Hamlet Act V
Tuesday April 28th 2009, 9:25 pm
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Act V Scene I: Act V Scene I begins with two gravediggers talking about the morality of suicide.  They argue if Ophelia should be buried in the churchyard since her death looked to be a suicide. Then afterwards, Horatio and Hamlet discuss how everyone will eventually die and be turned into just dust.  It is kind of a depressing converstation as the mention such famous heroes as Julius Caesar are now just dust in the wind.  And now I’m pretty sure Hamlet is insane.  Before I thought he was just upset and so acting in that manner, but now he’s just crazy after Ophelia’s death.  In this scene, it’s almost like Hamlet and Laertes are competing over who is more upset over Ophelia’s death.

Act V Scene II: Beginning of this scene, Hamlet is telling Horatio how he found out about an order for Claudius to kill him.  Hamlet changes this to order the killing of Rosencratz and Guildenstern. In this serious play, Orsic is put in to relieve some of the tension, for comic relief.  Orsic always agrees with Hamlet, making Orsic look like a fool. Orsic’s task was to ask Hamlet if he wanted to fence against Laertes, Hamlet accepts (even though Horatio thinks he should not).  Did Claudius even try to stop Ophelia from drinking the poison? It seemed like he saw it happening and just thought “oh well…”. It seemed like everyone just dropped dead in about ten seconds.  Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, Hamlet, and then it is announced that Guildenstern and Rosencratz are dead. In the end, Hamlet dies a hero, as Fortinbras as him carried away as a hero; and that Horatio is to retell the story, and as Hamlet’s friend, he will surely make Hamlet the good guy.

Hamlet Act IV
Sunday April 26th 2009, 11:02 am
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Scene I: Claudius is a self-centered egomaniac.  Upon hearing about the murder of his good friend, Polonius, his first reaction is fear that it could’ve been himself that was murdered.  And also, it seems to me that Guildenstern and Rosencratz are just like ‘SamnEric’ from Lord of the Flies. When Claudius called for Guildenstern, both come; and they are referred to in the singular person.  My prediction for the next scenes of this act: Hamlet will kill Guildenstern and Rosencratz when they try to talk to Hamlet and get the body of Polonius.

Scene II: Hamlet’s metaphor comparing Guildenstern and Rosencratz to a sponge is quite humorous, and true.

Scene III: Hamlet’s comments about Polonius being eaten by worms might be intended to be serious, but it’s kind of funny. I can’t believe Claudius is sending someone to kill Hamlet, isn’t sending him to England enough?

Scene IV: “Two thousand souls and twenty thousand ducats will not debate the question of this straw.  This is th’ impostume of much wealth and peace, that inward breaks and shows no cause without why the man dies. –I humbly thank you, sir.”

Scene V: Has Ophelia gone mad?  If this was by any other writer, I’d think that Claudius wouldn’t be killed, but since it’s a Shakespearean tragedy…I’m guessing: Laertes will kill Claudius, Laertes and Ophelia will kill themselves

Scene VI: Very short scene but it advanced the plot quite a lot.

Scene VII: I’m pretty surprised that Laertes believed Claudius, but this means now that Laertes is going to kill Hamlet. Claudius makes a good point, why is Laertes so affected by his father’s death? And why did it drive Ophelia mad? Polonius was such a terrible dad and so annoying, they should be relieved.

Hamlet Act III
Thursday April 23rd 2009, 7:06 pm
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Polonius mentions in Act III Scene I Lines 43-50 how the bible can hide past sins of people, whereas Claudius says to himself how he did this in order to mask his sins (most notably the killing of the King).  This is important because now we know for sure that the ghost is true in his words and that Claudius killed Hamlet’s father.  And Polonius just loves being this spy persona.  Spying on his son, and he gets trying to set up plans to spy on Hamlet.  Hamlet is still acting completely mad, and instead of his new ‘father’ being worried for his well-being, he’s more worried the power he has along with his insanity.  It’s very ironic that Hamlet is lecturing the actor to not overact and be overdramatic and such when Hamlet’s acting of being insane is quite over-the-top.  Especially after seeing the movie, the faces he makes and the way he says some of the words look as though he is overacting.  I felt as though Hamlet was very rude and condescending to Horatio, he basically told him that Horatio has nothing to give but support and that it is stupid to flatter a poor person. I really liked Hamlet’s metaphor with the recorder, I thought it was quite witty.  Claudius is not worried about Hamlet at all, he is only worried about himself. Woah, Polonius just got stabbed…it’s about time! He’s so nosy and such an idiot!  And why can’t Gertrude see the ghost!!!! That is sooo frustrating, now Hamlet actually looks insane when he’s trying to prove he’s not.

Hamlet Act II
Tuesday April 21st 2009, 6:15 pm
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Hamlet Act II Scene I has proved to me that Polonius is the worst father ever.  Polonius allows Laertes to leave Denmark for France, but now he’s sending Reynaldo to spy on him…And Polonius doesn’t allow Ophelia to see Hamlet, like seriously,  he needs to leave his kids alone.  They’re grown up now, and his involvement is only going to cause harm.  Polonius, as Reynaldo fears, will cause public embarassment for Laertes which I believe will happen to, I mean he wants to spread malicious rumors about his son..I still don’t fully understand the reasoning behind that. And Polonius doesn’t allow Ophelia to see Hamlet which he believes causes Hamlet to go mad.  First of all, I think Hamlet is faking.  Second, if he thinks this, he should just let Ophelia see him.  And another thing about Polonius, he always says how it’s good to be short and sweet, but he just goes on and on with his little speeches and loves hearing his own voice.  Act II Scene II we meet Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.  These “friends” of Hamlet, don’t seem to be such good friends.   The only reason they’re here is because they were asked by Hamlet’s parents.  Real friends would be there for Hamlet during this hard time through the funeral and wedding, not just show up when the King and Queen implore.  And with Norway asking to march through Denmark to get to Poland just doesn’t seem trustworthy.  I can’t help but think that this is just some plan to put in effect a sneak attack on Denmark..but we’ll see, maybe the Norwegian army is just going to Poland. The speech by one of the entertainers effected Hamlet so deeply because he understands exactly how it feels to lose his father, the King. I’m excited to hear what this play, “Murder of Gonzago”, is about.  I think it will either hit very close to home for Hamlet, or will foreshadow what will happen later on in the play.

Hamlet Act I
Sunday April 19th 2009, 7:49 pm
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Everything that Shakespeare wrote in this act, I believe, has a purpose.  There are several side conversations that seem to possibly foreshadow future events.  In Act I Scene I, Horatio mentions that the elder Hamlet had killed the elder Fortinbra and gained all of his land.  And now the young Fortinbra has gathered up a group of men to fight for this land, this foreshadows a clash between Norway and Denmark.  Also, in this same scene, Horatio says “In what particular thought to work I know not,  But in the gross and scope of mine opinion, This bodes some strange eruption to our state” (Shakespeare 1.1 66-68), this foreshadows bad news for the country.  “And then it started like a guilty thing upon a fearful summons” (Shakespeare 1.1 147-148), this quote foreshadows that the ghost, King Hamlet, has past sins that have yet to be redeemed.  The conversation between Ophelia and Laertes, and between Ophelia and her dad foreshadow that the young Hamlet will not be good to Ophelia and that Ophelia will not be able to resist him.   And finally, Hamlet’s encounter with his father, the ghost, foreshadows young Hamlet’s revenge against his uncle.

Wednesday April 01st 2009, 7:15 pm
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Forever by: Mallory Campbell and Archibald MacLeish

Night will never come,

Nor will morning,

Live for now,

And the wind in the grass.

I remember the days,

In my heart I can see them,

Days that I want to happen,

White the peach bough.

Do not worry about dying,

Time is standing still,

Nothing matters but now,

Death never was.

Explanation: For this poem, I mimicked Archibald MacLeish’s An Eternity. I used the same structure as he did: 3 stanzas, each with four lines.  The last line in each stanza I kept the same to fully get his poetry.  Archibald had a fascination with death, which is the central theme about this poem.  Also about living life for now and not worrying about the future (aka death).

My Perspective on the Project
Wednesday April 01st 2009, 5:34 pm
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It was definitely a lot of fun to try something new, instead of the typical boring paper. I preferred this project over the fall research paper. It was fun connecting the educational and technological worlds. I enjoyed the relaxed aurora around this project: being able to write in a non scholarly way and the relaxed due dates made it easier to accomplish each post. While I did really like this project, the intertexuality posts were kind of annoying because it was really hard to find information. And also, while it was so relaxed, I felt like we didn’t have enough freedom to write what we wanted on our poet. Maybe next year, if this project is done again, there could be due dates with a minimum requirement of words, but it could be on anything you found interesting on your poet. Just some thoughts, but I think this should be kept for the next years.

Monday March 30th 2009, 7:50 pm
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This comment had to be approved: http://homeopathy.wildfalcon.com/archives/2009/03/24/malcolm-cowley-1898-%E2%80%93-1989/#comment-96663

“Wow, I did not know about Archibald MacLeish’s relationship with Malcolm Cowley. That’s pretty cool. I’m making a blog on Archibald MacLeish for an English project right now, and we just had to make a post about the influences of our poet and who he/she influenced. It’s pretty interesting that Archibald had major influences on Ernest Hemingway, and they were close friends for the years when Archibald lived in Paris.”









Friends and Influenced by Archibald
Sunday March 29th 2009, 2:38 pm
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While Archibald MacLeish lived abroad in Paris for six years, he met many fascinating people who became his close friends.  While in Paris, Archibald met Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound.  Hemingway, who stayed with Archibald for an extended period of time, remained one of his closest friends for the next decade.

Hemingway embraced a distinctly modern and existentialist worldview, as Archibald had done. He used simple nouns and verbs and was still able to capture the scene precisely, and he provided detached descriptions of action in that he avoided describing the thoughts and emotions of his characters in a direct way, as did Archibald.

Archibald MacLeish helped and/or influenced several prominent writers.  Among them: Ernest Hemingway, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, Wyndham Lewis, D.H. Lawrence, Katherine Anne Porter, James Joyce, the French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, and the American composer George Antheil.

Archibald had many other admirers/friends.  One of them being Franklin D. Roosevelt who had several lunches with Archibald and appointed him the Librarian of Congress in 1939.  Around 1969, Archibald met Bob Dylan.  Dylan wrote chapters in the Chronicles: Volume One which contained insights into his collaborations with Archibald.




Time Line of Archibald MacLeish’s Life
Sunday March 29th 2009, 2:26 pm
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Just found this time line and thought it was pretty cool:

Archibald MacLeish Time Line

1892 ………(May 7) Born, Glencoe, IL

1915 ………Graduated Yale

1916 ………Married Ada Taylor Hitchcock, an accomplished classical music singer who studied with Nadia Boulanger

1917-18 ….WW I US Army service in artillery unit in France

1919 ………LL.B, Harvard

1919-21 …Taught law in Harvard’s Government Department & was an editor for The New Republic

1921-23 …Practiced law in Boston firm of Choate, Hall and Stewart

1923-28 …Lived and wrote poetry in France

1924 ………The Happy Marriage (poetry)

1925 ………The Pot of Earth (poetry)

1926 ………Nobodaddy (play)

1928 ………The Hamlet of A. MacLeish (poetry)

1928-29 …Traveled through Mexico on foot and mule back retracing the route of Cortez

1929-38 …Served on editorial board of Fortune magazine

1930 ………New Found Land (poetry)

1932 ………Conquistador (poetry)

1933 ………Frescoes for Mr. Rockefeller’s City (poetry)

1933 ………Pulitzer Prize for Conquistador

1935 ………Panic (play)

1937 ………The Fall of the City (verse play for radio)

1938 ………Air Raid (play)

1939 ………America Was Promises (poetry)

1938 ………Developed Nieman Graduate Program for Journalists at Harvard

1939-44 …Librarian of Congress

1940 ………The Irresponsibles (prose)

1941-42 …Director, US Office of Facts and Figures

1942-43 …Assistant Director of US War Information

1944-45 …Undersecretary of State

1946 ………UNESCO development work and leadership

1948 ………Actfive and Other Poems (poetry)

1949-62 …Boylston professor of rhetoric at Harvard

1952 ………Collected Poems 1917-1952 (poetry)

1952 ………The Trojan Horse (play)

1953 ………Pulitzer Prize for Collected Poems 1917-1952

1953 ………National Book Award in poetry

1953 ………Bollingen Prize for poetry

1953-56 …President of the American Academy of Arts and Letters

1955-58 …Worked to free Ezra Pound from St. Elizabeths Hospital, where he was incarcerated

1958 ………J. B. (verse play produced on Broadway)

1958 ………Pulitzer Prize for J.B.

1961 ………Poetry and Experience (prose)

1966 ………Academy Award for motion picture The Eleanor Roosevelt Story

1967 ………Herakles (play)

1968 ………The Wild Wicked Old Man (poetry)

1971 ………Scratch (play)

1972 ………The Human Season (poetry)

1977 ………Presidential Medal of Freedom

1977 ………Cosmos Club Award

1978 ………Riders on the Earth (prose)

1985 ………Collected Poems, 1917-1982 (poetry)

1982 ………(April 20) Died, Boston