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Dark Ecology: Race, Gender & the Environment

English 252 @ Hunter College

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“Hanging out with Shakespeare at Central Park.”

http://www.shakespeareonthesound.org

Fun things you can do this summer at Central Park IMG_1450

 

 

 

During the semester we have went on many field trips as a class. My favorite was the “Frick Collection,” but my second favorite was taking a stroll through central park to see the statue of Shakespeare. I found this really exciting because we were ending The tempest and starting to read Prospero’s Daughter so it was interesting to discuss the comparisons and differences in each book as we view the statue, asking ourselves “I wish we can ask Shakespeare some questions about The Tempest,” (I know I was thinking about that).

Its interesting to realize that although Shakespeare’s writing can often come by as confusing and sometimes dense, but once you grasp his writing your able to appreciate the text a little bit better and are able to generate ideas as to why he wrote a play like this, or why he made certain characters the way that he did. After reading The Tempest twice I have a different concept the second time around then I did the first time I read this play. I have appreciated this play this time around and I enjoyed it a lot more in English 252.

Shakespeare was a great writer and his words made you think outside of the box. Shakespeare wanted his readers to “close read” “close look” and most importantly “close listen” it is because of Shakespeare that I have enjoyed reading a little more than I did before.

In Central Park, we were also allowed to explore the park and the beauty in the park. The trees, the flowers blossoming it was very peaceful. Nature also played a role in this trip because it was out doors so we were able to explore the park and other statues and gain knowledge on other parts of the park, but it was really a great experience for our class and I’m glad we were able to explore that all together.

Continue reading ““Hanging out with Shakespeare at Central Park.””

Rappaccini in Court

The court is crowded with people who are impatiently waiting for the deliberation. The defendant, Doctor Giacomo Rappaccini, is staring into the space with hollowness in his eyes and is waiting for the judge to continue. The judge is staring at the defendant but is speaking to the Defense Attorney.

Judge:

Today after a long journey of a year this court has seen both sides of the case and now before the jury is sent for deliberation, is there anything you must say Mr. Rob in defense of Mr. Rappaccini?

Defense Attorney:

Yes your Honor, I do.

Judge:

Well Mr. Rob the floor is yours.

Defense Attorney:

Thank you, your honor. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the jury and people of Padua. Today we have gathered here for a case so unique that people of Padua and the media has called it the case of the century. For the past year, we have seen the media turn this case into a typical news story for which this case has gained a lot of fame. However, we have seen the media version of this case but we have not seen the facts, but I am not here today to fight the people nor the media. I am here today, to ask a question and ask you all to not only hear me but to listen to me. I want you to listen to the questions I am about to ask of you and think of an honest reply and answer yourself and see a side of this case that the media nor the prosecutor has presented. Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to reintroduce you to Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini, not the man that the media or the prosecutor has presented, but to a scientist, who once was a superhero to his daughter, but now has become a grieving father. You may call him Dr. Rappaccini, Giacomo, or even Gia but you may not call him a criminal, at least not until you have heard Rappaccini’s side of the story or until he is proven guilty. The question I want to ask you is, have you ever done something with the best interest at heart, but when somehow something goes wrong, you get punished for helping? Or have you ever dreamed of saving people by creating a cure to all diseases and poison known to mankind? If you have, then you might have experienced what Rappaccini had, which is passion. Passion and desire is needed to change the world. However, not only did Rappaccini dream of a cure, he had dared to act upon that dream. Rappaccini is a scientist who envisioned a world with a cure to every disease. He tried to save the world through his work and like any ambitious man, he had to make sacrifices. As a scientist, he had to sacrifice his social and personal life just so he could save others, just so that no one else would have to experience the loss of a significant other, or a child being raised without a parent. Imagine having to live in constant fear of someone you love being forced to leave you by a serial killer called nature. So to ensure your only child is not a victim of this killer, you raise her in a way that no disease will be able to harm her. Now imagine being accused of murder just because you wanted your daughter to be protected against a nondiscriminatory murderer? Not only did Rappaccini try to save his daughter but he also had choosen to use this situation to benefit the society as well. If the treatment works, it could become a cure. However, as she will be undertreatment, she will be sacrificing her chance at a normal life. However as a father, Rappaccini had found a solution and that solution was called Giovanni. Earlier on, we have heard the prosecutor stating, “Rappaccini should be put on the chair for a heinous crime of murder.” What I would like to ask is why Rappaccini? On what basis is the prosecutor claiming murder, when all of the evidence is stating that Rappaccini is the victim in this case. The only crime, if you must say, Dr. Rappaccini has committed, was hoping that his daughter will not be alone for the rest of her life like he was. The crime he committed was to want a better future for his daughter and let her love. He was a selfish father who wanted a normal life for his daughter so by letting Giovanni close to his daughter, he was ensuring normality. Even though her life was far from what would be considered normal, he still tried.  He had sacrificed his daughter, not only for himself, but to make this world a better place. He had done it to help and increase the speed of science and did something only a true scientist would do, sacrifice the one thing they loved the most. Now you must be wondering why Rappaccini was put on trial if he had not committed a crime? Well people of the jury, it is simple. It is because this is a typical case of stereotyping. She had labeled him something that he was not. The prosecutor has assumed as stated, “Rappaccini is a heartless scientist.” Why has that been stated? Because in reality Rappaccini loved his daughter more than anything. He might have lost his wife but not his heart, as being a single father, he had to be the mother and the father to his little girl. After knowing this is it believable that a person who has to raise a child as both parents can be heartless? No, because a heartless person will not be able to fulfil the role of both parents. So why was he called heartless? Maybe because he was ambitious. People of Padua, I am asking of you to stop for a moment and look through Rappaccini’s eye and see, to help science progress, he has not gained anything. In fact, he has faced many losses and has lost his daughter. The only criminal in this case is Giovanni as he was the one who promised her love and a normal life and then snatched the dream away heartlessly. Not only did he murder her dreams but had murdered her, literally. He had given her poison and promised her it was a “cure.”

A sob is heard from Rappaccini as Rob continues*

People of the jury, I am asking of you to look at the case and its facts, as the fact is that Giovanni has taken a child from a father. So the person on trial should not be Rappaccini, but instead should be Giovanni. Before I finish today, I want to ask of you to look at this grieving father and not to pity him but think of the pain the murderer had inflicted on him.  The pain he is going through just because he wanted his daughter to have a normal life and because of his desire to change the world. So ladies and gentlemen of the jury I hope you have heard the facts now and will decide in favor of justice. I rest my case.

Silence prevails in the courtroom and the Defendant is seen crying but in silence.

 

Work Citied:

  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel, and Simon Schama. Rappaccini’s Daughter. London: Hesperus Press, 2003. Print.

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/english/f1124y-001/resources/Rappaccinis_Daughter.pdf

Set in Supreme Court of Padua similar to USA court:

“Don’t be sick, Lets go to the Frick”

http://www.frick.org/collection/areas_collectionHCF1905_0.jpg

Henry Clay Frick was one of Americas most successful industrialists, he has created masterpieces of western painting, sculpture, and decorative art, displayed in a serene and intimate setting. The Frick Collection offers a unique presentation of artwork.

During the semester, we have visited a few places and even enjoyed a walk in central park to explore and see a statue of Shakespeare, however my favorite trip this semester was visiting the The Frick Collection. It was my favorite because, in class we have explored “close reading” Where we take a passage and analyze the passage and go in depth of what the author is trying to indicate to the readers. In the Frick we explored “close looking” which was a little different. Instead of reading a passage we were asked to go into the painting and try to see whats going on in the painting, why was it painted this way? and what kind of paint was used and why? I found close looking very interesting and more “real”, you were able to see the painting in many different ways and it was easier to analyze.  I think close looking helps to see details in artwork that you couldn’t see before and it also helps with creating another story within the painting which I found intriguing, because I never looked at artwork that way. Sometimes you see a painting as a regular painting, but the truth is they all tell a story you just have use your close looking skills in order to put the pieces of the story together.

We were all paired off into groups and set off into different rooms to close look some paintings. The tour guide that we had was amazing she gave us some much information about all the paintings and their purpose. I really loved all the artwork that was displayed out for everyone to see. I will always close look art work wherever I go. Below are some art work that my group and I were able too see. Test your close looking skills and tell me what you see.

IMG_1495.JPG

19091121.jpg.png
Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, 1826 a caption
19141122.jpg.png
Harbor of Dieppe: Changement de Domicile, exhibited 1825
19141119.jpg.png
Cologne, the Arrival of a Packet-Boat: Evening, 1826

Modern Tempest Act 1, Scene 1

Act 1

Scene 1

Aiza Khan, Keminsto, Geovanni Hyman, Hkwon, Xuxiang Li

Scenery/ Setting

  • In a plane with many scared people but one
  • Hostess and the King advisory quarrel
  • Constant attacks on the plane

Props

  • Sunglasses
  • Costumes
  • Stage
  • Lighting
  • Special effects
  • Sea

Costume Design

  • Suits
  • Hostess uniform
  • And co-pilots uniform

Director/ Assistant Director

  • Ship, is now a Plane.
  • Who causes the Storm? Savages who contain weapons.
  • How did the plane crash? Missiles.

Stage directions

Enter Co-Pilot,

A young female enters the pilot cabin trying to help the pilot

Pilot:

Sam I don’t think we will be able to make it, the engine is failing and the wind is making it impossible to land safely. The only way to have a chance at survival is to steer this thing towards the water and we need parachutes. Did the hostesses find them?

Sam:

No sir, they did not.

Pilot:

God damnit! Those men are not making it any easier for them. Can you go and relax their nerves because we do not have enough time!

Exits Pilot.

Enters Hostesses and men in suits.

Sam enters the passengers cabin. (BOOM) Plane gets hit again. Everything slows down, as if the scene is playing in slow motion. The king and his men could be seen screaming however, their voices sound like as if they are coming from distance, having little or no impact at all on the audience. The hostesses are suppose to be running but it seems as if they are still. Sam cannot comprehend the reality. Fear of not surviving has her gripped. Panic starts to blossom in her chest. To Sam, time became still, as if years have passed and the scene is still not going any faster however, in reality it only has been a few seconds. Some hostesses are trying their best to cover the hole from the sides but are failing to stop the wind from taking over. Others are looking for more parachutes franticly but the fear has them blinded. Suddenly, something snaps inside of Sam and she realizes she’s not going to die, not today, not because of some savages! She’s a fighter and she will continue to fight.

Hostess:

Captain! Captain! Are you okay?

Sam:

Damnit! I’m fine. How are we doing on parachutes?

Hostess

Ma’am we do not have enough!

A man, usually the one who shows great bravery and courage, was worried and maybe for the first time scared. He got up and started to walk towards another man but this man is younger and seemed as if he was not fazed by the current events instead, he stared out the window, at the blue ocean, lost in his own thoughts.

Sam:

King Alonso, PLEASE BE SEATED!

The King seems to ignore her and continues to his son and sits with him. 

Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo enter.

They approach Sam and start questioning.

Antonio:

Are we going to survive?

Sam

Sir, if you could stay seated, it would be safer and almost easier on us.

Antonio

Well, I’m not going anywhere without answers! Now, are we going to survive?!

Sam

Sir, you need to be seated and let me do my job! If you wish to survive, let me do my job!

Sebastian (angrily):

You women, are no good! Let me talk to the pilot myself!

Sam:

Let me be clear SIR, I AM A PILOT! And if I were you, I would take myself to my seat and pray to god for forgiveness for all the sins you have committed and ask of him to fix your corrupted soul, and I would let me, as a CO-PILOT, do MY job. Because if I don’t do my job, that’s when you should be worried. Now, if you do not take this WOMEN’S advice seriously, I will personally make sure you don’t survive. So, did I make myself clear?

Gonzalo takes Antonio and Sebastian away.

Sam Rushes to the pilot cabin

Enter Pilot 

Pilot:

GOD DAMNIT! THE PLANE IS ABOUT TO CRASH IN THE WATER! DO WE HAVE ENOUGH PARACHUTES?

Sam:

(Screaming over the engine and wind sound) NO! WE DON’T!

Time seems to be racing to the end and everything seems to be going too fast to comprehend the situation. Despite having enough parachutes no one realized they did, as no one had counted. The fear of death had everyone startled and disorientated. Everyone but one soul, was affected by the crashing plane. Everyone was praying for safety and a miracle but one soul, the prince. 

Exists Pilot and Co- Pilot

 Enter Angry Gonzalo takes Antonio and Sebastian

 Antonio

How dare she speak to us in that tone?

 Sebastian

Actually, I’m sort of relieved after talking to her. I have faith that she will save us and after she does, I will hang her. As we have witnessed, she is a fighter and will fight to survive and as long as she does, we will survive as well. After that, we will publically hang her, so that no one will dare to talk to us in such a manner.

Gonzalo         

At the moment, I’m more focused on who is trying to kill us. And, what are the odds of the tempest coming out of the blue, when we are getting hit by missiles, as if those savages are controlling it. All I hope is that, even if we are to die, I die on land and be buried with dignity and honor.

Plane gets hit again, screams are heard, and the plane crashes. Tempest had calmed down and an evil being had won.

End of Act 1, Scene 1.

links for more reading on the tempest

http://nfs.sparknotes.com/tempest/

Works Citation

Crowther, John, ed. “No Fear The Tempest.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2005. Web. 6 Apr. 2017.

Shakespeare, William, Gerald Graff, and James Phelan. The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. Print.

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