Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Unsettling Twist

For my event this week I went to see “Two Gentlemen in Verona” by the National Shakespeare Center.  I generally like play’s and this one was no exception.  What was unusual about this performance was they left the lights on for the entirety of the show.  A performer explained that is makes the audience feel more connected to the performers.  “Two Gentlemen in Verona” is a shakespearean comedy that tells the story of two friends, both in love with different women.  
Proteus, the main character, is in love with Julia and stays to be with her while his friend Valentine goes to Milan.   While in Milan Valentine falls in love with the Duke of Milan’s daughter, Silvia.  Upon meeting Silvia, Proteus fails in love with her.   Proteus completely forget's about Julia and breaks Valentine and Silvia apart. By the end of the play Proteus see’s what he is doing is wrong and goes back to Julia.  Although the play has a happy ending, Proteus’ quick ability to change his emotions are unsettling and sad.   
In Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” the main character, Fortunato is killed by the narrator, Montresor, because he betrayed him.  In the short story Montresor invites Fortunato down to have a glass of wine in his cellar.  Once they get down to the cellar Montresor knocks Fortunato out and puts him in the wall.  The reader is not aware of what Fortunato did to Montresor for him to kill him, but the death is still sad and unexpected.  Montresor’s emotions got the best of him and he was determined to kill Fortunato.
“My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke is about a man reminiscing on his childhood.  He describes dancing with his father when he was a young boy. This poem has a sad undertone to it because his father has clearly been drinking.  The narrator makes references that his father might have also been in a fight with his one battered knuckle.  The author is overcome with emotions from his childhood, but it casts a sad light over the memories.   
The last poem is “Cincinnati” by Mitsuye Yamada and tells the story a person going to the city to be herself.  The poem takes a dark turn however when we discover the racism in Cincinnati.  She describe people spitting on her a throwing insults like “dirty jap”.  The poem also represents sadness because she just wanted to be her own person and not a stereotype.  The narrator is so overcome with sadness in the poem that she describes wiping away the tears.

All of the plays, poems and short stories above represent the sadness in emotions even if they are indirect.  Before I went to see the play I was expecting a light hearted comedy without much adversity.  The ending gave me a sadness when Julia took Proteus back so quickly.  The poems and short story complemented the sadness and strong emotions I felt in the play.

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