…there’s always a victim for every practical joke…

victim vs jokerFor every practical joke played on, there’s always a victim; likewise the title of the post. In my experience, I have played all these parts. However, I’m mostly the victim, though sometimes part of the jokers along with my friends ganging up on someone, or occasionally, I’m just an innocent bystander.

My friends and I have a lot of fun dissing eachother, though sometimes, me and a close buddy, since we know eachother so well to actually be able to read each other’s thoughts, that we automatically start ganging up on another friend, supporting what we each say.

Like for instance, the time when a friend of mine was in the library with my close friend, working after school on unfinished homework. She suddenly left her computer logged on with her school mail account opened, since she had to go get something. My close friend seized the chance to send a mail to all our friends, including me, a mail from her account saying she had this crush on this geeky guy. For many days after that joke, she denied of her crush, accusing my close friend of sending the e-mail out from her account. My close friend of course denied it, and joked about forwarding the e-mail to the entire grade. My friend took it seriously, freaking out. Then one day, my close friend came to her and told her that the threat was true and that everyone in our grade knew about it. I played along, saying that I recieved it as well, along with many others. Since we were in on the joke, we told her with relish that my close friend had forwarded that e-mail to her crush as well – twice! After she got over her worst, we told her it was a joke, except that made her even more mad at us, though at least she didn’t hold a grudge against us.

In this example, my friend is like Malvolio in Act 2 Scene 5, the victim of the practical joke. The other friend who played the joke was more like Maria, the crafty joke-inventor, as for me, I was more like either Sir Toby, Fabian, and hopefully not Sir Andrew.

As for epithets , there are many within Act 2 Scene 5. Here is a list:

1) Niggardly rascally sheep-biter ( an insult used to mean ‘woman-chaser’, or ‘puritan’

2)

3) Contemplative idiot ( used by Maria to describe Malvolio )

4) Overweening rogue ( an insult meaning immensely conceited git by Sir Toby to Malvolio when he’s daydreaming out loud.)

5) Foolish knight ( a negative description of Sir Andrew made by Malvolio )

6) Fortunate-Unhappy ( Maria’s clue that points towards Olivia )

7) Noble gull-catcher ( an endearment used by Sir Toby towards Maria )

 

 

 

Love is in the air…especially in 2.4

Love is in the air

There is a big difference in how women and how men love. But….what is love? And how do we know we are in love? Love is a really hard thing to describe in words. It’s too deep to describe and too complex. Plus, to complicate matters, nobody tells us what it is, or how it actually feels. A post containing even the most detailed descriptions of love is still a hollow shell to what it actually feels like.

Since nobody tells us the actual symptons, its hard to distinguish if we are actually in love. For Orsino, how is it possible for him to be in love when he has never spoken directly to Olivia; even though maybe he has in the past before the story started. However, I don’t get why he can be so selfish of himself as to continue wooing her after her grief for her brother’s death. If he says he loves her, how can he be so impatient and so selfish as to pursue her when that is what she doesn’t want. If he loves her-really loves her-then shouldnt he have the patience to wait?

As for Viola, she loves Orsino, despite his faults. I would even suspect she does, even if she chose not to reveal this to the audience; because she has every right to. She is extremely close to Orsino, as we learn that he has told her all his secrets: “Thou know’st no less but all: I have unclasped to thee the book even of my secret soul.” (1.4.12-13) He favours her above his older courtiers, plus he has complimented her in every way: her speech,” Thou dost speak masterly” (2.4.20), her appearance, “Diana’s lip is not more smooth and rubious” (1.4.30-31), her voice, “Thy small pipe is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound.” (1.4.31-32).

Viola is in love with him, but unlike how men love women, she has patience. Of course, she does occasionally drop hints for her love, but they are most likely to be ignored due to her diguise. ” She never told her love, but let concealment like a worm i’th’bud feed on her damask cheek….She sat like Patience on a monument, smiling at grief. Was this not love indeed?” (2.4.106-111) Women are more shy, and more unwilling to show their love, unlike men. Though, of course, this varies, depending on different circumstances.

I agree with Orsino’s views. Men are fickle, though it depends on each person.

” Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, more longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn, than women’s are.” (2.4.31-32)

I agree with this quote said by Orsino. It shows honesty, and changes one’s first impressions on his pride, as he contradicts what you might think he would think for a young man to take an older woman. Sadly, this quote is true; men are indeed more changeable on their fancies than girls. At the end of this book, due to a sneek-peak, Orsino does change his affections towards Viola after learning of her feelings towards him, and her true identity. Orsino, despite his pride, is honest.

 

Party like a rockstar…or more like Sir Toby

Partying at a DiscoPeople causing Mayhem in a PartyWhen it comes to getting rowdy, I personally think I am more of a Malvolio even though I’d rather be more careless like Sir Toby. Whenever my friends start to get wild, usually it’s me who sobers up first, pleading to stop. Though, it depends on the location of the party, and the hyperness of the people within the party.

Feste’s song within the scene I thought was the serious point of the party. At first there was humour within the play, where the fools start saying vogue jokes; then when when Feste asks if they would prefer a love song or a song of good life, Sir Andrew, rejected by Olivia, cared not for good life and became sober. Love for these fools is a serious business, as they all know what it is like, and are aware of just how harmful it can be. The words seem kinda just like a random bunch of sung verses. It begins with the hopes of loves but the second verse mentions about seizing the moment before the end of youth. It sounds sort of like Orsino’s speech to Cesario: “Too old, by heaven! Let still the women take an elder than herself; so wears she to him…” ( 2.4.27-28) So perhaps there is a message within the song towards the fools, and maybe Olivia, about that.

A good joke within the scene for me is:” I shall never begin if I hold my peace.” (2.3.61); where Feste mocks Sir Andrew when he commands Feste to start singing ‘Hold thy peace’. It’s interesting to me since it’s not that easy to see. Only, when you get it after staring at the text for a while, then you get the funny literal side of it, and laugh at how smart Shakespeare can hide little jokes and puns in small parts. I bet there are more within the scene; only that I haven’t stared at it long enough to uncover the double meanings.

A fool, a jest, or just simply clever?

Jesters dancing on a building 

 http://unishanoienglish.edublogs.org/

 

What is Feste’s true nature? Likewise the title; a fool, a jest, or just simply clever?

I think that he has been staying at Olivia’s household for already a period of time since he appears in Act 1 Scene 5, demonstrating his quickwitted remarks in order to stay. How would he dare question a person of a higher status, graciously allowing him, a lowly jest, to be present within the household? The reason would only therefore be the easy familiarity between the two opposite class structures in Shakespeares’ time.

Feste also seems to be the kind of fool that is carefree, with no troubles. His personality in my imagination based on the speeches he makes within the play, seems confident; he can change one huge problem into something with an easy resolution just with the snap of his fingers, along with a few witty comments, of course. For example: ” Misprison in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus non facit monachum: that’s much to say as I wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.” (1.5.45-47)

There is also another question of whether or not Feste haas a brain. There is proof that he has:

1) In the example above, he mentions of wearing motley in his brain, therefore, he has one, and he knows it.

2) Throughout Act 1 so far, we have already met two fools: Feste and Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Though everyone calls these two characters fools, there is a difference. Sir Aguecheek is a fool, one with a defintion of a person being dumb, as we can tell by his foolish random comments with Sir Toby in Act 1 Scene 3. Feste, however, is a fool, but one which is more similar to a jest. If we were to compare these ‘fools’ together, Feste has the brain which Sir Aguecheek has not.

If I was a director casting this play, I would ask a comedian, such as Adam Sandler. If any of you have watched the new movie ‘Bedtime Stories’, then one would admit that being a jest would suit him and his acting. Another possibility would be Jim Carry. As for the costume, then something bright, or colourful to show the character’s lively nature would be suitable. Perhaps a striped suit with patches, with a matching hat.

” Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel….take her away.” (1.5.35-43) This huge speech is a good example of Feste’s sillyness, and merry-making. He is attempting to solve his problem by appeasing to Olivia by his witty comments. The action for this speeh would very likely be using his hands to reason with Olivia, or pointing and accusing her that she is the fool. Towards the end, he could be marching up right to her, and grabbing her, saying angrily to take her away. He could also be dancing around, capering even, with madness, trying to back away from Olivia or Malvolio, who could be trying to grab him with a scowl on his face.

 

 

Dancing, and Joking with Two Drunk Fools

My favourite four lines in Act 1, Scene 3 are:

1) “Why let her except, before excepted.” (1.3.5)

 This line appeals to me, as it sounds like some sort of english, shakespearan proverb. The repitition of except as a present tense and a past tense meaning different things makes it sound natural, flowing. The beauty in the line are the words that sound different. I’ve also noticed that this line is an extremely hard line to say. In order for it to sound as nice or to give meaning to it, the actor would have to say it in a way that makes it obvious, and make a modern audience understand his purpose despite the gibberish he speaks.

2) “Confine? I’ll confline myself no finer than I am: these clothes are good enough to drink in; and so be these boots too: an they be not, let them hange themselves in their own straps.” (1.3. 8-10)

 Confine means to tidy, or to dress. Maria is saying in the previous line to this that Sir Toby is drinking too much; scorning him that he must dress properly to meet his standards to being a sir, and also as Olivia’s cousin. However, Sir Toby doesn’t pay attention to what Maria is nagging about, only to scorn bak at her. In this line, he also jokes/puns with a saying of letting his boots hang up in their own straps by themselves. Of course, he doesn’t mean it literally, as it is impossible, so he is obviously using his drunken wit to pun with a common saying. This line, again, appeals to me as Sir Toby puns on a joke. Another thing would be because it amuses me….How can Sir Toby come up with a clever pun like this, when he is in a drunken state?

3) “Now, sir, ‘thought is free:’ I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar and let it drink.”(1.3.57-58)

This line amazes me by how true it is. “Thought is free” is true, as every thought you have in your head is free. You don’t have to pay for any consequences of what you think. You can think whatever you want; this 3-worded statement makes us be aware and grateful of just how secretive our thoughts are. Every single thought, whether it is vulgar, harsh, pleasant, or sweet is kept within ourselves. Thus, thought is free.

For this line to be played, it would be a comedy scene. Maria is flirting here with Sir Andrew, scorning him, and teasing him all the while. Mind you, Maria isn’t that young, therefore she makes vulgar jokes with the two drunken men. To put this line into action, Maria could either embarrass Sir Andrew by placing his hand on the (buttery bar) her chest. Or she could also have another meaning by just placing his hand on a ledge for beer tankards.

4) “Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or ordinary man has: but I am a great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.” (1.3.70-72)

Is this a true statement? I think, in my personal view, that this line is another extremely appealing one. During the Renaissance period, the Church was starting to lose its authority, which make the line sound as if it were dissing a Christian man, or a person who believes in god. The speaker of the line is of course Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and since he is a fool, he makes it sound like a Christian man or an ordinary man being of the same standard of how clever he is. In this line, he mentions of having no more wit than a Christian man OR ORDINARY MAN. Why doesn’t he just say of having no more wit than any man? Why does he separate an ordinary man with a Christian man, making a Christian man sound unordinary? Plus, does eating beef actually effect on the amount of wit one has? It’s extremely amusing.

Fun and Games ALL DAY

Cross Dress Day 2007 on YouTubeThrough my experiences, I have never exactly had a carefree, fun, or merrymaking holiday. Or just being silly. The closest thing might be the Spirit Weeks that take place at UNIS. Everyday there was a particular theme that we all had dress up as. For example, cross gender day (where girls dress as guys and guys dress as girls), professional day (where people dress up as something professional), crazy hair or hat day (no need to explain that…), celebrity day (dressing up as a celebrity), and finally we have a homeroom theme. For Homeroom theme, we all get together, probably during advisory, to discuss what theme we want it to be. The most popular themes are usually Emo/Gothic day, nerd day, or injured day.

Personally, I think it’s the society that we are born into that affects how we celebrate events. I come from Taiwan, a part of Asia. and my whole family takes festivals seriously. “It would be a dishonour to be extremely silly during the celebration of an extremely traditional festival.” Though, I don’t resent anyone for not being able to be silly. Most people might not agree with me, but I think celebrating silly events such as the Water Festival in Thailand (basically a huge water fight with everyone) or the Tomato fight somewhere in Mexico (like a water fight except with tomatoes) are all unnecessary. Plus, a waste of resources, and time. It’s also a bad time if the economy is bad; like for instance, this year.  

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