We all heard about Shakespeare somehow. Some of us like him, some of us don't. But some of us, including me, have a passion about him. My passion has started during my university years. Because it was the first time I've read his works in English. As soon as I read one line from one of his plays, my mind just blew away. It was a like a first kiss; magical, fascinating, breath-taking..
I was looking for a course for my taste in Coursera to study later. That's when I saw a course called "Shakespeare In Community". I didn't even hesitate to hit the Join the Class button, even though I have a lot of study to do already. It was like a dream came true.
The course was designed to study Shakespeare as a community. But we're not talking about a traditional studying. The course suggests that there is no specific Shakespeare. It's about discovering your Shakespeare. It's about discovering and improving your way of thinking and looking at things.
Here's an introduction video of the course.
This is the playlist link of the course videos for those who wonder: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLK7f2NlWMXYDRfV2fDTyjgx8hbh75dEnn
We discussed millions of things, like his poetry, the way he uses the ambiguity, sexual references, adaptations, usage of media, feminism, love concept, nature, language of films, digital analysis and many many more things. I'm really appreciated that they did this in a community. Otherwise it wouldn't make such a difference in our lives. I loved "the interaction and the mental challenge" as one of my classmates said.
We also had a few assignments which are very very enjoyable, eye-opening and inspiring. We made analysis, broke stuff, used digital analysis tools, and shot short movies or record voices. Each time I looked at things very differently and got closer and closer to MY Shakespeare, to myself, to other people. I could literally feel that my brain is changing.
I've been associating the mansion with Shakespeare somehow. Those stories, all kinds of lives, memories and people from all time, all the history, the woods which Shakespeare uses a lot make me think about Shakespeare's plays. I recently shared a photo of the garden on Instagram with the caption that says "Stand and unfold yourself" which is one of the quotes of Shakespeare.
|"Stand and unfold yourself"|
It also has several meanings like most of his words or lines have. One meaning speaks to the character in the play, and the other meaning speaks to the audience. He asks the audience, the people, "Who are you really?" , and tells "Don't be shy or afraid to tell who you are. I won't judge you. I won't ask questions if you don't want me to. But be honest and tell me about yourself. And I'll just listen to you." and maybe he simply wants people to accept themselves as they are. I always feel like this mansion is where I can be myself, we can be ourselves, without being judged.
As a final project for the course, I shot a really amateur short movie. I used the garden of the mansion and shores of Gerze. I wanted to link the beginning and the end of Romeo and Juliet since the beginning of the play tells the end of it.
This is the prologue I used:
Two households, both alike in dignity
(In fair Verona, where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-marked love
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children’s end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage—
The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.
Here's my video:
"Everyone has their own doomsday. This is Romeo and Juliet's."
I used empty shots to express the creepiness and melancholy, to highlight that something very bad happened and everything changed, which was a reference to my very first analysis before reading the play and even beginning the class.
Here it is:
(We were asked to express what the line reminds us and makes us feel.)
VORTEX OF AMBIGUITY
"Two households, both alike in dignity"