Week One Notes
Week One Notes Eng 150B
Popular in Shakespeare: Later Plays
Popular in Foreign Language
This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alyssa Notetaker on Saturday October 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Eng 150B at University of California - Los Angeles taught by Robert Watson in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Shakespeare: Later Plays in Foreign Language at University of California - Los Angeles.
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Date Created: 10/03/15
Week One Lecture Two Measure for Measure the play and the BBC movie 0 Act 5 Scene 1 o Isabella stops having lines Done differently in different temporal contexts lsabella isn t given chance to consent to duke s proposal 0 How it s played changes as consent becomes a relevant issue she might pause and pretty much be okay might slap him etc o quotFor your lovely sakequot The one word puts it back in courting context Shift from benevolent father gure to seductive duke Also earlier tells lsabella of brother s death scheming wants to make her sad so he can x it and make her happy seem the hero Shift of topic at moment of resistance shows the awkwardness o A wedding is supposed to happen at the end of a comedy Purposefully unsettles Shakespeare is irting with vandalizing his own form he thwarts his own formula Also that Lucio has to marry a whore who he got pregnant Kate Keepdown Parallels with Angelo 0 Issues of consent All the marriages feel wrong because of the political issue of consent 0 Where does the element of consent exist under the law 0 Issues of Premarital Sex Expression of sexuality isn t meshing with town s sexual law organization and limitation of sexuality based on class and religion 0 But now there s the idea that war and plague which is the context for Measure for Measure quotwill unpeople the provincequot said about Angelo s strict sex laws If sexuality is discouraged there will be issues not enough people 0 But then there are a bunch of illegitimate kids 0 So should we allow the sins or not o Is God wiping us from the earth for our sins CHAOS in second part of play Unsettled socioeconomic time greater social mobility all the old structures of society are breaking down 0 l more chaos about sex with other classes sexuality marriage laws etc o Claudio and Juliet seem to be the only wholesome good meant to be couple but the LAWS are stopping them from a happy ending Example of how state is blocking healthy procreation o Society wonders where order will come from lf class doesn t give structure can intermarry where does structure come from o The play engages with what sexual desire has to do with procreative functions Woman s body put into question From perspective of the state get married have children and we re ne 0 Which Shakespeare unsettles with the marriages o Context Jacobean era and lots of anxiety in England about who will succeed the queen huge succession crises War of the Roses The duke seemed to opt out couldn t be found and who the fuck is this Angelo guy Re ects succession crises Duke wants to marry lsabella because he needs an heir o a happy ending for that time period Play is difficult and offputting because of the unsexy sex 0 Why is it a comedy 0 0 Points emphatically and repeatedly to marriage as a solution Difference between a comedy and tragedy has a lot to do with how you name it Unsettling that here quotMeasure for Measurequot 0 Good karma get back the good you put into the world OR eye for an eye justice o 3part structure and purpose of play are in line with comedy BUT we re never given the picture of love forming and deepening despite obstacles 0 Why is it hard to connect with the individual characters 0 Because individuality matters a lot less to the state than you think it does Points out how laws handle sexuality weirdly Is it saying you re just another animal having sex OR is it the ultimate expression of self 0 Ultimate purity isn t good neither is the sexuality of a whore o Marriage as a middle ground 0 Context Henry VIII seizes monasteries chases out quotCatholic Concept Institutionsquot and replaces them with Protestantism Perversion theory of Catholic purity total abstinence just brings the sexuality out in weird places There s a new form of heroics chastity New kind of married chastity monogamy o What is the collective work of our species Continued procreation and living of life as a means to that end Darwinian process 0 Are we a breeding project 0 Last third of play it comes closest to a moral 0 Need balance of licentiousness and chastity Polar differences prudery and lechery impregnation and attempted rape o Contrasting primary characterizations Objective to turn lustful act into fruitful marriage 0 Reconciling sexual desire with higher need of the human race 0 l frames sex without marriage as treason 3part movement 0 1 natural way of thinking obstructed by society law is blocking Claudio and juliet o he s in prison for impregnating his secret wife counter productive Isabella as potential procreator is her chastity joyful purity or repression Angelo and Mariana kept apart 0 2 forces cut loose chaos o 3 brought back in a healthy way reconciled with values forced resolution readers playgoers don t feel that human values have been esteemed possible moralizing Need to create a more fair law that takes into account frailties o l Mariana masks herself to come into her place bypasses interfering laws the natural order is disrupted by laws Mariana is not a wife a widow or a maid but she has a husband Something s wrong with the law ambiguity as to when a betrothal becomes a marriage if an announcement is required etc 0 When a vow becomes a legal contract Putting on a play the play allows true expression of the self and societal desires 0 Same with Duke and with Claudio Libertinism vs Repression 0 Like with all the guys the whores and Isabella is it better to be a rake or a nun Do laws inhibit a natural libertine tendency So laws repression and oppression 0 Law as a tool to destroy humanity rather than improve it Songs have always existed about exploitation Prevalence of hidden ruler stories corrupt judge stories and the bed trick when Mariana sleeps with Angelo instead of Isabella 0 Shakespeare puts them all together 0 You re not sure what to make of Isabella o Repressed 0 Happy to be chaste 0 Religious devoutness complicated when she agrees to lie do the bed trick trap Angelo etc without question o Emphasizes the difference between a pardon freely given and ransom but then she blackmails to tell on him 0 Importance of physical chastity vs spiritual chastity o Isabella quotTis set down in heaven but not on Earthquot about no sex laws And quotI would rather give my body than my soulquot As in give it in sex or give it in death Is there a way to separate physical and spiritual chastity 0 Which takes precedence Repopulation Darwinian needs or the soul 0 Debating society and glum orgy 0 Education was done through these types of debates back then Absence of commitment to a simplistic conclusion Should we value life or death 0 Physicality or spiritsoul Weird place of needing to enforce the former laws 0 Simplistic moral choice 0 It s harder to get people to follow unpleasant laws when the higherups aren t doing it o Escalus quotMercy is not itself that looks so pardon is still the nurse of second woequot Isabella quotMercy to these would prove itself a bawdquot Basically have to be strict to avoid problems with lawbreakers These are the voices that say there s something wrong with the system Words reference reproduction and sex Integrates personal psychological struggles with outer political ones 0 Individual desires re ected in laws sexual desires and repression in con ict 0 Play politics 0 The best legislation is actually a play Claudio s mockexecution Duke always talking about Acts 0 Can you distinguish an actor from act 0 quotMan dressed in little brief authorityquot What are people really when they39re not performing Duke is almost like a director of a play 0 Isabella to the duke as the friar quotI am directed by youquot 0 Telling everyone what to do and how 0 Duke quotI do not like to stage me to their eyesquot be seen watched 0 Like Shakespeare himself small part big actor World of people seeming to be one thing 0 Characters put in situations that exactly contradict what they see of their world and themselves 0 Steely Angelo grows desirous lsabella becomes a possible procreator the good husband and expectant father is put in jail for it etc 0 Excessive laws excessive repression Claudio s execution is expedited by Angelo s act of illicit sexuality 0 Instead of it being an anecdote Bawdy characters all equate expression of sexuality with being alive Pompey the pimp is assigned as assistant to the executioner Abhorson o Abhorson whore son abhorred son The executioner comes from illegitimacy Comedy as reproduction of type rather than individual o Is lsabella fully pure holy and chaste or a creature of twisted repression o lsabela all sexual participation is death 0 Shakespeare mirrors Angelo s and Isabella s language quotLook on this man condemned as if my brother livedquot human approval of life in the face of this choice the choice to forgive the one who ordered her brother s death grand affirmation of life 0 Baby duke moment 0 Some goodness in human spirit will nd its way 0 Those who previously chose death now want to live 0 Choice of life grows Lecture Three Measure for Measure and performance Extremes are not sustainable Fornication and execution lead to each other 0 Angelo s extreme restraint and obsession with the law leads to his corruption Isabella s restraint and extreme religion chastitygtife doesn t last Claudio s and Lucio s sex lives lead to prison and near death lifegt chastity 0 Why are the extremes here 0 Indicative of a broken social order 0 The Duke has to nd a way to solve the issues 0 Does so with the hidden ruler trope Hidden ruler Using the trope to nd out and try to x injustice and a messed up system 0 Shows how chastity and sexuality goodness and living life fully aren t mutually exclusive Can see this when the pimp works handinhand with execu oner 0 Where do we see the messed up system Parts that make us feel closed in walled in oppressed Isabella is in the convent walled lots of rules and won t be able to talk when showing face Claudio s cell parallels Claudio but she can get out Lovers kept away from each other Locked into relationships some loving and others unrequited o Isabella may not feel as if she has a choice with the duke o Lucio voice in play questioning how marriage in this way is freedom if it s better than corporeal punishment 0 Duke as friar hides his face Juliet s pregnancy and being con ned until she gives birth Mariana slandered by Angelo and lost reputation lost brother lost dowry In a grange farm surrounded by a moat o Tradition of virgin Mary being depicted as in a castle garden with a moat around her 0 Bed trick is the end of her isolation and also somewhat the end of Isabella s chastity and Angelo s legitimacy 0 City has a wall around it Duke wants everyone to meet him at the gate to of the city 0 Point where the city starts civilization vs the outside 0 Re ects ideas about enclosure and freedom ln end Duke and Isabella march back into the city from the gates Losing freedom in marriage Lots of parallels of enclosure and freedom Can t separate the following they re not mutually exclusive 0 Good from evil Personal desires from state needs Sexuality from spiritual needs The characters desires 0 Measure for Measure 0 Different ways of getting what they want but want the same thing 0 Angelo crime prison and death Isabella sin damnation Punitive re ex drives them both 0 Externalizing their internal repression Not so different after all Deny and repress internal desires human desires Not just sex but even to prefer quotbread to stonequot very human needs are being repressed But is what s natural good 0 A natural mentally retarded can t control self 0 Does corruption come from seeking out higher being From repressing the natural and human From trying to be too civilized From having aspirations too high for the world Both want perfection in the world that can t quite exist in reality 0 Come close to agreeing that Claudio should die for his acUons Both aso repress and oppress no sex in self and beliefs of others no sex in law Have similar values Angelo Stealing a dollar is the same as counterfeit so murder can be equated to illegitimacy Isabella had rather her brother die by the law than have an illegitimate son Both want to punish wrongs o sabea tries to separate self from world of sin trying to punish the act and not the actor wants to run world as if it were heaven 0 Angelo wants to run world as if you could force people to behave trying to punish the actors to prevent the acts 0 BUT THE WORLD IS NOT AN ALLEGORY The real world is more complex than a fable Laws actions sins crimes are not always clearcut Can t just kill everyone who behaves contrary to how you think they should It s hard to choose laws which to enforce know what is virtue vs crime 0 Have to recognize how hard it is to be wholly good to avoid compromising principles to guide yourself that accurately we generally have to settle for not crashing and burning 0 We are only mortal Shakespeare leaves behind Renaissance ideas that good and evil are mutually exclusive Calvinism predestination Corrupt judge Puts on mask of goodness and justness o Represses recognition of own desires and humanness Using the law to legitimize and get his own desires o Replaces sexual desire and satisfaction with sadistic grati cation from punishing Thinking of crimes as jewels some found and some still not found out being walked on Perverse desire sees punishing crimes as a treasure Corruption and pregnancyreproduction 0 Trying to be pure entangling him in world of physical reproduction Physical aspect given to purity Erotic descriptions of purity and chastity quotin her youth there is a prone and speechless dialect such as move menquot 0 a woman s passionate and pure argument for soul and forgiveness like sex language of using body good looks to persuade mixing of her purpose and the sexual language 0 Having sex quotunpregnantquot Pregnancy as the good thing so sex no reproduction o Isabella s masochistic obsession with death Prefers death to sex 0 Shakespeare implies a death wish or wish to not be fully alive 0 Where fully alive includes sex 0 Repression as a form of death quotls t not a kind of incest to take life from thine own sister s shamequot 0 very much like Angelo s understanding of crime and life and death and reproduction Finds it wrong to use sex to save brother Seems pious but then wishes Claudio a speedy and so very unpreparedfor death as we can see as he speaks fearfully of death is not resolved to die when he wants to live through hersacd ce 0 Con ict between opposites who are also the same drives the play 0 Isabella and Angelo 0 Duke and friar 0 Human psyche and public good reconciling 0 And in end it all comes together Brings image of death to people s minds but then pardons and arranges marriages life Reconciling values and public good Bed trick 0 Mistaking of one sexual partner for another Reminds you of the question who is this person really This person I am intimately trusting o Bodies as all the same interchangeable makes audience uncomfortable we like to think we re all unique Ragazzine s head takes place of Claudio s Mariana takes place of lsabella 0 Turning point 0 Mariana gets husband escapes isolation o Isabella s chastity comes into question in planning the de owering of another and in that others will think she s no longer a virgin 0 End of Angelo s legitimacy and justness end of his repression of desires Bed trick as an enclosure 0 Lots of walls and a garden like Virgin Mary depictions 2 locks need to be keyed to get into the garden the moment of breaking free is in a universe of enclosure 0 all the walls breaking down 0 maidenhead breaking o repression breaking down 0 social walls oppression breaking Con ict between opposites who are also the same drives the play lsabella and Angelo Duke and friar Human psyche and public good reconciling And in end it all comes together 0 Brings image of death to people s minds but then pardons and arranges marriages life o Reconciling values and public good 0 Moralistic element the play shows where various kinds of choices might land you Creates hypothetical futures In end it s just a play come back to reality and try to avoid bad outcomes in life Lots of connections between Angelo and Isabella but they are different 0 They end up teaching each other 0 Angelo is drawn to lsabella because she represents what he wants to be and wishes he were 0 lsabella begins to understand her desire to withdraw from sexuality could be based somewhat in repression rather than elevation of the self Act II Scene IV 0 quotDestined liveryquot Angelo is saying she has a gender role to ful ll as someone who obeys and has sex with him 0 Trying to have sex with her but is attracted to her piousness o Angelo uses quotlovequot to mean sex maybe love jealousy attraction and to persuade shroud his blackmail in seducUon ls trying to persuade her to ruin what attracts him to her Inside of Angelo are competing sides 0 Sex versus virtue Says he s truthful in talking of quotlovequot on his HONOR No honor anymore though he thinks he still has some but it s all gone by the time he has sex and still orders Claudio s death lsabella is a great orator keeps using his words to bring him back to Claudio s and Juliet s situation quotSeeming seemingquot she sees he s been acting 0 What s more important virtue or reputation 0 quotWho will believe thee Isabelquot Angelo is leaning toward valuing reputation more Play makes us uncomfortable Messes with sexuality Maternals vs paternals Life vs death No real solution though a comedy 0 First 2 acts are perfect Shakespearean comedy 0 Then he messes it all up Messes with the genre formula Twists it around puts us out of comfort zone 0 Has Shakes lost faith in the formula in a happy ending in this situation 0 Can t suppress cynical voice o Is it good enough to say quotwell life goes onquot Or do we desire something more lasting 0 Where is the hope Fun fact 0 How disturbing this play was 0 The Spanish Inquisition edited it down Shakespeare s plays but completely got rid of M4M Intro to Othello Like Measure for Measure Othello is not all tied up neatly in its genre 0 And Iago shows the cynicism visible at M4M s end 0 Coming up embittered Shakespeare recognizes the corruption of power fundamental doubts about humanity and whether a comedic solution is enough 0 Draws us in to ask much more dif cult questions than come from many comedic endings
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