My portfolio contains six essays in the process portfolio as well as the four finely tuned essays in my presentation portfolio. The creation of these portfolios stretched my thinking and forced me to look through a critical lens. There are four out of the six total essays that I revisited and revised. Each paper is focusing on one of Shakespeare’s plays The Tempest or Hamlet.
To start working towards a final product, I used the feedback from the original drafts I submitted for grading. A common thread I found in my feedback was not that I did not understand the characters in The Tempest or Hamlet or what was happening in the play, but rather I needed to take another look at the sources associated with the theme from which the paper was written. I misinterpreted many of the academic articles the first time and by rereading what Althusser or Judith Butler over again, for example, aided me greatly and helped get my draft back on track. This also meant I had to then adjust how the characters related to the article presented and with those revisions, my paper was transformed into something I felt proud to present. Through much organization, critical reading, and analyzing of the characters ing Shakespeare’s works, I have pulled together four essays that really show the more confident writer I have become.
My first essay was the Shakespeare’s Elizabethan Women: Historical Contextualization which relates to the era in which Shakespeare wrote many of his works and how society at that time affected the ways women were portrayed in his plays, specifically in The Tempest and Taming of the Shrew.
My second essay Social Critique: Religious Repression of Reality focuses on how characters in Hamlet are repressed by the Ideological State Apparatus of religion and how it structures and affects outcomes of the play.
My third essay is my Psychoanalysis: “Mr. Melancholia” which details the melancholy Hamlet is feeling due to the death of his father and how it affects his dialogue and actions as the play progresses.
My final essay that I am presenting is my Post Structural Essay: “Oppressed Ophelia” which views the play through Judith Butler’s idea that gender is an undefinable as well as unattainable ideal and Ophelia continues to struggle to grasp to gender norms of being a woman.
If one were to scroll through the essays in my process portfolio and see my attempted drafts up to that point, they would see how the quality of my work has improved so drastically since I began working on my final presenting essays. Many hours were spent behind the scenes revisiting articles, having peers and professors review drafts, and reevaluating my claims. I can honestly say, I have never accumulated this many drafts of anything than I have for any one of these papers presented. This course has taught me the importance of not giving up or settling for a draft, improvement can always happen, even if you think you’ve explored every avenue.