Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Garrett Fisher's Annotated Bibliography #1

Share it Please
My paper is going to be focused on authority and responsibility. These are themes I've studied in the past and find interest in how they affect people. Shakespeare plays are filled with characters with either great authority, responsibility, or both. How they react to this varies in different ways. This also seems appropriate for today's time, especially in light of recent political fervor surrounding the presidential election, when a lot of people don't agree with authority, or the media seems to shirk its responsibility. Regardless, I think it will tie very well into our own society. My working thesis is this: "Though responsibility is usually seen as something that people choose or accept, Shakespeare's characters show this theme of responsibility as a more guiding factor, where responsibility is actually the thing that control's people's choices." Hopefully this makes some sense, and I'd love some feedback. My working title: "The Regal Responsibility: A Look at Authority in Shakespeare"

Sources: Social Sources (homies)

I posted to Facebook with ideas about responsibility in Shakespeare plays, pleading for a scholarly discussion in a place recently filled with political tension. Many of my friends responded well, and I may talk with them more about their ideas!

Ethan Cox
Ethan is a friend of a couple years that I still see every week. He brought up a great point about responsibilities in the plays that clash. Some plays, like King Lear, show the French and the British, with differing responsibilities that meet in the battlefield, while other plays show these clashes in different ways. It was an intriguing idea that I could talk further with him about.

Dakota Williams
Dakota is a coworker and friend. She suggested that Hamlet shows how responsibility to one's self can overtake the responsibility to the greater good. This is an idea that I think I will explore in my paper.

Connor Searing
Connor is a friend from my mission. He mentioned the importance of humility, noting that sometimes in the plays authority is good and sometimes it is corrupt.

Jewel Marsh
Jewel is also a friend from a few years ago, and who I haven't seen in a while. So it was good to hear from her. She mentioned that in Macbeth, Macbeth gives the witches a lot of authority. Is this because of their title? It was an interesting thought. How much authority and responsibility just comes from a title?

Sala Farris
Sala is a friend and previous coworker. She shared some examples, but basically narrowed it down to the fact that power and authority don't mean anything by themselves. I'll have to look further into this idea for sure.


Disguised King Henry and the Common Soldiers, pbs learning media, utah.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/hc13.ela.lit.henking/henry-v-what-makes-a-king/.

This performance is from the scene in King Henry when the soldiers and the King talk about the responsibilities of the soldier. This scene is one of the only times Shakespeare seems to address this issue head on and directly, and therefore is very useful to me.

I don't want this next performance to seem like a cop out, but after discussing these ideas with my friends, a few of them mentioned Hamlet. As I've been reading it, it does seem to involve itself more in my paper than I had at first assumed. Hamlet is facing different responsibilities—a duty as the prince of the kingdom, and a duty as the son of a murdered king. Does his revenge overtakes the first set of duties, or is it a part of them? Because of these questions and this application, I want to use the Hamlet play I'll be viewing tomorrow night as a source.

Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. National Theatre, London.

(sources in MLA 8th ed.)


  1. I like your focus, though your thesis is a little confusing. maybe you could try "Though responsibility is usually seen as something that people choose or accept, Shakespeare's characters show that responsibility is more of a guiding factor that controls people's choices." I'm not sure if that makes more sense, but it seems more concise.

  2. I like the way you are incorporating the current politics as a way of making Shakespeare even more relevant. I am talking about a little bit about legitimacy and the spiritual duty of a king in my paper and came across this article. You might check it out I think it could be of use to you. It sounds like the "charisma" it talks about might relate to your idea of responsibility.
    Bezio, Kristin M.S. "Drama & Demigods: Kingship and Charisma in Shakespeare's England." Academia.edu - Share Research. Religions, 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

    Charisma - sort of an idea of grace that is granted to the king, by God when he performs his duties, sort of a manifestation of divine right
    Spiritual side of monarchy

  3. Oops sorry, the last line about charisma is my note/interpretation of the article which may of may not be relevant/correct for your interpretation.

  4. You have had a lot of conversations with friends about your topic--that's awesome! Have you been able to find any enthusiasts or experts?