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Maria Garcia
Professor Maenhardt
English 2300
28 April 2016
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship: Shakespeare in Review
Shakespearean works have historically existed in a class of their own in the view of many
students, its language adding to the mystical nature that accompany stories of identity, greed,
revenge, love, &c. It is with this distinction of otherworldliness that I approached English 2300.
Intimidation was a looming notion I held before actually delving into the text, and grasping
concepts with the help of in-depth discussions from my fellow classmates. Said discussions have
widened the lens through which I read Shakespeare. The analyzing process has become
significantly more meaningful and productive for myself as a student of this course, but also as a
reader in general. Rather than viewing the language as an obstruction of Shakespeares imagery,
Ive found that the language serves the story as almost another character; it provides a complete
arena for the readers understanding, an immersive experience that still allows comparisons to
exist between the work and the state of the world/ideologies of people today, as there are as
many similarities as differences. Prior to this class, I found myself reading Shakespearean works
with a strictly translation mindset, which confined the reading to a technical experience, rather
than the artistic one that can be accessed when the text is thought of as more than an obstacle.
The assumptions Ive held have dissipated for the most part, because the intimidation is
overwhelmed by the excitement of the storyits vivid imagery and intricate character
The cultural forces that shaped my own ideologies and those of Shakespeare very much
lent themselves to my understanding of the selected readings. I found as a reader that I was

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revisiting the tenets of both Marxist and Feminist literary theory the most, because many of these
readings seemed to explore the ideological undertones of man/woman relationships and the
importance of gender roles in the larger scale. Julius Caesar, Richard III, and The Tempest were
fertile ground for Marxist theory analysis, especially discussing the role of servitude for many
characterswhat is owed, what creates power, and what the state of that power is (its often
corrupt). By asking myself these questions with knowledge of times impact on the culture, I
could draw parallels and outline differences/consistencies throughout history that apply today in
my text evaluations. Understanding the context of each story was important in empathizing with
the characters, perhaps most blatantly in regard to the structure of power, the importance of its
attainment, and the individual relationships of many characters standing in contrast but also
maintaining plenty of the same qualities that can be observed today, especially in language.
Exploring the dramatized versions of these plays gives them life. An appreciation for the
readers ability to understand and imagine the stories/characters as breathing parts of the drama
is called for in Shakespearean works, but also in general reading. Its common knowledge that
after the creator has presented their work, its up to the reader to find meaning in its layers, and
enter the unique world in which they find themselves. When an audience can envision the
movement of the play and detailed transitions of the characters, the writing becomes enhanced,
accompanied by this recognition of its visually artistic qualities as well as its textual expertise. I
believe that applying this effort in imagination to all reading makes the experience more
immersive and important, and have seen a difference in my personal studies, with this
realization. Writing about the role of evil in Richard III was one of the first instances in this
course that I used the aforementioned techniques to analyze the text, and I realize that with this,
and any other Shakespearean piece, a mere reading is a disservice to everyone involved. While

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its true that Shakespeares text exists in a class of its own, that class is not defined by difficulty
or intimidation. Rather, Ive found thats its enriched by vivid imagery and opportunities to
explore a characters developmentspecifically, the investigation of identity, power, greed,
revenge, and evil.