View Full Version : Help on Shakespeare

04-15-2005, 06:28 PM
I know that I shouldnt be asking to have my homework made by you all in the forum, but I need some help...

Basically, one of the exams I did in Hungary wasn't enough to be validated here so I should add something to it...and I asked to write a paper instead of going to the oral exam cos I prefer to write and I'm more free about dates cos I want to do 5 other exams in the next session...

Anyway...It has to be about Shakespeare. Which is a problem cos, tell me what you want, but I'm very far from being passionate about the guy... And what's worse, the teacher told me to come out with ideas for the topic by next week. I took out my notes and realised the only play I actually almost appreciated of those I did the exam about was Cymbeline... But what the hell can I say about Cymbeline? Or about anything else? I also liked to know about the sources of Sh., but that would be too wide, I need a small paper.

So...advice please...

(PS I wondered if I should put this in the Shakespeare section but it seems to only have pre-made threads anyway...and honestly, noone would ever see it there)

04-15-2005, 06:31 PM
To begin with, which Shakespeare plays have you read? Also, does it have to be about his plays or Sonnets are acceptable as well?

If it is something you have already read, it would make it easier for you.

04-15-2005, 07:17 PM
no idea if sonnets are allowed, i dont know any of them anyway.

i read Pericles, Cymbeline, A winter's tale and The Tempest.


04-15-2005, 11:20 PM
Unfortunately, I do not know as much about Cymbeline, Pericles, or The Tempest as a devoted Shakespeare reader would like to, like the proceeding plays, or as much as Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night, for example.
Do you have to write your essay on any specific work?
Among William Shakespeare's many, many plays I have found a few particularly eye-catching with distinguished plots. A Winter's Tale I loved very much, but if you look for a really good tragedy, with a relatively short length, I recommend Titus Andronicus; additionally, a fairly short comedy I could recommend, feeling very comfortable talking about: A Comedy Of Errors.

04-16-2005, 01:46 PM
well i dont know exactly about what i am meant to write, i dont know how big it must be but it should be rather small as it's completing an exam... and since it's me who chose to do it, i'm trying not to put myself into troubles... the teacher briefly advised me to do it about something I did in the exam, that is the plays i mentioned, and it's actually a good idea since i hate and detest to read plays (they're meant to be played not read...) and i don't enjoy shakespeare... i'll go on thinking...

04-16-2005, 01:59 PM
Since you have to write on one of the plays that you have read, you probably should concentrate on a single aspect of how Shakespeare put it together. Something like "What devices did he use for characterization?" or "What symbols did he use and how did he use them?" or "How did he did he develop the plot?". Think of any literary device and write about Shakespeare's use of that. If you really want to impress someone, you could compare Shakespeare with another author who dealt with the same theme.

04-16-2005, 04:00 PM
I think of the plays you have read The Tempest is the best one to write about. If you don't know much about Shakespeare use the internet, sparknotes or something like that. If you start on the characters in the play, the main characters have moodswings and deep feelings you can wonder about, use one or two sentences in their dialogs to make that clear. You probably do this when you write essays but I find it very helpfull to make a 'flower' in the middle you say 'shakespeare' and out of the a sentence about what to write in every paragraph. I use this a lot and it makes it easier to write.

You should check if you can use sonnetts, cause they are beautiful! I love Shakespeare and I have read all the plays so if you need help I am glad to give it to you :)

04-16-2005, 05:01 PM
Yes, I agree with Helga, if I chose any of your selections, Koa, I would go with The Tempest, as it seems to have the easiest-following plot, most analytical characters, and many people read it, making it more simple to get help.
A Winter's Tale, I think, seems a good choice also, but do not allow us to make your choices for you. :p
Speaking of A Winter's Tale, my college theatre has staged the play this month, with student actors and actresses, and I cannot go due to low funds! Grrr, the finances of a college student seem too restrictive at times. :mad:
(sorry for the rant)

04-16-2005, 07:23 PM
Read 'Shakespeare is Hard but So is Life; by...****, I forgot, and it's late, but it's excellent. I can imagine a few non 'Shakespeare heads' have been switched on by it - but great for fans too. Once you 'get' Shakespeare you've opened up a new level. It's well worth it.

04-16-2005, 11:08 PM
" I hate and detest plays"....and...." I don't like Shakespeare" .....Koa

Koa, mi amore', my young little 'soon to be wife'......you have seriously carved yourself a difficult task. The job is made no easier to approach by entering the process with a hate on for the material. I suggest (though perhaps I'm out of line in this) that Shakespeare, or any material for that matter, must be approached with passion, an interest in truly seeing what makes it/her/him work in the medium for which it was intended. Reading a play is a hassle? Get a facimile, the play in a different format (without the playrights stage directions, with little use of old English,etc.) that is easier to read. Don't like Shakespeare's works? Find source material (most of it will neccessarily be speculation) that delves into the man himself, find out who he really was. This may not take up too much of your time, as little is actually known about he man, but his legacy will be boldly clear to you once you know the man. Perhaps this will add a little spice, spark a little interest for your approach to your essay. You probably use (as many cultures do) Shakespeare's words in your everday life and don't even realize it. Shakespeare, like Bob Dylan, wrote everything.........

Good luck. If you need any help, with editing, an approach to phrasing, even a little peer editing (always a crucial and integral part of any paper) I'd be happy to help. Of course, I only speak English........

.....And for 100 bucks I'll write you a kick*ss paper ....... *moans, wishes for a dancing banana*

04-17-2005, 08:31 AM
LOL I definitely dont have 100 bucks....

Honestly, I thought I didnt like Sh. cos I was ignorant and never really studied it... Well after I did it, my passion didn't rise. I chose to do a paper instead of going to the oral exam cos I'll enjoy writing... I think and sort of hope I'll have to write in English anyway, and I'll definitely use the internet...I actually know people who speak horrible English but managed to write good essays by copy-pasting... Now I'm more fond of personal effort but of course I'll need to find loads of info...
And no Helga, I don't do that when I write my essays cos I study in a ridicolous country where we never write pretty much anything but our final papers. I wrote 2 essays in Hungary and rather enjoyed it, it makes a change from our painfully badly organised only-oral exams.

The things PeterL suggested are quite interesting but I think I also have to try and limit the subject, I dont think it's going to have to be more than 10 pages, probably less as I did most of the jod already. LOL and rules are that they will have to keep the mark I got in my studying abroad, so I will write it for the glory :)

I don't think I'd ever choose The Tempest...it was the most painful to read. And it's not just the language or such, cos I never even managed to read plays in my native language... I just think that passion for things just exists or not...it can raise at some point but if I could choose I wouldnt choose Shakespeare... but that's not my choice.

If the paper will have to be as small as I suppose, I'll probably compare Cymbeline with the novella by Boccaccio that was used as a source... even if I wonder if that would be too small... I'm sort of looking forward to talking with the teacher and clear my mind about what I really have to do (as I said, writing papers is highly unusual here), but she told me to come with my own ideas probably just to piss me off...she looks like that kind of teacher. Oh well, I'll manage.

Thanks for the help anyway, I didnt expect so much interest but after all the old William is loved by many... :D

04-17-2005, 11:09 AM
Good luck and let us know how you fare! :)

04-19-2005, 12:10 PM
well at the end the teacher said she'd want a rather big paper and there's no way i'm doing a big one after having done a whole exam anyway...especially about sthg im not passionate about. so i'll go to the oral exam with some stuff about the tempest.

i don't really like the way i'm doing things trying to involve the tiniest effort these days but i lost most of my interest for my studies anyway so i'm just surviving till the end of them.

04-19-2005, 08:04 PM

While it might not now be your "time," (who knows, may never be, it's up to you), you actually are started on some really, really wonderful plays of his which are called the "Romances." I agree ya' gotta see them to believe them, but these 4 plays are really rare and special. Pericles has a tear-jerker scene with Pericles and his daughter, Marina, who he thinks has been killed by bandits. He's old and also his wife died in childbirth (really she didn't but is alive in the coffin they throw into the sea). Late in life as a saddened and pessimistic man, he discovers they are both alive. The scene with Marina is extraordinarily touching. Then Leontes is loaded with guilt about his bad-faith (to put it mildly) towards his wife. She's a statute at the end 20 years later and it comes alive before his eyes. His mother then meets their daughter who she's never seen. Some line says, "My heart yearns to rush into my Mother's arms." Something like that. This is supra-catharsis. Tempest has more humor and magic. Cymbeline, again, is a reunification of brothers and sisters and father after 20 years; crummy husband and good wife.

These plays are all about "life" and what it's like to have a heart and feelings. If you can't get into them, you'll have a hell of a time trying to get something out of his histories.

If you do an oral exam, include all 4 plays is my recommendation; it shows how much you have learned and how you see the link between the 4 plays. "Relationships" is a good topic for all 4 plays. Love vs hate; kindness vs. villany; trust vs. distrust, etc. you make up other aspects of humans trying to relate to each other. Plus fate is a topic (the power of magic in the Tempest; the Oracle in Winters Tale; the entire journey through life that Pericles is on is all about "fate")

Don't set up roadblocks for yourself by saying Shakespeare is too difficult or rigorous. Shakespeare is about life. There's hardly anyone who can tell or show you so clearly about life, love, will, ego, kindness, meanness, etc. as him. Relax, take a few breaths, and then put it all together.

02-15-2007, 12:50 AM
Oddly enough I'm also writing an essay on the tempest. It was shakespeares last play so it has a lot of things to say for itself. For instance, the epilouge spoken by prospero can also be seen as a goodbye letter to all of his fans. I think that's very interesting and it's a great topic to write about. In fact I think I'll go write mine on that.
(I actually have to write three essays for this class and one for the final exam on this book... Oy.) ~Annette Dea

09-06-2007, 04:04 PM
If you need to read a new play quick, and an easy one to analyze, there is alwys Taming of the Shrew. There are many summaries out there, and line by line translations, so you will be sure to understand it quick.

09-06-2007, 04:10 PM
"The job is made no easier to approach by entering the process with a hate on for the material. I suggest (though perhaps I'm out of line in this) that Shakespeare, or any material for that matter, must be approached with passion, an interest in truly seeing what makes it/her/him work in the medium for which it was intended. "

Without passion, and looking into the literacy, Shakespeare can seem dull. You might want to watch modern versions, read summaries, and then read the play, you will then understand the text more thoughly , and thus, hopefully, you will enjoy your project more.

01-04-2008, 02:06 PM
Does anyone have any ideas on the theme of Appearance and Reality on Shakespeares play Winters Tale. im doin a presentation soon on this theme i dont no what to include.