend.