Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Final Blog!

From early on in the play, it was easy to see that the ending to “The Twelfth Night,” by William Shakespeare, was going to be exciting. The first half of the play had set up so many different problems that I was not sure if it was possible to fit all of the solutions in the other half of the play. “The Twelfth Night” is a play about identity. So many people in this play are misrepresented, but they are exposed at the end. Eventually, the charade comes to a close. However, at the end of the play, all of the main characters have gotten their way. It is a happy ending for everyone except Malvolio.

After receiving the note from Maria, Malvolio begins to act like an idiot in front of Olivia. When he quotes the lines from the letter, Olivia has no idea what he is talking about, and fears that he is insane. Feste, Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew begin to convince Malvalio that he is possessed and crazy. Feste impersonates a priest and convinces Malvalio that he is hallucinating.

While all of this is going on, Olivia is asking Viola to marry her. The ‘love-triangle” is getting more and more complicated by the scene. When Sebastian arrives at Olivia’s house, he is mistaken for Viola. Lady Olivia begs for his hand in marriage. Since Lady Olivia is a beautiful woman, Sebastian happily accepts. He still has no idea that Lady Olivia is in love with his sister. Sebastian also has to fight Sir Toby and Sir Andrew. Sebastian begins to think that everyone around him is insane. The misrepresentation of the characters causes all of their problems. Luckily, in the end of the play, almost all of the characters end up getting what they wanted. Olivia is with Sebastian, Viola is with Orsino, and Sebastian and Viola both know that the other is alive.

This semester went by far too quickly. I cannot believe that it is already coming to a close. I learned a lot about myself in this Understanding Literature class. Before this class, I had always felt completely lost in poetry, and the only novels I enjoyed were war novels. This class helped to open my eyes to the other types of available literature. I feel that it has made me a better-rounded student. Analyzing poetry was not something that I ever thought that I could do before this class, but this class has given me the confidence to examine poems and figure out their deeper meaning. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this class, and I feel that I have learned many great lessons that will help me in the future.

The last two cultural events that I attended this semester were for Invisible Children’s Fund, and “Living Rightly With the Earth.” I have always felt great sympathy for the children in Northern Uganda and in the Congo. In high school, I was the Vice President of the Invisible Children’s Fund Fundraising Club. However, I had never heard a survivor of the attacks speak in person. When Francis (a man from Uganda who survived two rebel attacks) approached the microphone, I was very nervous. I had heard many stories of the horrors in Uganda, but had never heard someone speak about them live. Francis had a soft voice, and told the story of how his family was killed in front of him. Francis’s bravery astonished me. This man has lived through horrible things, and he still has the courage to go on stage every night and tell his story. He said that he wants to change the world, and making those speeches is the best way that he knows how. Francis is an inspiration, and when I was able to go up to him, look him in the eye, and shake his hand, I knew that his hardships are making him stronger. He is channeling all of his energy into trying to fix the horrific situation in Uganda, and will not stop until there is major change.

“Living Rightly With the Earth” was not nearly as grave. Mr. Misleh was explaining the Catholic Church’s updated stance on the climate. He said all of the things that you would expect. He talked about “caring for God’s creatures,” and how we are “stewards of the Earth.” He talked to us about how to pray for the earth and pray for change, but did not give us anything to do about that change. Sure, he talked about turning the lights off when you leave a room, or turning off the sink while brushing your teeth, but I have heard those things hundreds of times. I felt that the presentation was not well put together, and did not put any of the students in a attendance any way to make a difference. I was very disappointed with the way that the presentation was put on, but I am happy that the Church is beginning to weight in on social issues other than stem cell research, gay marriage, and abortion.

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