Hamlet

I fall head over heels in love with Shakespeare every day. It sounds cheesy, but what can I say, I am an aspiring drama major!

HISTORY OF HAMLET

While I could’ve written about the history of the playwright himself, who knows how long that would’ve been… Instead, I present some background history on Hamlet and it’s context.

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark (Hamlet), is a tragedy written between 1599 and 1602. The story is derived from the legend of Amleth, preserved in the 13th-century. It follows a similar storyline of revenge (for more on the plot, refer to the section below). Hamlet is the longest of all Shakespearean plays, and is considered one of the most popular and influential works in world literature. It has been adapted and reformed an endless amount of times. It was likely one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime, and is today still one of his most performed. Shakespeare’s longest play, and is considered among the most powerful and influential works of world literature, with a story capable of “seemingly endless retelling and adaptation by others”. The play likely was one of Shakespeare’s most popular works during his lifetime, and still ranks among his most performed.

ABOUT THE PLOT

The play is set in Denmark, and the opening scene sets the stage ( 😉 ). It follows Prince Hamlet and his attempt to avenge his father’s death. His father, King Hamlet, was murdered by his brother, Claudius. Upon seeing the ghost of his father, Prince Hamlet determines to murder Claudius to get revenge. Claudius had murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also marrying his deceased brother’s widow. Prince Hamlet, however, is unable to act, and is tortured by conflicting thoughts and depression. It is from Hamlet that we get the infamous line, “To be, or not to be”.

 

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Often misinterpreted, this line is actually Hamlet questioning whether he should live or die, whether he should act or remain idle. Though some feel that Hamlet’s constant questioning is overbearing and drawn out, I find it intriguing. Hamlet offers an extremely personal view of the human mind; a personal insight portrayed externally for the world to see. Combined with the tragedy of the story, Hamlet proved to be an exciting and captivating read.

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RATING

10 / 10

I loved Hamlet! Aside from the brief aspects of the play that I covered, there is so much more to explore. The themes and motifs are truly astounding

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?

Yes! Both as a read and as a watch. It truly is a classic, and examines important topics such as mortality, human existence and purpose, feminism, and revenge.

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Some Groovy Tunes

I believe I have an odd obsession with the 70s… The music, the culture, the clothing. So creative and fun and inspiring to me. I present my ode to the 70s: a compilation of a few of my favorite classics. Enjoy!

Hello It’s Me – Todd Rundgren

Dance with Me – Orleans

Day After Day – Badfinger

Year of the Cat – Al Stewart

Sister Golden Hair – America

To Love Somebody – Bee Gees

Amie – Pure Prairie League

Golden Lady – Stevie Wonder

Easy – Commodores

Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

Don’t Ask Me Why – Billy Joel

The Things We Do for Love – 10cc

Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me – Mac Davis

I Just Wanna Stop – Gino Vannelli

She’s Gone – Daryl Hall & John Oates


I hope you enjoy this playlist! Leave requests in the comments, or let me know your favorite song!

Check out the last Music Monday here, and my most recent blog post, An English Sonnet.

Peace out 😉

 

An English Sonnet

And we’re back to the poetry series! Haven’t had one in a while, huh? And this one, ladies and gents, is a little different. While I have typically only posted Haiku’s, I wanted to share this English sonnet with you. It is about my relationship with love, and also the importance of nature in my life. I hope you enjoy it!

Fetch Me the Grass

Fetch me the grass with your hands as you smell

The blanket of graves, the hair of the earth,

The home of creatures so small. Let us tell

The stories of old all in one blades worth.

 

I look to the grass and my breathing stills.

Here lies my youth, my tears, what bridges me

To you. I see it bound over the hills

Inviting me to run, to fly, to flee.

 

While my feet remain rooted, not so deep,

I’m not what I love though I wish it so.

Yet, unlike the grass, me you cannot keep.

Throw your grass to the wind and watch it blow.

 

As grass hides the dirt, I hide me from you.

A fear of love repels my love, though true.


I hope you enjoy this sonnet! Let me know in the comments. Check out my other poems from this series here. 🙂

The Perfect Fall Playlist

It’s October! My favorite month and my favorite season are here. To celebrate and get into that “fall mood”, I have compiled some songs that always make me think of fall, pumpkin spice, and everything nice. 😉

A Silent Cause – The Paper Kites

The Girl – City and Colour

Flightless Bird, American Mouth – Iron & Wine

Eyes – Rogue Wave

Seventeen – The Tallest Man on Earth

Sagres – The Tallest Man on Earth

When Our Legs Grew Tall – The Paper Kites

Months – The Middle East

Death with Dignity – Sufjan Stevens

Bleecker Street – Simon & Garfunkel

First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes

Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel

Sons and Daughters – Allman Brown

Sparrow and the Wolf – James Vincent McMorrow

 

I hope you enjoy this playlist! Check it out on my spotify here and leave requests for other playlists in the comments.

For more music, view my last music monday featuring British Indie of the 80s!  ❤

A Journey from Head to Heart

We started our poetry unit in English class, and while I couldn’t be more excited (I love poetry), I was extremely hesitant. My English teacher isn’t exactly the Mr. Keating feel that every English nerd desires. Sadly, no “O Captain, My Captain” here.

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It’s been a few days in and while I’m not exactly enjoying the unit so far, I have enjoyed what we’ve read and the brief discussions we have. One text, however, stuck out to me and prompted a slight epiphany.

It was an essay by Billy Collins about how a poem travels. He remarked that once he starts a poem, he often has no clue how it will end, but when he reaches the ending, he knows it is the ending, and feels like it has been there all along. This idea really got me thinking about art, and how it truly is a journey.

When I know I have delivered a good dance performance, I can feel it. It feels like you stepped out of your body for those few minutes; like your head took a vacation; like something else was leading you on the floor.

When I look at certain paintings, something inside me screams at me, telling me that I like it. It’s not because my head is analyzing the structure, the color, or the texture. But something deeper that I can’t describe.

Well, while reading this essay, I think I kind of figured it out (at least, for me personally).

Everyday, we spend our lives in our heads: thinking, processing, analyzing. However, there are two parts of who we are. Our head, as mentioned above, and our heart. Our heart does the feeling and the real thinking. You know when Disney princesses say “follow your heart”? Well, that’s crap! It’s hard to tap into that part of who you are (I mean, granted they had fairy godmothers and singing birds), because our society forces us to hide that vulnerable aspects of ourselves away.

Art is the easiest way for us to tap into our heart. It is the only way to explain the sensation I feel when I’m dancing, when I’m writing, or when I look at a painting. Something else takes over and leads me to where I need to go. That something is your heart! When we pursue any given art form, it is a breather for our heads and the opportunity for our heart to take over. That’s why art is so relaxing and therapeutic: your heart takes the reigns and helps to heal your busy head that can never take a break.

When I am stressed, I dance. When I am confused, I write. When I am sad, I listen to music. The list is endless. Art is my escape. Art is the time for my heart to run free.

I cage my heart. Everyone does. No one truly wears their heart on their sleeves because most of the time we aren’t aware that this aspect of ourselves truly exist. Some people go through their whole lives without releasing their hearts.

But, this is why art is such a crucial part of culture and the history of human life. It has always been there because speaking with the heart is the most primal form of communication and existence. It need not be defined by language, which at times can be constricting, but instead takes on a whole new form that all humans can connect to because all humans possess this ability.

It truly is amazing. Art. And humans. And I am so lucky to have devoted my life to it.

The English Are Coming! A Custom Playlist for YOU!

It’s been an interesting week, and when I have an interesting week, it usually is accompanied with some teen angst. This weekend, I found that the particular cure to this angst was watching the film (500) Days of Summer, a particular favorite. For those of you who have not seen the film, I highly recommend it. For those of you who have seen it however, I ask you to recollect the scene where the two protagonists bond over their shared love of the band The Smiths. Naturally, I was interested in listening to the group myself, and thus I embarked on a British New Wave train. I have combined some of my favorites below, and while they are not all New Wave (and British), I find they all flow together in that wrench your heart, 80s movie soundtrack, sort of way. 🙂

There is A Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths

Here Comes Your Man – Pixies

Mushaboom – Feist

Dreams – The Cranberries

Just Like Heaven – The Cure

She’s Electric – Oasis

Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

There She Goes – The La’s

Back to the Old House – The Smiths

Friday I’m In Love – The Cure

Linger – The Cranberries

Boys Don’t Cry – The Cure

Down Under – Men At Work

In Between Days – The Cure

This Must Be the Place – Talking Heads

I Melt with You – Modern English

 

I hope you enjoy this playlist as much as I have! Leave requests for playlists in the comments, and let me know which song off this list is your favorite. Also check out the playlist on my spotify here

Also, check out last weeks Music Monday that explores the new rock of today!

Keep rocking!

 

Finding Your Superpower

Life is not easy, and every day we need face new obstacles and challenges. As humans constantly we are asked to do the impossible.

One of my acting teachers used to call my peers and I superhumans, saying that what we need to do as actors is one of those impossible tasks. Being genuine in a formulated scenario sounds like an impossible task, yet we must do it, and yet we love it.

This philosophy of regarding oneself as a superhuman is very important to me. I can achieve the impossible, and I do it everyday. We must reward ourselves for small actions and victories because they are what make up who we are and ultimately what we achieve in life.

My teacher led us through an exercise known as “Prevailing Through Witnesses” in which you would stand in the middle of a circle and repeat the following,

“I prevail because I ______”.

Following this, members of the circle (upon their own volition), would stand facing you and repeat the statement as your mirror.

At the end of the exercise, we learned that the reasons we prevail are also what make us superhuman.

The exercise, for me, was an important step in the journey towards self-love. I mean, why can’t I be superhuman? That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

I am superhuman because I fall in love with everyone I meet.

One smile, joke, opinion and bam I’m in love. There are so many beautiful people around me, and everyone has something to share. It truly is lovely and heart wrenching.

Why do you prevail? What makes you superhuman?

These are important questions to answer if you ask me. Identify what enables you to do the impossible, to LIVE, because you will feel much better and happier afterwards.


 

As always, this is merely my own philosophie (with the help of course to my wonderful acting teacher Michael). If you wish, leave a comment telling me your thoughts. I love hearing your feedback. ❤

keep doing the impossible

Explore New Wave Rock

There is nothing like classic rock and roll, but who wants to be stuck in the past? Here is a custom made playlist exploring the best of modern rock, including The Black Keys and Tame Impala. Enjoy!

Next Girl – The Black Keys
New Person, Same Old Mistakes – Tame Impala
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High – Arctic Monkeys
Calm Like You – The Last Shadow Puppets
If You Wanna – The Vaccines
The Only One – The Black Keys
Knee Socks – Arctic Monkeys
Mind Mischief – Tame Impala
Put a Flower in Your Pocket – The Arcs
Lucy the Tease – Allan Rayman
C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips – OK Go
Fever – The Black Keys
Arabella – Arctic Monkeys
Cold Companion – The Arcs

Check out this playlist on my spotify, and tell me if you like it in the comments! Tell me your favorite song on the playlist, or your favorite new wave group. I love to here what you think and your recommendations.
You can also check out last week’s playlist all about David Bowie here.
Look forward to an awesome new playlist next monday! 🙂