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February 17, 2007

Show Or Tell

"...the artist is sufficiently confident of his ability to tell a story and of his audience's capacity to receive it that he is able to signal an action rather than develop it in detail"

We have all read in a previous essay about the obedience that is in "The Tempest". During the time Shakespeare wrote "The Tempest" was during the Reformation as well as the political obedience that was controversial.
When I read this essay, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed that McDonald paid attention to the text rather than the history behind the text. This quote stood out to me because of how it related so well to Shakespeare's style throughout the play.
He knew the circumstances going on around this time and wrote to it. He did realize who the audience was going to be so he knew that he did was "able to signal an action rather than develop it in detail" because the audience would be able to relate and comprehend the overall point.
So basically, Shakespeare told instead of showed.
Personally, I like being showed with extreme detail about the occuring action or scene.
But that is just me.

Posted by Denamarie at February 17, 2007 9:29 PM

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Shakespeare did what he planned to do- create works that brought enjoyment (and money) from the audience. He knew, just as other playwrights know, that although there may be some underlying meaning in the works, not everyone will understand it. If he was writing for his time and audience, is it a bit much to read indepthly into his works?

Posted by: Nessa at February 19, 2007 3:08 PM

I too enjoyed reading this essay. I thought that the essay brought to light what the text was saying. However, I do agree with Vanessa as well. Shakespeare was trying to earn a living and his plays were the way he did that. I don't think that he ever expected his plays to be produced so many years after he was living, but at the same time I think indepth readings of his works help us to understand the time period better than we did previously. I think that I just talked myself into a circle, but the gist of what I am saying is that there is most assuredly something to looking deeply into a work as long as we remember that these are plays that were meant to be seen not read.

Posted by: Tiffany at February 20, 2007 11:20 AM

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