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A challenge again
From the great M.G
Transmedia what?
Shakespeare would
I am certain agree that Transmedia YouTube?
Is not quite what he doth approve.

So Hal has gone missing. What to do next.
Help find the Prince ere the Kingdom be lost.
Is he depressed, has he met with foul play
or has rougeish Jack Falstaff spirited Hal away.
Only you can assist
Only your eyes can help find this recalcitrant Prince

Transmedia story


Has Hal been found we do not know

But he was heard to say ” I am not all bad

I simply wish to explore the world

To make my mark

I’ll find away

I am after all a


Peer Review for Shannon

Hi Shannon I agree, things are always so much easier to understand when we are given the opportunity to participate. I too find these interactive activities a bit of a challenge but really admire and appreciate the talent and hard work that goes into the creative process. I would like too to second your THANKYOU to everyone in M.G’s literature classes who make the texts we read come alive.

Well said Shannon


Where art thou now? Sleepest thou, and dream of Cleopatra
Or art thou with fair and Roman Olivia.
O blessed Roman, that thou with Antony may be.
Speakest thou well Olivia, for thou art with Dionysus
One born from Mars and Venus. His greatness thou canst not know.
Whilst I, who think’st on thee my Antony
Dost thou think of me?
And what was traded once in love, is now no more.
Music and laughter is no longer heard within these Egyptian halls.
And Dionysus’s nectars once drunk has now become a poisonous brew to torment and scald a soul.
Golden sun and Nilus’s zephyrs no longer serve to console.
Rememberest thou thine Egypt my Antony?
Art thou now so easily enchanted, ensnared by Roman power
O fickle Antony, my constancy thou hast betrayed
And poison now is this life, and Egypt soft and sweet as balm is no longer comfort to me.
Antony callest thou?
I dream-

Peer Review week 10 for Sara

Very well researched and written Sara. You have effortlessly covered all aspects of the colonial experience with Shakespeare; no stone has been left unturned in your search for relevant information. Your analysis of the colony’s flirtation with Shakespeare also provides an insight into the cultural and social landscape which existed at the time. You have put together a useful resource not only for the Shakespearean scholar but also for the historian, or for anyone simply wishing to know a little bit more. I enjoyed reading this very useful resource you have compiled.

DSC00264State Library of New South Wales

Will Shakespeare in the colony

Henry IV as performed by a convict cast, is described in this article, hope it’s informative. A cast of 10 convicts, we are told comprising 8 males and 2 females acted in the first ever very egalitarian  Shakespearean production in Australia. I think that this is delightfully appropriate  both for this particularly boisterous,  play (at least that is the impression given by Bell’s recent rendition) and for this particularly boisterous   egalitarian and vibrant nation. The article gives an insight into some of the characters who acted in this particular production and also provides an interesting insight into the social fabric of this period in Sydney society. Apparently according to this piece, a handbill for Henry IV is also held by the Mitchell Library.

Week 9 Comment for Yarrie a  Engl 102 student

Hi Yarrie I like the way you connect the landscape of the past with the landscape of the present. I enjoyed reading about Sierra Leonne. The memories you have of your home could be that of an Australian child growing up in the bush, with the red dust and animals for company. You very neatly separated your past, your idyllic childhood,  with the  disconnected Sydney of tall buildings and then brought us back to nature in the Blue Mountains where you allow us to breathe the fresh mountain air alongside a reconnected you.
Thank you.

Cleopatra’s Egypt is a world of poetry, eternally sun blest skies and passions which are  not easily tempered. Contrasted with Rome Egypt is represented as being a land softly indolent, where the pleasures of the flesh are honoured above all else.  Rome, in the semblance of Antony has been degraded and debauched by the temptress which is Egypt. “The Captain’s heart which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst the buckles on his breast” (1.1.7) has become Cleopatra’s “fool”. Antony has in effect lost control of his manhood and has become Egypt’s plaything. The world of Egypt is represented by Shakespeare  as the corrupter of the finest of Roman martial  traditions and values. It has seduced and diminished the masculine world of Roman endeavour and  thus diminished the empire. Antony is, when with Cleopatra tender. His language reflects the changes which he undergoes when under Egypt’s influence- “now for the love of Love and her soft hours” (1.1.46).  The acceptable masculine virtues valued by  Rome – of  scheming for political  supremacy, and empire building –  which Antony would have been schooled in has been vanquished by the feminine  as represented by Egypt. Antony after experiencing the dishonour of being thus emasculated, has no choice but to die. And Egypt-  as the cause of his dishonour needs to suffer therefore a similar fate.

Contrasting the worlds of Egypt and Rome with Henry 4’s England one can perceive a very similar dynamic. Falstaff represents a dissolute world of corruption in which the pleasures of the flesh are valued above duty to country or even to friend. The values which he represents which fall outside of the acceptable establishment virtues of duty and valour in battle  can not be seen to triumph,  and we do indeed witness Falstaff’s eventual dishonour. Shakespeare always deals lightly with his shady characters, here he represents them as amusing nonentities, we are all only too aware that  the real power resides with those who are the warriors and therefore the powerbrokers of England. Even the seemingly dissolute Prince Hal is redeemed through battle.  He has after all been born to rule. The status quo has been maintained, and the spoils of war  will be theirs according to Henry 4 – ” let us not leave till our own be won”(5.5.44). So too does Rome triumph in Antony and Cleopatra.


Image: Frederick Arthur Bridgman

Works Cited

Bridgman, Frederick Arthur. Image of Cleopatra Web.26 April 2013.

Shakespeare, William. Antony and Cleopatra. Ed. Ania Loomba New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. 1-116.  Print.

Shakespeare, William. 1 Henry 1v. ED. Gordon McMullan. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003. 1-97.  Print

Spark notes, Image Unknown. Web. 26 April 2013.

Peer Review Week 8

sensibilities3 on April 26, 2013 at 7:23 am said:  For Sara

Very Shakespearean indeed. You very succinctly summarise Cleopatra’s proud and noble nature in the dialogue  created between her and Falstaff. Falstaff too, you have provided with lines which accurately reflect the difference in the motivations of both himself and Cleopatra.  You have in a very few lines provided a perfect analysis of the two plays and highlight the foolishness of a relentless pursuit of earthly pleasures and the foolishness of  a too highly prized pride.

Bell Shakespeare’s 2013  production of Henry 4 is designed for an Australian audience. It incorporates a  check shirted wearing prince (obviously in disguise) and a rogues gallery of criminal, edgy individuals out to cause as much mayhem as is possible on a 21st century stage, as a tired patriarch attempts to hang onto the power he has seized under somewhat questionable circumstances. This is the opinion anyway of critics in the Herald Sun. It should be a wild and tumultuous night of Shakespearean mayhem. Does the young prince redeem himself and give up his life of iniquity to fulfil his birth right? Does Falstaff gain the prestige and honour he so much desires or is he really just a feckless and inane fool who hangs on to Hal’s shirt tail in order to gain a vicarious and empty enjoyment from life.
Hear John Bell and Matthew Moore speak with Michael Cathcart on Radio National John Bell enlightens the listener to the subtleties of the language Shakespeare employs to differentiate the various statuses and emotions of the characters. He and Matthew Moore as Falstaff and Hal respectively will need to be listened to closely, their accents sound purely Australian, as they deliver Shakespeare’s rich and poetic language. It ought to be an interesting and lively night of experiencing Shakespearean genius with a very modern Bell twist.

Image: Radio National ABC

Comment for Jasynda

Love it, yes we are wearing the pants now , we can really rule  the world , well maybe, but it might be a tough job. I especially love your colourful description of Caesar as only being fit for salad, maybe Cleopatra ought to have told both Caesar and Antony to become salad ingredients. Anyway I like the feistiness of your reply, and that you have Cleopatra stand up for her beliefs. And most of all yes we can rule and still be true to who  we are and true to our beliefs

Women appear in Shakespeare’s plays as either seductresses or as victims of a fickle fortune. They are ,  in the plays studied so far anyway, dependant on  a male in order to fulfil themselves. If they are not dependant on the male , they need to  become a male (Viola) in order to fully realise their potential. Cleopatra as a powerful woman, a queen is never  portrayed by Shakespeare as a ruler of a powerful Nation. She is  always considered by the more powerful masculine world of Rome to be Antony’s plaything, his toy. She is described by Philo disparagingly as a gypsy and a lustful one at that. Given that Philo is only a follower of Antony’s and probably not of royal blood himself the insult is obviously meant to carry extra weight. Shakespeare’s language always emphasises Cleopatra’s seductive and temperamental  qualities above her status as a queen. She is  even described as a strumpet (1.1.2). Only in death is Cleopatra able to salvage her dignity and her queenly status, as Caesar has her buried with her love Marc Antony, and declares “high order in this great solemnity” (5.2.360).

Image Cleopatra’s Needle – Wikipedia
Comment for ReneeHi Renee, you really capture and bring to vivid life the sensuous beauty which surrounded Cleopatra. You also display a good grasp of the way in which Shakespeare uses language to evoke the exotic and erotic appeal of Cleopatra as viewed through Roman eyes. Your analysis of the images used is equally as poetic as Shakespeare’s language. I enjoyed reading it.

http://Paste a Video URL

Elizabethan Baroque music which suitably describes the grandeur of the artworks which defines this era. Present in this music one finds the classical symmetry of the writing and pictorial representations which Shakespeare would have possibly favoured.     ” Where should this music be? I’ th air or th’ earth?

It sounds no more ; and sure it waits upon

Some god o’ th’ island. Sitting on a bank. Weeping again the King my father’s wrack,

This music crept by me upon the waters,

Allaying both their fury and my passion

With its sweet air… (1.2.386)

The Art Gallery of NSW presented many inspiring Renaissance works highlighting the concerns of the average Renaissance man/woman .  It would appear that they were attempting to understand their world by returning to the Greek and Roman myths and philosophies which had inspired  thinkers prior to the medieval period. European certainty in a world which was being slowly opened up to new ideas and influences from the newly Discovered “New World” was perhaps creating a sense of uncertainty and perhaps too conversely , superiority in their European  world views . These obsessions become apparent to me as a casual observer of the heightened ornate depictions of their world. A sense of the sombre nature of life is represented with a very complete understanding of man as being linked both to his classical past and to his gods, both pagan and Christian. To the Renaissance individual, the story of life it would appear ,would be incomplete without first exploring his remote and mythologically magical past. He or she would be incomplete too, without an understanding  of the (often idealised ) natural world. This natural world however could also contain within it some danger. This sense of foreboding overhangs the Tempest in which storms an isle of fens and” ill humours” and a wild untamed Caliban always threatens civilised and ordered behaviour as depicted  by the gentler spirits of the island.   The three paintings selected by me, here represent opposing world views in existence at the time, one of extreme religiosity and an opposing view representing man as a rustic and naïve dweller in an idyllic  pastoral world which can at times prove threatening. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and the Tempest both contain elements of the idyllic pastoral world tempered by human suffering and search for self knowledge. Both plays also depict mankind’s search for the spiritual or numinous  elements of human existence.

 An image of Deposition by Prospero Fontana

An image of Granida and Daifalo by attrib. Jan van Noordt

An image of Landscape with enraged ox by Adam Pynacker

Works cited

Fontana, Prospero. Deposition. 1543-1563. Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney. Art Gallery of NSW. Web. 5 April 2013.

Pynacker, Adam. Landscape with Enraged Ox. 1665.Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney. Art Gallery of NSW. Web. 5 April 2013.

Shakespeare, William. “The Tempest.” New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004. Print.

van Noordt, Jan.  Granida & Daifilo. 1645.  Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney. Art Gallery of NSW. Web. 5 April 2013.

Peer review for Sara

I found your linking of the various artworks  you depict to Shakespeare’s plays very informative, You have shown an incredible depth of knowledge regarding these paintings and also of the Renaissance period. You very succinctly have showcased the range of peoples and emotions which existed during the time Shakespeare wrote and indicate the universality and timelessness  of human emotion as depicted by these creations.



As Prospero may have spoken:

Now that  storms and mists have cleared,

And  blown o’er seas  to leave  this  verdant island blessed

By the  goodly spirits that herein do dwell.

I give due praise to all here now, pray heed me well

My daughter, my darling child is enamoured,

And  conquering  all fears beloved hast wooed and won beloved.

Cupid’s dart has  fired true.

And I, I have abandoned all magic , I’ll not rue.

Our Journey’s end  approaches and it pleases that silky seas will  bring good speed

And  ease the  misdeeds which here I’ll no longer heed.Image

But beg forbearance and pray that good  mercy

Shall follow and make all here see,

That my intention was not to harm,

But wished instead  to turn ice to  warm.
Comment week 4
For Renee
I think you have really captured Gonzalo’s nature as peacemaker. He simply wishes to have a good life and hopes that everyone else will too. I like the way you cleverly start with the lines “Execute everything” brilliant bit of double meaning- wish I’d thought of it.

Reply to Sir Walter Ralegh's What is our life? Photo my own

Eternity reaches t’ward the sky
Why then dear ones
Shouldn’t you and, thus I
Feel deeply and
Despite times fleeting caress
Yearn too for Angels everlasting esse

what is our life?
You ask Sir Walter-
Is it really a never -ending jest
To finish whisperingly, whimperingly cold in soulless ground.
Aspiring for eternity
Perhaps all we can do is create

Maybe when the final tally is taken and we account for what we’ve done
Then maybe just maybe dear Walter,
We shall find that we were in our “devours immortal after all.
Touching the heavens and thus beyond as we fly endlessly free
Unbound by time
And bound after all with Angels’ everlasting esse.
Peer Review week 3 for Renee
This is a nice little poem succinct and to the point, it captures perfectly Orsino’s besotted, moonstruck character. Your poem also interestingly even though short says so much about what Twelfth night is about – Lurve.

A great while ago the world begun(Twelfth Night 5.1.400)

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