Okay, well I will admit to being a packrat. I found my college papers from Shakespeare courses I took in 1986-87. I even have them stapled to the syllabus for each class. Nutty, huh? I obviously kept these for 23 years because I foresaw the coming of the Internet and knew that I would want to blog about Shakespeare. Umm, yeah.
So, here’s a summary of my course work. Fall 1986 I read Richard III, Richard II, and I Henry IV. I got a B+ on a paper entitled: “The Desire for Family Unity as Exhibited by the Female Characters in Shakespeare’s Richard III, Richard II, and I Henry IV.” Sounds like a snoozer, eh? By the way, I have no memory at all of reading these history plays, so it will be interesting to see if re-reading them (or my paper) jogs any synapses.
Let’s see, then still in Fall 1986, I read The Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night (Or What You Will…. where I get the title for my blog), The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet. I got another B+ on my paper “The Fairies’ Contribution to the Humor in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I think my memory is more intact on the comedies.
Winter 1987 I read Hamlet and Troilus & Cressida. I got an “A+ Brilliant!” on my paper “The ‘True’ Side of Love in Troilus and Cressida.” I don’t remember a darn thing about T&C! Hopefully, I can be brilliant once again!
Still Winter quarter 1987, I read Othello, Measure for Measure, King Lear and Macbeth. My second paper for the class was not so brilliant and apparently not that insightful. I got a B+ on “The Insightful Wit of King Lear’s Fool.”
Spring 1987 was spent on Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Pericles, Cymbeline, Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. And we re-read Macbeth, Comedy of Errors, Measure for Measure, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I got an A- for “A Comparison of Puck and Ariel” and a B for “Cleopatra and Lady Macbeth.”
Like I said in my About Me… the bard brought down my GPA! But I would have taken more Shakespeare classes if they’d been offered. I remember they were a good challenge for me.
As I read through the plays now, I will take a look at my old papers (especially that “Brilliant!” one) and see what I had to say and report back to you on what a naive idiot (or insightful savant!) I was 23 years ago. Anyhow, maybe it will be fun looking at what I wrote and seeing if I still agree.
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