Life's a Dream, not the imitation that we thought

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I saw Life's a Dream this past Saturday night. It was really great, I'm actually really glad that I saw the play first, usually I read and then go to the play. For one thing, I knew Clarin was supposed to be funny. I also noticed and actually remembered that quite a few of the lines were different (not a lot but things were just said in a different way, obviously since we used a different translation. I have always enjoyed Seton Hill's productions, so since I'm graduating it is kind of sad that this is one of the last shows that I will see here. Anyways, I think the actors did a really great job. I look forward to the next show later this semester.

Ok, so I hope it's ok that I'm doing my Life's a Dream stuff all in one blog. So I was sitting in my room reading the play and I realized something, and hopefully it's not totally off. But anyways, I was thinking how mimetics is imitation and it's based off of some things that Plato talked about, I totally related this to Plato's cave allegory. In Plato's cave allegory the prisoners who are in the lowest part of the cave are the ones who are the furthest from understanding the true reality of things outside of the cave. At first I thought that Life is a dream is supposed to be an imitation of the cave allegory, but it's not, and here's why. Although Segismundo is a prisioner, has been a prisoner his whole life, he has a knowledge of reality. The prisioners of the allegory are uneducated, they are taking wild guess about the shadows that they see one the wall. Segismundo is educated by his jailor. "I have studied political science, instructed by the beasts, informed by the birds, and have measured the orbits of the gentle heavenly bodies." (Barca 17).
Ok, I just had another realization, yes Life is a Dream doesn't imitate entirely. Segismundo is not exactly like the prisoners who are trapped in the lowest part of the cave looking at the shadows. As the play continues he follows Plato's cave allegory. As he is prince for the day (the prisoner leaves the cave) he begins to see the reality in what has really been going on, finding out that he was locked up by his own father and learns that he is supposed to be a prince, not some kind of monster. (the prisoner realizes that the shadows on the wall are really just people walking around) Once Segismundo returns to the prison (the prisoner goes back to the cave) he realizes the true realiy of everything. He realizes that it's not ok to throw people out of windows just because they may make him angry, he can't take advantage of every woman he likes. He knows that if he had the chance to be a prince again, and he does, that he has to be a nice person. The cave allegory focus's on (ok so this is what Dr. Martino said, I love that I totally applied something I learned from my philosophy class last semester, shout out to Dr M ) one prisoner leaving the deepest part of the cave, knowing nothing about the true reality of what was outside of the cave, they journey through the cave learning through, when they leave the cave they understand what was truely going on outside of the cave and understand where they once were. Segismundo goes through the same thing, if that makes any sense. I think I just had an ah ha moment. I don't know if this is even right but I'm totally writing this for my case book.

Class thoughts on Life is a Dream

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2 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Hey Sue, I like your relation between the two classes. I haven’t taken philosophy yet, so I don’t know all that much about Plato, but what you were saying made sense to me. Segismundo has been educated, so he is a bit different than those others who see only shadows. Yet, at the same time, I kind of wondered how realistic it would be for someone who has never left a cave and only met one person to be as intelligent as Segismundo is. He seems to catch on to everything amazingly fast for never being at court before. But I really like how you point out that it is all about “the journey through the cave.” That is true about almost everything. Seeing what we once were, how’ve we grown, and where we are now is always fascinating. Seeing how we got from one place to the other is the most interesting part: )

Sue said:

Greta,
You are right about Segismundo, it is strange that he learned so quickly, especially from a supposed dream. I also found it odd that the king expected him to act perfectly, why would he act perfectly when he has been locked in a prison his entire life? If he would have been raised as a prince he would have acted like one.

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This page contains a single entry by published on March 3, 2009 9:38 PM.

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