Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Macbeth Cinematic/Thematic Essay Assignment

Part I
A    “Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?”
- Banquo (1.3.85-87)

B    In this part of the play, Banquo is alone with Macbeth and the three witches have just vanished into thin air. In this quote, Banquo is basically asking if everyone is going crazy. Banquo is a strong man with a good head on his shoulders. Although, the message the witches gave him made him question what was really happening. Banquo now knew that he needed to watch his back because how could his kids be kings and not him? He started feeling suspicious and put a wall up.

C    Robert Goold, the director of Macbeth, used many cinematic devices to help emphasize all of the quotes I was looking for. The setting for this quote was very dark, mysterious, and eerie. There was very little lighting; the only shining light was shown upon Banquo and Macbeth, and it wasn’t even very bright. While Banquo was saying his line, there were no other sounds except for a faint, fearful, background hum.
In this scene, Banquo and Macbeth are walking away from the spot where the three witches had vanished. This room they are walking in is very big and abandoned. They are wearing uniforms that are covered in what looks like dirt. The camera is at a high angle, creating an allusion that they are small and weak. The camera is also tracking back with them as they walk.

D    When I first read the quote in the play during class, it didn’t seem like such a powerful quote, but after seeing it in the film, I really got to hear the tone Banquo spoke in and that made it much more serious. There was a quiver to his voice and also the lighting made it a much darker atmosphere than I would have thought from reading the play. I personally have a good imagination, but this quote was very different on film than it was in my head.

Part II
A    “It was the owl that shriek’d, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern’st good-night.”
- Lady Macbeth (2.2.3-4)

B    Lady Macbeth has a lot of power over Macbeth himself. Everything in the play started when Lady Macbeth became power hungry. This quote from her is a look behind her twisted mind. She is comparing the final deed of killing King Duncan with the shriek of an owl. When the shriek disappears, so does Duncan’s life, like a goodnight for good.
C    I don’t really remember what I thought when I first read this in the play, but the film made it very clear how Shakespeare was portraying this scene. The setting was very dark and other than Lady Macbeth talking, the only sound was the same dark, creeping background hum from my earlier quote. The camera was at her eye level to Lady Macbeth. She was wearing her dress clothes from dinner and she was alone, pressed up against a wall in a chamber, and she was acting drunk.

D    This is the part of the play where Macbeth kills King Duncan and I thought seeing this in the film, you could really see how sick Lady Macbeth is. She is in a room alone, talking to herself, and comparing the death of King Duncan to an owl which seems to be a somewhat harmless animal. This quote screams power corrupts because it goes to show that Lady Macbeth has her hold over Macbeth and can manipulate him into doing whatever he needs to get on top.

Part III
A    “Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart!”
- Three Witches (4.1.121-122)

B    The witches are very scary. They also have a big hold on Macbeth, just like Lady Macbeth does. Macbeth believes what the witches tell him because they have powers unlike any other. They tell Macbeth what he wants to hear, and that fuels his fire. The Weird Sisters are very powerful in this play help run the show.

C    Robert Goold managed to make this the scariest part of the whole film. When the witches show the apparitions to Macbeth, the camera work and editing was out of control. The lighting was above them, yet it was still dark and mysterious. The Weird Sisters walked forward as they spoke in unison, wearing their nurse outfits, yet the camera stood still. This made them appear bigger in the end than the beginning, showing their power in a metaphorical way.

D    Reading the play, I didn’t think this quote could be as scary as it was in the film. I was literally shaking in my chair! The editing and action of the witches was very good and they really made the quote stand out. I feel that this quote fits into superstition affects human behavior because Macbeth is so intrigued with what these three women have to say and he is afraid to not listen to them.

Part IV
A    “When our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.”
- Lady Macduff (4.2.4-5)

B    Lady Macduff wasn’t a major character in my eyes, but this quote of hers was very powerful. She is addressing patience and conscience. Macduff has flown and she is alone with her kids. She is upset that he left, but she doesn’t understand what he had to do. She feels he is dead to her, but that is because she is afraid to face the truth.

C    This part of the movie came and went very quickly. The camera was at eye level but wasn’t straight on. The right side of her face was shadowed and there wasn’t much movement. She was speaking in a whisper, as if she were keeping this quote a secret. She was in her house speaking to Lennox and, from reading the play, I knew she was going to be murdered after, so there was a sense of suspense to this scene.

D    While reading, this quote only stuck out because of the message behind it. I thought this was a very wise quote, but when seeing it on film, it didn’t really pop out to me. I had to go back online and find the quote, and I was really hoping that it would have a powerful build up. When looking the second time, the whisper in Lady Macduff’s voice made it seem more powerful than reading it, but this quote wasn’t as stellar as I imagined it to be.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oedipus and Agitone Essay Test

Question #1

Fate is the supposed force, principle, or power that predetermines events ( I am a firm believer of fate and I believe it is not possible to change the path that fate has chosen for you. For example, in Oedipus, when the king and queen heard of the prophecy, they tried to get rid of Oedipus. He ended up being rescued by an old shepherd and he grew up and ended up fulfilling the prophecy. When fate knows what it wants to do with you, it will take its course and make sure you go through life how you’re supposed to. A quote that works hand in hand with fate is “everything happens for a reason.” There is a reason behind everything that you do, and that reason is fate.

                I can’t be too sure when fate really sets in, but I would say it kicks in right before you are conceived. Fate chooses who your parents are based on what your personality is going to be like when you’re born. Once your parents have you, I think what they name you is also fate. Somehow, every “Megan” that I have ever met seems to have many characteristics like me. I feel as though your parents get a sense when picking your name and they come up with what they give you. I feel that when you are younger, fate starts to work but at the same time it’s a little bit of your parent’s free will because they can control you when you’re a baby.

                I believe in fate. I believe that everything that happens in your life was picked out for you before you were born. I believe that everybody’s life is predetermined and when someone has a dream of their future, that’s a look at what is to come. People that believe in free will think that they’re making their own decisions, but I believe that they are just following the life that fate has already given them.

Question #2

                In society, lying is considered “not right” and I completely agree with that. People build their beliefs based on what they are taught when growing up. My parents are very truthful people and they taught me to be the same. Also, being born in December, I am a Sagittarius. One of the Sagittarius’ main traits is honesty and we tell the truth in the most blunt, honest form we can. I want people to be honest with me so I tell everyone how it is.

                I have seen a lot of lying in my life. Once, a friend of mine was going to a friend’s house and her mom said no because she didn’t know that person. My friend ended up telling her mom that she was sleeping at my house, and since that was a lie, she got caught and she is still grounded to this day. I have also been lied to before, by more people that I would have ever expected. The worst was an ex-boyfriend of mine who would lie about his weekend activities. When a friend of mine finally told me what was going on, I was very hurt and that is why he is now an ex.

                Lies can be very destructive because you just dig a hole deeper and deeper and it keeps getting harder to get out. Lies can also affect people around you, so you’re really hurting more than yourself. Some people use the excuse that the truth is way too hurtful. A quote by Drake is “that truth hurts and those lies heal.” The truth can be very harsh, but it’s better to put everything out on the line and keep no secrets from anyone.

Question #3

                The Oedipus complex illustrates a formative stage in each individual’s psychosexual development. As a child, boys are attracted to their mother as a love object. They eventually envy their father because they want their mother all to themselves. This triggers a feeling of wanting to kill the father and have the mother alone. Girls move on to the father eventually but they never have the sense of rage toward the mother like the boys do the father. This whole logic usually goes away quickly, but sometimes it can haunt someone.

                I’m not sure if I believe the Oedipus complex, just because I have never seen it. The whole thought of it is creepy to think that a little boy not even 2 years old would have a thought in his head of killing his father, but the boy’s attachment to the mother is very common. Also it’s common that the daughter goes more to the father’s side. In many baby pictures from my childhood, I’m holding my dad’s hand and Derek is holding my mom’s. I feel like that might be coincidence, but you never really know.

                I could support the Oedipus complex with two sayings: “daddy’s little girl” and “mama’s boy.” Those two expressions are used when a girl is closer to her father and the boy is closer to his mother. If the Oedipus complex is real, those two nick names go hand in hand with someone that has that mindset. I could debunk Freud’s theories by saying how crazy it is that a two year old would have the mind set of wanting to kill his father. I can’t remember what I thought when I was that age but I highly doubt anyone I know would have had those thoughts running through their minds when they were that young.

Question #4

                In the story Antigone, Antigone chooses to not follow the crowd and stick up for her brother, who is being dishonored. Antigone decided to not take the easy way out and she did what she thought was right. She wanted to stick up for her brother and she fought for him. In her mind, she was making the right decisions, which is why she stood up to Creon. She knew this was what she needed to do and that feeling gave her the courage to stand for her opinion.

                There aren’t many rules now a day that I would consider easily breakable. If there was a law stating that “anyone whose name starts with an A, D, G, M, R, or V must be in their houses by 10:00 pm,” I would break that law anytime I go out with my friends. Laws that are random and just basically pointless would be very easy to break. Many of the driving rules I find bendable. For example, when you’re 17, you can’t drive past 12:30am and there have been times where I have strolled in around 12:45am because I had to make sure my friends got home safely. I wouldn’t consider that breaking the law because I came home 15 minutes late. I wasn’t driving dangerously, just past curfew. There are many laws that I would never imagine breaking. I would never ever rob a bank or commit murder because that is just wrong.

                Rules can be fair or unfair, but they’re still rules. All of the rules back when segregation was around were very unfair because they were isolating a certain group of people. Fair laws are laws that should protect the public, no matter what their race, gender, or sexual preference is.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Are You Gonna Sink or Swim?

                “This is your time. It’s up to you four. I have complete faith you can do it. Now you need to believe that. I know it’s a rough day, but this is your time to do work. You need to take your sadness, your anger, every emotion, and put it into this race. So all I can ask is…”
                This was the most important meet of our season. We were swimming our rivals, and we needed to win this meet in order to win league. Normally this would be just another meet with a little extra pressure. However, this year, this meet came the day after a school wide tragedy. There was a lot of stress, and it was hard to focus.

                When we got to the pool, there was an overall lackluster feeling. No one was ready, and I knew that wasn’t okay. A few of us tried to pump everyone up, and it started working a little. As we warmed up, we started realizing that this was a very important meet, and then we felt the intensity.

                The meet started and we were doing pretty well. Our coach was pleased, but he was also getting nervous. He placed us in events strategically based on our own statistics versus the other teams. Although we were winning at the half, we weren’t up as much as he wanted. The next event, we got a disqualification, and we were down.

                I was in the next event, and it was up to us. We were the 200 freestyle relay and we needed to win to get the points back. Relays are worth double points than individual races, and we knew we needed to produce results. We went into our huddle and our coach came over. He said a speech I will always remember. At the end, he only had one question: “are you gonna sink, or swim?”

                When he said this, it made me think so much in such a short amount of time. I thought about all of my stress and my problems and looked at it as extra weight. All that extra weight was going to sink. By my coach saying that, he helped me to realize that I need to leave my excess baggage at the door and focus on the task ahead. He started to walk away and no one said anything, so I said quickly, “Hey Scott, we’re gonna swim.”

                We all put our heads together and said, “Let’s swim.” We got in order, and there was a still silence in the pool area. The silence spoke to us and brought the intensity level up. When the buzzer went off, everyone went wild. As Maddie did her flip turn, I stepped on the block. This race was for my school. This race was for my coach. This race was for my team. This race was for anyone who cared.

                In the end, we came in first in the race and ended up winning the meet. Our fans, our team, and our coaches welcomed us with opened arms and a lot of cheering. The feeling we had walking over to them was exhilarating. It felt amazing to make such a contribution and help out my team mates. This reflects to my life because it makes me think that when the pressure is on and I’m at the bottom, all I need to do is swim to the top!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Archer

1.) I chose this essay over my other two because it shows who I really am and also I get to talk about a unique interest of mine.
2.) This essay can relate to people that are interested on learning something new and, what I find to be, cool.
3.) My weakness in the essay could be my organization.
4.) A question I could ask is should I add more personal things or keep it like this?

                Independent. Adventurous. Philosopher. Free. Optimistic. Strong. Honest. Humorous.

                The world of the zodiac is a complex concept. There are houses, ruling planets, traits, and certain times the sun shines through each sign. I never knew about the significance of the zodiac until my freshman year of high school, and since then I have been infatuated with it.

                I have done the most research on my own zodiac sign, which is Sagittarius. Our “sunshine” comes November 22 - December 21. The sun symbolizes when your sign is relaxed and most natural. In the beginning of the month, we get rid of all of our problems to make sure nothing is holding us back. Once we get to the middle of our sun month, we are at our prime. We don’t stress and we stay away from anything that will affect us in a negative manner. At the end of our month, we want change. After such a successful, happy month, we start looking for a challenge that will test us.

                The symbol for the Sagittarius is the archer. The top of the archer is a man which symbolizes strength and the high intellect Sagittarius’s have. The archer has the bottom of a horse which is the freedom and adventure aspect. The archer as a whole is independent and that is the main characteristic of the Sagittarius. The personality traits are my favorite part of the zodiac. I feel that I embody every trait of the Sagittarius, and I can tell what signs other people are based on attitude.

                With the study of characteristics in each sign, I found my favorite personal trait. All Sagittarius are known for being optimistic when things go wrong. We live life thinking the glass is always half full and we never take anything for granted. My positive attitude has helped me get through many situations and it’s also nice to know that my friends count on me to cheer them up. My upbeat personality rubs off on other people and I love seeing people smile when I’m around.

                Many people don’t know anything about the zodiac world. There was a lot to learn and it was confusing at first, but once I learned what I know, there was no doubt that I had entered a whole new side of myself. None of my friends knew what I did and the world of the zodiac is something that has always been my own. I never go a day without looking at my horoscope and I am always learning new things.  My knowledge for my zodiac was the one push I needed to help me reach that independence and make me a true Sagittarius.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bean Therapy

(The Kite Runner & The Bean Trees)

             As the sun began setting, Amir turned up the heater in his car while frantically twisting his head from left to right. All he had to find was house number 278 on Vega Lane. He had a mix of emotions, and all he knew is he was looking for a Taylor Greer. His main emotion was nerves because first, he was late for his appointment, and second, he didn’t know where to begin. As he thought, he pulled up to a small house that had a sign outside of it stating, “Bean Therapy.” When Amir parked, he saw a shadow moving around inside and he started to question whether or not to go through with the appointment. When he finally decided to go in, he stopped the car and began his journey up the steps to finally ask what he has wanted to know for so long.
            When Amir walked in, he looked around to get a feel for what this appointment would be like. The small waiting room was empty, and he got a sense of safety and trust. As soon as he sat down, the big wooden door opened and there he saw a woman standing there with a big smile on her face and she welcomed him with open arms.
“Hello,” she said, still grinning ear to ear, “welcome to Bean Therapy. My name is Taylor and I will be talking to you today. Come on in!”
Amir felt a little overwhelmed at this point because he thought that Taylor was almost too friendly. But he put aside his doubts and got out of his chair and made his way into Taylor’s office. When he got in there he looked around and she had many different pictures of many different people, places, and things. Although from the many pictures, there was one that really caught his eye; a picture of the cutest baby girl he has ever seen.
            “That is a lovely little girl.” Amir said while now picking up the picture frame to really get a look at it.
            “Thank you,” Taylor spoke as if she’s had this conversation a million times, “that’s my baby girl, Turtle. She’s only one year old.”
            “She looks so happy.” Amir said, and the more he studied the picture, the more his troubles were redisplayed in front of him and he began to remember why he was there in the first place.
            “She’s been through a lot in a year, but it wasn’t all fun and games.” Taylor began to explain, “I am not Turtle’s biological mother. I’m not even sure who is; a few months back she was handed to me through my car window and you could tell she had been abused both physically and sexually.”
            “Wow, that must have been rough,” Amir stated, but something in his voice seemed like he wasn’t overly concerned about Turtle and more about something else. Taylor could sense his distance from his statement, so she knew that it was time to begin Amir’s session.
            “So, Amir, why are you here?” Taylor questioned, just like she would any first comer.
            “I have been living my life for one reason and one reason only. I have a son, Sohrab, and my wife and I adopted him. When I was a young boy myself, I had a best friend named Hassan. We were together a lot, and my father seemed to think of Hassan as more of a son than he did me, and I always held that grudge. One day a few of us were kite running, and I let Hassan get the kite. When I went after him, I saw a group of boys around Hassan and well… Hassan’s pants were down. I let the whole thing happen because I was jealous of his relationship with my father and when he came back with the kite I acted as if I had no idea what happened.
            “I later moved to California, which is where I’m heading back to. I had to go back to Afghanistan and when I got there, I looked for Hassan and when I found him I found out he had a wife, Farzana, and a son, Sohrob, although sooner than I expected, things got bad again. Hassan and his wife were shot right in front of their son, and I could tell by looking at him, he had been through a lot of abuse, just like Turtle. I then adopted Sohrob to give him a better life and to grant Hassan’s last wish. My main question through all of this is… should I no longer feel so guilty for what I let happen to Hassan?”
            Taylor had listened to this whole situation, and when Amir asked his final question, she had trouble gathering her thoughts. She thought about her situation with Turtle and how although she never wanted to raise a child, she felt so much better after taking Turtle in and showing her a good life. Although she didn’t regret any part of it, she never had the guilt that Amir had felt in the beginning. She looked back on her memories with Turtle and she finally had something to say. “I know how it feels to give a child another chance at a good, normal life. Even though you have felt some guilt in the past about what had happened, the joy you have brought to Sohrob is something more amazing than any other feeling either of you could feel. I think you have overcome your childhood issues, and you can go on in peace.”
            With that statement, Amir felt as though a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He felt like he could go back to California and live a wonderful life with his wife and son. Amir thanked Taylor for her time and all of her guidance. As he left, Taylor hugged him and assured him softly, “this visit is one I will always remember, thank you for that.” As they let go of their embrace, they shared one final smile, and Amir soon drove off into the horizon with not a worry in the world.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nicole's Interview

            When you’re growing up, you go through experiences that help you find yourself. Nicole Collette has been through enough to know she relies on herself and she’s independent which is why she considers herself more of a cat rather than a dog. Although she usually doesn’t need people to help her out, she plans to grow up with a career that allows her to help those in need. She is currently involved with SMAC and the Leo club and outside of that she participates in cross country. In ten years, Nicole hopes to be married, with one child, and a working woman.
            Nicole considers herself an average student when it comes to reading and writing. As a reader, she enjoys mystery novels and she isn’t as familiar with biographies and fiction. Her favorite author is Jodi Picoult because she likes her writing style. She also likes books with an inspiring message which is why her favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie because it taught her about personal relationships. As a writer, Nicole finds it easiest to write introduction sentences and she finds it harder to write opinionative pieces and analysis of what she’s read. Nicole’s goal for this year is to learn how to write something more than a five paragraph essay and she wants to broaden her vocabulary.
            In her 17 years of life, Nicole has developed thoughts and opinions on people, places, and many other things. Nicole looks up to her brother’s girlfriend, Kelsey, because she can balance work and fun and she gives Nicole good advice. Nicole also looks up to singer and actress Miley Cyrus. Miley stars in Nicole’s favorite movie, is her favorite performer, and is one of the three people Nicole would want to meet before she dies. Nicole’s favorite color is orange, which is also the color of her favorite food, buffalo wings.
            Nicole is very energetic, adventurous, and a great friend. She knows how to balance her workload with her friends and she knows how to steer clear of drama. Someday she hopes to visit Greece, Italy, and Australia and she wants to be successful. She likes any kind of music with catchy lyrics and a good beat, just like any other teenager these days. Nicole also cares about her money and how she spends it. She works at McCray’s Farm in South Hadley so she makes money on a daily basis. Nicole spends a lot of her money on gas so if she could have any super power, it would be to fly because that would be a few extra dollars she could save on gas! Nicole’s the kind of girl who won’t change for just anyone; she is who she is and there is no changing that.