Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Power of Appearance

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For my paper I’ve decided to talk about how appearance is more powerful and important than reality. I began my research by looking into the cultural beliefs about appearance and reality at the time. I found this website, and this book that talk about the cultural situation at the time, and it mentions that there was a law that forbid people of lower classes from wearing rich or expensive materials. For the most part this wasn’t an issue because the low class couldn’t afford the expensive materials anyway, which makes it even more interesting that they would go to all the effort to make a law forbidding it. This shows some of 16th century England’s preoccupation about appearance, they believed that appearance was reality, and so forbid anyone from wearing clothes that would hide reality.

In the slack conversation Shelby Ward suggested I explore how this principle is still true today. I think this would be very interesting to see how appearance is more powerful than reality especially in wake of the presidential election, which seems to be almost all about appearance and very little about reality. I found this article that discusses why appearance has so much power in Much Ado about Nothing. It argues that people rely too much on what they see and their ability to reason, and this allows for deception, however when people put that aside and take a more intuitive, faith based approach to life they are less likely to be deceived. I think this is very applicable to my topic and how the characters in Much Ado About Nothing put too much import on what they think they see, appearances, and it is also applicable to the modern world where we put more emphasis on what we see than what actually is.   


  1. This is a really awesome topic! I'm studying this topic in another class right now and it's crazy how often this comes up in texts, universally. So, I think one thing you could do is just to reference more than one text and it will be a great paper! Good luck!

  2. This is a neat idea! It's like the saying to not judge a book by its cover, though that tends to still happen. I am interested in seeing where this goes!