Movie Review of Twelfth Night

Director Kenneth Branagh took a more “modern” and interesting twist on this classic Shakespearean comedy. This adaptation took place on a never changing set, like a play, but it was not performed for a live audience. Instead, it was a play filmed for television by the Renaissance Theatre Production Company in 1988. It started with…

A Review of Kenneth Branagh’s Production of Twelfth Night

As cynical as it may sound, I did not expect to be genuinely affected by Twelfth Night.  As with most of Shakespeare’s plays, especially his comedies, this play is best seen, not simply read.  Even so, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself intellectually and emotionally invested in Kenneth Branagh’s televised production of Twelfth Night,…

The Storm

The climax of Lear’s mental/emotional instability is when he is forced to face his own human condition of mortality, madness, and political disarray. The storm to me symbolizes some form of divine intervention on the events of the play, in Lear’s mind anyway, because he finally experiences humility and understands the fact that he is…

Blindness

Darkness, desolation, loneliness. Each of these concepts is prominently featured over the course of King Lear, and each of these concepts also directly relates to another theme that is incredibly relevant in one of the Bard’s most famous tragedies¾ blindness. Blindness is a theme that has multiple meanings. From not being able to see what…

Justice

King Lear, determined to make Goneril and Regan suffer after they have betrayed him declares; “If you do love old men, if your sweet sway / Show obedience, if you yourselves are old, Make it your cause. / Send down, and take my part” (II.iv.218-220). King Lear is calling out to the heavens, requesting that…

Gloucester the Prophet and Edmund the Cynic in King Lear

In the second scene of the first act in Shakespeare’s King Lear, the entire plot is laid bare in a speech by the Earl of Gloucester who uses astrological signs to predict the fall of Lear’s kingdom.  While his interpretation of some of the predictions at the time are mistaken, the prophecy itself is completely…

Lear Reading Response

Out of all the tragedy plays that we have read during the class, Lear is certainly the most gruesome. I feel like there were a decent amount of characters in this play that met a tragic end that did not deserve it. However in terms of Gloucester, it is rather complicated. At the beginning of…

The Fates in King Lear: The Role of the Divine in Shakespeare’s Tragedies

It is certainly not uncommon to find references to the divine in Shakespeare’s works, particularly in the more serious works: the sonnets, the tragedies, the histories. What is noticeably uncommon is any form of physical manifestation or even apparition of the divine. There are, of course, one thousand and one possible explanations for this; stage…

Pride in King Lear

One of the major themes I noticed while reading King Lear is that of pride. Almost every misfortune brought about during the play is due to one character’s pride or another. On the other hand, those characters that do not act upon their pride are shown to be some of the most favored in the…

Othello & The World of Animals

Othello begins in Venice in the time an argument is taking place between Roderigo and Iago because Roderigo has been loaning money to Iago by some type of special arrangement. Othello is the tragic hero of the play who is a general in the Venice army; the controversy begins when Othello chooses another man to…

Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Sonnet 18 is a beautiful sonnet and no doubt one of the most famous sonnets William Shakespeare wrote.

Music and Manipulation in Hamlet

In the middle of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, a comparatively brief exchange between two characters displays the tone of the entire play quite vividly.  Act III, scene 2, lines 380-402 chronicle a dialogue involving Hamlet and his schoolmate Guildenstern over their ability or inability to play a musical instrument.  The thematic content of the conversation especially…