This section has the four F.E.A.T. sources that were assigned in class as well as all of the weekly journal entries. The F.E.A.T. system was completely new to me so i learned a lot from doing the four assignments. Learning this system allowed me to organize the sources that i accumulated throughout the semester. I did my exhibit source assignment on an illustration from Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which i used sections of in my final paper. The weekly journal entries helped me become a much better writer and critical thinker by forcing me to write every week as well as analyze the readings that were assigned.
Journal Entry 1:
Hi, here is my journal entry. I am still logged in but i cant do anything.
I found the reading from Shakespeare's Kings very interesting and informative. It was like a good soap opera. But it was a little hard to follow at the beginning because there were so many people that i did not know. It was a fast read, clear and to the point, this kept me interested and actually made me want to read the whole book. However, the reading in the Macbeth book were a little confusing. The topics were a little repetitive and not very clear. I feel that if i knew more about the king and the history i would have gotten a lot more out of it. On the whole I still enjoyed reading the letters and the speech.
Journal Entry 2:
Well my digication page was working but i just found out it did not upload my journal entry when i submitted it on Monday. But i am able to access the submit page and that is a big improvement. So here it is:
Richard 3 is awesome! The language is so rich and cleaver. I realized how great Shakespeare really is just from reading the first act. There is just so much depth in everything line. This poses a challenge because the language is difficult and some times hard to decipher and understand. But after reading the first act twice i feel that i have a good feeling for the play and really enjoy it.
Journal Entry 3:
In the 4th act it becomes more apparent that Margret's curses are coming true. Furthermore the Duchess of York is also curses Richard. It is obvious that both women know that Richard is sure to fall. At this point in the play were Richard finally becomes King, his decline in power and judgment is apparent. He is clearly not very good at playing the protagonist, he kills the children even though they are of no threat to him, he also changes his mind when he gives orders to Ratcliffe and Salisbury who disagree with him poor judgment. Richard was all powerful when he was the antagonist in the play but once he has to play the part of the protagonist he fails. It is very interesting to watch Richards grip on the entire play start to loosen.
Journal Entry 4:
I am currently reading The Electric Koolaid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, i am fascinated by this 60's time period and the counterculture that was booming at the time. I have read alot of Hunter S. Thomson's work as well as On The Road. There is alot of common themes in these novels. One in particular that intrests me is an idea from Fear and Loathing in Las Vages by Thompson, he is in Vages in search of the "American Dream" and he asks people at a taco stand were it is and they take it litterly and tell him that it was a drug house that is on some street, so he plays along and it is all very comical but at the end of the novel we are left with no real "American Dream." For Thomspon the American Dream was California during the 60's. I want to investigate further this idea of an "American Dream."
Journal Entry 5:
Act 3 did not fail to disappoint. Titus is finally realizing whats going on, although he is tearing on the brink of madness but i think it is all part of his initial hysteria. He just had his sons killed and his daughter raped so it understandable that he had a conversation with stones. But at the very end of the act he has almost an epiphany and he sees the fly that he tried to protect for what it is and decides to not give up on his mutilated daughter. That means he is not planning to give up on Rome either if we continue with the extended metaphor.
Journal Entry 6:
I have mixed feeling about the alterations that were made. What i really liked was changing young Lucius to Junius AWSOME! But i found that he took away from the play as well as added to it at the same time. He made things much more clear like how Levinia told everyone who raped her and he did a good job of creating alot of tension and setting up the plots for revenge agains Tamora but at the same time when he does that it doesnt make the reader make infrences like we do in class and allow one to come to a conclusion by himself. Yes the play is much more clear but i feel like the play is better origionally because it is less clear and there is a much bigger gray area up for debate. Also i really didnt like the scene were Titus request a meating with the Saturninus, he compleetly changed when Tamora thought she tricked him into having dinner. The original scene was much better because it was an almost rebirth if Titus to going back into power but in the original it was less dramatic and better i think.
Journal Entry 7:
To be honest i am not the biggest fan of the whole witchcraft subject. The fear and ignorance of people amazes me. Although i thoroughly enjoyed reading about the crazy awesome torture methods they employed to force people to admit that they were witches. Personally if they put those boots on me i would admit to anything to get them to stop crushing my feet, granted there were so many worse punishments. I do not understand why people have this obsession with the paranormal. Today we embrace it on television and back then they were so scared that they had to kill anyone who did something out of the ordinary. I don't know like i said not a fan.
Journal Entry 8:
I am really enjoying Dr. Faustus so far. But i have a thought, i think that Lucifer tricked him into selling his soul. Lucifer watched as Faustus summoned Mephastophilis and even though Mephastophilis did not force Faustus to do anything he still played a part in the exchange. Mephastophilis warned Faustus about the horrors of hell and told him not to sell his soul, why wouldnt a deamon that serves Lucifer want to make his master happy and bring him a soul? One would think that Mephastophilis should be encouraging Faustus to sell his soul yet he doesnt, he does te exact opposite. That makes me think that Lucifer and Mephastophilis somehow knew what to do in order to trick Faustus into selling his soul.
Journal Entry 9:
Very interesting to say the least. I like how the money keeps getting people in trouble. The devil keeps screwing everyone over by giving them money that turns into foreign currency some how and then they get arrested. The author obviously sees money as a great evil. I was really confused to what happened to the director who "hypnotized", and why everyone started singing?
Journal Entry 10:
I am really confused about why Pilot tried to save Judas of Kerioth? I understand that the stranger was told to protect him but why do they want to stop they from murdering Kerioth, didnt he screw over Jesus, why would Pilot want to save him from getting killed. k actually i just figured it out, Pilot is enligtened and he realizes if he saves Kerioth he is doing a good deed, while Levi is ignorent and does not understand what Jesus was trying to teach. Is that right? I might just be really confused.
Journal Entry 11:
I was thinking about my research paper i think i have come to a thesis but i do not know how to put it into one sentence or if it will work. I also do not know if this is sufficient enough for a 12 page paper. I would like to argue the idea that Thompson saw the 1960's in California as a great symbol of hope and freedom, the failure to unite caused the great collapse and lead to fear and loathing in the 1970's. My main exhibit source will be obviously Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, there is a passage there that describes how Thompson saw that at the end of the 60's people would fail to unite. I will use the rest of the book to exemplify how he views the treacherous 70's. The 1960's will be exemplified by his novel Hell's Angels and Wolfe's Kool-Aid Acid Test. I also have two movies that are relivant, Gonzo and the movie adaptation of fear and loathing. I also found a great article on the passage in Fear and Loathing were Thompson is refering to the 1960's.
Journal Entry 12:
Well it was a great class despite having it at 4 which was not that fun. But i enjoyed all the books that we read and i really like the freedom of choosing our topic for the final paper and portfolio. My favorite book was Titus and Andronicus and i liked M and M obviously Macbeth is a classic but i read it before so i did not get as much out of it. The lecture its self apart from being at an unfavorable time was enjoyable and nothing like a lecture but a forum, fun. Final comment: nice...
WR 150 I2
January 20, 2009
Summary Exercise: Fact Source
King James I delivered a speech to the Lords and Commons of the Parliament at Whitehall illustrating three principals that reflect the condition of the monarchy. First he compares the power of kings to that of gods, labeling them as: “God’s lieutenants upon earth” (217). He also portrays kings as fathers to not only his children but also the land and the people. Lastly the king is the head of his “natural body.” King James I articulates the topics that he is going to focus on at the beginning of his speech, this is a very effective rhetoric technique because it lets the audience know what to expect and allows them to follow his speech with ease.
In his opening sentence King James I states, “Kings are justly called gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth” (217). He explains that kings have powers on earth that resemble that of gods. His opening sentence does an excellent job of setting the stage for the rest of his argument. He goes on and lists the power of first a God and then a King. This creates a very effective contrast, and allows the audience to easily agree with his argument. King James I then resigns and states that there is a difference between the divinity of the king and the state of his kingdom (218). In order to aid the king and keep a state of stability within the kingdom, a set of fundamental laws are passes in Parliament, clearly drawing a distinction between the power of the king and the state of his kingdom, depicting a limit to the kings power.
The King is also the father of a family. He can name his heir according to his liking. He can favor one child over another and even banish members of his family as he see fit. King James I eloquently says, “make them beggars, or rich at his pleasure; restrain, or banish out of his presence, as he finds them giving cause of offense” (218). King James I clearly illustrates the immense power the king has over his bloodline, showing that even the king’s family is bound to judgment by the King. God also gave the King a body that is in total submission of his will, as are his subjects, kingdom, and family.
King James I conclusion sends a very powerful message to all kings. King James I explains, “And though no Christian man ought to allow any rebellion of people against their prince, yet doth God never leave kings unpunished when they transgress these limits” (219). This is very powerful because although kings maybe tyrants here on earth, God will eventually be the one to judge them and punish them as he see fit. This is why King James I feels that a king should aid his subjects and rule according to the laws of his kingdom. As long as the king does not start ruling according to his own laws, then the kingdom will be in a state of peace and order. King James I draws a great conclusion because throughout the body of his speech he is comparing the power of a king to that of a god, having immense power over himself, his family, and his kingdom. But in reality there is a lot of responsibility when dealing with not only your self and your family, but also an entire kingdom. King James I warns, “The higher we are placed, the greater shall our fall be…the taller the trees be, the more danger of the wind” (219). King James I is able to evoke powerful images in the audiences mind when he parallels being king to being on a tall tree. Imagery is a very effective rhetoric technique in portraying what it would be like to be a king.
WR 150 I2
January 20, 2009
Summary Exercise: Exhibit Source
In the novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson there are illustrations to aide in understanding the drug-induced insanity that occurred in Thompson’s acid filled head. Ralph Steadman, a close friend of Thompson, did the illustrations for Thompson’s novel. Steadman who is also influenced by acid is able to captures the scene Thompson describes as, “We’re right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And somebody’s giving booze to these goddamn things! It won’t be long before the tear us to shreds. Jesus, look at the floor! Have you ever seen so much blood?” (Thompson 24). There is a two page black and white illustration of human like reptiles sitting at the bar, drinking, with a floor that is covered in what one could assume to be blood. Since both Steadman and Thompson were under the influence of acid it is hard to say if you could take these images as fact. It is possible that Thompson did see human reptiles but I believe more importantly both Thompson and Steadman are making a powerful social commentary on the Las Vegas crowd.
In the illustration Steadman stylized pen and ink intentionally depicts the people as grotesque reptiles. He gives women beaks and bird like characteristics. The men on the other hand resemble biped lizards complete with tails, clawed feet and hands. Although both the men and women are elegantly dressed they look like slobs and have putrid like bodies. The illustration is very bizarre, there is a man biting a woman on the neck and blood is flying everywhere. In the center of the illustration a very large and powerful looking man has a devil like tail as well as retail scales running down his hands and feet. The floor is obviously covered in blood, but there is also blood in around the mouths of every person.
This is a very powerful drawing that has a lot of meaning behind it. Steadman specifically makes women bird like and men beast like. He is making a social commentary on the people that are in Las Vegas. Women are like birds specifically crows because like crows they are attracted to shiny things that one could assume to be money and wealth. To exemplify this Steadman drew a well-dressed women at the bar smoking a cigarette alone looking around, obviously trying to find a wealthy man. The men on the other hand all look like beasts but at the same time look like they have a lot of wealth. An especially grotesque and wealthy looking man is in the center of the illustration smoking a large cigar and a waiter is bringing him an expensive looking drink. This man in particular is the only one with a devil tail metaphorically paralleling wealth and evil. The fact that they all have blood around their mouths indicates that everyone has done something bad in order to achieve their “American Dream.” Even though everyone is monster like they don’t seem to mind, in fact they are all interacting with each other.
In the Electric Koolaid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, he describes being on acid as being able to see through people and peer into their souls. I believe that this is exactly what Thompson and Steadman have achieved. Being on acid allowed them to see the Las Vegas crowd for what it is, money hungry monsters that have done terrible things in their quest for the “American Dream.” But it is questionable weather one can take what Thompson says on acid as fact. But I believe it is irrelevant because together with Steadman they are able to make a very powerful social commentary on the American people.
WR 150 I2
January 20, 2009
Summary Exercise: Argument Source
In the introduction to King Richard III, Anthony Hammond persuasively argues that Shakespeare intentionally does not characterize Richard, the central character, as simply a “ranting tyrant”. Instead Hammond argues that with the use of the Vice, Shakespeare is able characterize Richard in a way that to both gains the audiences attention as well as sympathize with Richard. Hammond uses this as evidence to disprove the idea that Richard III is just “a twig on the tree of Shakespeare’s histories’”(97). In fact Hammond agrees with Schiller when he states, “one of the nobelest tragedies I know”(97).” Hammond is very effective in arguing the idea that Richard is a likable character. He points out that Richard is not hiding the fact that he is evil and in fact embraces it. Because the audience knows his intentions they are able to sympathize with him, and when he is killed it is very tragic. Hammond does a great job characterizing Richard as being evil and trying to rationalize the irrational monster that Shakespeare spawned.
It is obvious that Richard is a villain of the worst breed. He kills family members, children, women, and anyone who will get in his way. Hammons points out that because the audience is part of his scheme there is a “conspiratorial relationship” that is created and allows the audience to support Richard’s destructive nature. In the first scene of the play Richard informs the audience that he is planning to turn the King against his brother Clarence. Later Richard declares that no matter what it takes he will become King. Richard tries justifies his action by saying, “And descant on mine own deformity. And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover To entertain these fair well-spoken days, I am determined to prove a villain”(127). Hammond taps into that idea of Richard’s deformity being the driving force of his “inordinate evil”. Hammond finds a lot of similarities between Bacon’s essay ‘Of Deformity’ and Richard’s character, Bacon states, “Deformed Persons are commonly even with Nature: For as Nature hath done ill by them; So doe they by Nature… they will, of they be of Spirit, seeke to free themselves from Scorne; Which must be, either by Virtue, or Malice”(102). Although Hammond agrees with the idea of deformity being part of Richards motive for his actions, he believes that it does not fully account for “the wholly irrational aspects of Richard’s behavior”(102).
Hammond argues that Richard’s evil is all part of his devil like characterization. It is very clear throughout the play that Richard is viewed as a “devil”; in fact he is called a devil throughout the play. But Hammond goes even further and points out that Richard is “the perfect example of the anti-Christ”(102). Hammond believes that although Richard has all these Vice-like and anti-Christian qualities he still has to answer to God. Richard is also the Machiavel, Hammond explains, “his plots, inductions dangerous’ are the stock-in-trade of the ambitious Machiavel, as is his playing off of one side against the other”(104). Hammond argues that although Shakespeare was guided by various sources the resulting likable villain is his own. At the end of the play, when Richard is killed, there is a tragic loss. Hammond explains, “We admire his discernment of character, his address and fertility of resource, the command f his temper, his versatility, the ‘alacrity’ whose loss he laments on the eve of Bosworth, and his unquestioned courage and military prowess”(106). This notion is very powerful because throughout the play we, the audience, were able to see the hopes and dreams of a villain, and see him rise to power as he said he would from the start by any means necessary. But when he is killed we feel both a tragic loss and a sigh of relief, as Hammonds puts it, “another wheel full circle and allows us to sense, at the end, the greatness of Richard’s daring, whilst we are simultaneously relived that the dare is safely over”(106).
After reading Hammond’s introduction the evidence is overwhelming that Richard III is one of the greatest tragedies of all time. Simply based on the fact that Richard is one of the greatest antagonists of all time. On the surface Richard might seem like a ruthless monster but Hammond is able to sway even the most skeptic critics. He illuminates the human side of Shakespeare’s creation, by trying to rationalize his actions and values. His argument is very clear and concise with evidence that is irrefutable.
WR 150 I2
January 20, 2009
Summary Exercise: Theory Source
In the Basilikon Doron, originally a letter, King James I advises his son on the role of a king. He publishes the Basilikon Doron and says that it was only meant for the eyes of his son. He does this to gain sympathy as well as popularity from the people. The letter creates an image of him being a caring father and a wise king. When in reality he is trying to bestow on the public the idea that his word is infallible. In the Basilikon Doron, King James stresses the importance of a king’s image. He explains that public is watching every move the king makes (211). King James also feels strongly that a king should be assertive as well as decisive in all of his resolutions (211). He goes on to explain that in order to be righteous and virtuous a king must be dependent upon the word of God (211). King James also explains that a king has a head that can be unitized to control the rest of his body and more importantly his kingdom. King James also warns that every man should be punished according to his own actions, not those of his family or on the basis of race (213).
King James puts forth the idea that appearance is very important when ruling a kingdom. He says, “It is a true old saying, that a king is as one set on a stage” (211). King James makes a great parallel of being king and being an actor on a stage. King James brings forth the theory that people will only judge a king on his outward appearance and will be too pre-occupied to worry about his inward intentions (211). Because everyone is watching the king, King James explains that a king must be able to make decisions and not simply be indifferent. He explains that when it comes to making decisions there is no grey area, there can only be moral and immoral actions, he say “for there is not a middes betwixt them, no more than betwixt their rewards, heaven and hell” (211). But King James does not fear the later reward of hell because he knows his actions are moral.
King James is very clever because he theorizes that as long as a king follows the word of God both his inward morals and outward appearance will become virtuous and righteous, he says, “by your true constant depending upon God, to look for a blessing to all your actions in your office: by the outward using thereof, to testify the inward uprightness of your heart” (211). This puts the king in a position of power were no mortal can judge his morals or actions because he has God on his side. King James goes on to explain that a king also has a head and body, were the head controls the body and tells it to carry out the mind’s and heart’s resolutions. King James states, “But ye have but one tongue, for pronouncing a plain, sensible, and uniform sentence; but one head, and one heart, for keeping a constant and uniform resolution” (213).
James then advises his son not to make decisions simply based on his emotions and to take pleasure in helping his people. James also warns him to judge everyman separately and fairly according to only the mans wrongdoing, he explains, “punishing the evil; but every man according to his own offence: not punishing nor blaming hr father for the son, nor brother for the brother” (213). King James includes this in his letter in order to further exemplify him as being a virtuous and wise. When in reality he is trying to put forth the idea that he has God on his side and that makes anything he does right and virtuous.