Card Exercises:

Each day that a card exercise is indicated please bring to class a white 4x6 card with your name, your group number, the date, and an answer to one of the questions for the day.

Time allowing, the group will get together and come up with a yellow card on which the group leader will put the group number, the names of group members present, and coming up with a response based on what each member had to say on their individual cards.  This is to be a springboard for class discussion.  The group leader will keep track of each card exercise on an individual basis and contribution to the group card.  If you do not make it to class on the day of a card exercise, you may post your response on the listserv (but obviously, you will not receive credit for the group card).

Past Questions for Card Exercises: (Spring 2002)

Week 3:  What sort of dream does Shakespeare give us in his script for MND?  What sort of dreams do we have in productions so far?  Romantic, pleasant, erotic, nightmares?  (HINT: check out the casting and handling of Puck)  Which interpretation most closely fits what you think the script indicates?

Week 4:  How did the NYSF production handle Theseus's "The lunatic, the lover, and the poet" speech?  What are the implications for that decision? OR Could you have guessed which of the productions we have looked at were from the UK and which ones from the US?  How about the time period?  How did you guess, and were you ever in error? OR In Michael Hoffman's 1999 film, he has Helena and Demetrius enter the forest on bicycles and reinforces this imagery with the fairies entering the forest on New! c.1900 technology.  To what extent does this tactic impose meaning on the play; to what extent does it point for a 1999 audience and make relevant themes in the play?

Week 5:  What in Rom. corresponds to the woods near Athens in MND? OR How does Zeffirelli image the various spaces in the play and in his film: men's space, women's space, spiritual space, space for love? OR How does Zeffirelli handle Juliet's prothalamion "Gallop apace, you fiery footed steeds" and what does this decision indicate about this film?  OR In Zeffirelli's film, is Juliet unchanging? OR How did this film handle the quiet wooing at a noisy party - what other options are available to directors on stage/in film?

Week 6:  What in Luhrmann's R+J corresponds to the woods near Athens in MND?  How does Luhrmann image the various spaces in the play?  OR Did you fell invited to identify with Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet or somewhat alienated from them, asked to perceive them objectively?  What got you to identify or not? OR How does Luhrmann handle the reconciliation scenes that conclude Rom.?

Week 7: none

Week 8:  Do the following proportions work, and if so, how so?

    Olivier's H5/Branagh's 

    = Romance/Satire 

    = Colonial/Post-Colonial 

    = Allies in WWII/US involvement in Indochina - and nowadays 

    = Conservative/Liberal

 

OR Do you see Olivier's and Branagh's films (and Henrys) having pretty much the same political upshots?

 

Week 9:  How did Olivier handle Rosencrantz and Guildenstern?  What does this say about his view of Hamlet and Hamlet? OR Do you find Olivier's or Gibson's Hamlet closer to that of the script? OR Do you prefer Olivier's B&W, expressionistic Elsinore or Zeffirelli's full-color, new medieval castle?  Are the castles appropriate to their interpretations? 

 

Week 10:  none

 

Week 11:  The tiel page for the First Folio identifies the play as The Tragedy of Richard the Third with the Landing of Earle Richmond, and the Bettell at Bosworth Field, while the running title nowadays is The Life and Death of Richard the Third.  Which title do you think more suitable?  Is R3 Richard's tragedy, with the comedy of Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond?  Is Richard always the star, but just of his life and death: a rise and fall but no tragedy? OR How do Olivier's monologues as Richard differ from those of his Hamlet?  What is the major significance of the difference? OR The women!  What did Olivier do with the women in R3?

 

Week 12:  What political statements are being made by the R3's of Olivier, Howell, and/or Loncraine?  What political statements did Shakespeare make in his R3? OR What statements about evil are made by Richard and King Claudius in Hamlet? (How is Tyrell in the Loncraine like and different from the many villains - including Tyrell - in the Olivier?) OR If Olivier's R3 is Modernist in its mise-en-scene and esthetics, and the McKellen PostModern - what does that tell us about Modern/PoMo?

 

Week 13:  Are Shakespeare's characters more or less Machiavellian than their counterparts in Polanski's Macbeth?  What should our attitude be toward the violence in Macbeth? 

 

Week 14:  Why does Macbeth/Washizu do what he does?  How do Polanski, Welles,and Kurosawa image Macbeth's world? OR Are Shakespeare's characters moe or less Machiavellian than their counterparts in Throne of Blood? OR Does either of these productions catch the image patterns in Macbeth?  Do the women in the class find these later versions of Macbeth more or less sexist than Shakespeare?