Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Critical Fools in Shakespear Social Media

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Finding a topic that would be both interesting to me and others
was a struggle.  I remembered attending the English Symposium at one point and noting how all the presentations made their topics relevant to recent culture.  So, despite having ideas for connections between literature, I thought I should try to look at other angles.  In our other research, something that really interested me was the casual critical approach to Shakespeare taken by many amateur scholars in social media.  With the ideas many still hold toward internet literacy, one doesn't expect analyzing Shakespeare to be a common thing, but then you have Tumblr.  Tumblr is an interesting mix of people of many talents and just scrolling through my regular blog  I'll run into a quite few Shakespeare posts that often share significant insights and interpretations of the plays.  Yhe exchange pictured is just one example I came across.  Rarely. though, are these untrained voices given a lot of attention.
Then, I considered that many common characters in Shakespeare's plays do something similar.  For example, the fool in King Lear is one of the few who actually sees the situation clearly and is willing and able to openly critique the King's actions.  Something similar occurs with the soldiers in Henry V, who critique the war in a way no one close to the king will.  I realized that the internet critics were doing something similar, and maybe even this has to do with the point Shakespeare was making in the first place. 
 It’s been hard to figure out just where to go from here, but Micah, who had research this fool character, mentioned that, “We do the same thing on social media. We criticize what people post. We question. We dislike. And oddly, in the act of doing so, of forming this dialogue and questioning the established voice, we reinforce the established voice. Shakespeare does this with fools and references to plays within his works, proving the folly even of playwrights.”  These are all things I need to think about as I write my paper, especially how voice is used on the internet compared to the way voice is given to common characters in the play, or even how Shakespeare's used his own voice as a critique.
Here I found a Wikipedia webpage about the fool character that game me some good background and has some interesting connected sources, and then I found this interesting article that might help me think about social media and critiquing society.  


  1. I love this idea. It's as if you've brought this entire semester to some poetic ending. You're essentially writing a paper on our class experiment of engaging with informal media sources and I think it's fabulous. You're obviously still fleshing out the details but I'm really excited to see where you take this. Good Luck!

    1. Wow, thanks for the comment. I really hope I can make this work out how I want it to.