Here’s a link to a review of Shakespeare Behind Bars by The New York Times. I always love reading how critics and journalists view these movies too.
My job made it easy to complete this week’s wildcard. Every day I listen to the stories people tell, about their struggles and their victories. I work as a Pharmacy Technician and have heard countless stories of people overcoming illnesses and also falling victim to terminal conditions.
This week was a continuation of my constant goal of connecting with these people. I have learned that every person can teach you something, and every person is unique. Sometimes it’s not even about them discussing their sickness, but just their lives.
Today, a man told me about his struggle with his son going away to college. At first he tried to visit him every weekend at his university. However he slowly realized that they would still be close, but he had to let his son grow up on his own into an adult. Little things like that make my day: connecting with people, hearing them, and not just seeing them as another name on a prescription label.
“All of us in some way need to be redeemed of something that we’ve done.” What do you need to be redeemed of? Everyone makes mistakes. Society often takes it upon them to decide which faults are worse, and what deserves redemption. Shakespeare Behind Bars looked into the soul of criminals that society has decided beyond redemption however that does not make them desire it any less.
What stands out is the depth that these inmates display. Perhaps it is because of all the extra time they have, but they seem to have pondered this idea of forgiveness a lot. Many of them also seem to understand what made them first perform the crimes that put them in jail. Sammie, in his attempt to regain control and power, strangled the woman who he blamed for his unhappiness. Hal recognized it was the hatred of his mother that led him to kill his wife who he felt resembled her. All of this led me to wonder: was it Shakespeare that made them this meditative or was it a predisposition in them that then also drew them to Shakespeare.
Out of about 1100 prisoners, only 15 took part in this play. Surely this is not the most popular club, and it must take a special person to feel comfortable stepping forward to act in this play. One can only imagine some of the taunting that must have occurred after inmates left rehearsal. This is why it seems there must be an insightful part within each of these men that then drew them to Shakespeare.
As far as the play featured, The Tempest captures the idea and struggle of forgiveness. Prospero, the main character, finds that he must forgive those who first outcast him from society. The inmates seem to reach a point in their reflections where they realize they need to forgive themselves; they are the ones who committed the crimes against their values, morals, and human nature. It shows an interesting struggle not between people but within a person. This movie showed the effect Shakespeare can have on all people, and even illustrated why many people are drawn towards Shakespeare and his writings. “What really speaks to me is the idea that that indulgence is actually one of the most remarkable things in the world: to redeem someone, to set them free of what they’ve done.”
Can I just say, I think everyone is doing a great job with titling their ruminations!! They all seem so interesting!
I really enjoy this picture, it shows the struggle with individualism within Fight Club and about being the person you would like to be.
“Agriculture is the one occupation at which everyone works, men and women alike, with no exceptions,” (550). This opening statement for the section regarding “Their Occupations” sets the standard. There is an obvious emphasis on being ecological. In the section “The Travels of the Utopians” they describe the switch from vellum to paper, which was described in the Weekly Blog as taking place in society at the time as well. This emphasis on being environmental reflected the simultaneous attention it was receiving in British society.
However being ecological did not just present itself in directly interacting with nature. Not only does everyone take part in agriculture but they also share the same amount of workload. There are six hours of work a day, during which everyone must participate. They argue that because everyone takes part in the labor time is spent more efficiently and more work gets done. A contrast is made to other countries where this does not occur because of specific groups of people: the rich “who are commonly called gentlemen and nobility,” “that mob of swaggering bullies,” and the “lusty beggars” (552). These terms reflect the narrator’s attitude of such people in society, specifically British society. It can be taken a step further to say that the narrator looks down on the British because such people as this exist and do nothing to contribute but usurp the goods provided by hard-workers.
One final manner in which they are also efficient is the maintenance of buildings. Regular work is done to repair damage and also to prevent it. Such upkeep makes it so less work is done overall and less money is spent. Overall this makes sense and is an ideal practice. Once again, however, a comparison is made to another society (British) in which a “thriftless heir” lets a house fall into ruin, or another man may want a better house and thereby lets it fall to ruin before rebuilding a new one for just as much money. Again, a direct attack seems to be forming against British society. These depictions are obviously unfavorable and portray these people as wasteful.
All in all, it seems that More, through comparisons to “another country”, is trying to depict the importance of the environment in society and the importance of not being wasteful.
Of course the same week we are supposed to write a letter, I drop my iPhone in water. The past few days I have been functioning without the ability to call, text, tweet, fb, or email from the comfort of my cell phone. Writing a letter really took me back in the past, since it was one of the forms of communication available to me this week.
Interestingly enough, I have enjoyed these few days without having my cell phone. I’ve felt a sense of freedom. Also, a letter allows so much more expression than a text message (even if now you can text emoticons). It doesn’t have to be within 160 characters, you can italicize, bold, underline, double underline! It is so much more expressive. Sometimes I think we all need that break from technology, and we need to get back in touch with not having to be completely in touch. (If that makes any sense at all)