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August 12, 2020, 10:48:34 am

Author Topic: English Advanced Module A Textual Conversations  (Read 191 times)

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jamison.nelson

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English Advanced Module A Textual Conversations
« on: July 01, 2020, 07:37:21 pm »
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Hello,
Tomorrow I have an essay due and I'm just wondering if someone can look over it and provide any tips/feedback just to bump up the level of sophistication? It would be very helpful :)

Justin_L

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Re: English Advanced Module A Textual Conversations
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 07:48:18 pm »
+1
Hey jamison.nelson,

You can post your essay on the AN Marking and Feedback Forum (https://atarnotes.com/forum/index.php?board=2579.0) to get a response from a lot of other users.

Otherwise, since it's due tomorrow feel free to post here or DM it to me in sometimes in the next few hours for a quick response since I happen to be free right now.

EDIT: You didn't mention your Mod A texts so a quick disclaimer that my help might be limited since I might not have done them
« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 07:51:13 pm by Justin_L »

jamison.nelson

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Re: English Advanced Module A Textual Conversations
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 07:58:01 pm »
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My texts are 'Hag-Seed' by Margaret Atwood and 'The Tempest' by Shakespeare :)

Justin_L

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Re: English Advanced Module A Textual Conversations
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 08:32:33 pm »
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Question
 In what ways does Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed reimagine Shakespeare’s The Tempest?

Stimulus
"Texts converse with one another. They have a dialogue with prior texts,
consciously or unconsciously."
-Phyllis Frus

All composers reimagine and reframe texts in different ways and for different reasons. When composers reimagine texts, there is a noticeable dialogue with the older text, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously.
Margaret Atwood’s, ‘Hag-Seed’ (2016), is a novel that converses with Shakespeares, ‘The Tempest’ (1611), focusing on the metatheatricality of the play, intertextually and consciously referencing the performative nature along with the exploration of one’s pursuit of power with vengeful intentions, through the imprisonment of others, both physical and psychological. [This sentence goes on for too long, either shorten it or split it into two]
Throughout the novel, Atwood also reimagines the characters within ‘The Tempest’ through her contemporary adaptations within her own characters.
Additionally, Atwood explores the comedic aspects within the performance of the play but explores the psychological darkness through the plot. [Feel like this could be phrased more succinctly]
Atwood adapts, reimagines and explores ‘The Tempest’  to raise the question of “what it means to be human” which has been articulated within many interviews. [Rewrite to be of a an overall summary, no need to talk about context]


Within Atwood’s focus on the metatheatricality of ‘The Tempest’, she draws attention to how and why individuals seek power, through appropriation, in order to relate to the modern audience. The conversation within ‘Hag-Seed’ highlights the obsession with power and control due to the desire for revenge. However, due to the different contexts, ‘Hag-Seed’ explores the use of theatre and technology as a tool for revenge opposed to magic as magic obviously is quite unrealistic. Felix’s characterisation supports this, underlining his obsession with theatre due to the accessibility to the power and control given to a director, “These are real people. They are not ciphers in your aesthetic of drama, they are not your experimental mice, they are not your playthings.”Atwood also highlights the treatment of the prisoners, proving them to be lesser than and easier to manipulate for Felix’s revenge plot, similar to Prospero’s control over Ariel.  Furthermore, Felix manipulates 8handz desire for freedom into working for him,”If you fix up what I have in mind...I’m pretty sure I can get you early parole.” Atwood has consciously highlighted the resonances in the extents of which both Felix and Prospero will go to for revenge along with power dynamic within the relationship between them and 8handz/Ariel. The irony in “I’m going under Mr.Duke for this job, i thought it would be a lot less intimidating”, poses Felix to seem equal in power, when “Mr Duke” is actually an allusion to Prospero’s former political status as “Duke of Milan”. Felix manipulates the people around him, particularly the prisoners, and their perception of him in order to gain power and control over them, similarly to how Prospero poses himself as equal to Ariel. Within Atwood’s contextualisation, she has consciously drawn attention to the resonances of the ways in which characters seek power, highlighting the disonances due to context.
[Good integration of texts within your body paragraph]

Furthermore, within Atwoods conscious adaptation, she exposes Shakespeare’s unconscious exploration of the pursuit of power and the desire for revenge within ‘The Tempest’. The unconscious exploration of Anotonio’s and Prospero’s obsession with political power, reflects Shakespeare’s context, but throughout the play, Prospero uses magic and illusions [Would recommend splitting into two sentences and removing commas to make this flow better] to gain control and power over all the characters, using it as a tool for revenge. Prospero’s power of magic and illusions come from magical items along with his control over Ariel and other characters. Similarly to ‘Hag-Seed’, Prospero manipulates Ariel’s desire for freedom and his perception of Prospero’s “goodness”,“Dost thou forget from what a torment I did free thee?” in response to “Is there more toil?... Let me remember thee what thou hast promised,Which is not yet perform'd me.” Furthermore, Caliban reinforces the power of Prospero’s art and control, ”I must obey; his art of such power”. Prospero’s use of alchemy and Ariel as a weapon for revenge is also highlighted within Felix’s conscious conversation within ‘Hag-Seed’, “He doesn’t have any obedient elementals backing him up, he has no real alchemy. He has no weapons.” Throughout the play, Prospero continues to brag about his power that comes from his alchemy and Ariel, proving himself to be a powerful being, “My high charms work And these mine enemies are all knit up In their distractions; they now are in my power.” Shakespeare’s unconscious exploration of power and desire for revenge is a reflection of context which Atwood appropriated to fit the post-modern audience, achieving an understanding of the resonances and dissonances within the ways in which pursuing power is relevant to context.
[Paragraph is a bit short and also quote heavy. Would recommend cutting down on quotes or adding more analysis to compensate.]

[Should these two paragraphs be merged?]
Additionally, power is also gained through the imprisonment of others, both physical and psychological, highlighted within Atwood’s post-modern adaptation.
Atwood’s conscious decision to contextualise the majority of her novel within a prison, is due to her belief and support for education within prisons.
[Is this relevant? Can this be proved? There doesn't seem to be much evidence to back this up. While you can talk about Atwood's decision to contextualise her novel in a prison, I think saying she believes/supports education in prisons is taking it a bit far in that it's not supported by textual evidence and not particularly relevant]
When Felix addresses the ‘The Tempest’ to the prisoners, he even points out “It’s about prisons”, this also proves the characters’ conversation and awareness of the performativity of ‘The Tempest’.
When Felix “exiles” himself, he becomes physically and psychologically imprisoned and is self-aware of it, ”Break out of your cell. You need a real world connection.”
[Recommend working on integrating your quotes in a more natural fashion, for example "Felix is self aware that he is blah bah, as evidenced by his advice to x to "break out of your cell..." etc etc]
Due to Felix’s psychotic breakdown he not only psychologically imprisons himself, he also entraps a ghost-like version of his deceased daughter Miranda, who becomes an embodiment of Ariel. [Evidence?]
Felix’s entrapment of his daughter is a result of her powerlessness with not being able to let her go, until the ending, “What has he been thinking—keeping her tethered to him all his time? Forcing her to do his bidding? How selfish he has been!” Furthermore, “She’s sad to have seen the last of all those wondrous people inside their brave new world” directly alludes to Miranda’s speech within ‘The Tempest’, “O brave new world, That has such people in't!”, proving the resonances within both texts. Atwood's adaptation of Miranda enhances the psychological darkness within the novel and even the play, making it more understandable and relatable to the post-modern audience, as magic is not as realistic. It becomes clear that Miranda is an embodiment of Ariel towards the end of the performance of the play, she directly recites Ariel’s lines, “I would, sir, were i human” in response to 8handz question “Don’t you feel sorry for them?” Ultimately, Atwood’s conscious exploration and appropriation of psychological and physical prisons within ‘The Tempest’, highlights the ways in which texts reflect composers’ beliefs and morals, meanwhile highlighting the resonances and dissonances created due context.

Contrasting to Atwood’s conscious and literal exploration of imprisonment, Shakespeare’s unconscious exploration is relevant to the context and audience, and is even considered relevant to Shakespeare’s farewell from working in theatre. Atwood’s decision to reimagine ‘The Tempest’ and her focus on imprisonment came from the last three words of the play “set me free”, sparking her realization that all characters are in some sort of prison. One prison is Prospero’s control over Ariel. Throughout the play, Ariel is portrayed as this high being, Prospero uses him for his magic. Although Ariel is portrayed this way, in reality he is really serving Prospero just for his own freedom, “What is't thou canst demand?” in which Ariel responds “My liberty.”  The island becomes obviously representative of a physical imprisonment which is enhanced through Prospero’s conversation with Miranda, ”canst thou remember a time before we came unto this cell?” Atwoods adaptation allows the audience to see the complexity of the play and presents us with the fact that Ariel influenced Prospero’s forgiveness of his enemies, “Your charm so strongly works 'em That if you now beheld them, your affections Would become tender.” That also leaves Prospero to see how good Ariel was to him, which instantly makes him set Ariel free, ”Was’t well done?” with Prospero’s response “Bravely my diligence. Thou shalt be free.” Shakespeare’s exploration of imprisonment and entrapment is considered to be a reflection of his own feelings towards his work. Similar to Atwood, Shakespeare reflects his personal life into his work through performativity and appealing to the audience suited to his context and time.
[These two lines could be rewritten to sound less like exposition and with more sophisticated language]

Atwood’s adaptation and reimagination of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, 1611, within her novel ‘Hag-Seed’, 2016, [No need to restate years after introduction] directly exposes us to the complexity and metatheatricality of the play, allowing us to notice the resonances and dissonances between the two texts, along with the performative aspects. Atwood’s conscious adaptation of Shakespeare’s unconscious exploration of the pursuit of power, with vengeful intentions, through the imprisonment of others, both physical and psychological, links to Atwood’s question of what it means to be human. The answer being, the freedom and forgiveness of others, along with self-awareness. [Not the standard structure for a conclusion but seems to fit the task.]

Overall pretty good, decent analysis and integration of texts. Make sure any statements you make are supported by textual evidence. I can't assess your actual argument because I don't study Tempest or Hagseed, so the main issues I outlined were in relation to word choice or structure. As always, this is my opinion only and you don't have to take any of the advice here if you don't want to. Hope this helps!


« Last Edit: July 01, 2020, 08:41:38 pm by Justin_L »

jamison.nelson

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Re: English Advanced Module A Textual Conversations
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 09:26:15 pm »
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Thankyou :) this has helped me so much!