Blast That Trumpet Angel!

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I cannot even remember how we got onto the discussion of Disney princesses in class today, but I'm glad we did. I found a website that lists 168 of Hans Christian Hendersen's pieces. The first link is to the main page and the second takes you directly to "The Little Mermaid".

            Jess pointed out something in class today that caught my attention as well while reading "Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)". That is the fact that MacDonald eases us into Shakespearean language through Constance. Originally, she speaks quite modernly responding with quotes like, "I'm a vegetarian" (29). However, as Constance begins to find herself, her language becomes much more Shakespearean. For instance, she says, "No. I refuse to say that I felt love/ for someone who did grind my mind to pulp/ and lined a gilded bird-cage with the dust" (70). As I said in my previous blog entry, I really loved this play. The way MacDonald eases us into Shakepearean language with modern phrases and a comedic twist was so much easier to follow. I usually have to close read every line of Shakespeare's writing and even then I usually can only grasp a general meaning. MacDonald has actually inspired me to want to give Shakespeare another chance. Yes, the heavens have opened and I can hear the angels singing as I write this line. It's a miracle. I really want to read Othello to see how MacDonald embellished and poked fun at the characters. Also, I want to follow Carissa's advice and look up Shakespeare's jokes so I can pick them out when rereading some of his pieces.  I also might even have to invest in one of the English club's tshirts.



Josie Rush said:

Brooke, thanks so much for the links! I was really curious to see these stories. (Incidentially, I think the discussion of princesses came from Dr. Jerz mentioning the traditional roles of men and women in literature and how they were generally portrayed.) MacDonald made a wise choice by easing us into Shakespearean speeches. Also, the quote you included was one of my favorites from the play... I could imagine Constance's facial expression as she said this, and hear exactly how the actress would project her voice. I guess this quote was modern enough to be comprehendible, and Shakespearean enough to fit the theme.

Aja Hannah said:

I've tried reading Shakespeare before and it you have to read a long time to really get in there and be able to translate everythig. MacDonald kinf of helped, but I also think we lose a lot of from Shakespeare because the language was different. Part of what made MacDonald's play was the sexual innuendos (a parody of the Othello and Romeo and Juliet), but its harder to really see/understand/appreciate those jokes in context in Shakespeare's works.

Carissa Altizer said:

I don't think I will ever pick up one of Shakespeare's novels for fun, but I can certainly see why it it is cherished by educators, professors, and the literary community. I almost feel like we get permission to join some kind of an elitist club when we can read a line or two and pick up the vulgar jokes. What I'm concerned with is Chaucer. Making it through Canterbury Tales will be the real challenge. However, like the nerd that I freely admit to being, this week I picked up Chaucer's Bawdy by Thomas W. Ross at a used book sale in preparation for next semester. Just in case you're interested:

Also, if you do read Othello, try the Folder Shakespeare Library. The chapter summaries and annotations are really helpful!

Brooke Kuehn said:

Josie, thanks it was driving me crazy trying to remember how we got on the subject of disney princesses.
Aja, i agree about Shakespeare taking a lot of work to read. But since MacDonald was able to ease me in, i feel like i am up for the challenge. I also remember reading some lines in the play that i swear were directly quoted from shakespeare. I also want to check out that book carissa was talking about that deciphers Shakespeare's dirty jokes so i can get a laugh while reading his work.
Carissa, thanks for the links! I am also really scared to read chaucer. i heard it is pretty difficult. Oh ya, what was that book you were talking about the other day about shakepeare's dirty jokes?

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