Friday, April 20, 2012

Marketing Information Update

So,  I finally have a bit of good, positive news on the marketing front. First of all, my repurposed paper--the fanfiction/fiction/nonfiction monster that has dominated my life over the last two-and-a-half weeks--has now been posted on It can be accessed here (although in not as intriguing of a format as I have on Google Docs): Shakespeare and the MooMoo Man.

Also, exciting news! I got an email from Henry Jenkins (the Aca-Fan... aka my favorite person, because he's an academic fanfictioner!) in reply to my inquiry about possibly doing a guest post and/or interview for his blog He says that he's willing to read my repurposed paper for the Shakespeare world of fanfiction, because it's relevant to his own cause. If he thinks that the information and/or purpose and/or content of the paper is good, he's willing to post it on his site, along with doing a guest interview! Unfortunately, it wouldn't be posted for about another month. IF he agrees to host the paper at all, of course. In the mean time, I'm going to be rewriting and editing said paper over and over again, because a writer is never satisfied (unless that writer is Nora Roberts, who, in her case, really SHOULDN'T be satisfied with some of the work she produces).

I'm not sure how long I'll be keeping this blog up, just because I'm not that big into blogging and my summer is going to be crazy. I will keep it going to let you know about the status of Jenkins though. And who knows, maybe I'll open a blog that's dedicated entirely to fanfiction. Maybe then fanfictioners will be less ashamed, and new people will stumbled upon the community the way I did all those years ago!

Til Then!


Video At Last

So, after MANY false starts, video corruptions, editing misdirections and mistakes, and general overall IT problems, I finally have my video finished. This makes me happy, because I'm tired of seeing my face on a video screen. I much prefer the stage!

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Last Minute, I know. I'm sorry!

Here's the creative piece I wrote for the rewrite of my research paper. Beware. It's a little insane.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Status Update

I've been trying to get some of my marketing done while my betas (the fanfiction version of an editor, someone who works for free and offers advice and/or commentary. Most fanfiction writers only deal with one beta at a time, but I double up to get a better idea of what I need to change) are combing through my... piece, but so far I'm just in the waiting process.

First and foremost, I'll be posting on and (the sister site) because this... monstrosity can literally be considered as both. That way I'm guaranteed to get some kind of response, just because I have a wide reader base of people that love to leave me comments. It will be interesting to see what they actually have to say, however, because I'm certain they've never seen a fanfiction piece DEFENDING fanfiction before. There are plenty of crack fics (farce, parody, etc.) that take the characters of a show or book and have them discover fanfiction (think Harry Potter realizing that there's a bunch of stories based around him "getting it on" with Snape or Draco), but nothing serious that I'VE seen. I won't be putting that up until later in the week, though, because I haven't heard back from the betas.

I've also submitted requests to both Blogging Shakespeare and (he runs a blog based on being an aca-fan, or an academic-fanfictioner) asking if I could do a minor post about the potential nature of fanfiction as a scholarly tool. I've put a generic request similar to what I sent to them here:

       My name is Cortnie Beatty, and I am both a student at Brigham Young University and an avid fanfiction       reader, writer, and editor on various fanfiction sites. This semester I've been involved in a Shakespeare Course focused on the digital aspects of current Shakespeare studies, and, as a part of the class, I submitted a paper and reformatted piece defending the use of fanfiction as a scholarly tool of analysis for plot, setting, and characterization--not only for studying Shakespeare, but also any category found within fanfiction. The subject is extremely relevant with the growing concern revolving the legitimacy of fanfiction (consider the controversy now surrounding the "Shades of Grey" series previously written as Twilight fanfiction), and I would feel honored if I could share my argument by having a brief space to post on your blog. I would include the original paper, the repurposed paper, and possibly a brief introductory video. If you could get back to me on this matter, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your time. - Cortnie Beatty

Finally, I also plan on posting on my own blog, following a line of argument that I've proposed to Dr. Burton. It will essentially be the same post that I hope to have uploaded on the above sites, but that way I've covered all of my bases. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Annotated Bibliography Redux

So I know that I should have done this last weekend (as well as the video) but I've been having IT problems and haven't had time to find the solution. The camera that I've been using to shoot the videos... well, the video hasn't been shot yet. I'm going to have to stay after class and use the camera in the classroom. Hopefully. Or I might be able to hook up with my IT guy (the one that has been teaching me the wonders of Youtube because, let's face it, I'm just not as savvy in that department as I am in fanfiction) and have it up by tonight. Until then, however, I should be able to squeeze enough out to get the annotated bibliography done.

This one is a bit strange, just because of the different materials that I'm having to work with. Some of it is fanfiction, some of it scholarly articles... I even have a blog that I've been following a pretty heavy debate on arguing the legality and purpose of fanfiction (which side do you think I've been taking?). Now just try and figure out how I've been fitting that into my repurposed paper. It's an... interesting process. So, without further ado, my bibliography.
This link will take you to a piece of fanfiction that is about as close to what I'm doing with my paper as possible. In it, the characters (from Danny Phantom) have been assigned the project of working with Shakespeare by acting it out and analyzing the characters. This is only one example of a trend that is VERY popular on fanfiction sites. You'll find a new twist on this same plot (using a Shakespeare play to get to the eventual ''hidden emotions'' of the characters) in almost every category of fanfiction. (Canons and Fanons: Literary Fanfiction Online by B. Thomas)
This article goes into the intimate details about fanfiction that I didn't have the room to discuss in my first paper. Most importantly, it discusses the difference between the canon--of the actual published literature--and fanon--the most popular, repeated fan-ideas being accepted as 'true' ONLY in the fanfiction world. For instance, in the animated Teen Titan category, it has become a part of the culture that the character Beast Boy has claws on his hands instead of regular fingernails, and this becomes why he never takes off his gloves. In the 'reality' of the series, we do not have any proof of this fact--primarily because the show never has the cast wearing civilian clothing, thus eliminating the need for Beast Boy to remove his gloves. Thomas goes into further detail on the idea between the two has a whole, demonstrating with the categories of Jane Austen (primarily Pride and Prejudice) and Harry Potter. (Language, Culture, and Identity in Online Fanfiction by R. W. Black)
Actually, anything by Black is going to be relevant. She's considered one of the leading experts on Fanfiction in the scholarly world, and has published numerous books, papers, and thesis-es on the topic. Some of the frequent subjects that she returns to (just as in this one) include: the legality of fanfiction, the value it holds as an academic tool, the grammatical construction of the varying levels of writing performed by fanfiction writing, etc. She also discusses the use of fanfiction as a method for encouraging communication and personal identity, which I found relevant because of the nature of our class. (Blog)
So this was the blog that I mentioned earlier. It's main focus deals with "Shades of Gray", which is an erotic novel that, at one time, was based on the characters of Twilight in an alternate universe. Some people are arguing that the work (which we obviously WON'T be reading, because of the nature of the book) is too-close to the original source, even though the character names have been changed and such. While I'm inclined to believe this might be possible (I've seen enough 're-done' stories on the sister site to know that not everyone is good at removing the original source) the argument has once again delved into the issue of legality.

So a little bit of everything to tide not just you but me over until I can finally get that video done.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Socializing, Part One

So, as I was setting about reformatting my  paper into whatever this fanfiction/fiction/nonfiction meta-hybrid will end up being, I realized I'd forgotten one important thing: permission. Specifically, permission from the two fanfiction authors whose papers I hope to allude to (and possibly quote) in my weird... thing I'm writing. I've included a screenshot of one of the private messages I sent to them, responding to their pieces and inquiring after their acceptance to my using their works (I only did the one because I literally copied and pasted the main body of the message).

I'm hoping for two things by sending these messages. The first is hopefully obvious, because I've mentioned it about seven times already: permission. It would really stink if they told me no. The second is hopefully a little more subtle: I was fishing for their interest. If I phrased it right (it's all about phrasing when it comes to dealing with fanfiction writers, because we're a weird bunch from many different walks of life and even on different stretches of those walks), they should be curious enough to ask after what I've done, look it up, and then share it with other fanfiction members.

We're social like that.

Monday, April 2, 2012


It sounds like some sort of video game, but I'm actually referring to Love's Labor's Lost. I finally went and saw it Thursday night after my ASL class, and... I'm not sure how I feel about it. It left me feeling very conflicted. Not because of the actual play itself--it's plot is very light and fluffy compared to other Shakespeare stuff I've seen and/or been in--but because of the production. I suppose I'll meditate a bit on some of the good I found, as well as some of the bad.

The Good: Definitely the actors. I know a bunch of people were saying in class that they weren't all that impressed with the character definition, but from an actor's standpoint, I can almost positively say that the 'vagueness' of their personalities was probably a purposeful move. There are hundreds of different methods for developing a character's 'taste' and backstory, the one unique element that you are almost certain to see change in each adaptation. I rather enjoyed having the female characters remain indistinct from one another, because it seemed to ring true to what Shakespeare himself was going through. LX3 was one of his first works, and, if my experience as a writer is anywhere similar to his, he was probably still developing his style--INCLUDING his skills as an amazing craftsman of complex characters.

The Bad: The Setting. BYU's choice didn't seem to fit the play whatsoever. Wear long-johns and cowgirl dresses work for Taming of the Shrew and elegant 1920s ensembles fit in beautifully with Romeo and Juliet, LX3 did NOT look good with the 'update' it received. The set itself almost seemed cumbersome, which--even if it was an artistic choice--is never a good environment for an actor to be working in. I can only imagine the troubles they had to face going through.

So in the end, I walked out content and distraught all at once. I am used to high-quality productions from BYU, even in the student-directed performances. Yet LX3 had so many holes and problems within it I had a hard time reminiscing in the excellent acting I saw from the cast. What to do, what to do?

On the other hand, the Comedy of Errors was hilarious. Now THERE is the way to do Shakespeare.

90 Second Video

I wanted to play around with some of the special effects this time around, because I got a little nifty with the notations last time. I know I'm over by like ten seconds, but after 22 takes past midnight, I finally stopped trying for perfection AND 60 seconds.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Face on Video...

...Is unnerving. I'm not entirely sure that I like it. I also believe that I've gone over the time limit, but it seemed necessary. I'll let the video do the rest of the explaining.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Do the Wave

I feel so accomplished! I read through the requirements for what these next few days are going to entail, and for once I'm already half-way finished with a post topic! When I say this, I mean the possible means of transforming my research paper into a new medium. Rather than rehash everything that I already said on this matter, I'll just link you to that post: Reworking the Bard: And The Results Are In!

Ask to what else Dr. Burton has to say about this process, I believe I only have two points to cover. First, I want to say... I've got it easy! My research paper on Fanfiction already presents itself as the perfect new media route as to where I can take the paper. My work is on its way!

Secondly is the concept of audience (and thus my title for this post). When I first read about what Dr. Burton wanted us to talk about, I was stumped! I thought, 'Who in the world would be geeky enough to want to read my research paper about something as far-fetched as Fanfiction as legitimate, superior adaptation?' But then I actually tried to take the idea seriously, and I was presently surprised. I can list possibly three separate audiences that might think my paper useful--or, if nothing else, interesting.

  • Fanfiction Lovers: these readers (and writers and editors, as I'm grouping them all into one by giving them the term 'lover'), while not generally concerned with the scholarly, would at least have some interest in the idea. I mean, I know that I would respond positively to someone saying that my hobby as a Fanfiction writer was more than just a childish, nerdy habit. To compliment me further by saying that I'm intelligent for viewing a character or plot line in an entirely new way would be just dang amazing!
  • Students and/or Beginning Scholars: I had planned on separating these into two groups, but they are essentially doing the exact same thing, just on different levels of complexity.  These ones are the ones that would probably BENEFIT from my paper. By reading it, they begin to see a new method possible for analyzing Shakespeare. Taylor is an excellent example of this, because she's trying this new revenue to determine whether a character analysis via fiction is worthwhile. 
Perhaps there are other audiences, but these seem the most likely to have any serious consideration for what I had to say in my research paper, rather than thinking it all just one big joke. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Alright, alright. I'll show you the guilty proof. Taylor is interested in possibly looking into doing a Hamlet fanfiction because of what I've had to say and the character analysis, and wants to take a look at some of my own fanfics. It's easier to just put it out there for you all to see. Just don't just me; I started writing this when I was a geeky little eighth grader, and some of the works I've done certainly come across that way. Also, I've never done a Shakespeare work myself, so you won't be looking at anything like that. In fact, I think the only stuff that I have online right now is Danny Phantom stuff. I'll be putting up a Teen Titans one in a few days, so you can keep your eye out if you so chose. Here's the link to my author bio and links to my works: I write under a pseudonym on the site, so don't be suprised to NOT see my name.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

And The Results Are In!

My meeting with Dr. Burton about my research paper was certainly enlightening. Not that he didn't say anything I wasn't expecting content-and-grammar wise, but there were a few fun twists to the plot! Where to begin becomes the question...

I suppose I shall begin by giving a brief overview of what Dr. Burton had to say about the content of my paper. Now, known of this surprised me--I've had the same criticism on other papers in the past--but it becomes relevant when you look at how I formatted a rather abstract paper.

  • First and foremost, there was a bit of question concerning my thesis. It was a well-fleshed out thesis--that's another thing I've had trouble with before, so I was extra careful--but I didn't quite... place it correctly? I suppose that's a good way to put it. Rather than having the thesis present throughout the entire paper, I didn't really come to hit on what I was trying to prove until the last section or two of my paper. Section, not paragraph. You'll see how I set it up if you look at the paper via the link at the end of the post. Now, I knew this was coming. I could tell while I was writing it that I was a little bit weak on the beginning. Dr. Burton's suggestion is to go through and place little teaser sentences about the thesis while I'm going about setting it up with all of the secondary sources I discuss.
  • The other comment he had to make was about primary sources; again, I saw this coming. Because I'm going in such an abstract angle about Shakespeare, I had a hard time finding a way to correlate an original primary source by Shakespeare with the rest of the paper. I was somewhat hoping to use the excuse that the examples of Fanfiction I found and discussed could somehow float that boat as primary sources, but alas. His suggestion was to focus on one play. Probably Hamlet, because the Fanfiction piece I selected would probably be easier to identify with the primary source. 
Now than, how in the world can I continue on this revenue as a combined project the rest of the class can have imput on? Fanfiction is a virtual playground for commenting--I love going over there far more than I do on the blog, just because so many people are actually actively responding--but what else can be done? I've had some silly ideas--creating my own piece of Shakespeare Fanfiction, with imput and directorial advice from the class, compiling an archive of Shakespeare Fanfiction that would stand as proof of my claim that it is a superior source of adaptation. Dr. Burton even briefly mentioned turning my paper into a work of Fanfiction! Little does he know, but the second he said it I already had a few basic ideas on how that could be done. Maybe that seems a little unrealistic, but that's what Fanfiction authors have trained themselves to do: take even the littlest comment from a TV show or book, and use that as a basis for a full-blown piece of work. Now, my ideas for the piece are somewhat walking the line between Fanfiction and an original work--which I also do, and I have a sister site to called that hosts original work if you'd be interested in checking that out--but because it's based off of Shakespeare I could probably swing it.

How about it? How geeky are we wanting me to get?

Oh, and the paper link: Analyzing Amateur Adaptations

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Progress Report Numero... Two

Progress Report: Phase 1 of Research Paper

I'm required to document my research and writing process for the Shakespeare research paper I'm doing this month. According to the assignment instructions, here are the components I must include. If I have met those requirements, I have included a link to a post or posts that document my efforts for that component:

Phase 1

Phase 2
Digital media and online resources  Reworking the Bard: Waddle Around the Web
Social Proof (contacting) Reworking the Bard: Social Proof 2.0

Phase 3
Posted draft with peer interaction Work in Progress
Evaluation of a peer's draft Work in Progress, Paper Edition in Class


I am no lover of Twitter, as I've said before. Thus, my tweethis has become my Facebook-This. I'm more likely to get answers this way, anyways.
I started out with a general status update with my thesis statement and a quick plea for any input.

Hopefully, because it's mid-morning and everyone is checking Facebook, I'll get a lot of help. I'll post any results that I get in a follow up.

I wanted to be a bit more thorough, however, so I turned to some special friends. These are the childhood and teenage-hood friends that I had growing up, the ones that, while they didn't introduce me to fanfics, certainly kept me active in the world. In fact, these individuals were the ones to persuade me to write my own story. I sent them an actual message (along with tagging my old G.I.F.T.ed teacher, who always has great advice, and my father, because he's the fellow English-guru in our family--even if he is a computer teacher) letting them know a bit more detail, pleading a bit harder, and once again giving my thesis.
Hopefully they'll love me enough to give me some great insight!

I also thought about finding some communications on, but that's slightly difficult. While they do have a forum option available, it'd be impossible to tag all of my followers and clients and Shakespeare peers into the forum so that they'd find it. I may post something to my author's bio, but not many people will know to look there. I don't know, I'll have to give it some more thought. Let's hope that I get answers!

Social Proof 2.0

Finding social proof was a bit more difficult this time around, just because I wasn't as likely to find a whole bunch of Fanfiction nerds that would be willing to find me a whole bucket-load of potential scholarly articles like they'd one with finding fanfics. I did have one minion go above and beyond by going through possibly every book on Shakespeare adaptation looking for stuff. I was eventually nice enough to just point her towards ProQuest, and we did a combined search together and pooled our results. One of my articles for the paper actually comes from that.

But what really helped was Mr. Greene. I think I mentioned him in maybe my second post here on the blog, but a bit more detail might be nice, yes? He was the Honors English teacher in my high school for ninth and twelfth grades (an intro and a conclusion to our high school education), and has a Masters in English Education... or whatever Masters it'd be. He's also a specialist on Shakespeare adaptations. When we were first going through Romeo and Juliet our freshmen year, he actually took a week out of the school schedule JUST so that we could watch Romeo + Juliet. Quite honestly, it was an amazing week.

He's also the one that took us to see the Westernized version of The Taming of the Shrew in my senior year. He's done a lot of research into the idea of adaptations--he loves Henry V with Branaugh... or whatever his name is...and knows quite a few people in the scholarly department concerning the topic. He had one article immediately on hand for me to ask about when I first emailed him--the one about staged versions of Shakespeare--because a friend of a friend was the husband of the author. At least, that's what he told me. But he also took the research even farther. He's a big believer in printed books--he's an English teacher, it's practically a criteria for the job--and he found me a few different ones on Google books that might have worked. In the end, however, the information that I was really looking for was again found on ProQuest (by him). We've taken time to email back and forth over the last little while, and he even helped me flesh out a basic thesis that I was able to build from once I got my final scholarly articles.

It should be noted, though, that he's a bit skeptical about Fanfiction. It's expected.

Waddle Around the Web

My online resources for the research paper are actually a lot of fun, because the lead right back to my research topic: Fanfiction! I needed a way to link an actual fanfic work into the paper, which started me back at reading the works that'd I'd first considered when Dr. Burton first planted the idea in my head. I've found two that I'm using in the research paper, and I wanted to include them as my online resources.

First, we have The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet. I've already gone on for a long while with the textual analysis of this piece, as well as including a link back to it for you, but I've decided to put it here again. Wah-la, la link: The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet. This one is a great online source because of the methods I had to use to find it. I went in under the usual Shakespeare category for "Plays" at and began a quick perusal. Here's how my method of determining a good fanfic over a bad or decent fanfic comes in. Below the summary of each story, the site keeps track of specific details: when it was posted and/or updated, the genre it's playing with, the rating, and--the most important part--the number of reviews/comments. Now, because the category of Shakespeare is considerable for plays (something like 2000 stories have been posted), I'll give you this math. (Remember, in a bigger category like Harry Potter that has over 500,000 Fanfiction stories, math like this would need to be adjusted.) The story was posted in 2008, meaning that it's had four years to garner reviews, but it's also been pushed back to the 17th page (based on when it was posted), with each page holding twenty stories, making it harder to find. Now, it only has the one chapter, so, in a category like Shakespeare and given these variables, the math goes like this: one to six comments on the fanfic deem it 'bad' to 'tolerable', seven to thirteen comments make it 'average', and anything over fourteen comments makes it 'really, really good'. If you had a multiple chapter story you would multiply but also take off ten reviews or so for every three chapters, just because people aren't likely to post on every single update. Now, here's the commenting on The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet: 20 comments, making it 'really, really good'.

I go through and, rather than scanning the summaries to begin with, I look at the ratings-to-chapter ratio, just so I get that feel for it. Only then will I look at a summary and consider the story--just because sometimes it's REALLY not what you want to read. You have no idea how many Mercutio/Benvolio works are out there, the weirdos. That's exactly what led me to this and the other work, Modern Day Ghosts.

Modern Day Ghosts is actually one of the exceptions to the rule, because it only has five comments for a one-chapter story. There are other factors I haven't talked about, such as genre, that can complicate this system, which is why I only gave you the basic math. Anyways, the two genres listed for Modern Day Ghosts are supernatural and friendship, which can attribute to the lack of comments just because this aren't as popular of a story type. I read it because the summary actually sounded good. (The summary is: Being a ghost, when you get down to it, is really, horribly boring.) Simple and quick, but it led me in. Here's the link, if you wanted to take a look at that one (It's Hamlet): Modern Day Ghosts.

From the Viewer's Mind

Because my research topic is a bit more abstract and unusual, I had to come up with a different way of finding videos to view for the performance analysis. At the moment I'm still working out how to include the link between a primary source through Shakespeare and a work of Fanfiction. I've come to the personal conclusion that Fanfiction can be considered a primary source, so the two pieces that I've picked out led me to some of my performances, albeit a repeat of earlier consideration. One of the works includes a blurb using characters from Hamlet, which made me consider options. Fanfiction is considered a 'lowering' of the general Shakespeare adaptive process, making me think of children and their reactions. This, in turn, led me back to the Muppets. Just like fanfics, the Muppet videos I posted are legitimate adaptations, albeit tongue in cheek ones. So, to keep this short, I just linked the original blog post back here:

Annotated Bibliography

Brief Narrative:
The research process for this type of paper was a bit unconventional. I had to go through resources that weren't scholarship in the beginning--the possible Fanfiction to be found related to Shakespeare, the people writing and reading it--to ensure that my idea was even around. Once I DID find sources that proved adequate, I had to go about finding a thesis about adaptations and Fanfiction. Once I had a general idea of what kind of argument I wanted to make, I turned to old professors and teachers to help me build the scholarship I needed. The final step was actually deciding what textual analysis I wanted to work with, which all depended on the type of Fanfiction I found.

Working Thesis Statement:
While professional adaptations of the Bard's works prove to be a great asset in teaching and analyzing Shakespeare, the true creative interpretations belong to the novice writers. It is they who will truly continue bringing a fresh outlook on William Shakespeare, using such diverse literary tools as fanfiction to achieve their means.

Annotated Sources:
  • "Recent Shakespeare Adaptation and the Mutation of Cultural Capital"
    • Lanier, Douglas. "Recent Shakespeare Adaptation and the Mutations of Cultural Capital." Shakespeare Studies 38 (2010): 104-13. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 29 Feb. 2012. 
    • The different methods used to adapt Shakespeare in film, especially from the nineties=a "rhizome"; adapting Shakespeare through graphic novels, focusing more on the visual than the textual. This will be a method of comparing professional film adaptations to the novice method found in Fanfiction. Found while searching the MLA International Bibliography site through personal research.
  • "Not Not Shakespeare: Directorial Adaptation, Authorship, and Ownership"
    • Mazer, Cary M. "Not Not Shakespeare: Directorial Adaptation, Authorship, and Ownership." Shakespeare Bulletin: A Journal of Performance Criticism and Scholarship 23.3 (2005): 23-42. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
    • Questions the idea that adaptations of vast portions of Shakespeare no longer make it Shakespeare; uses the example of Shakespeare's R&J to explain the possible changes made to Shakespeare that would make it both the Bard's and the adapter's. The article will help prove the point that adaptation can be done by anyone, extending ownership beyond the boundaries of just Shakespeare. The resource was suggested to my by a former professor in Arizona, who is an expert on Shakespeare adaptation. He then led me to Proquest. 
  • "The Real Thing? Adaptations, Transformations, and Burlesques of Shakespeare, Historic and Post-Modern"
    • Draudt, Manfred. "The Real Thing? Adaptations, Transformations and Burlesques of Shakespeare, Historic and Post-Modern." Ilha do Desterro: A Journal of Language and Literature 49 (2005): 289-314. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
    • Looking at the "burlesque" adaptation style found with Shakespeare productions; demonstrate the "blurring" of high and low in the representation of Shakespeare. A valid source that, based on the definition and explanation found within the article, proves that the 'low' variation of Shakespeare found within Fanfiction still stands as an adaptive style. This resource was also suggested to me by my former professor and found on Proquest.
  • "Teens, Shakespeare, and the Dumbing Down Cliche: the Case of The Animated Tales"
    • Colón Semenza, Gregory,M. "Teens, Shakespeare, and the Dumbing Down Cliché: The Case of the Animated Tales."Shakespeare Bulletin: A Journal of Performance Criticism and Scholarship 26.2 (2008): 37-68. MLA International Bibliography. Web. 29 Feb. 2012.
    • Suggests that the animated series is an adequate, insightful adaptation that educates and enlightens children and teens about works of Shakespeare rather than diminishing the Bard's work. It is relevant to the paper, because it is another piece of proof showing--by way of the animated series--that Shakespeare can be adapted to any level of literacy and still retain understanding. The source was found by way of a contact on Fanfiction, who'd been intriqued enough about a research paper involving fanfics to devote their own energies toward looking into the subject. They then provided the link to the article for me. 

Chit-Chat's Where It's At

So social proof about Shakespeare Fanfiction is a bit different that what you'd normally think to go on. While I do have a number of friends that DO read fanfics that I've known in my personal, REAL life, I didn't turn to them in this case. I mentioned--briefly, in passing, hoping that you wouldn't pay too much attention to that little detail--that I've also written and edited fanfics. Back-story to this happening is necessary, though I divulge it reluctantly.

I actually stumbled across Sailor Moon Fanfiction when I was... what, 11? 12? I know I was in junior high, because I remember sitting in my dad's computer lab at the school (He's the computer teacher, of course). I had actually been looking for the shows original SCRIPTS--because back then Youtube was banned in the schools and I wanted to reminisce about my childhood (my younger childhood) by getting caught back up in it. Little did I know, I actually stumbled upon OTHER people spinning their own yarns about it.

Well, I played the silent observer for a long while. I would read--I went from Sailor Moon to Harry Potter to Danny Phantom, and after that I lose track--rarely comment (which is a method available on most Fanfiction sites for reviewing a piece, just like any regularly published work), and, once I got an account, I would save my favorites (another option available on so that I could go back and reread them if I so chose. It wasn't until My last semester in eighth grade, two years after stumbling upon Fanfiction, that I got up the nerve to post my own story. Yes, I've read it since then. It was a complete joke, I've taken down, and no, you can't read it. I have also added other stories, however. If you're extra nice, I MIGHT give you my pen name so that you can go and check out the few things I still have up, though I've since started working on original works rather than Fanfiction.

Well, about a year and a half later, I became a beta. Beta, while a term familiar to most when thinking about testing out a project or app or game (etc.), is slightly different in the Fanfiction world. Essentially, it's an editor. You have the option of stating that you are willing to edit and pre-read for other authors before the post a completed work. You give your strengths, weaknesses, manner of editing, all that jazz. Now, you're required to have posted a number of stories and/or word count before you can become a beta, just so the potential author you'd be working with has a chance to see if you are actually a decent writer and know what they're dealing with stylistically and grammatically.

Well, I've done it all. With the many different ways that I interact on, I had a ton of revenues to go through. As a reader and reviewer, I could directly talk to the authors of Shakespeare works and find out about other authors, leading me to new stories. As a writer, I knew a number of...I'll say fans, but they've become something more of lackies... that are willing to act as my scouts when I post on my bio page asking for help looking for Shakespeare references and story lines. And as an editor, I get the chance to look at works far ahead of time, meaning that, when I edit for one person on a Shakespeare work, they direct other people to me. Not only do I get insider knowledge, but I also help make the stories a bit more presentable. I won't use any of those as text examples in my paper, however.

It's difficult to explain or show examples about this social proof, just because the site is somewhat protected. Just because the works are Fanfiction doesn't mean they aren't pieces that authors have spent a fair amount of time on. For one, many authors end up rewriting their fanfics into actual, non-fanfic works that they'd like published. I know this for certain, because I've done it before. Also, much of it is about privacy. With my editting in particular, I can't post the conversations that I have with my 'clients' because it would break confidentiality,--not a law-breaking kind of thing, but definitely a moral-breaking thing. So, this is about all that I can say social proof wise. I will say this, though. One of my lackies was the one to lead me to The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet.

By the way, if you wanted to read that fanfic, you can go about it in two ways. One is you can do a general search at (the search option will be up at the top at the main page) by typing in the complete title. Or, because I'm nice, I have it linked for you here: The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet. If you're really interested in Fanfiction, though, I recommend the search option. Just teaching you a new way to go about the site.

Peek Inside A Fanfic

I really want to do a textual analysis of a fanfic, just so that you get an idea of how it can be considered an adaptation. There are a few things to consider, however: fanfics are possibly the most singularly-creative works based UPON another person's subject. The author is allowed to come to whatever conclusion he or she likes, without having to base it upon any logical reasoning. Directors are able to do this to an extent, but because they have the set script they have to follow, they don't have as much leeway.

Also, there are DEFINITELY different ways to define a fanfiction. One of the options available on that I love are the opportunities to pick a genre. The author has the choice of labeling the piece when it is first posted: different options available include hurt/comfort, horror, romance, family, a whole range that relate to the subject matter and/or tone of their piece. Quite frequently Shakespeare Fanfiction is based under the genre romance for Romeo and Juliet and angst for Hamlet. 

Also, there's some fanfiction slang that you might want to know. The author writes up a short (I believe it seventy-five words or less) summary about the work. These can be helpful--because you get an immediate sense of whether they know how to use a basic writing tool like SPELLING or GRAMMER--or harmful--because someone can be great at a quick, witty blurb and then totally blow it in the story. Most of the time they're helpful.

Anyways, slang. One important one to know is AU. This stands for Alternate Universe, meaning that the characters will be set in a different time and place, usually with a different story line, and can even change the age. A popular thing to do in Fanfiction is to place the characters in high school so that you get a lot of that extra hormonal-fueled drama.

Another is OOC. There's also IC, but the better authors are less likely to ever state this fact, so if it's in the summary or a note from the author in the beginning of a story, it's best to avoid it from the very beginning. As I was saying... OOC stands for Out of Character, meaning that the people being written about aren't going to be acting with the same personality that was originally given to them. Ginny-haters from Harry Potter are likely to make her vindictive, shallow, and self-absorbed (a agree with that analysis, but now isn't the time for that). Obviously, that's "out of character" with what Rowling wrote her to be.

There's a lot more slang involved in Fanfiction, and I'll probably teach you more as we go along, but for now let's stick with this. I told you AU just because it's the most common acronym found in fanfics,--a bit of knowledge if you're interested in looking into it (it's very cathartic for dealing with a plot line or ending to a show/book/movie etc. that you didn't like or left you feeling unfulfilled)--but OOC is relevant for the analysis I'm going to be performing with you.

The fanfic I've chosen is drabble length, and rather uncommon as it's not a poem but it's certainly not a prose piece. I'm certain you'll understand that confusing bit of logic once I give you the title: The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet. It's definitely an intriguing piece. So let's look at some of the information the author already provides us with:

  • The two genres given to us about the piece are poetry and parody. That immediately tells us it's going to be more lighthearted than any original Shakespeare work. 
  • It's rated K+ (I'll go into the rating system with you sometime later, but for now just know this: never read a rated M story. 'M' stands for 'mature', meaning INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT. On it doesn't--usually--immediately show M stories (you select it under the ratings drop-down options) but if you do a general search it will. Don't read. I repeat, Don't Read. Rated K+ is safe . It's kind of the equivalent of a PG movie, meaning it's going to be kid-friendly. Also something not usually Shakespeare-ish, just because he's so complicated with the language. 
So with that under our belt, let's look at the fine details.  This is where the real anaylsis comes in.

  •  The 'poem' is split into each of the acts, giving a general summary of each scene. 
  • The 'acts' (stanzas) vary in length. Some are eight to ten lines, but another (when Juliet is talking to her mother) is only two. This means that the author is more interested in giving the big picture details. 
  • The vocabulary is very NOT-Shakespeare. For instance, in referral to the ball that the Capulets host, the author uses the word--and I quote--'par-tay'. Also, one line refers to Juliet's 'boo', meaning Romeo. This is interesting in two ways--one, because word-play like this is very Seuss, meant to sound similar to 'beau'. Too, it's a very nickname-y, modern thing to do. 
  • The work is further deconstructed by the author's casual nature. Even though the lines themselves very in length of syllables and rhythm, quite often Juliet is only called 'J'. Another modern, lowering feature. 
  • The work breaks the 'fourth wall' in a few different instances. For example, when it speaks in the Act Four, Scene Two portion about Capulet marrying off his daughter, the final line says "Now Julie is worried 'bout the end of the play".
  • The play on words is intriguing. For instance, the line about the Friar agreeing to marry the two young lovers calls Romeo a 'brood', which has two differing connotations. The first is the fact that he is the son of a prestigious family marrying a daughter of a prestigious family, making them each one of that well-known 'brood'. The second meaning, however, refers directly to Romeo's rather frequent moody behavior as a 'brood'. 
  • Another characteristic is the author's use of nonsense words. There are plain wacky and silly occurrences, such as ' Tybalt-di-dybalt-di-dybalt-di-doo', 'boo-hoo', 'bumb-a-loon'.
  • Finally, the most telling part that it is, indeed, a Fanfiction: The author has the liberty of changing the ending (a common occurrence in Shakespeare fanfics about the two star-crossed lovers). Just for fun--because I absolutely love the ending--I've included the entire last bit:
                   Everyone stares, baffled, as Juliet wakes,
                   And Tybalt and Mercutio! It was all a fake!
                  The families decide to end the silly feud.
                  (Sorry the ending is changed but the old one was crude.
                  A happier ending is quite due.
                  Well, now the story's over so "goodbye!" and "adieu!".

I don't know about you all, but this certainly seems like a clever adaptation to me. The author (who, as an author has the choice--and does so, in this case--to remain only under a pen name) took to completely different styles of writing, that of Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare, and combined it into one new tale. Also, he or she is completely original, because the rhyme pattern and syntax is just enough NOT-Seuss to make it her own work. 

Oh, and a side-note. Doesn't this seem a great way to teach children Shakespeare? Minus the inaccurate ending, of course. 

Following the Fanfiction

So for those of you who have no idea what Fanfiction is, be grateful. It means that you experienced a far less geeky, socially-neglected teenage-hood. For those of you who HAVE heard of still probably had a far less geeky, socially-neglected teenage-hood. Don't worry.

But I supposed I owe a few explanations about what Fanfiction is and how it even correlates with Shakespeare. First and foremost, Fanfiction, or a fanfic, is an unpublished work (short story, drabble, novel, poem, or whatever piece of literature floats your boat) that uses characters and/or settings and/or plot ideas BORROWED from someone else. Think... someone writing a story based upon Harry Potter characters. It's obviously unpublished because attempting to have it sold is illegal via copyright laws. Fanfiction can also include any 'genre'. It can be based off of a movie (Inception is a popular one), an anime or manga (Sailor Moon or Inuyasha), a cartoon (Teen Titans), a comic (these can include anything from a Sunday newspaper comic like Garfield or a DC comic like Batman, although serialized comics like DC are usually covered under non-comic categories because of their likelihood of being turned into a cartoon or movie), a game (Mario Brothers), a play or musical (Seussical), a television series (Glee or Law and Order: SVU), or even something totally random. It can get (and generally does) get more complex than that, but I think I've loaded you down with too much information already. If you are interested in seeing a work of Fanfiction, I recommend going It is quite possibly the biggest retainer of Fanfiction open for others to read. Or, of course, you could always ask me for good details. If you so wanted, you could even tell me a category/tv show etc. that you'd be interested in, and I could ferret out a GOOD story for you to read. Because it's open to anyone, there are quite a few thrown-together, elementary students posting stories.

So how about Fanfiction and Shakespeare? Dr. Burton actually got me thinking about it way in the beginning of the school year--I don't remember how he found out I read it/wrote it/editted it, but he mentioned one of his previous students had done an entry in their eBook on Fanfiction--and it's definitely stuck with me. So, for fun, I decided to see if I could find anything that would be Shakespeare-y on What do you know, under 'Plays' it has an entire category just for the Bard! I went and scoped it out, and it's a lot of what I expected: rewrites of Romeo and Juliet, seperate musings from Hamlet meant to be a 'missed' moment from the play, modernized versions of Much Ado About Nothing. It took a bit of digging to find ones of actual quality (maybe one day I'll explain how I do so, but it's a bit to complex for an introductory session for Fanfiction at the moment), but I DID find some. Also, it's not hard to find stories under other categories (Glee especially) that borrow heavily from Shakespeare on ideas like star-crossed lovers and the like.

I don't know, my snooping around the different possibilities to be found within Fanfiction made me open my eyes. I've always known that Fanfiction is pretty much the ultimate form of adaptation, but I guess I didn't see it as a legitimate revenue to follow because it's done by amateur writers. It's certainly been an interesting project to consider.

Change of Plans

So it has become infinitely clear to me over the last five days that... I need to change my research paper. I had all of two pages written up about riddles before I realized that I had absolutely nothing less to say. Research and secondary sources were also nonexistent (making it had to have any sort of legitimate working argument) and so I've had to toss that plan into the scrap heap and start from scratch. Lucky, I have great sources and a completely nerdy history, so I came up with a Plan B. These next ba-gillion posts will be me going back and reworking practically everything, so please bare with me.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Progress Report

Progress Report: Phase 1 of Research Paper

I'm required to document my research and writing process for the Shakespeare research paper I'm doing this month. According to the assignment instructions, here are the components I must include. If I have met those requirements, I have included a link to a post or posts that document my efforts for that component:

Phase 1

Phase 2
Performance Analysis   planning to watch: Batman Forever, The Maori Merchant of Venice, and Shakespeare's Merchant
Annotated Bibliography   open to research
Digital media and online resources   open to research
Social Proof (contacting)   open to research

Phase 3
"Tweethis" statement
Posted draft with peer interaction
Evaluation of a peer's draft

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Analyze the Riddle

I've come to realize that, while I've posted about first being intrigued about the riddle, and even finding the social revenues of continuing riddle research, I have never done any analysis myself. Well, that seems foolish, considering I will need to analyze the riddles in order to come up with a working thesis. And while I'm still going back and forth about IF I want to do riddles--there's a chance I might do something about fanfiction, which, because I haven't gone into what fanfiction is yet, that probably makes no sense to you--I still want to at least take a little while to scrutinize the riddles.

So, in The Merchant of Venice, there are (as you know) three riddles. There are also three reasons for choosing a riddle revenue and three riddle answers, but for now I just want to focus on the original riddles themselves. In order to remind us all, I've bullet-ed them here.

  • "Who chooseth me shall gain what men desire." -- Gold
  • "Who so chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves." -- Silver
  • "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath." -- Lead
When I first started reading these, I had two thoughts. To make it simple, I'll break it into two different analyses. One will focus on word play, while the other will focus on (woman's) common sense.

So, word play... I focused on three separate words in the riddles: gain, get, and give. The way I looked at it, I saw three distinct interpretations, which then pointed to whether they were the correct answer or not. First, look at gain and get: I suppose one would think, looking at these, that it seems the logical choice. They are trying to receive (i.e., get or gain) a wife. But they are also limiting: By gaining something, or getting something, you have set the relationship on unequal ground--you haven't done anything to demonstrate YOUR commitment. Give, on the other hand, demonstrates a level of care and devotion. One may be hesitant to GIVE away something when he is not certain of a return, but (generally speaking) giving tends to lead to something better. Just by looking at these words, one would think the answer would be clear. 

But it that's a little chancy, I also looked at the riddles in a second way: the logical way. IF (And I suppose I am making some presumptions here, because I'm thinking of today's equivalent of a good father and a good marriage) a father is forced to give away his father, wouldn't he want the best care for her? By making his daughter a desire, he limits the amount of time she will be wanted. Bodies age, after all. Men can be flighty, and lose desire for something they are supposed to love if something younger and 'more desirable' comes along. By making his daughter something a man deserves, no one would ever get her! In a father's mind and heart, no one is ever good enough for his daughter. But by making his daughter valuable enough to be given everything for, it requires the potential husband to PROVE that the daughter is worth more than the world. Then, and only then, would a father possibly be willing to let his daughter go. 

But again, this is looking something from a woman's dreamy, idealist perspective. Things might have been different for Shakespeare. But that's the good thing about literature and dead people: in the end, it doesn't matter what they intended anymore. They're dead, they have no say. And we have the power to believe and state whatever we wish to, meaning that no thesis is a wrong thesis. So there.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Facebook Is Not Just For Socially-Acceptable Stalking

I've been TRYING to do this thing called social proof that Dr. Burton is so hyped up on, but I've run into a minor problem: I have little respect and/or need for social media websites. Over the years, I have acquainted myself with only two sites: Facebook, and blogger. Not surprisingly, I had to be forced into both. I've had my version of each before these, but I would only check Facebook maybe once a month, and my blog was less about interacting with people and more about keeping myself on track with my writing.

So what a change this has been! In order to get my social proof (a lot of which is happening over the phone and through email, which are still waiting for information) I've had to become a Facebook ninja, stalking it every hour or so to see if there is new information. Blogger...well, I'm still working on being social in THAT aspect.

But enough of my gripping! I wanted to post that I at least have a bit of progress on my riddle-research. I sent out a general wall post asking for riddle-info found in popular media and literature (new and old) and I've had quite the response. A lot of it was circulating back to my own ideas (Harry Potter, The Hobbit, etc), but some good stuff came out of it. One that I can think of right off the bat is fairy-tales. I have a friend bringing me a book on the OLD ones (I think even before Grimm) that have a lot of riddles in them. I also have a favorite forever-teacher of mine letting me borrow a book of children's rhymes from the Elizabethan period. Not exactly was I was looking for--I want proof that riddles help push plot, and stand-alone riddles don't do much in that regard--but something interesting to look into anyways. I have a few other sources, but I figured I'd post a few pictures of some of the wall-post and responses to stand as part of my proof.

(Also, just for fun, I've posted a complete-nonsense, nothing-to-do-with-my-research video that adequately explains my view on social media sites. Enjoy!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

From the Spectator's Seat

I've decided I don't like it. Sitting in the audience during a play, that is. There were so many times when I just wanted to jump up and change EVERYTHING!

                  ^Everyone else ^                     ^Me^         
                   in the audience                                                     
I think part of my frustration was stemming from the fact that it was aimed to reach the kids. I know that a bunch of you loved BYU's Merchant of Venice for that very reason, but it drove me bonkers. Maybe it's because I've only done serious plays and/or serious(ly evil) characters; all I really know is I had a hard time taking in the play with any sort of enjoyment. And considering how much I love Shakespeare's plays (I've been in at least a dozen), that's a pretty weighty statement.

But I suppose there needs to be something enlightening about the performance--other than my utter detest of it. I've decided, to keep MYSELF invested in the post, to comment on the acting. In order to do so, however, there are a few technical "actor" terms you might need to know to understand what I'm saying.

1. Objective: the overriding WANT/GOAL that the character has driving him. Must go through another character.

2. Tactic: a method/mean by which the character attempts to get his objective fulfilled. Better to go through another character.

So with those two definitions in mind, let me explain what I saw, mostly in the Narrator. She was, by far, the only non-detestable character in the entire show (which is ironic, considering the play doesn't call for a narrator). I say this because she had to play so many different parts. In the midst of playing each of these changing roles, she also had to keep track of each character's objective(s), as well as what tactics that character would use based on his or her established personality. The fact that she could switch from being peeved to mischievous to gloomy (and not necessarily in that order, or with those certain emotions) was... I suppose a close enough word is amusing. She, more than anyone, was directed towards the children, but she also pulled a number of 'adult' traits out of her hat for a few of her various roles. I wish that some of the other characters had been that well-rounded (Yes, I am talking about how whiny and silly Portia was).

I don't know, perhaps I'm biased. I have been happier (surprisingly) looking up scholarship for Hamlet and riddles than I was sitting in that theatre seat. Topics, of course, that I intend to address within the next few posts. Til tomorrow! ©Cortnie

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Like the Ocean Waves

I've decided that I'm a visual person. I learn better when I watch someone else demonstrate what to do, I respond to visual images more so than music (for instance, I cry at a drop of a hat watching a music video, but very rarely get emotional just listening to a song), and I have to physically write something done--and thus see it--in order to remember it. And now it correlates to audio books, as well.

Listening to Hamlet was far more frustrating than reading it or ''watching'' the action in the (not a) manga. I know that might seem weird, considering how strange some of the words in the play are. But when I read I don't really SEE the words, I see the pictures the words seem to morph into. Just listening was hard because I didn't have anything to turn into a picture.

This would be me, listening to the audio book.
In fact, I found myself distracted from the play more than I was involved in it. This might be because I use things like ''soundtracks'' and dialogue to do homework to--I turn a movie on in the background when I do homework, because if I turn on music I HAVE to sing and thus get distracted, but movies have sound that I can tune out. Still, it became a problem. My brain seemed to think ''oh, background noise, time to think of other stuff'' and I'd spend almost an entire act plotting out my next chapter for my novel or reviewing for an ASL test. Then, when my head finally woke up, I'd have to go all the way back, wasting even more of my time.

I don't know, audio books seem like a good fit for some people. For one, you can get the idea of character voices. But if you are going to have one person read, why not have each character read by a different person? And if you are going to have different people read, why not act it out? If you're acting it out, why not film it? And then you're right back to the visual aspect that I so love. Hmmm.... I'm going in circles. Hopefully I'll have more luck with other Shakespeare mediums. There are so many ways to make new adaptations with art, after all. Til tomorrow! ♥Cortnie

Friday, February 3, 2012

The (So Not A) Manga Hamlet

Yes, it is I: the manga-reading, convention-going, anime-watching geek from class, talking about the (so not a) manga version of Hamlet. I decided to go for some of the classic artwork, so I picked the version drawn by Adam Sexton and Tintin Pantoja (picture to the left of the cover art if you aren't sure what I'm talking about). Just for some random manga information, when I say classic, I'm talking about the style of character drawing, meaning the large eyes (Hamlet actually looks somewhat normal on the cover, now that I look at it) and especially the narrow, elongated jaw.

So why do I keep saying not a manga? Well, here are a few more common manga facts: 1. The book is read from 'backwards' to 'forwards' (if you are thinking a typical English book), and from left to right going down. Here's a simple example of the order in which to read a manga page--->

What about manga artwork? Well, there's some leniency (for example, many manga artists--called artists, not authors--are moving away from the typical jaw-and-colorful hair shtick) but a few things are still quite universal. The drawing of men, for instance, is usually kept so they appear mostly emotionless (unless they're meant to be gay, in which case their expressions are usually overly dramatic and flamboyant). Their 'expressions' are communicated through external means, usually a universal sign--a 'sweat drop' can mean exasperated or worried, while a # sign on their forehead means they are extremely peeved or annoyed--or even the kanja (Japanese 'word') in an 'unbubbled' area of the current action space. 

Well, if that makes up a manga, why am I so frustrated? IT'S NOT A FREAKIN' MANGA!!! Or, it is a VERY loosely based-upon manga. It's formatted as a common American book (meaning left front cover to back right, and read from left to right). The one thing I'll say is that the artwork at least stays up to some Japanese manga styles. Also, I was pleased to see that it was written in the actual Shakespearean language. I say this because I've seen both manga and anime (Japanese animation, a.k.a. cartoons) interpreting Shakespeare works, and they usually 'update' the language so that it appeals to a wider audience. Now, I will admit that I've mostly seen this done with Romeo and Juliet (anyone else not surprised?), and never with Hamlet, but it is still a relevant factor to reading THIS media and specific version. 

In the end it was an interesting read. Even I, the experience manga reader, had a bit of trouble the first few pages. That was mostly because I had trouble deciphering who was saying what line, however. Once I was accustomed to the artist's preferred method of showing who was saying what, it was easy as pie. It became an easy read, as well, because with all manga I tend to sit and read, unblinking, until I've finished the entire volume. (I say volume because I have easily gone through an entire 18 volume series in one day, moving only because I had to go pick up the next one from of the shelf). 

So I've basically just revealed to you how much of a TOTAL geek I am, but I hope you've learned something. Also, if you want a bit of information about graphic novels vs. comic books (as I felt out during our discussion today), this link will take you to a (I think it's a blog post) entry that clearly and simply breaks down the difference between the two. That way you will have adequate knowledge between the three different styles: manga, graphic novel, and comic book. Til tomorrow! ©Cortnie

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Some Hammy Humor with Hamlet

I know I've been pretty much nonexistent on the blogging sphere lately, but what with one of the worst migraines of my life I couldn't justify causing myself greater pain just to stare at a computer screen in order to  post anything. I am (nearly) fully recovered, however, so I thought I'd hop back on the train. I have quite a bit to post--my roommates were so wonderful that they would read aloud articles on Shakespeare and Riddles and other miscellaneous tidbits (including a number of children's ditties) while I sat in a batcave-like dark bedroom, and I also need to update about reading my manga Hamlet and seeing the Merchant--but for tonight I wanted to start with something a little fun, just to get me in the mood of posting once more. So, without further ado, I present you two of my favorite things sharing the limelight together: Shakespeare, and THE MUPPETS!!!

Interview with William Shakespeare

Veterinarian's Hospital -- Shakespeare Jokes

Christopher Reeves, Hamlet, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare 

They're cute and funny and the Muppets, but it just goes to show that any manner of modern media can find its own way of interpreting and adapting Shakespeare. Until tomorrow! --Cortnie

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Gathering of Riddles

This is mainly for anyone that might be wandering over from Facebook via my post. My Shakespeare class here at BYU is approaching the world and literature of the Bard in a new way: the Digital Way. This blog is apart of it, but now I have to get technical! We're going to be writing a research paper that includes information that we've posted and gathered via digital-socializing, which is where you lovely Facebook people come in!

I'm most likely going to be writing about riddles, not only in works by Shakespeare but literature as a whole. Modern media also counts, because it starts with a script (a.k.a., the written word, thus making it literary). I need to gather examples of literature and media that uses riddles, which is how you can help. Either here or on Facebook, please leave a post about the piece of literature and/or media that you are thinking of. They can be related to Shakespeare (one of his plays), from olden times (such as before 1900 a.d. or even 1300 a.d.), or anything modern. Also, try to be specific as possible: if you use an episode from a TV show, try and find out the episode title, air date, season number, etc.

Just so that you are aware, I already have at least a few examples, so please don't repeat these:

1. The Hobbit
2. Harry Potter
3. Batman--The Riddler

In a previous post (scroll down) I've talked about how Harry Potter and the Riddler are applicable, if you want to check it out. I really appreciate any help I get with this, and I'd love if you'd keep checking in on my progress. Thanks! Cortnie

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Venice and Riddles

The Merchant of Venice is certainly a new, nerve-racking experience for me. Unlike Henry V, which I studied in high school, and The Tempest, which I've done costuming for in the past, Merchant is foreign territory for me. It's somewhat like standing at the lip of the airplane doorway waiting to try skydiving for the first time: you know it'll be fun and new and DEFINITELY interesting, but right now it's down-right TERRIFYING!!!

So in an effort to dispel some of my initial trepidation about the play, I started with some basic prereading on Wikipedia. Most of the synopsis was simple, an outlining of the plot and a brief character manifesto that included a few of the different themes the play had to offer. I did find it interesting, however, that the plot synopsis went into a fair amount of detail about the riddle that Portia's father put in to play. It contained each of the characters that tried to win her hand by way of the chests, as well as the rhymes located within each casket. It was a great attention-getter, as riddles are.

Well, the riddle got me thinking about past literature and modern media. I mean, the first thought that popped into my head was Odysseus facing the challenge of stringing his own bow to win his own wife's hand. That was also a riddle with an unlikely solution. And, just like Odysseus, the prize that Bassanio sought was that of a woman. Shakespeare may have been doing a bit of adapting himself.

Of course, the idea of a riddle is not entirely unheard of. Take today, for instance. I can think of at least three examples where puzzles are used in modern media and literature. One I'm sure you will all recognize is in Harry Potter: Harry has to answer the sphinx question (Spoiler alert: it's a spider!) in order to reach the ultimate prize. Another is from Batman. Albeit the idea's a bit cheesy, but hello? The Riddler? Not only is he in the comics (the epitome of modern literature), but he was also in that really dorky adaption of the Batman.... Batman Forever, I think. As for the media, many of the recent crime dramas like to take at least one stab at a home-made serial killer. More often than not, they turn to signature pieces and misleading puzzles in order to portray an intriguing psychopath.

So riddles seem like something to work with. Hopefully I'll have a bit more luck finding scholarship on this than I did on Fluellen... As for a hook: Which of the poetic-answers/riddle-answers do you think would be the most titillating to look into and/or analyze?