Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog #6

In William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the issue of when to trust and how much trust is to be given is prominent, considering Viola is actually dressed as a man by the name of Cesario, giving plausible reason for Orsino to think that Cesario is actually a boy, therefore trusting him with every bit of information and emotion that he feels is necessary to express. During my meditation this week, I was able to reflect deeply on how much I trust others, and if I trust too easily or not.
A prime example of what mistrust can do to a relationship is seen in act two scene two of the play. While Orsino waits anxiously for Olivia to fall in love with him, she is in the midst of falling for someone else instead: Viola. Being so used to mourning over her dear brother's death, Olivia promises herself that she will not turn to any man for love, replacing her brother's love for her. Although when Cesario repeatedly stops by to put in a good word for Orsino, Olivia picks up on Cesario's peculiar feminine and sensitive side, not realizing that it is actually Viola she is conversing with on a daily basis. Realizing that she is in sync with Cesario's mannerisms and way of thinking, as girlfriends usually are, Olivia feels that Cesario is her perfect match, determined to marry him. When Viola realizes that Olivia is in love with her, thinking she is Cesario, she realizes the harm that the disguise has done and what mistrust can do to a relationship:
Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!
She made good view of me, indeed so much
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure! The cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none.
I am the man. If it be so, as ’tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? My master loves her dearly,
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him,
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me (II.II.18-35).
With the realization that Olivia has feelings for her, Viola recognizes that mistrust has resulted in a "knot that is too hard to untie".
The fact that Olivia has trusted Cesario wholeheartedly without even knowing the real him (or her), calls for a messy love triangle. During my meditation, I was able to think about how vulnerable I can be when I trust someone too easily, which seems to be a weakness of mine. While examining myself thoroughly while meditating and while drawing this theme seen in this work by Shakespeare, I realized that trust can be a good thing in life, but you can't just open up to everyone and anyone, because that can just lead to disappointment and hurt. I know that now I have to work on knowing whom to trust with thinking about the possibility of getting hurt.

event analysis

Jillian Alonzo
Understanding Lit
Event Analysis
April 18, 2013

In the short novel Twelfth Night by Shakespeare, Acts I-V demonstrate gender reversal. This theme is present throughout the entire book, but more prominently in the first couple acts. Viola, a shipwreck rescue, Viola washes up on the shore of Illyria. With little to do, she devises a plan to disguise herself as a man and begins to work for the Duke. Not understanding the consequences of her actions, Viola starts to fall in love with the Duke, while the Duke is madly in love with Olivia. This terrible love triangle continues to get more and more complicated as we processed into the novel. Viola has to make a decision, is she going to tell the Duke her true feelings or risk him and Olivia falling in love? "All's fair in love and war" … or is it? 
As seen in Act 2, Viola is now transformed into Cesario. While serving the Duke, Cesario is given the task to go to Olivia's house and deliver a message of love. Being faithful to the Duke, Cesario goes the lady Olivia's house. While Cesario is delivering the message, Olivia is falling in love with Cesario. Unaware of the situation, Olivia is completely fooled by Cesario's disguise and further pursues him. Meanwhile, the Duke and Cesario are becoming very close and with every passing day Cesario's love grows founder for Duke. Despite all the trouble this love triangle has caused, at the end of the novel in act V everything comes together. Cesario "introduces" Olivia to her brother Sebastian, whom later fall in love and get married. While Olivia is distracted by Sebastian, Cesario has her chance to tell the Duke how she really feels but she doesn't. Not until the Duke was preparing to kill Cesario did she tell him her true feelings. At this point in the novel the Duke is angry and confused. Between Olivia marrying Sebastian, Cesario confessing her love for the Duke, and Viola revealing herself, the Duke is extremely overwhelmed and orders them all to leave his sight. 
The novel ends happily, with the Duke and Viola together. Duke Orsino comes to the conclusion that losing Olivia doesn't make him unhappy and with this being the case, he wants Viola. Duke Orsino realizes that through "Cesario's" commitment, Viola loves is strong. Orsino goes to Viola and asks her to reveal herself, Viola takes off the disguise and they embrace for the first time as their true selves.
The novel Twelfth Night reveals the true meanings of love and what is really means to be in love. During my analysis I felt that this novel can be compared to my meditation classes. When I go to meditation I always feel like I change on the inside, compared to Viola who changes on the outside. For me I become more peaceful and focus only on myself. Contrastingly, Viola changes on the outside, but also allows herself to remain honest to her feelings about Duke. Despite my "changes", I always feel that my true feelings remain the same. Viola and I always remains faithful to our internal desires but allow some change so we can adapt to different situations. Going to meditation clears my head and makes me feel relaxed. Viola and I both change but remain the same, we stay in-tunned with our emotions but channel our energy differently.

Event Analysis

Twelfth Night or, What You Will, by William Shakespeare, is play about misunderstandings and confusion. In this play the Duke of Illyria, Orsino, is in love with Olivia but instead of professing his love for her himself he sends messengers to do his work for him. In the play he shows how much he loves Olivia, but he doesn’t take his own feelings into his own hands and actually do something about it. If Orsino loves Olivia as much as he says he does then he should be outside her door every day professing his love for her. He should be straightforward and clear to her about what the wants. Orsino should take the initiative to fight for what he loves and make it clear to Olivia that he loves her and this is very important for the Acts4Youth students to learn. Communication and taking initiative is something very critical for the boys to learn because having good communication skills can help them overcome many obstacles they will face.
On Monday we talked to the Acts4Youth students about why it is important to have good communications skills and how those skills can help them.  Many of the conflicts the students have start from having poor communications skills. Similar to the messages Olivia receives from Orsino, the boys hear that other students are talking about them, but unfortunately for the boys these aren’t messages of love and usually lead to conflicts between students. To help lower the risk of fighting and argument between the students, communication skills are taught to help the students understand how to solve problems before they escalate into larger issues. Orsino could benefit from speaking to these students and learning why good communications is so essential in life.
The students are also taught to take initiative for their responsibilities and what they want.  Orsino is not able to take initiative and that could be a reason for why Olivia does not think twice about him. If the students really desire something they are taught to work for what they want and take it into their own hands. They should not expect to accomplish anything by sending other people to do the work for them.
Though “Twelfth Night or, What You Will” is about love and has a softer tone to it, it is something the boys from Act4Youth can use as an example as to why it is important to be able to communicate well and make sure you work for what you want. 

Event Analysis #6

Adriana Vicario
Event Analysis #6 
18 April 2013

            The theme of mistaken identity can prove to be very beneficial although deceitful. In the play The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, mistaken identity seems to be a major reason for the commotion caused throughout the story. Characters are not who they appear to be and lies continue to fester as the play proceeds. It seems as though there would be a detrimental end however, it appears to turn out just opposite of that when true happiness is found. This is relatable to the speaker and author, Leo Bretholz, who came to Loyola to share his experience as a Holocaust survivor. He explains that courage and his constant hidden identity is what helped him escape the concentration camps and free himself of danger. Through Jesuit principles I value the goal to be true to myself and understand the values behind this statement. In both examples it is clear that although individuals did not appear as themselves, they were still very true to their character.
            The Twelfth Night focused primarily on the lives of those living incognito. This was shown through the character of Viola who came to the town of Illyria to serve as a servant for the duke named Orsino. Coming to town she identified as a male by the name of Cesario instead of herself. As the reader, we know that she is hiding who she really is but other characters in the play are not aware of the truth. With the time that Viola spends working for Orsino, she begins to fall madly in love with him. Of course this is not something she could confess to being that Orsino views Viola as a male. Instead Viola puts her desires for Orsino aside and focuses on helping Orsino with whatever it was he needed assistance with. Making matters even more difficult for Viola, one of those tasks Duke demanded was to help him win the love of mistress Olivia. Out of high respect for Duke, Viola willingly complied. “I’ll do my best to woo your lady: (aside) yet, a barful strife! Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife”. This suggests a lot about Viola’s character and how strong of a love she truly holds for Orsino. Despite her feelings she is willing to do anything for Orsino and seems to always put him first. Orsino realizes Viola’s true identity at the end of the novel and is immediately drawn with love for her. He recognizes that she was just as much of a caring person even disguised as a man. The relationship between the two characters changes from friendship to romance however, the substance of the relationship has always been true throughout. Had Viola not dressed as a man and become so close to Orsino then there most likely would not have been any relationship to develop further. The outcome proved to be beneficial for both characters all due to a mistaken identity.
            Leo Bretholz was a strong young man who used different identities to get himself through one of the most lurid moments in history. The Holocaust was a brutal time that killed thousands of individuals of the Jewish population. Not only were these people killed but they were also tortured, starved, and beaten by the Nazi party. Times were very rough and it seemed as though it was impossible to escape, claims Mr. Bretholz. However, the unlikelihood of escaping did not stop Leo from trying. In the lecture I attended, Leo explained how he would constantly be on the run in effort to escape the persecution of the camps. A common way to save yourself at the time was to take on a new identity that did not state you were Jewish. Leo did this quite often and would take on whatever role he had to so he could get away clean. He explained how he became very good at French and could fool anyone with his beret walking around as a “French Man”. He still managed to get arrested in places as Paris and Belgium but he always managed to use his courage to get away. It seemed as though he kept restarting his life as a new character in a new place. Luckily Leo was one of the few people of this time that came out of the Holocaust with his life. Bretholz was always true to his persevering attitude and never held back in his fight for his life. Although he was deceitful to many people, Leo knew he was strong enough to get through his pain and overcome his obstacles. Had he not been so persistent he would have been at Loyola speaking to students today. It was a blessing that disguising himself could bring him the happy life he finally achieved.
            Through these two examples of mistaken identities, I have realized that truth may still be found even under any disguise. It is surprising to think that something with such a negative connotation could be the very cause for the happiness that is obtained at the end. Loyola wishes students to be themselves and express what truth lies within us. I believe that Viola and Leo both were able to grasp that message even with an identity that was not theirs. 

The "What if?" Question

“What if?” becomes the question as I read The Twelfth Night and watch the documentary “Living for 32.” Never really knowing what will happen if things turned out differently; we tend to wonder. As human it is normal for us to question our every move and decision in life. Just like the characters in The Twelfth Night and Colin Goddard in “Living for 32,” who can ask themselves the “What if?” question every day.
Colin Goddard is one of the seven survivors in the Virginia Tech shooting that took place six years around this time. He tells his survivor story in the form of a documentary for those who are interested in learning how he uses his experience to better his life. More importantly, Colin elaborates on the amount of guns that are being sold illegally by the day. He argues the point that individuals should not just have a gun for self-defense. Although there are many others who can oppose to Colin’s opinion, they never will truly know what he went through that day.
During the documentary, Colin gets a little defensive when a man tells him “If I was in that classroom that day, things would have been different.” Referring to the fact that he would have had a gun, because he believes in self-defense, and he would have saved many lives. Colin takes this into offense because that man does not really understand what went on that day. The question remains “What If he was in that classroom during this incident?” We will never know, but Colin feels he should not be able to even say something along those lines. I stand behind Colin’s argument because one should not judge another without first going through what they went through. It is always easy to say something, but when it actually comes time for that something to happen, things always change.
Similar to the characters in The Twelfth Night, who may not even notice that the “What if?,” question can change their lives within seconds. Due to their complicated love triangle, the Duke, Viola, and Olivia never truly know where their love life could end up. Therefore if we were to imply the “What if?” question, we would probably lose our mind. What if Viola didn’t disguise herself? What if Sebastian really did die? What if the Duke went to talk to Olivia himself? These are all question that could change the plot of this story completely. All the different scenarios make it more interesting to think about.
Both the book and documentary present an ending that is mysterious to us. Although Colin’s situation is a lot more intense than Shakespeare’s acts, we can see the connection. Life constantly asks us the “What if?” question. One decision can easily be turned into something else if the slightest thing was changed. 

Event 6

I recently attended a talk by a Boston College Professor on “If Aristotle, Aquinas, and Machiavelli Walk into a Boardroom”. I went into this talk thinking that it was going to be about theology or something like that.  I was wrong. Instead, the talk was on business ethics and I was beyond confused the entire time. I am not a business major nor have I ever taken a business class. So when this professor kept using all of this business words that I didn’t know I felt like I was the only one in the room who didn’t belong there.
Towards the end of the talk, he showed a few clips of a movie “Margin Call” that really helped me understand what the professor was talking about earlier, or at least what I thought he was talking about. In the movie, a major bank collapses because of people’s ignorance and greed.  The CEO is faced with the choice of either losing all of their money and power, or letting the consequences of their actions fall onto his employees who’s reputations and careers would be ruined. They money hungry CEO decides that the employees will take the fall.
In the end, I think that the professor wanted us to realize that in business a person can’t always think about his or herself. The company and employees should come before the owner or CEO in order for a businessman or woman to succeed. 
After reading Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”, I noticed Shakespeare also thought this, except with love instead of business. Viola is put in a situation in which she must chose to put the Duke’s feelings for Olivia above her own feelings for the Duke. Because Viola is not greedy with the Duke’s feelings and puts his needs before hers. She must go to the woman that the Duke believes he is in love with and convince her to marry him. Even though Viola is in love with the Duke, she does what he asks anyway. Although this hurts her and things backfire a little, Viola still shows her loyalty to the Duke and their love ends up succeeding in the end. The Duke and she are to be married and all ends well.  
Antonio also puts the needs of Sebastian above his own needs. Instead of leaving Sebastian to be on his own, Antonio goes with him into the Duke’s land where he is not welcomed. Antonio ends up getting arrested but does not mind because he ended up helping a friend. Here, Antonio shows that even when something bad happens to a person, it is still better to put other people’s needs above one’s own.
Unlike the bank from the movie, which put money and power above all else and failed, “Twelfth Night” shows that when one puts the needs of others before his or herself, good things can happen.  In the end I realized that in order to succeed in general, one must think of others before his or herself. 

Love and Friendship

Anna Bellerive

            The relationship between Antonio and Sebastian in William Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night or, What You Will” and the relationship between Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) in Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot”, display the love shared between friends. A love which neither set of friends can bear to part with, even if it requires being selfless.
“Waiting for Godot” is an absurdist play, which tells the story of two friends, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo), and their seemingly never ending wait for the mysterious Godot. While waiting, nothing remains the same, time has no meaning and memories are often forgotten; their friendship appears to be the only constant in each other’s lives. In Act I they entertain the idea of hanging themselves from the tree they wait beside, but soon this plan is forgotten. They argue over whether the branches would be strong enough to support their weight. Gogo claims that if he could be hung, then surely Didi could too. However Didi contradicts him and says that Gogo is smaller than himself so there’s the possibility that Gogo would be successful, but the branch could break during his own attempt, which would leave both of them alone. After hearing this, Gogo quickly drops the idea, since the thought of parting with his friend is too much to endure.
The concept of not being able to live without one’s friend is also presented in “Twelfth Night.” After Antonio saves Sebastian from a shipwreck, they become quite close, so when Sebastian mentions to Antonio that he must leave and travel to Count Orsino’s court, Antonio is saddened. Antonio is wanted in Count Orsino’s court, but he decides he would rather travel with his friend and risk injury to himself, than lose him. “I have many enemies in Orsino’s court, Else would I very shortly see thee there. But, come what may, I do adore thee so, that danger shall seem sport, and I will go” (Shakespeare 19).
In “Waiting for Godot” both friends share a love that goes beyond friendship, for they each take care of each other. When Gogo claims he cannot sleep, Didi comforts him and sings to him until Gogo is able to fall asleep. When Gogo wakes up, he claims he had a pleasant dream rather than the usual nightmares, which terrified him whenever he fell asleep. This displays the impact their caring has on one another. They can also be seen embracing each other throughout the play. Their affection seems to extend beyond friendship and instead into family relationships like those between brothers. Similarly, in “Twelfth Night” Antonio takes Sebastian into his care after the shipwreck and nurses him back to health. “A wreck past hope he was: His life I gave him and did thereto add my love, without retention or restraint” (Shakespeare 62). Like Didi, Antonio takes on a caring and protecting role. Antonio also attempted to defend Sebastian, who in actuality was Viola disguised as Cesario, when he enters the scene and finds Viola and Sir Andrew with their swords drawn. “Put up your sword. If this young gentleman have done offence, I take the fault on me: If you offend him, I for him defy you” (Shakespeare 51). Once again Antonio risks his own life in order to protect his friend Sebastian.
Both “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, and “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett, express the undying love felt between friends. Both sets of friends are willing to lie down their lives in an attempt to maintain their friendship. They put their friend above all else, including themselves.