Presentation on theme: "Final Exam Review English 276 Fall 2006 The following are selected slides from this semester. They are meant to supplement, not replace, your notes. The."— Presentation transcript:
Final Exam Review English 276 Fall 2006 The following are selected slides from this semester. They are meant to supplement, not replace, your notes. The exam also covers explanatory material in the text. For identifications, know the dialogue of the plays and the characters. Be able to identify themes. For example, in response to a quotation, you might write, “Friar Laurence’s statement that flower contain medicine and poison also illustrates the nature of tragedy, where one’s good or admirable qualities may produce disaster.”
Rules for Action Statements Only one character can perform the key action of the scene. Decisions do not count. Anything planned before the scene starts does not count. The action is something the character does in thoughtful response to some cause or causes. Talking to the audience can be an action. When writing a full statement, put the main action in the main clause of the sentence.
What are some differences between drama and film? Plays stress dialogue; movies stress visuals. Plays tend to stay in one physical location; films often move over vast distances. Plays are organized by scenes; films are organized by camera shots.
Aristotle’s Six Elements of Tragedy (and comedy) Plot--art of choosing and arranging events Character--revealed by action Thought--making choices Diction--sometimes heightened language Melody--music Spectacle--landscape, horses
How does Zeffirelli’s movie differ from play? Probably the main difference between the text and movie is that Zeffirelli gives agency to Kate but takes it away from Tranio. He makes her a thoughtful personality who performs significant actions.
How does Shakespeare soften the taming? He includes line that “both will fast” (4.1.173) He has Petruchio give his “falcon” taming speech to his men, whom he must impress (he may only speak this way publicly, but not think so: cf. his comparison of his falcon and his wife at 5.2.65) Clever construction of the play: 1) the double plot; 2) the fourth act
How does Zeffirelli soften the taming? eliminating P’s hawk-taming metaphor, with its offensive imagery use slapstick humor, even in the “starving” scene at table writing a new bedroom scene to show: that Petruchio can restrain his sex needs, implying he is no cruel husband that both are attractive and sexually attracted to each other that Kate can give (bed-warming pan) as good as she gets (cont.)
How does Zeffirelli soften the taming? Emphasizing song “Where is the life that once I led” implying that Kate is taming and transforming Petruchio as well Using star quality of Taylor and Burton to make them attractive (also suggesting that strong personalities must yield to marriage) Using mood music and Taylor’s ability to project longing to suggest that deep down, Petruchio and Kate are really attracted to each other, despite their public posture that he is a drunk and she a shrew. Adding stage bits to suggest P’s transformation rather than Kate’s: at first afraid of water at Hortensio’s house, he later washes his hands before attempting to go to bed with her (some guys will do anything... )
How does the double plot work? Sets up a comparison between the wily servant Tranio--clever but misguided--and Katharina--clever but misguided. To some extent, unseen elements of Kate’s transformation can be guessed by looking at Tranio: 1) the off-stage wedding as Tranio plans for a “supposed” Vincentio and Lucentio thinks of eloping (3.2.128); 2) the time between Kate’s not agreeing it’s 2 o’clock and agreeing the sun is the moon, during which Tranio’s plans start to fall apart
Other questions Where do you think, if anywhere, Kate first feels attracted to Petruchio? Is Petruchio ever cruel? How far can he go? What motivates Tranio? Is he like Kate? She he accept his position as servant as she accepts wifehood? Explain the thematic unity of assuming poses (“supposes,” from I Suppositi, the Ariosto play that is the basis for the Lucentio plot): Who pretends to be what? Does this theme of people adopting roles influence our view of Katharina?
Many words have double meanings, or refer to fate or the stars From forth fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life. -- Prologue
Juliet also imagines Romeo among the stars in heaven, foreshadowing his death. (In tragedies, thoughts come true, because action follows feeling.) Come, gentle night, and, when I shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will be in love with night. 3.2.21-24
Romeo ignores his dream. I fear, too early, for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars Shall bitterly begin his fearful date With this night’s revels. 1.4.106-07
Even plants have a double meaning: a lesson, says the friar, that applies to people. Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, And vice sometime by action dignified. Within the infant rind of this fair flower Poison hath residence and medicine power. 2.3.21-24
Shakespearean tragedy requires (bad) timing and a near miss (not). Romeo steps between them.] Hold, Tybalt! Good Mercutio! [Tybalt under Romeo’s arm thrusts Mercutio in.] Away Tybalt [with his followers]..... Ben.What, art thou hurt? Merc. Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch, marry, ‘tis enough.... No, ‘tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door, but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve. 3.1.90 ff.
1.1 Plot: Richard arranges the death of his brother Clarence.
Action 1.1. Richard pauses before following Hastings to the king to inform of us of his plans. So methodical, mechanical.
1.2 Plot: Richard seduces Lady Anne, the widow of Henry VI’s son Edward.
Action: 1.2 Richard tells pall-bearers he will come after her before confiding to us that he will not keep Anne long, then enjoying the thought that he is better looking than he knew. So we see the first two scenes are structured in parallel: Richard lying to someone, sending them off, then confiding to us.
Hollywood addition Added sex scene (well, not quite). Like Italian neorealist directors, Locrine explains Richard’s murderous ambition by suggesting he is homosexual or at least cruel to women). As elsewhere, lack of dialogue clues you that something has been added to Shakespeare’s play.
Hollywood addition Good people take drugs when life gets tough. (I hope you realize how crazy this is: not just the drug taking, but that she “medicates” not after she marries this creep who killed her husband, but after he rejects her flirtations.)
4.1 Plot: Lady Anne’s curse on herself is working. Locrino puts this scene before the ‘crowning’ scene, probably just to break up the sequence of male dominated scenes, since he added so many bits for Ian McKellen (lounging around, smoking).
4.1After Anne notices that she has inadvertently cursed herself, Queen Elizabeth prays to the stones of the Tower to guard her children.
Action, 4.2 4.2Richard refuses to give Buckingham what he wants, refusing him to his face. This is a complete switch in the pattern, appropriate for the counterstroke of act 4, since Richard before would tell the audience, not his enemies, his thoughts.
5.4Offering, in vain, his kingdom for a horse, Richard refuses to withdraw.
What is Hamlet about? Centuries of debate T. S. Eliot: “Certainly an artistic failure”
Hamlet Good play for anyone having trouble figuring things out. Good play for anyone who isn’t having trouble figuring things out--yet.
Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200), Historical Danica, book 3 Story of a hero who assumes madness or stupidity for purpose of revenge. His father kills King of Norway in single combat. His enemies send a courtesan to seduce him, but he rapes her (the ur-Ophelia). He goes to England, wins the king’s daughter there, returns and kills usurper in a sword exchange. Saxo has fratricide, incest, king’s love of drink. Tone is more brutal: Amleth boils the Polonius figure and feeds him to the pigs. He is vigorous (burns down the palace) but somewhat melancholic.
Renaissance version It’s about a man called on to exact revenge for the murder of his father. Problems: The murderer is a king. The source of the information is a ghost. The revenge must be honorable. There are spies everywhere.
Hamlet’s doubts Why should his mother remarry such an unattractive man? What does the appearance of his father’s ghost mean? Why has he lost his mirth? Did his uncle kill his father? Why doesn’t he kill his uncle right away? Why do women behave the way they do?
Disease and death imagery Francisco: “Tis bitter cold, and I am sick at heart” (1.1.10) Horatio: “I’ll cross it, though it blast me” (1.1.130) Horatio: “It is a mote to trouble the mind’s eye” (1.1.116: the war preparations and ghost) Gertrude: “All that lives must die, / Passing through nature to eternity” (1.2.72)
Disease imagery Hamlet: The world... is an unweeded garden That grows to seed. Things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely” (1.2.133)
Oh, that this too too sullied flesh would melt (1.2.129) Upset by his mother’s remarriage to his nasty uncle, Hamlet contemplates suicide and sees the world as an “unweeded garden.”
What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties (2.2.304) Hamlet tells R & G that he is melancholy (depressed), does not exercise, the world seems diseased, however noble seem the heavens. “Man delights not me--no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so” The audience is not privileged in this play, where soliloquies merge with speeches.
Oh, what a rogue and peasant slave am I! (2.2.55) Hamlet berates himself for doing nothing, even when motivated by a ghost, in comparison to the player whose emotions run away with him due to nothing but a fiction. So he plans the Mousetrap.
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it, trippingly on the tongue (3.2.1) Hamlet instructs the actors Relevant to theme of play (words, appearances, exposure of Claudius) but not to Hamlet’s state of mind (not a soliloquy)
‘Tis now the very witching time of night (3.2.387) Hamlet is in the mood for murder (having exposed Claudius’s guilt) when on the way to his mother.
How all occasions do inform against me (4.4.33) Just as he was moved by the player to berate himself, Hamlet is moved by Fortinbras to take action, even for nothing. Yet he meditates on the difference between men and beasts (unsaid: sense of right and wrong, which makes the play so powerful)
To what base uses we may return, Horatio! Why may not imagination trace the noble dusty of Alexander (5.1.204) Hamlet raises issue that too much thinking is bad for anyone. Hamlet, like the play, strangely finds consolation in the grave-yard, not more melancholy.
There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ‘tis not to come... The readiness is all (5.2.217) Beautiful, but ironic, since Hamlet seems very unready to face the king’s threat. As philosophy, this sounds consoling but fatalistic. A dangerous combination. Hamlet’s tragedy: he tries to accept the world, and it kills him.
Classical Tragedy It’s about a man whose admirable intelligence leads him through a sequence of decisive, moral actions that, due to circumstances he cannot control or reasonably foresee, unfortunately kill him. Counter-argument: Most of his actions are mean.
Olivier Version The play is about a man who cannot make up his mind. Problem: Oedipal longing for mother and jealousy of the man married to her. Emotion clouds reason.
Feminist Hamlet This is a play about a woman who has no control over her life, goes mad, and kills herself. Her problems: Overbearing father, jerk for a boyfriend,hothouse existence, no female companionship or understanding, ignorance about the facts of life. Modern versions make her angry p. 631 for Helena Bonham Carter in Mel Gibson version
Zeffirelli Theory This is a play about a man who reminds one of Mel Gibson’s “mad max.” Problem: How can a man remain a hero in a world of random violence?
Almereyda version A play about a man whose intentions are thwarted by impersonal forces like an uncurious mother, and a ruthless uncle, and corporate capitalism (symbolized by New York high rise money):
Almereyda The film takes its epilogue from lines Hamlet perhaps wrote for the Player King: Our wills and fates do so contrary run That our devices still are overthrown; Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own: (3.2.209-211)
Problems with Almereyda verison The lines that immediately follow reveal Hamlet’s obsession with his mother. So think thou wilt no second husband wed; But die thy thoughts when thy first lord is dead. (3.2.212-213) This may be a second-rate thought, like the rest of the play within a play. The film therefore alters the context of the lines it takes as an epilogue just as Olivier, but here the reason may be anti-Freud, where Olivier stressed Hamlet’s attraction to his mother).
Problems with Almereyda verison The film does not focus on Hamlet’s idealism. Not enough emphasis is given to what Hamlet says about the difference between his ideals and the sordid reality of the world. The film perhaps tries to get us to take the Dahli Llama stuff seriously(the best part of the film), but fails to carry through in the second half.
Alm Problems with Almereyda verison ereyda The film wrongly debases Hamlet’s stature, It does not do enough to show that side of him that is intelligent and courageous (able to out-duel a man whom Lamord (death) called the greatest swordsman in France--4.7.90) The film dresses him like a be-drugged tramp, hardly the man Ophelia called “Th’expectancy and rose of the fair state, / The glass of fashion and the mold of form” (3.1.155-156), even after Hamlet berates her (unless the knit hat and period motorcycle and electronic gadgetry is meant to be ultra-cool).
R & G Are Dead Hamlet says “whiff and wind” speech during dinner with R&G, suggesting it’s on his mind but indoor setting loses force of “overhanging firmament” Film eliminates problem of tedious fourth act by avoiding question of Claudius’s guilt since R & G died in act four, act 5 is presented as a mime in the play-within-a-play scene Claudius sees his past in Mousetrap, but R&G can’t see their future
R & G Are Dead Makes Hamlet a romance rather than a tragedy. Romances hide social domination, which define good and evil, but projecting good and evil as magic. Acting can be good or bad, so it’s magic Fortune can be good or bad, so it is really about social domination
R&G Are Dead Modes of social control change as economy changes R & G fore-feel modern science but they can’t escape their world or they wonder if they should follow instructions to put Hamlet to death but they can’t escape hierarchy of power (orders from the king), meaning they glimpse fact that but can’t understand that they are actors in that “world” (like all of us in our worlds)
Professor Ross’s view This is a play about not knowing, or being certain, how to behave. Customs seem to determine what is right and wrong, not the other way around. Hamlet wonders about Purgatory, mourning, dating, fencing, remarriage, succession, action, acting, drinking, custom itself, believing a ghost. See Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead for film approach to these issues.
Customs in Hamlet Customs define society They are determined by the mores (pn, morays), that is, example and experience, and are not necessarily rational.
Customs in Hamlet Customs give social certainty to uncertain situations, but what if one does not know the local custom? When to put on one’s hat or take it off (Osric in 5.282-193) What to believe (“defy augury” or see providence in the fall of a sparrow [Ophelia?], 5.2.219) Why does Hamlet duel, knowing the king is trying to kill him? Suicidal, thinking of Ophelia? Afraid to act? Thinks he has time? Perhaps it is not his custom to kill: he rejects the unwritten law, the customs or honor and revenge.
Horses and Hollywood Film is static, unlike stage, which changes every night, but horses constantly move, even on the static screen, and so are always interesting. shots of hooves, different gaits (walk, trot, cantor, gallop) give illusion of change even when seen twice No deer in the headlights: horses always natural, unlike actors or trained animals Three taboos of stage: real death, real sex, live horses galloping--only last is impossible, needs film.
Missing Horses and Shakespeare on Film Ironic my kingdom for a horse in R3, when jeep is stuck Dogberry’s pretend horse The hobby horse (worn around the waist Hamlet, Much Ado, also fake rape in R&G Are Dead)
Plato Comedy offers malicious enjoyment through the spectacle of those deficient in self- knowledge (agnoia, Philebus 48c) and the ridiculous consequences which follow from exaggerated self-esteem. The “ridiculous” is the bad state of a mind that does not “know itself” (the lesson of the Oracle of Delphi)
Theory of Comedy Tragedy is about the break-up of civilization. Comedy is about the establishment of social harmony. Both are dramatic terms of art: thus “tragedy” is not the same as “horrible” and comedies can be bittersweet as well as funny. Drama is not life, but ritual: thus Shakespeare ends comedies in weddings as a sign, not a proof, of social stability: 3 weddings in MSND; 2 in Much Ado ( What happens after, who knows? Cf. the marital problems of Oberon and Titania: but you need hope.)
Comedy From Shakespeare: Script, Stage, Screen, pp. 73-75 Impossible to define Definite kinds, low to high Reformation of a (ridiculous) character Holiday spirit Ritual element (marriage) Comic diction
End of Monty Python and the Meaning of Life Sense of moral uplift for vile humans “Montage” of death Dinner party as image of social communion Outsider/scapegoat to remove evil Hint of heaven Rebirth after death Music and harmony Message: be kind to others
Comedy: For you to think about. What elements of comedy do you find in Much Ado About Nothing that makes it “serious” art? Does Branagh leave any out? Does he add any? Hint: Why does Hero seem to die and then come back to life?
Endings Where film must start strongly, it is arguable that drama must end strongly. Compare the whirling camera at the end of Branagh’s Much Ado to his use of stage show motifs in his Love’s Labor’s Lost and the same motif that ends The Meaning of Life, the 1983 Monty Python film. Perhaps this uplifting harmony is the comedic version of Aristotle’s emphasis on the effect of drama on the audience.
Music in Much Ado, to reinforce sense of social harmony Benedick asks Claudio “In what key shall a man take you to go in the song?” Beatrice reacting to Hero’s impending marriage: “the fault will be in time to the music: wooing, wedding, and repenting” (2.1.73) Balthasar’s song is part of Don Pedro’s plot (2.3) Beatrice, appearing in love in 3.4, says she is “out of tune” Benedick calls for a dance to end the play.
“Nothing/Nothing” as the Ridiculous? This is a play about “nothing,” scrutinizing for little signs of truth, relying on fallible eyes, as when Beatrice and Benedick ignore the other’s words and look for signs that the other loves them. While B and B are examining minutia, Claudio is deceived by the overly obvious impersonation of Hero by Margaret. He is not at all interested in the signs of love but in marrying an heiress with the sought after qualities of beauty and meekness (neither one said to belong to Beatrice, whose name, rather, suggests beatitude, or cosmic happiness, while Benedick means “blessed”)
pun on “nothing” 2.3.48 BALTHASAR Because you talk of wooing, I will sing; Since many a wooer doth commence his suit To her he thinks not worthy, yet he woos, Yet will he swear he loves. DON PEDRO Now, pray thee, come; Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument, Do it in notes. BALTHASAR Note this before my notes; There's not a note of mine that's worth the noting. DON PEDRO Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks; Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing.
Sigh no more … men were deceivers ever Sung just before men deceive Benedick Balthasar says the song is about how men deceive women by wooing falsely. But Don Pedro wants the music (Note, notes) and “nothing” of that meaning but rather, here, a set-up for the “nothing = noting” by Benedick of their feigned conversation about how Beatrice loves him. So the play harmonizes or softens male deception by turning it from a slander to a merry plot, re-enacting origins of comedy as a form.
Film v. Drama Film stresses opening; drama depends on how the captive audience leaves the theater: stunned in tragedy, uplifted by comedy. Film is static: the interpretation never changes, no matter how many times we see the film; but drama can change every night, as an actor gives different emphasis. Even on the same night, the same play may seem different, depending on the angle and distance of the spectator.
Much Ado About Nothing Why does the play have a double plot? To suggest contrast between physical attraction and intellectual compatibility After all I have said about spectacle, what argument can you make for reading the play? thinking about “Beatrice” as a name meaning beatitude, for example, which reminds us of heaven, harmony, uplift, role of comedy. Don Pedro especially is very thoughtful, a master of ceremonies, a user of heightened language that we need to ponder over at leisure; see 5.3.24-28, as he announces the new dawn, new day, after mourning ritual for “dead” Hero
Macbeth Notice how closely the supernatural opening of Macbeth duplicates the complex elements used for elevate comedy at the end of Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life and the long dance at the end of Much Ado About Nothing. Monty Python
Shakespeare uses short and “headless” lines to suggest the supernatural ] When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
Irony and ambiguity: Ross 1.2: He reports how Macbeth defeated the Thane of Cawdor and Sweno, the king of Norway. This repeats what the Captain has said. Is Ross Macbeth’s agent? Polanski makes him the “third murderer”
The set up for irony Macbeth tells Duncan he will “make joyful / The hearing of my wife with your approach” 1.4.45 Lady Macbeth says “The raven himself is hoarse / That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan / Under my battlements” (1.5.38-41) And Duncan: “This castle hath a pleasant seat. The air / Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself / Unto our gentle senses” (1.6.1-3)
1.3: Adventurers of the first witch A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap, And munched, and munched, and munched. “Give me,” quoth I. Outlandish revenge for small insults typical of incompetent witches. Not in Polanski
1.3: More adventurers of the first witch “Aroint thee, witch!” the rump-fed runnion cries. Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’th’ Tiger. The second line does not scan: essentially prose, as the witch turns to short, happy verse as she plans her revenge: But in a sieve I’ll thither sail, And like a rat without a tail I’ll do, I’ll do, I’ll do.
1.3: More adventurers of the first witch limited powers the witch cannot kill Control of the weather Second witch: I’ll give thee a wind.... First witch: Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest tossed.
Clothing and baby images Macbeth (1.3.108): The Thane of Cawdor lives. Why do you dress me in borrowed robes? (prose) Macbeth (1.3.108): [Aside to Banquo]: Do you not hope your children shall be kings?
Moral clarity Contrast Hamlet Compare to theme of doublings Banquo (1.3.121): And oftentimes to win us to our harm The instruments of darkness tell us truths.
Time (tomorrow and tomorrow) Macbeth struggles with predestination, restlessness. Ignores Banquo’s garment image and completes either Banquo’s verse line or his own! (1.3.145-149) If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me Without my stir. Banquo: New honors come upon him Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mold But with the aid of use. Macbeth [aside]: Come what come may, Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
Double dealing Duncan: There’s no art To find the mind’s construction in the face. He was a gentleman on whom I built An absolute trust. (1.4.11-12) Lady Macbeth: Your face, my thane, is as a book where men May read strange matters. (1.5.62) (true? Or hallucination?)
Highly charged language If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well It were done quickly. If th’assassination Could trammel up the consequence, and catch With his surcease success.... (1.7.2-4)
Reasons for not killing Duncan: Bad precedent (“teach bloody instruction”) Double trust of guest and kinsman Virtues and popularity of king No “spur”
Film technique: “If it were done” Use multiple shots Move through space Find visual equivalents for word images: Musicians Dinner and toast Singing Fleance Wind and lamps Storm and horses Castle in distance
Multisyllables v. Monosyllables Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red.
Dramatic irony “A little water clears us of this deed” (2.2.72)
Macbeth as tragic admirable, meditative man not a happy murderer, like Richard III not immune to temptation caught in a world of equivocations himself a bit of a liar, like all of us shows how a good man can go horribly wrong, producing pity and fear