If you missed class today (Wed), be sure to see the Paper #1 assignment below. For Friday, read Act 3, though there are no questions to respond to. We'll have an in-class writing response when you arrive.
Paper #1: Staging Shakespeare
For your first paper, I want you to play the role of a dramaturge, which is basically a resident scholar in a theater company: he/she informs the actors about the historical and cultural aspects behind a play, and helps the actors understand who the characters are and how to read/perform them. So imagine that you’ve been asked to help a specific actor understand his or her role as CLEOPATRA or
Since these are the male and female leads, your advice is crucial to making
this performance work (and you can assume the actor has never read the play
before, or knows all that much about Shakespeare). ANTONY
ANALYSIS: Your paper should be addressed to the actor, and should help explain how he/she should understand the character’s role in the play: how should the actor portray him/her, from the character’s morals, ideas, intentions, strengths, weaknesses, etc. To do this, I want you to focus on two specific scenes that you feel showcase your view of the character. You will then discuss these scenes through a close reading to help the actor understand why the character says what he/she says, and how these lines can be interpreted to reveal the character’s inner being. Consider not just what is said but how it is said—verse/prose, metaphors, meanings of a word, etc.
SOURCES: To help you with your analysis, I want you to use at least two outside sources as research on the character and/or the play. You can find many useful sources right in our book: we will be reading several articles in “Criticism” section of our Norton Critical Edition of the play, and these can be voices you join with in conversation about the play. Some of the articles I particularly encourage you to read are: Adelman, “Tradition as Source in
and Cleopatra”; Dollimore,
“ Antony and Cleopatra:
Virtus under Erasure”; Dusinberre, “Squeaking Cleopatras: Gender and
Performance in Antony and Cleopatra”;
Rutter, “Shadowing Cleopatra”; Loomba, “The Imperial Romance of Antony and Cleopatra” Antony
NOTE: You must quote from these articles in your paper, as a way to bring another critical voice into the discussion. Use them to highlight ideas you might not have seen yourself, so you can respond to them in your discussion. A good literature paper is a conversation with yourself and other scholars/writers. Unless you quote them, your paper will read like a monologue—and no one wants to hear a 4-5 page monologue!
* At least 4-5 pages double spaced
* Must quote from the play in your close reading; don’t merely summarize
* Must use at least 2 outside sources, both of which are quoted in your paper
* Quotes should be documented in MLA format with a Works Cited page
* Due Wednesday, October 14th by (no class that day)