Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gloucester and Me

"As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport."

Gloucester says this despairing line after his eyes are stamped out by Cornwall and Regan and he is left to wander on the heath. I think I would too if so much injustice had happened to me and I did not see any mercy for me in the future either. As I said in a previous post about Hamlet needing the missionaries, this would probably be a good time for the missionaries to find this homeless guy and have a little chat with him.

I know that I am grateful to have a knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and a brother, Jesus Christ, who not only suffered for my sins, but felt my every pain, heartache, and injustice. With that knowledge, if I were Gloucester, I would know that the gods were not just having fun with me as their pawn. I would know that even if it was after my death, there would be justice and redemption.

Reading these Shakespeare plays, I have found solace in the knowledge that I have that keeps me going, while the characters in his plays, especially the tragedies, are not buoyed up by that same knowledge.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hamlet Art Production....GO!

My final project group is swiftly underway and we have all already started creating artwork concerning Act I of Hamlet. However, we have a group blog that we are posting on, so I think I am going to try and update periodically here, as well as continue to discover King Lear, but the bulk of the art and curriculum postings will be found on the Art and Shakespeare blog.

I have also been thinking a lot about the curriculum aspect of this project, and am concerned about what direction we will be able to take. So, I have been doing a little research about what is out there. I mentioned a movie in a previous blog post that I watched in an Art Education class about a year ago, and not only did I figure out what it was called, The Hobart Shakespeareans, but I also found a website connected to this classroom. I was going to paraphrase a bit about them, but I really like what it says on the front page of the website:

All of the children at Hobart Elementary School qualify for free breakfast and lunch, and few speak English as a first language. Many are from poor or troubled families. What's the winning recipe? A diet of intensive learning mixed with a lot of kindness and fun. These children come to school at 6:30 a.m. and often stay until it is dark. They come during vacation. They take field trips all over the world. They play rock and roll music. Mediocrity has no place in their classroom. And the results follow them for life, as they go on to outstanding colleges.

They have done A LOT of shows! And, their press page is pretty prolific. Their teacher, Rafe Esquith, has really inspired his students to excel. Will Power!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hamlet and Art Production Themes

Here are some ideas that I have brainstormed for art lessons over the past couple days. The nice thing is that Hamlet has a lot of interesting themes that plenty of artist, both now and in the past, have dealt with. Obviously these need to be fleshed out more, but I wanted to get this out there to start the ball rolling:

Hamlet/Art Themes

Gender: "Frailty, thy name is woman," (Act I scene ii) Historical applications: Woman's suffrage, Feminism, Media Influences on Gender Contemporary Art/Art History: Renaissance Art, Guerilla Girls,Margaret Kilgallen Production: Painting, Poster Design

Disease/Decay: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Act I scene iv Contemporary Art: Decay Porn (not real porn, just documenting decay), Mark Webb Production: Time Lapse Photography, Still-Life

Madness: "How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself, As I perchance h
ereafter shall think meet To put on antic disposition on" (Act I scene v) Contemporary Art/Art History: Color Issue #47, "A Beautiful Mind," Vincent van Gogh Production: Portraits, Performance art

Mortality: "And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?" (Act II scene ii), "To be, or not to be: that is the question..." (Act III scene i) Exploring death Contemporary Art/Art History: Symbolism (Edvard Munch, Carlos Schwab, John Henry Fuseli, Arnold Boecklin), Oliver Herring (knitting) Production ?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Final Project: Art and Shakespeare Curriculum

I have a lot of ideas floating in my head, so hopefully I can put my thoughts into words.

Thought 1: The theme that has really come out of my Shakespeare work/blogging is "All the World's a Stage." I realized that nowadays that means something a little different than in Shakespeare's era, especially with the internet (check out my family internet influence movie). So, I have been thinking about putting yourself out there to be an influence for good online.

Thought 2: I am currently in my last semester of classes for Art Education, so I have been focusing a lot on curriculum. I have been converted to the "curriculum as lived" idea, that learning is not simply in the classroom, but all around us, and if we open our minds, we can be influenced by so many different things for good. So, for my curriculum class, I have started to work through art lesson ideas that are inspired by Shakespeare. I actually just remembered
that I even watched a short documentary about teaching Shakespeare in the art classroom a couple of years I need to find that too.

Thought 3: Mason has this awesome idea about creating a Shakespeare Art Gallery, and I think that it would work great to combine these two ideas. There could be two possible ways that these could be combined. One would be that we would create art based on different plays or ideas within the play, and then create curriculum as a result of the art. The other way would be to have different ideas from Shakespeare for curriculum, create the curriculum, and then do the art. Or we could do a bit of both.

Thought 4: Not only could we show our artwork somewhere public, but we could put all of
our art and curriculum up on the web. I know there are sites to post your lesson plans as a teacher, but I want to figure out the best possible way to do this, so that we can successfully share globally and make this worthwhile. And, I really like the idea of sharing this with
teachers in Utah: we will just have to find someone with Shakespeare leaning!

I think if all of this comes together, then it could be an awesome project - and definitely one that so many other people can benefit from. Below is the lesson plan that I created for the "Seven Ages of Man" set out in As You Like It. I have also been thinking about other lesson plan ideas, but I think it would be cool to have a variety of things from a variety of plays/themes within plays.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cordelia's Love

"Unhappy that I am , I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth, I love your majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less." (King Lear, Act 1 Scene i)

Cordelia's above response, the only truthful one of the sisters' declaration of their love for King Lear, is the statement that sets this tragedy in motion.

"love...according to my bond."

As she says "I love your majesty according to my bond," this infers that Cordelia recognizes the duty she has to love him as her father and king. This would be loyalty as a result of fealty to the king as her ruler, as well as the commandment we all have to "honor they father..." It is interesting that she tacks on "no more nor less" as well. I think that she is genuinely sorry that she cannot say she loves him as her sisters say, but her integrity keeps her from lying. Instead, she qualifies her statement by assuring King Lear that her love is not less than that of duty for
both king and father.

"heave my heart into my mouth"

The first part of this quotation is interesting as well. She says "I cannot heave my heart into my mouth." First of all, this is such a visual description of what her other two sisters have done previously. Can you picture someone taking their heart, pumping and bloody, and heaving, throwing, pushing that beating bloody piece of muscle into their mouth? Someone would only do that if they were desperate and Cordelia is not. It is also interesting to note that the idiom "my heart was in my mouth" nowadays means that you are scared or nervous about something, sort of like butterflies in your stomach. But, I think that Cordelia is not afraid of saying her true feelings, but sorry that she cannot flatter her father and king like her other sisters have done.

The Stage

After King Lear tries to get clarification from Cordelia about what she means by this quotation, and saying "nothing," he flies into a rage and pretty much disowns her. I think he does this for quite a few reasons, but one could be for his appearance to his other subjects that are there. It is a pretty big blow to your pride when someone says that they love you out of duty, after others have said so many flattering words to you. I think King Lear would not have been so quick to jump to conclusions had Cordelia said what she had in private. But, to save face on his "stage," to keep up his act as the awesome king that everyone adores, he disowns her and she flees to France.