September 24, 2007

Our Daily Bread

GUIL (coda): Give us this day our daily round . . .

Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

At first, I wasn't impressed by this turn of phrase by Guildenstern, but by the fourth time it showed up, it demanded notice. "Give us this day our daily . . . " fits right into the Christian Lord's Prayer.

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen."

While I'm not sure of the importance of such an allusion to the prayer, I thought surely it should be mentioned. That passage of The Lord's Prayer is a specific request to have the basic necessities filled. Before Guildenstern makes this particular referral to the prayer, Rosencrantz says in anguish, "All I ask is a change of ground!" While this is a specific request, I don't know if it qualifies as a basic necessity.

I guess what I'm trying to say was that this passage (and other similar passages) confused me. What is the reason for their appearance?

Posted by Diana Geleskie at 10:32 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 19, 2007

The Way Things Are. Go Structure.

"Unlike plot, which is concerned with conflict or conflicts, structure defines the layouts of works - the ways the story, play, or poem is shaped."

Edgar V. Roberts, Writing About Literature

So first things first, and Kevin, you should be with me on this, why didn't we have this book for Literary Criticism? (Insert HUGE Tiffany rant here.)

Anyway, on to the topic at hand.

The structure of a literary work is often the easiest thing to analysis. That being said, it is also one of the easiest things to make a work a complete muddle. Structure is overlooked for the very reason of being so basic as to blend into the background. Well, the first thing that goes into building any house, apartment complex, skyscraper, or even shed is a design structure. How often do you consider the frame of your house? (It's more the electric or plumbing that gets people in an uproar . . .)

Now; for our most beloved Prince of Denmark. The structure of Hamlet is singular in its play within the play (though this isn't the only work by Shakespeare to do so, A Midsummer Night's Dream anyone?) This structural decision puts more power on the crimes of Claudius and Gertrude, enforcing exactly what Hamlet wants to know.

If this almost-flashback of Claudius had been delivered in the form of a monologue, or an admission of guilt, the plot wouldn't have been forwarded as much - it would have been almost private, not the public display that Hamlet craved.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at 8:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 17, 2007

Claudius, King of the Backbone? Not So Much.

KING CLAUDIUS But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son -
HAMLET A little more than kin and less than kind.
KING CLAUDIUS How is it that the clouds still hang on you?
HAMLET Not so, my lord, I am too much i'th' sun.

William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 1 Scene 2

The harsh nature of the relationship of Hamlet and King Claudius takes mere seconds to perceive. The first words out of Hamlet's mouth are a proverbial riddle: "The nearer in kin the less in kindness." This riddle indicates that "there is little warmth in their new, only nominally closer relationship. Playing on 'kind' in the sense of natural type or offspring, however, he also refers to the incestuousness of the marriage that has produced their unnatural kinship." Oh the genius of Shakespeare to weight such a small line!

Hamlet's line however, isn't truly what interested me about this introductory to the lead characters, it was King Claudius' response, "How is it that the clouds still hang on you?" Hamlet has slammed Claudius (for lack of a better term) and all Claudius can think to say seems the equivalent of the modern, "Who put a stick up your . . ." well, you get it. And then, then, following Hamlet's response, who should step in but Queen Gertrude! Claudius sure does a great job of standing up for himself initially.

'Tis true, the next time King Claudius speaks is for a 30 line monologue on displays of grief, but doesn't that sound rather generic to you? Is Shakespeare introducing Claudius as a weakling on purpose? I guess that would fit the rest of the play.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at 12:49 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

Playing Around With CSS

"All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors."

I've made the decision to finally live up to the standards that my fellow first-SHU-bloggers have thrown on the table, at least in terms of design. (In terms of amount of dedication, I don't think I will ever live up to either Karissa'a or Amanda's standards.)

So over the next few days I'll be plodding through the coding attempting to find a design I truly adore. Hopefully, this will only be the start. I have a long way to go to get my own poor attempt at website design up to par - even my own!

Posted by Diana Geleskie at 2:52 PM | Comments (2)