Week 4 Reflection. Nov. 29
Today was the first day of presentations. I felt like ours went well. We worked on keeping it in the time limit, which we succeeded in doing so. I didn't get to explain the Shakespeare/Calderon correlation, but it was one of those points that we could lose. This play and time period have so many different layers that we tried to address the most important social themes that were in the play. Having all the time in class was helpful because there was not a lot of outside of class homework. I felt very prepared, and enjoyed learning about a time period I knew nothing about, and learning about how historical events influenced the play. I enjoyed watching the other presentations, because all the groups were so different and each focused on different presentational themes that Will talked about in class. I discussed translation problems, whereas other groups discussed religion or art more.
Week 3 Reflection. Nov. 25
This week I worked on comparing the two versions of "Life is a Dream" and "Life's a Dream." One is in prose, the other in verse. I spent a while reading the translator's notes; it's super interesting because of the Spanish-to-English translation, and what problems the translators had. I also found an awful production of this show on Youtube, and it is obviously a different, more "modern" version, but it's pretty entertaining and shows bits of themes we are discussing in our presentation. Our plan is to have our Powerpoint ready for Tuesday. I'm working hard on comparing the two plays, and then relating Calderon's work to Shakespeare. There are many parallels between my research and my Shakespeare class. I think we will be able to keep our presentation under or at 20 minutes, but I need to summarize the play, and find a way to make it simple and quick. I know I can easily compare Shakespeare and Calderon, but it might take a long time in the presentation, so it might become one of those quick slides that does not get much detail (something we have to eliminate for time's sake).
Week 2 Reflection. Nov. 15
This week, I've been reading Life's a Dream. As I've been reading, I've been marking down anything that relates to Shakespeare/Elizabethan Theater and money lines that show a theme or something that pertains to the religion/mystical idealism of the time. This play is hilarious. My favorite line so far is "What's going on here?" "Nothing. I threw a man who irritated me off the balcony." There are many themes that relate to the idea of forgiveness, dreams/state of being awake, that are similar to Shakespeare's themes in times. My plan is to finish the play and start on another version of it, in which I will actively look for similarities and differences in the translation. This relates to my Shakespeare class because I am working on Troilus and Cressida, and in the scene the idea of forgiveness and Gods are relevant. Also, other people are doing a Twelfth Night scene, where a woman dresses up as a man. We've discussed the idea of hiding one's identity through clothing which is exactly what Rosura is doing.
Week 1 Reflection. Nov. 8
This week I decided to focus on the play itself. I found out who Pedro Calderón de la Barca was and his work by doing some basic internet Google searches. I found that he was a prominent playwright during the Spanish Golden Age, and then I found part of "Life is a Dream." The end of that speech is beautiful, and I realized I could easily make some comparisons between his work and Shakespeare (since that is what we're studying in the BFA right now). I went to the library and found a number of different translations and versions. In class, I realized that these six or so lines are translated differently, so the meaning changes; this play was based off of these lines, so the meaning of the title and the play could change too. I decided I would focus on how the imagery and intention of the writing changes due to the translation. In my Shakespeare class and Women Write the World class, we focus on poetry and Shakespeare, and the specifics of each image/word. I will focus on this with "Life is a Dream" and then will compare his writing to Shakespeare.