Sunday, April 25, 2010

Act II:

(or the college years)
Miranda (The Tempest)
John William Waterhouse, 1916

I considered myself enough of a fan to take a upper division Shakespeare class relatively early in my very long college "career." I (in keeping with tradition) still have the syllabus and I'm embarrassed to say that I do not remember reading ALL of those plays.

Romeo & Juliet? Yes.
Othello? Yes.
The Tempest? Yes.
Midsummer Night's Dream? Yes.

The others? No. Especially none of the "Histories"...We read one of the Richards? Okay.

So Dr. Black (this was before he was at Amherst) was a great professor. He was practical and humorous (from what I can remember).

He taught me never to discount the sex in Shakespeare, because it is there. I wrote an innocent "reading" of Act 3, Scene 2 from Romeo & Juliet (sans modern translation) and although I hit upon many of the themes, I forgot a big one.

Hello, maidenhood.

My second major lesson upon Shakespeare was in the sonnet form via Dr. Phillips. We went through several of them (alongside learning the history and for whom they were possibly written).

Dark Lady? I'm sure you've heard of her--an older woman, but William on had a few of his sonnets for her...whoever she may be. the bulk of his poetry is written for a man. A younger man. A younger, more beautiful man.

I mention this NOT for its "shock value," (as it does shock some--and well, I am not in the category)--but it is interesting to here the murmurs in class when this is revealed.

And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall vade, by verse distills your truth.

His sonnet cycle is quite interesting and pushes the envelope.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin