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Spring SAVY 2017, Day 2- Designing Shakespeare

Posted by on Monday, February 6, 2017 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

WOW! Thank you for an impassioned, zany, madcap class session!

We read more of the first scene of the Tempest, and together we remediated the text into design imagery: in this case, we imagined what the excitement of the tempest itself might feel like.

We began to negotiate use of evocative binaries.  It’s helpful to question: is a scene or a character dark or bright, heavy or light, smooth or sharp? Hopefully, you understand that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but viable answers will be supported by evidence – and, in our work, evidence from the text.

You know now that Shakespeare did not write in naturalistic language, but rather in poetic text. Unless indicated, Shakespeare’s characters speak their mind and mean what they say.  It’s important to remember that Shakespeare wrote about three hundred years before modern ideas of psychology, of the subconscious, or of subtext, and so we must assume that the words mean what the words mean.

But, here’s a hint: when some disheartened person tells you that Shakespeare’s language is daunting, you can say “No, it’s not that difficult, because characters always mean what they say!”

And, though we didn’t get far before our time did dwindle, we tackled one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches: a piece of verse spoken by Prospero and containing the famous line, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”  I’m excited for you to learn more about Prospero, and to remediate this character with evocative imagery.

To that end, a reminder: I unfortunately won’t be with you next Saturday. There’s no need to feel gloomy, as you will still have Ms. Trina, and in my place will be Nettie Kraft, a fantastic director, actor, and Shakespearian scholar.  She will lead you through two sections of text that reveal many of Prospero’s magical powers, as well as insight into his journey.

We didn’t add many words to our vocabulary list this week, so I thought I’d share instead some more words invented by Shakespeare – that I’ve also used in this blog post! Shakespeare created each of the following: zany, madcap, excitement, negotiate, hint, disheartened, dwindle, and gloomy. Not so lackluster, huh? Unreal!

Oh, and he also gave us lackluster. And unreal.

Enjoy your week. I look forward to seeing all of you soon!

Best,

David