In Basilikon Doron under Advice, James talks about punishing “ever man according to his own offence: not punishing nor blaming the father for the son, nor the brother for the brother; much less generally to hate a whole race for the fault of one; for noxa caput sequitur”. I like this idea. I am violently opposed to the action that many positions of authority take wherein they punish the masses for the acts of a few. “Yes, we know only 3 people turned up to the high school dance drunk, but we just can’t risk that happening ever again so there will be no more dances.” This is not effective from a disciplinary standpoint. If anything it makes those under that authority restless and makes them feel as though they ought to do something wrong since they will be punished no matter what. What I’m interested in is if James actually stuck to that. Did he practice what he preached or did he take the divine right of Kings and say, “Yeah, I’m doing it wrong. But I’m king. So suck it”?
I worry myself sometimes. For instance, while reading Act 1 of Richard III I kept finding myself rooting for Richard and his insane and dastardly plots. He’s supposed to be the villain. He’s unseating the King. He’s doing everything that’s wrong. And yet, I couldn’t help crossing my fingers that things would work out for him, hoping that he wouldn’t get caught and praying that the dumb henchman with a conscience would get over it and kill Clarence already. How can I possibly side with somebody so clearly evil? I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s one of those “so bad it’s good” kind of things? Maybe he’s so evil that he is suddenly awesome.
JESUS ROLLERSKATING CHRIST RICHARD! Really? AGAIN with the wife thing? Good grief! And why isn’t Elizabeth (the younger)’s mother just putting her foot down and saying no? She gets pulled in by Richard just like Anne did. But what’s worse, is that Elizabeth (the elder) KNOWS it’s happening! She’s asking herself why she’s letting him convince her. She’s so vehemently against him claiming another life and yet she eventually just lets it happen. I mean, I guess we gotta give him props for not once, but TWICE making a wife out of an enemy. This is where it starts getting scary though. I’m no longer on Richard’s side because, along with the rest of the population in this play, I’m realizing just how evil this guy is. He’s also getting less and less careful with his killing. “oh yeah I’ll just have her killed. no big.” although I guess as King he can sorta do that…. but that just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Also, pissing off Buckingham by refusing to give him the earldom like promised was not among the best-laid plans.
For my portfolio topic, I think I want to play with sex/sexuality somehow. That could be especially fun when tied to Shakespeare because, as we all know, Shakespeare was a dirty old man (what with the sex jokes and sexual references every other line). But that doesn't make a whole project. Getting up in front of a crowd of people and saying "Hey! Shakespeare made 'That's what she said' jokes too!" doesn't really count. So then the question is where do I want to go with this. I could take a look at the Early Modern concept of sex and sexuality. Their whole "being gay is only bad if you're the bottom" is... special. Perhaps a comparison from then to now? It could be interesting to see where beliefs and taboos have changed and which ones have stuck.
Aaaaaaand Titus is proceeding to go crazy. He’s laying on the ground talking to the stones. Then again, maybe he’s not crazy. He’d have just about the same amount of success talking to the judges. Lucius is clearly weirded out by this (and I mean I would be too if I saw my dad on the ground having a conversation with rocks) and reminds him that he’s talking to inanimate objects and that no human is hearing what he says. Titus explains that the judges wouldn’t stand around to hear him, and even if they could hear his voice they wouldn’t be paying attention to the words. Doesn’t the saying go “Like talking to a brick wall”?
Ravenscroft’s version of 4.1 doesn’t have young Lucius (Junius) carrying books. So he does not drop them and Lavinia does not point out the story whose female character shares her fate. This makes Lavinia seem less intelligent. If she’s pointing out that book she has read it and knows the story. She is worldly and intelligent enough to use that connection to get her point across. Ravenscroft just has her go straight to writing in the sand with a stick. To me it seems childish and insulting to Lavinia.
“the devil doth lick them with his tongue in some privy part of their body” excuse me WHAT?! I already knew that kissing the devil’s backside was supposed to be the proper way for a witch to sign her contract with him. I know the clitoris was declared the witch’s teat. So does this mean that the aforementioned oral sex is like…. the witch version of breastfeeding? Early modern concepts of evil and magic were SO strange.
In Act 3 Scene 1, Mephistopheles has somehow granted Faustus access to the pope’s private chambers. Hell itself is reaching into on of the most strongly religious and catholic places on the planet. And it’s not like he’s just in Vatican city or even just in the same building as the pope. No. He’s in the pope’s private chambers. This is kind of scary. Perhaps it is a commentary that religion is being corrupted.
Streetcar beheading aside, (yes, I’m aware that’s a huge thing to put aside) there is a cat trying to board another streetcar. Not as that one that I’ve seen on the internet does. That one is a small white cat that curls up under the front seat, rides two stops and gets off only to do the same in reverse later in the day. This cat is four feet tall, walking on its hind legs, wearing clothes, and trying to pay its fare! I’m also amused that no one panics. No one seems particularly put off by the four foot, bipedal, fare paying cat. Instead they are concerned with the fact that cats aren’t allowed on the streetcar.
I’m particularly amused by the body-less suit. The body that once inhabited the suit never did the work he should have. Now that the body is gone, the suit is taking over doing what needs to be done. What’s even weirder than an animated empty suit is the fact that this one talks. “Please don’t sob in the office” I find that funny. You can go ahead and bawl yourself silly anywhere else but crying in the office is strictly prohibited.
The complete chaos in chapter 27 during the attempt to catch Behemoth is extremely strange. The cat is hopping from mantel to curtain rod to chandelier, and when he is wounded and appears on the verge of death, he resurrects himself by drinking kerosene. I’m still terribly confused as to what’s going on here as I assume the characters in this scene are. None of the bullets from any of the guns are actually doing harm and that’s setting aside that this whole fiasco is the result of chasing a four foot, bipedal walking, talking cat. It seems that the closer anyone gets to Woland and the Master, the more bizarre things become.
The author of Faith and Treason seems to me to be very biased in favor of the Catholics. To me it seems that she’s making James out to be a king who ought to have been destroyed and replaced. She makes no not of the fact that the amount of gunpowder stashed under parliament would have not only taken out that building but also quite a few of the surrounding ones. Innocent lives would have been lost over one king whose religion she disagreed with.
Because of my participation in Day of Silence I didn’t have the opportunity to discuss Act 2 of Macbeth. I’d like to do that here instead of responding to Acts 3 and 4. Act 2 is my absolute favorite. Probably because I put on Act 2 Scene 3 with a friend in my 11th grade English class. Even then I loved it. Macbeth spends this whole act behaving in a womanly fashion and is repeatedly reprimanded by Lady Macbeth for it. She repeatedly tells him to grow a pair, be a man, and do what needs to be done. When he gets too scared, she steps in. She removes the bloody daggers (after having set them up in the first place), and she walks him through her plan step by step as though with a child. “Okay, we killed him now. Ready we’re gonna wash up and then go to bed so nobody can see us awake and mistake us for witnesses or worse (the truth) killers!” Yet through all this role reversal and masculinity on the part of Lady Macbeth, she still shows her weaker feminine side when she says “Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done ’t”
Scotland, PA was a very interesting movie. I like the way the director adapted Macbeth to fit the time period shown and the media format. Portraying the witches as hippies, especially since the two young male hippies were so goofy, made them seem less like frightening manifestations of the evil unknown and more like fools (silly people who are allowed to tell the truth because they’re such ridiculous characters). The shifts between nonsensical dialog and eerily accurate predictions were very well done.