The final essay we wrote dealt with poststructuralism, a term that entails looking at structures within our world. A subset of poststructuralism is the gender critique, which is what I chose to do for my essay. I personally feel that this is my weakest of the presentation portfolio, as it came at the end of the semester and other obligations for other classes began to take the forefront of my mind and push this work back. On top of this, I again felt like I struggled a bit with the material I was using in my essay: Judith Butler’s work Gender Trouble. Nevertheless, I trucked through and came up with what I feel is an interesting idea to explore within Hamlet.
I began my looking at Hamlet and how his gender is represented. I felt as though he followed what was expected of him sometimes and broke away from that other times. For this essay, I did something different for my first draft; because of time constraints, I simply made an outline instead of a full draft. I still received feedback, which can be seen in the link. However, I felt as though I wasn’t doing enough with the material, both the play and Butler’s work. So I decided to shift my attention to Hamlet’s gender role models: his father and uncle. Both grew up under similar figures, including their father who was likely a previous king, but both handle their problems differently. I found this idea to be very interesting. From here, I decided to look at how the differences in those two are emblematic of Butler’s ideas.
I created my first draft which I then submitted to my professor. Similarly to my Marxist critique, I believe that changing the direction of my essay last minute may have been a mistake, as I did not receive any feedback on it, until my professor commented on it. Once again, I had fallen into the hole of misinterpreting and misrepresenting the outside source I had brought in. On top of this, my close readings needed more attention, as they did not clearly point to differences between the two men.
I decided that the subject and implications of my piece were interesting, thus I decided to revise it for the presentation portfolio. I tried to better represent Butler’s ideas and feel that I have done so. It still might need some work with the close readings, but the time frame with which I had to revise this work simply made it too difficult to do in such little time. My submission for the presentation portfolio can be seen here.