Tuesday, September 13, 2011


hey Shakespeare lovers. here's what's going on. after a ton of sleepless nights, overworked days, talking, deliberating, praying, disappointment, confusion, and general other struggle... i have decided to put the Shakespeare project on hiatus. i was offered a job teaching 2 classes at UCF. i also have a part-time job at LUSH and another part-time job at Disney which i will lose if i don't work 145 hours by the end of the year. i also have a paper to write on Robert Wilson for ASTR. i am also working on my thesis. i am also rehearsing for a long-awaited acting opportunity in The American Dream. and i am also about to start rehearsal to A.D. for Gem of the Ocean. i am also planning for my dance concert application. and i am also planning a wedding. and trying to be a normal human being, which is pretty much not happening. when i started this project, i had no idea i'd be offered this opportunity to teach. and this gig is taking up a crazy amount of my time. Theater, History 3, anyone? so after much deliberation, i have decided NOT to quit the project, but rather to put it on hiatus for one year. i will pick the project back up on July 15, 2012. that will put me on perfect track to accomplish my goal. i will have graduated from my Master's program, my thesis will be done, i won't be teaching, and i probably won't have 4 theater projects in the works. i might be moving and planning a wedding, but i'm guessing my commitments will be much less overwhelming. as sad as it makes me, this decision has pulled a huge weight off my shoulders. 1-3 extra hours a day? yes, please! i still won't get any sleep, but i will get a lot more accomplished. i hope everyone will understand where i am coming from AND i hope you will join me next July for the completion of the 365 days of Shakespeare project!!!!!!!

4 poems, 15 plays, 62 sonnets down. 1 poem, 22 1/2 plays, 92 sonnets to go.

when i am sitting in the Caribbean while Sean goes to medical school, i will be able to do that easy peasy lemon squeezy.

-rebecca may

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2 Henry IV Act 1, Scenes 2 and 3


school is quickly approaching! how did that happen?!?!?!? ah! and auditions galore! it's happeninggggg! bring on Gem of the Ocean!

act 1, scene 2
Falstaff is getting on his high horse. big time. he is being even more difficult than usual now that he feels a little security being somewhat closer to the top of the food chain. he runs into the Lord Chief Justice and his servant on the street. he tries to avoid a conversation with him, but eventually gets dragged into one. as soon as they start talking, the Lord Chief brings up the robbery Falstaff took part in (from the previous play). the Lord Chief sent for Falstaff before he left for battle, but Falstaff did not go to him. Falstaff tries to deflect and maneuver out of the conversation until he can steer it into a huge fight about something else altogether. Prince Hal comes up, and the Lord Chief mentions that King Henry is trying to keep Falstaff away from Hal by sending him into battle with John instead. after the Chief Justice leaves, Falstaff groans over his current state.

act 1, scene 3
the Archbishop, Mowbray, Hastings, and Bardolph are gathered at the Archbishop's palace. they are worried that they do not have the men and resources to fight King Henry and his army again. Hastings feels that as long as they can count on Northumberland, they will be fine. Bardolph argues that without him and his men, they will be "too feeble". he does not want them to make the same mistake Hotspur made: counting on men that did not come through in time. Hastings reminds them that the king does not have many more men than them, if any, and his army is split. a third of them are fighting the French, a third for the Welsh, and a third for them. they should be fine. the Archbishop believes that the people are sick of Henry, the man they chose as their leader, and will turn on him. (see quote below.)

people must really have loved Falstaff, huh? i mean, his scenes are pretty long. and most of the information is completely frivolous. it's in to please the crowds, right?

at the end of scene 2, is Falstaff trying to get out of going back into battle?

here's what i love about scene 3: they agree they don't want to make Hotspur's mistake. Hotspur assumed that he would have back-up, and when he didn't, he pressed on anyway. in trying to avoid his mistake, they really end up making it anyway. they just make different assumptions. they assume the number of men King Henry will have, they assume that his army is split in three, and best of all, they assume that the people will turn on him and join them. HA! let's see how this goes, shall we?

the play is named after a king we haven't yet seen once. interesting. he is brought up in every scene, but not yet seen. i dig it.

quote of the day:
'what trust is in these times?
they that, when Richard lived, would have him die,
are now become enamored on his grave.
thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head
when through proud London he came sighing on
after th'admired heels of Bolingbroke,
criest now, "o earth, yield us that king again,
and take thou this!" o thoughts of men accurst!
past and to come seems best; things present, worst.'
   -Archbishop; act 1, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 2!

-rebecca may

Monday, August 15, 2011

2 Henry IV Induction and Act 1, Scene 1


yet another busy day! school clothes shopping with my cousin, training for teaching my classes at UCF, cleaning, and Shakespeare. not to mention planning a little surprise for my awesome Sean! bwa ha ha. so let's get er done! new day new play woot WOOT!!!

this character named Rumor introduces the play by telling us that rumors are flying throughout the country that the rebels have won the battle at the end of the last play. the truth is, of course, the opposite.

act 1, scene 1
Lord Bardolph (not to be confused with Falstaff's Bardolph) has come to see Northumberland, who is very ill. he delivers news from Shrewsbury that King Henry is severely wounded, Blunt and Prince Hal have been killed, and others are fled or prisoner. he did not see this for himself, but heard the news from a reliable source. Travers arrives to deliver very different news. he claims that Hotspur has died in battle. Bardolph and Northumberland are incredulous. Morton arrives, also with news. his story matches Travers'. he also reveals the rest of the truth: the rebels have lost, King Henry and Prince Hal are alive and well, Hotspur is dead, etc. Northumberland freaks. out. (see quote below.) Bardolph and Morton try to talk him off the ledge. Morton also delivers news that the Archbishop is on fire to fight. he's using his position to get soldiers on fire too. this eases Northumberland's mind as he gets ready to take action.

Induction? say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!? that is the most random mess ever. first of all, why this reference to Virgil's Aeneid? why does this character exist? why does he give this speech? i have no clue. second of all, i don't understand why rumors and misinformation are flying around so rampantly. why would that happen? it doesn't make sense to me. i just don't get this induction thing at all. i would LOVE for someone to explain it to me. please and thank you!

i love the quote from Northumberland. it really prompted me to think. Shakespeare has an amazing way of saying something quite interesting in such a succinct and lovely way. love it!

nothing much to say yet. looking forward to seeing Prince Hal's journey develop even further.

quote of the day:
'for this i shall have time enough to mourn.
in poison there is physic; and these news,
having been well, that would have made me sick,
being sick, have in some measure made me well.
and as the wretch whose fever-weakened joints
like strengthless hinges buckle under life,
impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs,
weakened with grief, being now enraged by grief,
are thrice themselves. hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!'
   -Northumberland; act 1, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of act 1!

-rebecca may

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2 Henry IV Intro Info


well, i was supposed to wake up today at 8:30am today to pick my family up from the airport with Sean and then celebrate his mom's birthday for work. unfortunately though, i woke up feeling verrrrry sick. so instead Sean had to go to the airport alone, go to his mom's alone, and come home to take care of me. and then take me to work. he is SO. GOOD. i don't know what i'd do without him. and right now he is fast asleep and i'd like to join him so let's get our blog on.

here's what i learned about 2 Henry IV today:
-apparently this play was written pretty directly after the first part. this was probably at least partially due to the fact that Falstaff was hugely popular and the public wanted more of him. i find that to be incredibly interesting. what was it about Falstaff that made him so popular for Elizabethan audiences? what do you think?
-the similarities between Henry IV parts 1 and 2 are numerous. in fact, these 2 or more alike than any other 2 plays in all of Shakespeare's canon. a couple of examples are: the use of character foils and the structural pattern of alternating political scenes and comedic scenes.
-look out for rumors and justice to play as a big device in this play.
-we see Prince Hal grow up in the last play, and in this play we will continue to see him come into his own. where do you think this play will take him?

for tomorrow: induction and act 1, scene 1

-rebecca may

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sonnets 57-62


oh boy, sonnets again. after a meeting about Gem of the Ocean, a pit stop to school, 2 wedding sites, amongst other events, all before 4pm, my brain is kinda fried. but can i do this? yes, i can. and yes, i must. and my reward for hard work accomplished will be... SPONGE BOB! that's good motivation right there.

57- the poet is basically saying that he is (someones?) slave. he has nothing better to do than be at their beck and call. 'like a sad slave', he waits, blindly trusts, and pines.
58-continuing from 57, he gladly suffers. yes, it is hell to wait, but he places no blame on his love for this. of course.
59- this sonnet is a complicated in a lovely way. the cyclical nature of history and behavior is the focus of this one. time revolves because history does. as Bevington says, 'striving to give birth to a new creation, merely miscarry with the repetition of something created before'.
60- (see quote below.) time just keeps on moving forward, whether we want it to or not. nature creates such unique beauty just to rip it apart as time rolls on.
61- the poet stays up all night thinking about his love. is that what she (he?) wants? he waits and waits while imagining his love off having fun with who-knows-who.
62- the poet has some serious sin in his life. what is that sin, you ask? the sin is self-love. yup. vanity. but then he looks in the mirror and realizes that he's getting old and maybe isn't as great in actuality as he is in his head. the last couplet here, i'm not so sure about.

sonnets 57 and 58 = blech. if only they were written sarcastically, it would be great. but i don't think that's what's going on here? he is grovelling? guilt tripping? being incredibly manipulative? whatever it is, it's gross.

sonnets 59 and 60 are lovely. read them. you'll get to thinking about time and mortality.

it's around sonnet 61 that i really start to get concerned for the poet. he starting to sound not just like an obsessive, manipulative, needy lover but also sort of like... a stalker. i envision Shakespeare sitting in the dark at his window like a creep waiting, waiting, waiting... perhaps with crow bar in hand.

sonnet 62 i have no words for. can anyone help me with that last couplet? i'm a little confused.

quote of the day:
'like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
so do our minutes hasten to their end.
each changing place with that which goes before,
in sequent toil all forwards do contend.'
   -sonnet 60

for tomorrow: 2 Henry IV Intro Info

4 poems, 15 plays, 62 sonnets down. 1 poem, 23 plays, 92 sonnets to go. still behind. but i can do it.

-rebecca may

Thursday, August 11, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 5, Scenes 3-5


so i was supposed to spend my morning and afternoon with my family and my evening working. instead, i had to go see a doctor because my left eye is on fire. it's red and gross. the doc says it's just worn out. it's swollen. and i can't wear my left contact for at least a week. and i don't have glasses because i don't have insurance. so i will have perma-headache for a week. and the real kicker? my insurance kicks in in ten days. gahhhhhhh. please forgive me if my cranky pants come out in this blog today. i'm trying to restrain them.

act 5, scene 3
Douglas and Blunt, dressed as King Henry, are on the battlefield at Shrewsbury. Douglas fights and kills Blunt thinking, of course, that he is the king. Hotspur arrives and Douglas proudly shows him the dead "king". Hotspur reveals the truth and tells Douglas that there are many men dressed as Henry to confuse them. they exit and Falstaff enters. he has lost most of his men. Prince Hal is right behind him. he asks to use Falstaff's sword, but Falstaff won't give it up. he offers his gun instead. Hal goes to get it, but finds a bottle of alcohol in the holster instead. Hal is ticked off and leaves Falstaff there, spouting his usual nonsense.

act 5, scene 4
King Henry, his sons, and Westmorland are on the battlefield. Hal is injured, begging his father to continue pressing on. Henry wants him to rest, but he won't do it. John and Westmorland press on and Hal proudly follows. King Henry, left alone, meets with Douglas. they fight, Hal runs in to help his dad, and Douglas flees. the king presses on and Hotspur enters. they fight. Falstaff and Douglas enters. they fight. Falstaff falls. Douglas flees again. Prince Hal deals a deathly blow to Hotspur. (see quote below.) Hotspur dies. Hal respectfully covers his face. he sees Falstaff, says a few final words to his old friend, and leaves. Falstaff rises, of course not dead at all. he thinks that if he can rise, so can Hotspur. he decides to stab him one more time and tell everyone that he actually gave Hotspur his final blow. Princes Hal and John enter and Falstaff tells them his tall tale. a retreat sounds they've won!

act 5, scene 5
King Henry and his entire posse assemble on the battlefield, victorious. the king comes down hard on Worcester for lying to Hotspur. Worcester and Vernon are sent off to their death. Douglas is being held in Hal's tent. out of respect, Hal asks for him to be let go completely free of his charges. they all agree. King Henry sends John and Westmorland off to York to fight Northumberland and Scroop. he and Prince Hal will head off to Wales to fight Glendower and March. together, they will kill this rebellion.

a bunch of the men dress as the king? genius! was this Shakespeare's idea? or historical fact?

so i guess i was wrong about those letters to Hotspur. i thought they would turn out to have important information, but they actually never came up again. and i guess i was also wrong about his lack of ability to listen. i thought that would be his death. but it wasn't really. he just got killed by Prince Hal. not as exciting as i would have hoped.

well well well Prince Hal. what a grown up he has become! his journey has been huge. i love seeing the grace and integrity he has shown in the last couple of scenes. where the heck did THAT come from? my question for the next play is, how will he treat Falstaff? what will happen to him? i can't believe Falstaff has gotten away with so much already. and yet, i can't help but feel sympathetic toward him. but that's part of what makes him such a great character, right?

quote of the day:
'o Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth!
i better brook the loss of brittle life
than those proud titles thou hast won of thee;
they wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh.
but thoughts, the slaves of life, and life, time's fool,
and time, that takes survey of all the world,
must have a stop. o, i could prophesy,
but that the earthy and cold hand of death
lies on my tongue. no, Percy, thou art dust,
and food for--' (he dies.)
   -Percy a.k.a. Hotspur

for tomorrow: back to sonnets

-rebecca may

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

1 Henry IV Act 5, Scenes 1 and 2


is the Summer really almost over? REALLY?!? how is that even possible? i'm freaking out for real. i still have a billion things to do. not cool, Summer. not cool.

act 5, scene 1
the King and his crew are near his camp in Shrewsbury, when Worcester and Vernon arrive from Hotspur's camp. the King greets them and expresses his regret that they are meeting under these circumstances. he offers peace, and Worcester admits that he doesn't like the situation. he does, however, tell the King that it is his fault and not theirs that they are in this battle. the King stands up to him, but cannot entirely refute his claims. Prince Hal admits that he respects Hotspur very much. he also admits that he plans to rip apart their army. he would like to fight one-on-one with Hotspur. the King tries to offer peace instead. he says he will forgive them all if they commit to peace. Worcester and Vernon leave to deliver the message, and the King and his company leave as well. Falstaff hangs around, doubting his commitment to this battle in classic Falstaff style. (see quote below.)

act 5, scene 2
Worcester and Vernon are re-approaching their own camp when Worcester tells Vernon that they can't tell Hotspur about King Henry's offer. Vernon disagrees, but Worcester shuts him down. he believes that no matter what Henry says, when it comes down to it, they can never truly be forgiven. they will have to pay for their treason. Hotspur arrives and Worcester tells him that Henry is ready for battle. he flat out lies about what Henry said. on the other hand, he tells the absolute truth about what Prince Hal said. a messenger arrives with letters for Hotspur, but he casts them aside. Hotspur and his men prepare for war.

i find Hal's reverence for Hotspur a little odd. where did that come from? didn't he insult him earlier in the tavern? or did i make that up? where does this come from? maybe he has a better understanding of Hotspur's courage now that he is facing war himself. he must be scared.

Hotspur, Hotspur, Hotspur. i don't know what those letters said, but something tells me that ignoring them was not a good idea. maybe i'm wrong, but it seems significant that once again, he is not listening.

and what is Falstaff's place in all of this? what is going to happen to him? he's a mess.

quote of the day:
'honor pricks me on. yea, but how if honor prick me off when i come on? how then? can honor set to a leg? no. or an arm? no. or take away the grief of a wound? no. honor hath no skill in surgery, then? no. what is honor? a word. what is in that word 'honor'? what is that 'honor'? air. a trim reckoning! who hath it? he that died o' Wednesday. doth he feel it? no. doth he hear it? no. 'tis sensible, then? yea, to the dead. but will it not live with the living? no. why? detraction will not suffer it. therefore, i'll none of it. honor is a mere scutcheon.'
   -act 5, scene 1

for tomorrow: the rest of the play!

-rebecca may