Essays and Analyses

Hamlet’s Humanity

Hamlet, in the play Hamlet by Shakespeare, can be described as a fully-human character. Even with limited exposure to the play, one can immediately identify with Hamlet. Hamlet is the Prince of Denmark, deeply grieved by his father’s death and worsened by his mother’s disgustingly quick remarriage. These events cause Hamlet to show vulnerability, be wracked with emotion, and seek vengeance. Through his experience of these basic human traits, the spectator or reader is quickly drawn into and able to identify with his true humanity.

Hamlet reveals the depth of his vulnerability in his soliloquy in 1.2. 155-162. He does not shy away and hide behind the image of an invincible character but instead shows grief and vulnerability, showing that he is no greater than any other human. “Than I to Hercules” 1.2 156, Hamlet compares himself to the Greek god but in such a way that he puts himself beneath the great Hercules, again emphasizing his humanity. This is so important in the play as it facilitates the development of the viewer’s connection to Hamlet and encourages compassion for Hamlet. This compassion enhances the quality and effectiveness of every line!

A secondary supporting example of Hamlet’s humanity, is his open demonstration of emotion. Immediately in his soliloquy, he allows the reader into his thoughts and feelings. The drama and exaggeration allow for his humanity to shine through. He is no longer a two-dimensional character but a three-dimensional human being, with his own thoughts, and layers of emotion. Shakespeare does this so effectively by using imagery which helps the reader associate personal sensations with the character. A prime example is found in 1.2. 138-140:

“ Fie on’t! O fie! ’tis an unweeded garden,
That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely. That it should come to this!”

This compares Hamlet’s feelings of corruption and misery in the world to an image of an overgrown, weed-filled garden. In this example, parasitic behaviour thrives and corruption is rewarded, all being very similar to the recent trauma Hamlet has experienced.

In conclusion, Hamlet can not only be recognized as a human-like character, but also a representation of human emotion and functionality. He is to be a reminder of the true ability and effects of imagery. Shakespeare’s use of imagery is what allows each individual reader to relate and grow a complex and layered attachment to Hamlet. All of these factors make Hamlet’s heartbreaking death even more impactful.

Reliability of Dr. James Sheppard

Can a narrator affect your ability to comprehend a story? In the case of the novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, written by Agatha Christie, the answer is ‘yes’. Throughout this classic murder mystery, the reader is guided by Dr. James Sheppard, the local doctor in the small village of King Abbott, who tells the tale of tale of Roger Ackroyd’s murder. At the end of the novel it is revealed that the killer is the one leading you along this gut-wrenching murder tale, Dr. Sheppard himself. This ironic ending creates many questions; but most of all, was Dr. Sheppard a reliable narrator? At first thought your answer would be ‘no’ because he was involved in the murder, but I plan to persuade you otherwise.

To begin with, the definition of an unreliable narrator states that: “he is a character whose telling of the story is not completely accurate or credible due to problems with the character’s mental state or maturity.” Our character, Dr. Sheppard, does not necessarily fit this definition. Dr. Sheppard never lies to the reader throughout the entirety of the novel and accurately and effectively tells the truthful events of the story that do not involve himself. On the other hand, he is leaves out key information about the murder mystery, which is unreliable; but this information that is left out is irrelevant to the telling of his story about the investigation of the murder, as opposed to the murder itself. The following quote (301) illustrates how Dr. Sheppard’s truthful telling of the story allows him to effectively remain a reliable narrator while hiding behind irrelevant details:

“‘The inspector was surprised – but you – you were not.’

‘I never dreamed of her being the thief,’ I expostulated.

‘That – perhaps no. But I was watching your face and you were not – like Inspector

Raglan – startled and incredulous.’

I thought for a minute or two.

‘Perhaps you are right,’ I said at last. ‘All along I’ve felt that Flora was keeping back something…”

This quote is quite revealing as pausing for a minute or two to think in the middle of a conversation is suspect but it proves he was not lying to readers. He was just distracting readers with red herrings like Flora Ackroyd stealing the money from Roger Ackroyd.

Finally, in conclusion, Dr. Sheppard’s ability to create trust and empathy from the reader is why the ending of the story has the reader clenching the page. The care and accuracy applied to his narration, down to exact minutes, leaves no other option but to prove his reliability. Even as a cold-blooded killer he is not a liar, nor is he biased throughout the telling of his very own murder mystery.

A War Of Sounds

An enticing battle fought between the softness and vulnerability of strings compared to the impactful aggression of brass. “Viennese Blood”, composed by  Johann Strauss, demonstrates a complex, yet playful battle between string and brass instruments. Both types of instruments, with their own unique qualities, guide the listener along a conflicted journey, that is resolved beautifully by the tethering of percussion.

The composition begins with a near melancholy introduction of string instruments. The string instruments continue to take the listener down a fearful, and depressing sequence. This is then overcome by a blast of brass instruments. The brass instruments appear to have an aggressive, almost dictatorial-like feeling, as they silence the soft string instruments. To counter, the string instruments return, matching the energy of brass in a joyful rebuttal. This battle between hardness and softness continues as though both styles were on separate ends of a teeter-totter….back and forth.

The composition takes on an image of endless rolling hills with no end in sight. Hill after hill, roll after roll, an infinite spiral of elegance and finesse. As your ears begin to slowly grow tired of warring instruments, a sudden burst of energy is introduced by percussion. The percussion, in an overwhelming fashion, matches the beautiful softness of strings to the popping blast of brass instruments. Where one would believe no uniformity possible, both opposite spectrums tether and warp into one beautiful body as the piece approaches its close.

In conclusion, “Viennese Blood” is a dramatic and artistic piece deserving nothing less than perfection. It was able to guide and hold a listener along an unforgettable journey, sealed ever so carefully by a beautiful uniformity of percussion, strings and brass!

Escape the Colony

“Princess Bala! Princess Bala! It’s me, Z, from the bar, remember?” I call, but she doesn’t seem to hear. I jump and wave my hands in the air, trying to get her attention. She still doesn’t notice me.

“Hey, you! Get back into position.” General Mandible commands, but I ignore him.

“Princess Bala, I have come to see you.” I wave again. Her head turns my way, and her eyes go wide. She has spotted me. I wave at her, but she just looks at me. I push past the soldiers to get closer to her.

“Soldier, get back into position!” General Mandible shouts again. I continue pushing past the soldiers. “Soldier, do you hear me? Get back into position, or there will be consequences.”

“Princess B-” I begin, but I am interrupted by General Mandible.

“Get him out!” he roars, “How dare you ignore my orders. You will expect a visit from me tomorrow morning, you are going to prison.”

Two soldiers appear at my sides, and carry me away by my arms.

        I can’t believe Princess Bala didn’t even try to stop General Mandible. She obviously doesn’t feel the same about me as I feel about her. Weaver was right, what chance do I have with a princess? I am just a neurotic worker ant with a negative attitude.

Suddenly I remember something- the crazy old man at the bar. There is a better place, Insectopia. Head for the monolith! The streets are paved with food. His words echo in my head. It sounds better than prison…considerably better than prison. I just need to find a way to get past the guards at the entrance of the colony.

        I pace up and down, trying to think of a way to distract them.

        “Psst, Z,” someone whispers.

I stop pacing and squint at the dark corner of the room. My eyes can just make out a figure standing there. The figure steps into the light. “Princess Bala?” I gush in surprise.

        “Shh, no one can know I’m here.” She says, “I am sorry about General Mandible, but you shouldn’t have come for me. I really like you, Z, but I’m getting married soon-”

        “What? Married? To whom?” I interrupt.

        “General Mandible, of course…”

        “You like that guy?” I chide.

        “No, but I don’t exactly have a choice, it’s my duty to the colony” She grimaces. “I would take any opportunity to get away, though.”

        “Alright, I guess you should go back to General Mandible, then. He probably has the whole colony looking for you. I need to get out of this place before morning.”  

          She beams at me. “Take me with you!”

        “Sorry, but it’s hard enough getting one person past the guards at the entrance, never mind the princess.

        “I can help! Please, I don’t want to get married to General Mandible.” She pleads.

        I bite my lip, and say, “Alright, fine, let’s do this!”

American Born Chinese and Maus

In this essay I will be illuminating the struggles characters from American Born Chinese and Maus faced from a social perspective. I will also be determining if graphic imagery was the best way to express the points both novels were trying to make. The characters fought through a loss of identity, discrimination and disrespect and abuse from authority figures. The events they endured persisted through the lives of the characters from Maus, haunting them. I feel the utilization of shades of color adds an intriguing nuance to the novel, as one has to think of not only the text, but the background images. Also other subtler images are presented to accompany the text and augment it. In certain scenes this accentuates and evokes powerful emotions that enable the reader to greatly empathize with characters. Going beyond the images, the books represent people conveying their opinions on the world in a forceful manner. In other words propaganda. But that’s the wonder of graphic novels, they’re deceptively complex. Despite their seemingly simple and straightforward nature, the novels require a significant amount of attention, lest subtleties be missed. Or mistook as insignificant as concentration is imperative when reading. As missing subliminal messages can impede the overall understanding of the novel.

 

A key theme in both novels is people losing their identities because of pressure from an outside source. With Vladek in Maus, his Jewish heritage had to be hidden lest he be killed for it. Maus represented this struggle with its black and white shading. In American Born Chinese, the social repression is just as profound although significantly less deadly. Jin, a young Chinese-American boy changes his entire personality and behavioural patterns until he’s warped into an all American white boy called Danny. Also in American Born Chinese The Monkey King wasn’t allowed to join polite society because of his animal nature. Instead of accepting his role as ruler of Flower Fruit Mountain he wanted more and overstepped the capabilities his creator gave him. These characters got caught up in events that blinded them to the importance of their own identity. To the fact that nothing else matters than how you view yourself. All of them did eventually learn their lesson; that you can’t be hurt by people if you’re confident, secure and content with yourself.

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Achieving individualism however is extremely difficult. Even if you have trouble with your self confidence others can compound those beliefs in the most deplorable ways. The Nazis in Maus based their entire political campaign on hating Jewish people. The Nazis treated the Jewish people like they were animals; how would that allow for a free and open expression of your religious and personal values? It doesn’t. In American Born Chinese, the Monkey King exercises his power in a petty childish manner. He forced his subjects to curb their monkey nature by making them wear shoes, which impaired their mobility. All because he was resentful of other creatures mocking his monkey status. Both novels have a different but equally compelling representation of people with power using it for inane, selfish and cruel purposes.

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Humans are always running or cycling from their problems. Sometimes without cause and other times for an exceptionally just cause. Vladek and Anja, the parents of Art from Maus, were survivors of Auschwitz. The atrocities they witnessed there stayed with them throughout their lives. Vladek became closed off to survive. But it took a significant toll on Anjas mental state. This trauma eventually shattered her mind and she committed suicide. The events portrayed show the effects of any humans mental state when confronted with trauma that’s too much to process. Humans have very different ways of rationalizing such grief. Vladek became standoffish and domineering, while his wife was depressed and suicidal. Maus highlights Vladeks problems with the dialogue between Vladek and Art and Vladek’s inability to face the horrors he suffered. He instead tries to rationalize his emotions in other, less productive ways. Such as yelling at people and distancing himself from those close to him.


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The themes that we’ve explored so far have been powerful and intriguing, if somewhat blatant. Maus utilizes color and shades of it to a stunning and profound effect that can in context overshadow the dialogue. American Born Chinese utilizes it also, but to a lesser effect than Maus. The effects were especially prevalent in this scene


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as all of the Nazi soldiers but one are shaded out and the Jews are drawn with vivid detail for emphasis. A distinct parallel to light and dark, good and evil. In American Born Chinese, when Jin changes into Danny, the scene shows him coming out of the darkness and into the light. The images hold power over readers as they emphasize the ideas being conveyed by the author in a way that text can’t. Images elicit profound emotions and thoughts in a way that’s impossible for other literary devices to achieve. The shades of the images are particularly interesting. With a dark overtone one immediately thinks of evil things while white conjures images of valiant knights and other such gallant things. These links created by the author are imperative to readers overall perception of the novels.

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Novels always try to tell a story; be it fantasy or truth. However the usage of literary devices to sway the perception of events of a reader is propaganda. Propaganda isn’t inherently insidious and neither are these novels. Yet they discreetly influence readers to  empathize with the characters, such as Jin with his teenage angst, or Vladek and his attitude. The authors draw on readers personal experiences to link them with the characters. They make readers feel as though they are in the story with the characters. This can lead to a different perception of not only Maus and American Born Chinese, but everyday life. While this practice isn’t nefarious in nature it makes readers ponder how often they’re influenced by novels and if the opinions and thoughts they have are their own or those of other people. Maus and American Born Chinese, while having important messages, represent something greater than either of them; the ability of certain people to influence perception without the people they’re influencing realizing it.

 

This picture subtly implies the struggles that people endure; mountains and valleys. This isa common phrase represented in a different subliminal way.

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The title honeymoon implies a happy joyous time, yet the swastika and gloomy shading bely a somber and depressing atmosphere instead of a happy one.

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In conclusion I believe that graphic imagery did convey the messages of Maus and American Born Chinese in the best possible way. Both novels exercise powerful emotional tools to evoke a keen sense of empathy towards characters. Despite the obvious differences, the symbols and motifs used in both novels try to convey different themes in a similar manner. The characters are portrayed in such a way that readers can sympathize with them and the trials they endure. The writing is done so that readers compare personal experiences; Such as if readers have ever changed themselves to fit into a group, been preyed on by authority figures or not dealt with problems in a logical manner. All of these themes are portrayed with a level of unparalleled artistry that allows comprehension of some incredibly serious world events. Maus and American Born Chinese are fantastic examples of how books can deal with serious issues and convey them in a lighthearted manner. The novels trick readers into delving into issues without the reader knowing what they’re doing. Maus and American Born Chinese are much more than that simple literature, they’re propaganda. They represent the influence that literary devices hold over everyone. Maus and American Born Chinese are educational novels that have a multitude of wonderful lessons to be learned.

 

Change

Life is full of change, for some people more than others. I’ve always wondered: ‘Why do things change? Do things have to change? What would happen if nothing ever changed?’

My life has been full of change already, and I’m only 13. Over these 13 years I’ve lived in two countries and been to five schools.  With every change I’ve experienced some losses and some benefits.

Change is inevitable, anyone would tell you that. We can’t control change. Our bodies change, and we grow up, regardless of whether or not we want them to. Lots of other changes in life aren’t your choice either. You may get sick, or your school may be burned down, and you have to change and adjust.

Change is also natural. In nature the organisms that adapt best to the environment survive. All the organisms are constantly adapting with the environment in order to move up the food chain and have a better life. This is both in nature, and in human civilizations, even ones that seem not to change.

I recently read Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler. When we look at Amish people we often see them as stuck in time, with nothing changing. In his book Mr. Wagler said that Amish communities are actually in a constant state of change, with people moving in and out and rules being adjusted. In a way, Amish communities change as much as modern ones.

Despite being natural and inevitable, change is also really scary. It can even seem like most changes are bad. The environment is changing, and it all seems to be for the worst, with global warming and pollution, we’ve made a disaster. As a person who experiences a lot of anxiety, I’ve spent days worrying about change.

It’s things like global warming that make me want to run from change, and not take any responsibility. However, I think that running from change is running from yourself. If we spend our lives in fear of change, we’ll never be able to live them. Change is a game, a game of life, and of decisions and consequences. Participation is mandatory, but you get to choose how you play. The world is like a man spinning plates in the air really fast, they need to be about to fall off to keep spinning.

It feels like we no power at all. One day the sun is going to explode, and the earth will be gone. I can do absolutely nothing about this, and neither can you, it is inevitable.

However, at the same time we have overwhelming power. Every time you talk to someone, every action you make changes something. It may make a tiny, minute, not-even-worth-mentioning difference, but it still makes a difference.

For example, I saw a snail on the sidewalk yesterday, and I got this urge to crush it. Then I picked it up and put it in the plants. If I had stepped on it, I would have ended a life. It seems like a little thing, but I would killed that snail. Killing it wouldn’t have made a difference to my life, except making me feel like a bad person, but it sure would have to the snails life. The snail wouldn’t even have a life anymore. Why is killing a snail more acceptable than killing a human? Isn’t all life equal?

I have the power to hate, and I have the power to love, just like everyone else does. Think about it, you, you have the power to kill the next snail you see. Will you? You could also save the snails’ life and put it near the plants, so it won’t get stepped on.You may not be able to control the world, but you can try to control yourself.

In conclusion I think this saying sums up my point: “The first real day of your life is the one on which you decide your life your own, and no one else’s. No apologies, no excuses, no regrets. Rely on no one, blame no one, hate no one. This amazing journey called life is yours, and you alone are responsible for the quality. This is the day your life begins.”

References:

Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler

http://www.cafepress.ca/+no_apologies_35_button_10_pack,397905563

-Various conversations

Martians vs Humans ‘The War of the Worlds’

What advantages did the Martians have over the humans and vice versa?

I decided to write my essay on the whether or not the Martians had more of an advantage than the humans, in the book War of the Worlds by H.G Wells.

At first I thought it was obvious (the Martians), but after thinking a little harder,I realized that it was not so obvious.

Reasons why I think the Martians had more of an advantage:

When the Martians arrived on earth, people were curious and excited. As the first few hours went by, and news spread, more and more people came to see what was going on. The Martians appeared to be weak and slow, and not really much of a threat. Their strange form of arrival, how they fell from the sky in a big metal cylinder, took the humans by surprize. It took several hours for the Martians to break out of the cylinder, and as they did, a small group of scientists approached the pit that held the cylinder.This was when the Martians first attacked, burning them to ashes with a heat ray. People didn’t believe that it had happened, and carried on with their usual everyday life. It wasn’t until the next few days that people really started to realize how serious things were. By then the Martians had grown a lot stronger, and were wiping out whole villages with their deadly heat rays. Because their war machines and technology was more advanced, the Martians were able to move a lot faster, and could look down on humans the way we look down on ants. As the days went on, more and more Martians arrived in their cylinders, and I don’t think that people would have been able to defend themselves, if it weren’t for the one weakness that the Martians had. Because they had come from another planet, they were probably used to another environment, and were immune to their own diseases. Earth however, has different diseases, and when the Martians did come out of their cylinders, they became weak and sickly, and soon died out.

Reasons why the humans could have had more of an advantage:

If warned ahead of time, humans could have been able to build underground shelters to protect themselves, and set up a better defence system. But knowing humans, they would probably try to attack first (like they did in the book) resulting in death and disaster.

The few humans that did survive were the ones that thought outside of the box, avoiding the main crowds of people, and seeking shelter in abandoned buildings.

If the Martians had not died of diseases, humans could survive for  quite a while, if they hid in abandoned supermarkets,or basements. But they would eventually run out of food and supplies, or go mad for fresh air, which would lead them to venture outside. There they would

be seen by the Martians, or run into other starving people and animals, and most likely fight to death. They were however, a lot smaller than the Martian’s war machines, and if they planned things out a little more, they would have been able to hide in small places, and organize a better defence system.

Conclusion:

The Martians had a heatray and the element of surprize, but humans had larger numbers, creative ways of strategizing, and were immune to their planet. In that story, I think things could have gone both ways, the Martians were stronger in battle, but not resistant to earthly diseases, and humans were weaker in battle, but had the advantage of living on earth. If the Martians had been able to wipe out all the humans, they would have died anyway; so, in the end, both had as much of an advantage as they did a disadvantage.

Wake up, we’ve got work to do…

Rise and shine… Your body aches and the voices in your head keep telling you to go back to dreaming. You lose all physical motivation as your body becomes weak. It’s only when you realize that something else is pushing you to get up, that all the issues end up being ignored. Something that ignores what everyone else says, what the mainstream tells you to do, what is known as possible and impossible. The path you’ve chosen is always awaiting you. It’s whether you’re ready for that path that will make the difference. You have to choose between success and failure; you can’t be in between. You either give everything you’ve got, or you don’t try at all. And, yes, it’s going to be difficult but remember the easy path is always an option. The easy path involves less stress, less difficulty but less reward. Less everything but the worst, lifelong regret. Even though voices keep repeating “how easy it can be to just give up”, ”maybe try next year” or ”you’re not ready yet”; you refuse to listen. You’re on your way now. Welcome to the ”breakdown”.

You will be training day in and day out; fighting in order to push yourself farther. Every day you test how much more you can go outside of the limitations. Your muscles, lungs, body, beg for comfort, but you’ve made up your mind. As you train and challenge, you can feel it. Something. Competition. An ultimate opponent, who you can’t see, never see him coming, but ”oh” you feel him at your heels, breathing down on your neck, ready to take you out on any mistake. That opponent is yourself. All the insecurities, broken relationships, mixed emotions, sibling fights, parent divorces, bullies, self doubt, thoughts of failure … all as one immense firing squad, ready to open fire while your back is against the wall. Fear, anger, sadness, confusion, all within yourself, ready to accompany failure on it’s mission to throw you into the dirt. Though you may feel underpowered, or outnumbered … stay on task. Your opponents may seem strenuous to overcome, but they are far from unconquerable. This is the fight you must endure, venturing into unchartered waters. Remember, you wanted this. As days turn into years, you must continue. Your life will turn into the fiercest battle royale between yourself and you alone. You must be aware at all times. Power can be a deceptive force. It can turn you into a king overnight or leave you to die as a starving peasant in a blink of an eye. It will keep you from seeing the details, the small slit in your defence that you forgot to prepare for. As long as you’re alive, your doubts will continue to look for that broken, weak point in your armor. And when finally, you feel you’ve done everything you could have done, when everything is prime, and your mind is set on overcoming all odds, as you’re ready to be tossed into the moment. It will be purely based on whether you are ready to “RUN a bit faster”, “SWIM a bit quicker”, “JUMP a bit higher” as you break the rules of everything known to be unthinkable within the laws of the universe… So rise and shine…

Ricky The Raccoon True Story

Once there was a raccoon named Ricky.  He was a very, very sneaky raccoon.  He stole lots of candy and potatoes with cheese.  He stole these things on a dark night when my parents and I were outside talking.

Ricky was a very brave character, because he came and stole my candy when I was 10 feet away. He was a very sneaky raccoon and he always found a way to steal food from my family

The things Ricky stole and broke; where cereal, porridge, a  wine glass and he shredded a 10 pound box of oats. Overall this raccoon is a very sneaky and annoying.

English, a New Story

In both Parson’s Pleasure and The Way up to Heaven, Roald Dahl creates characters that try to deceive or scam everybody else involved in the story.  In Parsons Pleasure in particular, the main character’s motives are mainly monetary, but he also takes some pleasure from the negotiation process.  In The Way up to Heaven however, the main heroine is the one being deceived, and her husband is pulling the strings.

The author of these stories kept a very suspenseful atmosphere throughout, due to the fairly slow pace of both stories. The pace also enhances the anticipation of the end result of the events depicted by Roald Dahl. In both stories, but especially in The Way up to Heaven, the tension is never actually released.

Wording also plays a key role in all of Roald Dahl’s work, he tends to leave something unsaid at the end of every paragraph.  Roald Dahl’s short stories are sometimes frustrating when he leads up to saying some groundbreaking fact about the story, and then he slyly avoids mentioning any specifics about the event.  At the end of his stories there is always a cliffhanger; the one in Parson’s Pleasure is probably the best example of this, as you never really get to read about Boggis’ reaction to the farmboys’ actions.

A major part of both stories is the atmosphere of suspicion between the characters, this particularly apparent in Parson’s Pleasure, where Mr. Boggis is trying to scam three farm workers out of a ‘commode’ that is worth tens of thousands of pounds for less than 50.  These men are clearly suspicious of  Boggis, but end up selling it to him. Afterwards, instead of selling him the entire chest, they cut off just the legs.  Although you never get to hear about Boggis’ reaction to this tragedy, by implication it is clear  that he learned his lesson; You can just imagine Boggis’ reaction at the justice that has been exacted on him.

Overall, all of these short stories have have characters that are either trying to fraudulently gain something from somebody else for personal gain, or they are doing it purely for sadistic pleasure.  These stories also have both a dark and immersive tone that is unique to Roald Dahl. I have enjoyed both of these stories, and I only wish that he would properly conclude his stories sometimes.

Looking Deeper into “Taming of the Shrew”

To fully understand the play “Taming of the Shrew” you must understand the characters. Each character has a different personality. Kate, for example, is bad tempered and does not like it when Petruccio tries to tame her. On the other hand, Tranio is good tempered and respects his master’s wishes.

By now most who have not seen the play will be asking who is Tranio? Tranio is a key character in “Taming of the Shrew”, and contributes to one of the main themes, ‘deception’.

He is seen throughout the play with his master Lucentio.
Tranio comes to Padua with his master Lucentio, while in Padua he helps Lucentio with the courtship of Bianca, Baptista’s daughter.
Tranio is a upbeat character compared to others in the play. He is playful and a trouble maker. During the play Tranio wears nice clothes, but some that are dirty and ripped.

We have talked a lot about how Tranio is a key character in the theme ‘deception’; but what does he do that makes him so important?

While his master disguises himself as a scholar, Tranio takes his master’s place. He then proceeds to convince Baptista that Lucentio is more rich than the others who would like to marry Bianca. Baptista who wants the most dowry from the marriage of his daughters, because thats how marriages were decided in the 16th century, whether it was right or not.

At the beginning of the play Tranio says this to his master,

Lucentio:
Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy;
And by my father’s love and leave am arm’d
With his good will and thy good company,
My trusty servant, well approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa renown’d for grave citizens
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincetino come of Bentivolii.
Vincetino’s son brought up in Florence
It shall become to serve all hopes conceived,
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,
Virtue and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
By virtue specially to be achieved.
Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst

Tranio:
Mi perdonato, gentle master mine,
I am in all affected as yourself;
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
Only, good master, while we do admire
This virtue and this moral discipline,
Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;
Or so devote to Aristotle’s cheques
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured:
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have
And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
Music and poesy use to quicken you;
The mathematics and the metaphysis,
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you;
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en:
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

Lucentio:
Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
We could at once put us in readiness,
And take a lodging fit to entertain
Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
But stay a while: what company is this?

Tranio:
Master, some show to welcome us to town.
(Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 1-47)

What all that text means is that Tranio and his master Lucentio have come to Padua and that Tranio advises Lucentio to not forget the joys of courtship and love, which is what Lucentio does exactly.

How does Tranio contribute the theme of ‘deception’? He disguises himself as Lucentio and then others try to follow Lucentio and Tranio’s lead and disguise themselves as school teachers. This adds a whole other dimension to the play, with everyone changing what they look like, and what they do, its hard to tell who is who.

Characterization adds a whole other dimension to a play. It makes characters feel more rounded with the traits that the author gives them. When a character is well-rounded you feel that they are not boring, but interesting and have a role in a play.

Tranio is a well-rounded character and adds value to “Taming of the Shrew”, by the ways of disguising himself. ‘Taming of the Shrew’ would have been very boring without Tranio as he supports the main theme of ‘deception’ and makes the play a lot more interesting.

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Kate’s Traits

For this project, I chose Katharina (Kate). The play is William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”. It is set partly in Padua and partly in Verona. Kate is the extraordinary main character of the play. Over the course of the play, she changes as a person. At first, she is rude and stubborn. Once she is tame and humane, she gives back to her husband and others who contributed to her new personality.

Kate is a very rude woman. One example of this is at Baptista’s house in Act 1, Scene 1 (lines 57-58). She is yelling at her father saying this: “I pray you, sir, is it your will to make a stale of me amongst these mates?” Also, when Petruchio is at her father’s house, she is very rude, saying things like: “Moved! in good time: let him that moved you hither remove you hence: I knew you at the first you were a moveable.” This quote is from Act 2, Scene 1 (lines 190-191). This trait describes what she says. Along with being rude, she is also incredibly stubborn and will resist all orders from her superiors.

Stubbornness and rudeness are a fitting combination for a shrewish person such as Kate. In Act 2, Scene 1, Petruchio chased Kate around her house in an effort to restrain and court her. One quote from that scene is “Go, fool, and whom thou keep’st command” (line 35), making her resistance against Petruchio obvious. Also, at her wedding, she showed much resistance when she almost managed to prevent her marriage. This trait demonstrates what she is like. The last trait of hers is one that does not show right away, but after her long suffering and change that took place at Petruchio’s house in Verona.

After taming, Kate gives back to the others who helped shape her into a respectable person. In Act 5, Scene 2, she makes a long and meaningful speech at Lucentio’s house that displays her newfound wisdom and desire to contribute to the lives of her loved ones. It starts with “fie! fie!” and ends with “may it do him ease”. Also shown in Act 4, Scene 5, Petruchio tests Kate’s obedience to him when he says the sun is the moon. He found that Kate was obedient after a small amount of arguing. He knew then that he could prepare for her final test of obedience. This trait describes what she does. All of Kate’s traits eventually meld into her new personality and the outcome of the play.

The play ends merrily, mostly due to Kate and Petruchio. Kate learned the hard way to treat people with respect and to have understanding of others. Her story starts with an ordinary day of her yelling and cursing at her family. Then, Petruchio turns her life upside-down. Her journey through hunger, begging, poverty and many other things leads to her profound speech and festivity at the end of the play. As confusing as the web of connections was at first, I think the play was good. It showcased Shakespeare’s understanding of the world and people’s lives. I didn’t learn too much other than that, but I think it was entertaining nonetheless. Kate’s traits greatly affect the story the play tells and its outcome as we watch her grow out of and/or into them. Kate is the star of the play and her traits are the answer to why she has that honour.

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