Friday, January 13, 2006

Best of School 2005

Just in time for the first week of school, is the review of last years school year. Okay lets go.

Paradise Lost-John Milton *****

Perhaps the most staggering piece of literature I've ever had to read. At times it could be both frustrating and brilliant. An epic for the ages, and a book I will forever love to hate. Milton's poem is perhaps the most difficult thing I've had to read since Chaucer and pynchon. Infact I don't know how I got through it. Paradise Lost falls on a classical epic structure, now im not going to get into what that entails, cause it entails a lot. Miltons poem is set everywhere and also encompasses all of mans existence (or a good majority). It regales epic battles, the fall of Satan and the subsequent fall of man. It uses epic smilies and prose that astound and amaze. Yet, Perhaps the most impressive thing to think about is Milton wrote this blind. This book was simply an enjoyment too read and discuss all around. If you're an English major Id suggest taking an Milton course, even if your not id suggest taking it, it will both please and mess up your mind.

Titus Andronicus-Shakespeare *****
I had never heard of this play till I took this course. Yet Im glad that I read it. Perhaps, one of the more action packed and gore filled tragedies that Shakespeare has ever written. A rape, beheadings, several murders and cannibalism fills out the majority of the plot. Titus is the story of a fallen general who descends deeper into madness as his family is continually wronged. Those who have heard me vouch for Hamlet as one of my favorite Shakespeare tragedies will now hear me vouch for Titus as a extremely close second. Oh, and the movie staring Anthony Hopkins is great too.

Romeo and Juliet-Shakespeare ***
Cant have an early Shakespeare course with out one of the greatest love stories ever written. Having not read this play since grade nine, it was nice to go back and revisit it. I had forgotten a lot of what actually happened. Yet I found rereading this play now, that Romeo is a bit of a melodramatic douche. Infact the only sensible one in the play is Juliet, and even she looses it in the end. This play is a classic, Im not debating that. And yes it is probably the greatest love story, I wont debate that either. Yet it was hard to get away from my own preconceptions and the Lucasesque dialogue. I'll admit to laughing quite a bit at some of the more serious moments in the play. Oh those crazy kids, a plague upon their houses indeed.

Richard the Second-Shakespeare **
My god this was horrible. Okay maybe not horrible, but I just didn't like it. Perhaps it would have been better coming before the tragedies. This historical play was a bit of snooze fest. Especially when compared to the last two. The play had its moments and some of the characters and historical aspects were interesting, but when it came right down to it, I was just hoping that someone would hurry up and kill somebody. Perhaps I'll have a greater appreciation for this play when I go and reread it over the holidays, but for now It will have to settle for a failing grade.

Henry IV part one-Shakespeare ***
More interesting than Richard the second. Better characters and overall a more interesting plot. This is a continuation from Richard the second. Perhaps I have a little biased to this play, as I had to perform a scene out of it, in my best drag this year. Best 15% I ever had to earn. Overall though this play was more enjoyable and may even have me read part two. Someday.

A Midsummers Nights Dream-Shakespeare ****
I really liked this one. Never read any of the Shakespeare comedies before but this was pretty interesting, and actually funny at parts. Shakespeare blends two worlds together with fantasy and myth. Fairies, Weddings and a play within a play, though this play starts in a tragic form, it really turns into a really great comedy. I'll probably go see it on bard on the beach, if it plays this summer.

As You Like It *****
Personally I thought this was the better comedy. It reminds me of some kinda sitcom, I wanna say seinfield but that's too obvious. Yet, misunderstood love, Jesters and wrestlers, not to mention cross dressing makes for great situational comedy. And a scene that would make any literary scholar go "what the hell" makes for some interesting debates. This was a good way to end the course and makes me happy that I'll be taking more Shakespeare next semester.

Of truth and of Plantation and Novum Organum-Francis Bacon **
Short little poems, so I'll give a short little exert. Wasn't blown away. Interesting read, found other things a bit more interesting. Still though I didn't mind it. I guess I just don't appreciate his influence as much as others.

Leviathan-Hobbes ***
Yet something you'll only read if you're an English Major or Philosopher. I really didn't enjoy Hobbes. Its a difficult read. Perhaps my stance would be different, if I had read the entire thing and not just some exerts. Plus my view on the Leviathan is a little skewed because of what was on the final. All in all though from what I read of Hobbes, I wasn't all that captivated.

Sun Rising, Good Friday, Meditation 4-John Donne *
17th century poetry just isn't my cup of tea. I don't get it. Its all the same or seems to be the same themes. I mean yeah sure its influential, but honestly what do I have to gain from reading this?

Love (3)-George Herbert **
It gets a little on the preachy side for my tastes. All about the church, Christianity and all that other stuff. Alright to read, but honestly I could take it or leave it.

To his coy Mistress-Andrew Marvell **1/2
Again better then the previous. It was an alright read. Just not everything Its was built up to in the text.

Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum-Aemilia Lanyer *
The beginning of the end, for my interest in feministic writing. I really didn't care much for this, not because it was feministic in nature, but because it wasn't all that good.

Sonnet 13, Sonnet 78, and Pamphilia to Amphilanthus-Lady Mary Worth **
Lady Mary worth, is worth exactly two stars. See what I did there? Anyway I liked the sonnets to be honest, but I was starting to get sick of the ideal feminist, and feminist thinking at this point. Its all the same crap. I am sorry, but its true.

To the Two universities, The Blazing World, Modest Reflections-Margret Cavendish ***
Now were getting somewhere. Unlike her predecessors Cavendish was actually interesting to read. Some good stuff in The Blazing World, interesting stories, considering the time period. Cavendish would probably be my favorite out of the feministic writers.

The Lady Eleanor Her Appeal-Lady Eleanor Davies *
I dunno what else to really say. Other than this was my breaking point with feminist writing for the semester. I tried to weather the storm but in the end it broke me and I just couldn't care anymore.

The married state, Upon the double murder of king charles, to mrs M.A. parting-Katherine Philips ** 1/2
Alright the final feminist of the semester. The second of the three pieces, was actually interesting to read. Other than that though, I could do with out. I mean The married state, try guessing what that was about. Why do they make us read this?

All for Love-John Dryden ****
A different take on the Shakespeare play Antony and Cleopatra. Great play. Well both of them are great plays actually. Dryden leaves out a lot of the political background that Shakespeare covers, but needless to say this play is still an outstanding read. A great take on a fantastic shakespearian tragedy.

Oroonoko or the Royal Slave-Aphra Behn ***
Not a bad story. Its an account of political and private lives meshing not so well together. Much like All for love, powerful political figures are placed against eachother and their lives are thrown into chaos because of it. The story revolves around royalty, becoming a slave then fighting back for his freedom. Not a bad read.

Modest Proposal, Gullivers Travels-Johnathan Swift *****
A modest proposal isn't all that modest at all. Its a short proposal describing a solution to the poverty problem in Ireland. That solution is.....Cannabalism. The sarcasm is not lost on readers as they make their way through Swifts proposal. As good as it is though, Gullivers Travels is that much better. For those who have not read Guillivers Travels, you should its an outstanding read and quite funny too.


Blogger Graham said...

I give this post ***5/16

7:43 PM


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