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March 2005 Archives

March 1, 2005

The Miranda Trap

"The Miranda Trap" dealt with feminism in The Tempest. It was interesting to see how the author showed Miranda as being a counterpart to Queen Elizabeth. This brings up the idea that Shakespeare modeled his characters after members of the actual royal court. Another fact to prove this statement was that Elizabeth had fallen in love with the bridegroom that her father had chosen for her. This directly parallels Prospero's choice of Ferdinand for Miranda.

The hierarchy in the play is very evident between the higher class individuals and those at the base of the pyramid, for example those where Caliban is placed. Not only is the theme of servant/master brought up once again but now we begin to see the relationships between the many social groups in England at the time of the play. Caliban's own origin (being born the son of a witch and the devil) is important regarding his reception by the other characters in the play and this is not just in reference to his social class. His appearence is hideous which suggests his evilness. Jerz once mentioned that characters with deformaties (perhaps a missing limb, or distorted face) are percieved as being evil because of their 'fear factor.' Often times we associate fear with evil things. After all there is general fear of all things defined as evil.

The ranking of individuals in the story does not only apply to social class and race (w/Caliban being percieved as a black male) but also gender. Miranda is ranked lower in society (even though she is a wealthy woman) than Prospero her father. There is an interesting point made about why Miranda fears Caliban and this made me begin to draw my own conclusions about it. I began to think that obviously she fears him because he is evil (or is seen as evil) but also because of the things that evil people are capable of such as rape (the one thing all women fear). There is a sexual threat present from any males. Miranda is portrayed as being chaste and full of virtue the entire time which is seen as a prize for Caliban if he could ever "have her." Just a thought.

The Miranda Trap ASN.

Bloom: Invention of the Human

Harold Bloom's academic article regarding Shakespeare's "The Tempest" took a very unique look at the play's various characters and the audience's perception of them. In general I did not have a problem with Prospero or the way in which he conducted himself in the play. Though Bloom argues that Prospero is one of the play's true villians and that many of his actions are indeed not just (such as the enslavement of Caliban/Ariel). All the characters of the play are flawed in some way or another, as mentioned by Chris in his blog...though it is hard to find a vice or flaw of Miranda. It is interesting how bloom also describes Prospero as being cold in his demeanor. I associate coldness with evil/madness and the devil. Specifically the devil because of a point that was recently brought up in my Faith, Religion and Society class that the devil is cold and heartless in his actions.

Prospero, like the devil, does have an immense amount of magical power that he can use to influence others, but he does not ever implement it in such a way as to change things for his benefit. I wonder if it is that knows using his power for evil is wrong, yet this contradicts the idea Bloom presents about Prospero's true nature. I am sure the Prospero had the power to go back and change what he had once done (maybe by time travel) but he never did, oddly enough. It was a heard concept to wrap my head around.

I thought it was really interesting that Bloom described "The Tempest" as being 'the worst interpreted and performed play along with "A Mid-Summers Night's Dream." The Tempest deals with a broken society on the island and it is likely that once everyone leaves, Caliban will be left behind on the island alone to suffer for his sins. As Caliban is rejected by society, I can't help but re-visit my earlier claim that if he had the chance he would rape Miranda.A more contemporary production of the play that was done lets this rape commence. Another interesting thing about this play is the idea that it can be a romance as well as a comedy. Interpretation can be varied but there are elements of each type of play in "The Tempest."

Important Term:

Shakespeare and the Invention of the Human ASN.

March 4, 2005

Blog Portfolio #1


This is the first installment of my Blog Portfolio for 2005. For those of you that did not follow my Blog the first time around I will give you a brief exposition about me and my Movable Type cause. My name is Leslie Rodriguez and welcome to my weblog sponsored by Movable Type. I am a freshman at Seton Hill University and as part of my EL150 Intro to Literary Study class and the New Media Journalism program I write and respond with blog entries on various topics.

These entries are then posted for public view on my blog. This entry acts as an introduction to my blog portfolio which includes selected entries that reflect on our in class discussions, academic articles and various texts. The following topics will be examined and discussed in my blog portfolio:

The Collection: My best blog entries categorized accordingly.
Coverage Blog 1-"The Sonnet in the 20th Century"; an in depth look at the idea of contemporary sonnets and the styles of writing them; as well as topics.

Coverage Blog 2-"Death Be Not Proud"; a look at John Donne's view of death interpreted as a calm and tranquil event. ie: A passing fleeting part of life.

Coverage Blog 3-Introduction to poetry and its many formats. Analysis of several authors and their individual writing styles.

Depth Blog 1-Overview and disection of Acts I,II of "The Tempest."
Depth Blog 2-"The Miranda Trap"; a look at the feminist critique of "The Tempest" and how it effects our (the audience's) vision of the play.
Depth Blog 3-Overview and analysis of Acts III,IV,V of "The Tempest." Prospero and Miranda's relationship examined.

Interaction Blog 1-A stream of comments was accumulated from this entry which displays my 'SHU Sonnet." There are some interesting and favorable reactions.
Interaction Blog 2-Though this entry is not specifically in relation to any text we reviewed in class I included it because it showed my ability to use my blog to stimulate interaction with other bloggers. Some of these comments were left from people that weren't even in my class. This is the Spears V.S. Jerz blog.

Discussion Blog 1-A discussion prompted by Foster's novel; specifically sections 1-3,5...the problem of teaching in High School literature classes.
Discussion Blog 2-An entry posted that prompted discussion about Shakespeare as a Catholic and the possibility of Catholic undertow in "The Tempest."

Timelessness Blog 1-"A Good Man is Hard to Find," a look at O'connor's story and an in depth character analysis.
Timelessness Blog 2-An analysis and interpretation of Shakespeare's sonnets 116 & 18.

The Comment Primo-I commented on Sam's blog entry about the various versions of "The Tempest." The entry was entitled "Rewriting A Masterpiece."
The Comment Grande-I commented rather extensively on Kristen Bergstein's blog entry about "The Miranda Trap" and well as an academic article by Bloom. The comments focus on defending the claim that Shakes was not a sexist and also brief mention of Miranda and Prospero's relationship.
The Comment Informative-Well...I kind of had to stretch this one a little bit. I posted an entry on the movie "Million Dollar Baby" and Lou made a general comment about it. We had a little bit of a heated debate but it worked out. I thought it was the closest thing I had to meeting this Xenoblogging requirement.
The Link Gracious-I mentioned Ashley's idea and linked to her blog.

Wildcard Blog Entry-My best 'fun blog' to date. Dr.Jerz as compared to 'ND'.nd1.jpeg

March 5, 2005

Eats, Shoots & Leaves I

Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves is a really cool look at grammar and puncuation. It reminded me a little of Foster's How To Read Literature Like A Professor simply because of the lax and informal writing style that the author used. As I read on I couldn't believe that this book was a best seller. I mean really...who writes about grammar thats not made up of completely text book boring bullshit? (like my use of aliteration?) Apparently that person is Lynne Truss. I think that the success of the book can be attributed to its unique look at a commonly despised subject matter that is grammar. This brings me to the idea of standard written English. You really have to be an incredibly meticulous proof reader in order to write correctly 24/7. For some reason since I began to blog I feel that my grasp on proper writing has wavered a little bit. I believe that Jerz once said, "I am grading you on the content and thought of your blogs. Spelling an puncuation aren't my concern at this point and time." (I may be paraphrasing a little bit.) Therefore I concentrate more so on content than technical/mechanical errors in my writing. My friend Jaynelle often reads through my blog and shutters at my horrific spelling and sometimes winces slightly in disgust at my comma usage, but I guess that is where we differ as writers. Silly Grammar Pandas....

Eats, Shoots & Leaves ASN I

March 10, 2005

Oh Paris Hilton...

Well this is going to be quite the story. I have found something magical, something truly entertaining that I felt obligated to share with my fellow bloggers because they always enjoy a good laugh. I was searching on google images for some Paris Hilton pics for a project and I clicked on this one that looked to be a parody of her infamous "video" venture. I ended up on the funniest web page that I have seen in a long time. It is a joke version of her Sidekick Cellphone (you know the one where she is in the commercial with Burt Reynolds and Snoop Dogg). It is setup as if someone got her password and hacked into it, displaying the contents online. The funny thing is, they probably aren't too far from the truth. Check out this very interactive and funny site.

March 12, 2005

Women's Lacrosse Makes Waves...

As you all know the Seton Hill Women's lacrosse team may be just starting out but they have already proven themselves as being very strong competitors in the world of college athletics. Winning their first game over Spring Break in South Carolina against Presbyterian College was only the begining for these strong, hard working girls. As a member of the team I can say it is an honor and a privalege to play lax with these girls. I am really proud of our team as a whole and hopefully our squad of a mere 14 girls will become one of the closest teams here on the hill. I urge you to please come out and give your support to the fastest growing sport in the nation. A special thanks to Coach Brown and Coach Matthews for all they do.


March 23, 2005

Ex 2-2: Original Sonnet Reflection

There is a lot to be said about the original sonnet that I wrote entitled "Self-Destruction." Firstly in case you didn't read the sonnet, it is not about me, so no need to worry about my self-destruction at this point in time. It is a very intimate and personal look at the life of one of my friends from the past. Recently it has been brought to my attention that this person, someone I cared for greatly has turned their life into shambles. I guess it was a long time coming but once it happened there was no turning back. When I first sat down to write this sonnet a lot of ideas crossed my mind but I kept going back to my concern and question for this individual's current actions which I deemed as being self-destructive.

I struggled with writing sonnets in the past solely because I feared having to use a formula with my writing style. It just seemed manually constructed and I began to wonder if Shakespeare had to think long and hard as I did when writing in this way. Well, all fears aside I needed to refresh my memory about Sonnets and found a really good website off of google that showed me How to Write a Sonnet.(Sorry Dr.Jerz, I lost those handouts) I knew after reading this page what I had to do and took the advice of the author by making a list of words that would go with my theme. It was very helpful. Next I just sat down and began to write. Feeling more confident and at ease, I fell like this sonnet is one of my best to date. It is honest and from the heart. I thought long and hard about my topic and content which I think showed in the end result.

As far as goal setting for this sonnet, I wanted to express great concern, but then again let the subject of the sonnet know that you can't treat your friends horribly and then expect them to be there for you when you fall flat on your face and need help getting back up. She (the poem's subject) has done a lot of things to people that don't make her deserving of a second or even third chance. Please don't get me wrong, I may seem harsh in my final couplet but this is not necesarily a sonnet writing off this person but just temporarily disconnecting them from my life until they realize what they need to do to get better, physically and mentally. I drew on true life experience and an issue that was currently on my mind. As far as formula/structure goes, I followed the standard iambic pentameter rhyme scheme (ababcdcdefefgg) not that of the italian sonnet (aabbaabacdecde).

Ex: 2-2 Original Sonnet Asn.

March 31, 2005

The Color of Water...

The Color of Water is a novel written by James McBride about his life and times growing up with a white mother and a black father. When I first got this book at orientation on July 19, 2004 I knew right away that I didn't really want to read it. I had the mentality that summer reading was quote "so high school." So I didn't actually even read the book until this semester. I think part of the reason behind my not reading it until recently is that I am in so many literature classes that it is really hard to be motivated to do any outside readings or what I like to call "pleasure readings." One thing that I worried about before reading this book was that the author might have a biased view towards the black race rather than the white (or vise versa). It would seem like a logical thing if he did. I mean we favor what we feel most familiar with and therefore we would favor the race that we felt most closely related toward.

One thing in the book that I found to be kind of interesting (and weird/stereotypical at the same time) was that James McBride's father had an entirely different family that he would go stay with on ocassion. I wasn't sure exactly why that was...I mean it kind of lends itself to the stereotype that African Americans are prone to have many different families and children with various individuals. Don't misinterpret me on this one. I don't necesarily think this, but it is confusing that McBride seems to condone such behaviour because that is what he grew up with. Another thing that was interesting about the book was that McBride's mother was not only white, but Jewish as well. She was facing many types prejudice from whites, blacks, and jews. McBride watched his mother overcome adversity and this helped him become a stronger individual that suprisingly did not hold any animosity towards his white or black heritages.

In EL: 150 we talked a lot about being comfortable with the issue of race, talking about it and writing about it as well. I can see where it is hard for people to express how they feel when it comes to topics that involve race. We as a society tend to not want to leave a comfort zone that we have created for ourselves and this topic takes us to a foreign place. If we aren't talking about our own race it just feels odd sometimes and your comments about another race seem to be discredited because "you don't really know" how they live.

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" is actually one of my favorite plays. I read it last year just for shits and giggles in my AP English class. I am a big Miller fan in general. The first play that I auditioned for was "The Crucible" at the local University where I live. It was an exilirating experience and for this reason my love for the theatre blossomed. I also think this encounter with Miller's work made me want to read more of what he had written. Most of Miller's plays tend to have a lot of social commentary in them. Miller himself was not an idealist, though many of the characters in his plays are; for example Willy in "Death of a Salesman."

One of the reasons that I love reading "DOS" is because of Miller's very detailed stage directions. They add a whole other element to the play because when you are reading them they act as a referrence to subtle little things that apply to the current scene. Unlike in Shakespeare's plays, (ex: Tempest), Miller uses these stage directions frequently. (but not without purpose) I first began to think about this when reading Vanessa's Blog entry about the play. These detailed stage directions not only help the reader but also the actor performing the play.

One thing that I really love about reading plays is that there is so much dialogue, in fact all dialogue and a few descriptive passages. I hate reading novels mostly for the reason that they tend to dwell on detail rather than human interaction. "DOS" manages to find a perfect medium between the two elements of literature; description and dialogue. The main theme of the play has to deal with personal satisfaction in a quest to achieve what is known by society as the "American Dream." In the case of Willy and his family this dream is defined 2 ways and is not achieved by the root of either definition.

About March 2005

This page contains all entries posted to Roamer's Zone in March 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2005 is the previous archive.

April 2005 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.