Technical difficulty of Gobbo’s comedy:
Sample Essay Shakespeare Measure for Measure
Feste was Olivia’s father’s jester, and is now hers, though it appears that he wanders around a bit—in Orsino’s court, and just missing for a while
- Explain Feste’s role/position/perspectives
- What does Feste mean when he says,
“Lady, cucullus non facit monachum [the cowl does not make the monk]. That’s as much to say as, I wear not my motley in my brain.” (1.5.54-56)
How does this comment relate to the play as a whole?
- Controversy among Shakespeare scholars: does comedy reinforce or undermine the social order? What does the play seem to convey about festive revelry, is it likely to unleash psychic forces that are not easily controlled? Or does festivity allow people to explore alternatives to the normative social order?
Related: who is a parent figure? That is, who is performing characteristic parental roles? (Malviolio tells the revellers to be quiet and go to bed)
- Twelfth Night unfolds in a world given over to festivity (and here note Feste’s name), even though several of the central characters are grieving. Define “festivity” in the OED. How does “festivity” function in Twelfth Night? (Does anyone actually do work in this play??)
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The Material Culture of Early Modern Letters. Jared Faircloth
Catherine Tate and David Tennant version of Much Ado About Nothing is archived here, for free: https://archive.org/details/muchadoaboutnothing_202001
Kenneth Branagh’s version can be viewed on Amazon.com for $2.99: https://www.amazon.com/Much-About-Nothing-Kenneth-Branagh/dp/B000IZ8N56
And Joss Whedon’s Much Ado can also be rented on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Much-About-Nothing-Kenneth-Branagh/dp/B000IZ8N56
“Moral Injury”: perpetuating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply-held moral beliefs and expectations.
Common among combat veterans who have violated their own moral codes when they kill or witness others killing and being killed
Bill Bryson on Shakespeare 2007