19 April 2009

Fools in love - Midsummer Posting #6

This is the 6th posting for A Midsummer Night's Dream and is due before the end of the day on Wednesday, April 22.

Throughout Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, we've seen a variety of characters acting in some foolish ways, mostly as a result of their emotions. Such behavior mirrors many of the same foolish behaviors you probably experience almost everyday. In an earlier post, you were asked to respond which character acted the most foolish. This response requires you to provide an example of some real-life love-inspired foolish behavior you've experienced.

What is an example of some real-life foolish behavior caused by love? How have people you know acted like a "fool" in love? What happened? How is the behavior you've seen typical of human behavior? How does it connect to A Midsummer Night's Dream? What is it that we can learn about human nature from such behavior?

To earn full credit, your response should fully answer the prompt questions and be relatively free of sloppy mechanical and grammatical errors. Proofread what you write before you post.

08 April 2009

Lovers, madmen and poets - Midsummer posting #5

This is the 5th and final posting for A Midsummer Night's Dream and is due before the end of the day on Friday, April 10.

This will be a longer, more formal answer so make sure it's written with minimal errors and you fully answer all parts of the prompt.

In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare presents us with an unusual and fantastic series of events as fairies and mortals mix in the mysterious woods just outside Athens. The four lovers and Nick Bottom each undergo their own experience with the fairy world. However, different characters provide varying takes on the night's strange happenings. Consider the following three reactions/explanations by different characters:

  • Nick Bottom awakes from his dream, his "most rare vision," and offers one explanation at the end of Act IV, scene 1.
  • At the beginning Act V, Duke Theseus explains to Hippolyta what he thinks of the situation in the woods.
  • And finally, Puck re-appears with his own suggestion for the audience in the closing lines of Act V.

Of the three reactions/explanations, choose one that you believe the most significant or closest to how you might try to explain what happened in the woods. Whom do you believe the most? Bottom, Theseus, or Puck? What is it about their explanation that makes sense to you? Why? Point to specific lines from the play to help make your point.

05 April 2009

The power of love - Midsummer post #4

This is the fourth Midsummer post and is due before class starts on Tuesday, April 7.

In the middle of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the four Athenian lovers have found themselves all mixed up due to the love spell two of them are under. As a result, they bicker, beg, fight, plead for love, and do many seemingly "crazy" things all in the name of their love. During the mayhem, Puck shouts "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" The lovers don't notice it, but for any outside observer - like the fairies who take on the role of an audience in this scene - the foolishness is readily apparent.

So far in the play, what do you think has been the most "foolish" thing one of the lovers has said or done? Now think about people you know in your life: is the Midsummer lover's "foolish" action realistic for someone under the spell of love? How is the lover's action like or not like people you know? What does Shakespeare seem to be saying about the power of love?

Reminder: Your responses need to be in complete sentences and relatively free of mechanical and spelling mistakes. Many of you have gotten pretty sloppy with your responses.

01 April 2009

What's so funny? - Midsummer post #3

This is the third Midsummer blog response and is due before class starts Friday, April 3.

A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy, which is something that today's television viewers should know a little something about. According to Scholastic Scope magazine, Shakespeare included three kinds of classic mix-ups to help generate some comedy: 1) mistaken identity, 2) love triangles, and 3) strange coincidences. Each of these classic mix-ups are staples on 21st Century comedy shows, or sitcoms. The next time you watch your favorite sitcom or re-run, look for one of those classic mix-ups involving the characters.

Assignment: Select one (1) of the classic mix-ups from above and find an example of it from a popular sitcom you watch. First, describe the mix-up from the sitcom, and then explain how the humor of the mixed-up situation helps increase your enjoyment and appreciation of the show. What makes it so funny?

As with all of these assignments, it is a good practice to write your response in a word processing program so you can better edit and proofread your entry before submitting it. Take heed, this is formal writing and should be treated as such. Don't spurn the capital letter or ignore the necessary punctuation. Be thoughtful of your friend the complete sentence.

Good luck and enjoy!

Finally, if you complete this assignment using something besides a desktop or laptop computer, (say an Itouch or other handheld device) let me know! Announce it at the end of your entry.