Introduction

On the first day of class we all were asked a simple question, why do you study literature? Many of the answers were the generic such as “I like to read or literature makes you a more well rounded person.” While all of these answers are true, none of them really stood out as the reason why I study literature. So I began to think deeper about why I study literature.

Walking into this class, I had no idea what exactly I was getting myself into. All that I knew is that this was one of the classes I needed for my English minor and that it would help develop my writing skills. I had no clue that by the end of the semester I would have completed six essays from two plays all with through different lenses. But through all of these essays I was able to find my voice is the world of literature. The reason I study literature became more clear to me though all of the essays. I study literature because my belief is that all stories have the ability to change the world and how we look at it. Stories have the ability to transport us out of our little bubble that we live in. Stories have the ability for us to become more compassionate and empathetic people in this world.

As a Theatre major, my everyday world is me telling stories whether  I am action as a person in a coma or calling to cues or helping move set pieces I am telling a story. With all of these actions, I am contributing to the story that is being told. One rule of theatre is that no matter the choices that you make they must stay ture or help aid in telling the story. Theatre also helped me in reading the texts for this class which were The Tempest and Hamlet both by William Shakespeare. In the spring semester, theatre department actually put on a production of The Tempest which I got to be a part of. So when writing the essays associated with The Tempest I was able to bring in my knowledge from the show but also look at the script which I and the rest of the cast worked for months and bring some new perspectives to it.

My first essay Fear or Love: Which is Stronger showcases my skills looking at the text and linking it to a historical text outside of it.

My second essay Hamlet and His Process of Mourning shows my skills in taking a difficult text by Freud and applying  it to Hamlet.

My third essay Ideologies in Real Life shows my skills in applying the idea of ideologies to how they appear in Hamlet.

My fourth essay “Performing” Gender shows my skills in examining a text through a poststructural/deconstructionist lense and looking at how gender is viewed in Hamlet.

All four of these essay took a lot of work to get them to the stage of presenting them to you. From brainstorming ideas to looking for quotes from the text to getting peer views to rewriting and so on. The process is not easy and I am not done learning. In no way as these essay the best essays ever written; each one could and can still be thought through even more.

What I will take away from the process in this class is that I should not focus so much a the finished product but the steps I need to take to get to that end product; the process is more important than the end result.

So read on to see if  I speak the truth about my essays; i. Enjoy my four essays.