DQ 1 Theater
This week, we took a brief look at Shakespeare’s The Tempest (see the Assignments section). This five-act play opens with a storm at sea (a tempest) and throughout, Shakespeare has planted allusions to apparitions and magic, such as the character Ariel who, at times, appears to be invisible to the other characters. It is a given that the special effects, such as those often used in films, to actually give the stage the appearance of a deadly tempest or actually make Ariel an invisible presence are not achievable on the stage. To fill in this gap, audiences suspend disbelief.
In this thread, let’s discuss the power and limitations of theatrical imagination. Please feel free to draw from productions you have seen. (The old high schoolproductions count, too!) Why are we willing to suspend disbelief when we see a play, yet we demand so much more from a film production? Do you think that the limitation on special effects and alternative demand on the audience member to suspend disbelief is a weakness or a strength of the theatrical experience? Would you rather see The Tempest on stage or in film? Why?
DQ 2 Allegory and Art
This week, we are exploring the items below.
- Excerpt from Beowulf (also available as an audio in the lecture)
This week, we have looked at several works of art that utilized allegorical themes. One of the most common uses of imagery in the medieval and Renaissance periods is allegory. What is an allegory? Describe how at least one of the examples of art in this week’s lecture or one of this week’s readings is allegorical in nature. Why, in your opinion, was allegory so prevalent during these periods? Is it still important in contemporary literature? Why or why not?