Response to Course Materials 3/25

We finished our Hamlet discussion first. I think I got a lot out of that discussion, as listening to other people’s ideas is always fun. I do remember some of the conspiracy theories we started throwing around, and while they were entertaining, I feel like we should have stayed more on task.


We then started Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. This play was rather confusing at first, like the American dream. So much of it seemed repetitive and boring. As time went on, however, I realized that the author was making differences in the dialogue to show us something. Yes, this is an absurdist play, but as we discussed in class, some of the lines were misused idioms, or a line would be repeated with a different subject.


There are a few parallels I noticed between this piece and the American Dream. For one, we lose some characters by the end, with something changing. R and G fade away, as does Grandma in some ways. The American Dream also has a seemingly omniscient character (Grandma), with R and G having the Player.


Annotating the literary analyses of R and G was very interesting. It is weird how literature can have so many faces, so many interpretations of the exact same story. I think that Stoppard has had more variation of responses when compared with the original Hamlet. I really liked the critique that said something to the affect of all writers being contained by Shakespeare. I feel like we saw this idea at the start of the year, with the book on how to read literature. So many writers have borrowed from Shakespeare, or maybe Shakespeare just wrote about 90% of the human experience. I like the idea of Stoppard complaining through a piece because it just seems like such a human thing to do.


We then had our discussion of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Evan’s theory of everything writing itself was a little far fetched. Overall, I didn’t like how much we theorized about how this play happened. I feel like we should have focused more on the symbols and discrepancies within the text, rather than some parallel universe theory.


I really wish we could have had more time to discuss!


Also, somewhere in here we did some poetry multiple choice, which I found harrowing. I need to brush up on my poetry skills. We ended up tying with another hour. The stories we read could be seen in so many different ways depending on what you knew about the specifics the author refers to. For example, we were comparing a physician to a doctor for medical knowledge, or some sort of Frankenstein body digger.


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