30 , 2003
From Reading to Stratford
This week has mostly been dedicated to reading for classes and generating
topic ideas for essays. As a student who is only spending one term
here, I will have to write one essay for each of my two classes,
Chaucer and women’s writing and feminist theory. The essay
will determine my grade for both classes. Needless to say, I’m
a little worried since both essays need to be quite good. Regardless,
I have enjoyed the copious amount of reading for both classes.
I have already plowed though Aphra Behn, Virginia Woolf, Helen Cixous,
and Jane Austin for my women’s writing and theory class, while
Chaucer and I are slowly becoming good
again. Although I’ve only been here for five weeks, I feel
as though I have learned a great amount.
of this week was a trip to Shakespeare’s
birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon to see “Titus Andronicus”
at the Royal Shakespeare Company. We ambled though the small town
for a few hours, and visited Shakespeare’s birthplace. While
the small cottage wasn’t particularly spectacular, the museum
attached to the house was indeed informative. We passed a great
deal of little shops, most of them selling Shakespeare trinkets,
and ate dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant.
The play was also quite good. While Titus seemed a little too old
and brittle for an ex-military leader, Aaron was fantastically evil
and wonderfully believable. I’d have to say that I was most
impressed with the setting and lighting, though. The acting was
good, but perhaps a little too melodramatic at moments. I mean,
I know Lavinia is raped and then has her tongue cut out and her
hands cut off, and then Tamora is fed her two sons in a pie baked
by Titus, but the wailing still seemed excessive at certain moments.
In general, though, it was a good experience, and I’m glad
I had the opportunity to see it.