Iâ€™m feeling really positive about Phase 2.Â Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s just the excitement of actually being able to reap the rewards that the other tools offer or what, but I am feeling a lot less limited with our opportunities this time around and Iâ€™m ready to get down to business!
The main thing that was on my mind before our first group meeting was the act itself.Â We have been assigned Act 1. Â Everyone knows the standard outline for Plot Development. Â You’ve got your exposition, initial incident, rising action, climax, etc. In my mind, itâ€™s super difficult to analyze the first act because itâ€™s kind of like the appetizer to the meat and potatoes of the play.Â All the good stuff happens in the middle, so it would seem, and the first act is more about establishing the characters, the back-story, and the setting than giving us anything really juicy to actually analyzeÂ (and now Iâ€™ve made myself hungry by talking aboutÂ Shakespeare, great).
Sorry, I had to.
It was much to my relief that my fellow groups members had also been feeling skeptical about having Act 1 as our text to analyze, you can read Richelleâ€™s post about it (written before we had our first team meeting) here.Â As soon as we started discussing the situation as a group, we collectively came up with a solid game-plan by which we would tackle Phase 2. We like to call it our POA (plan of action). I know, we are pretty cool. Thereâ€™s no need to be jealous of our POA.Â Iâ€™m sure you have a great one too!
Basically our Plan of Action is this: we are going to focus on how the characters have developed throughout the play, but apply a comparison of these changes to our initial reactions to the characters in Act 1.Â We are going to attempt to work our tools into a cohesive relationship in which they can all pick up each otherâ€™s slack, if you will.Â By having this theme or question as an overall â€œumbrellaâ€ as Ruby described it, it really helps us narrow down what we will want to be searching for and determining as Phase 2 ensues.Â We discussed as a team that staying strictly to Act 1 and nothing else makes it a bit impossible to analyze anything.Â Concepts such as foreshadow and character motives canâ€™t be pointed out if we do not know what happens later on in the play.Â Since we obviously do know what happens later on, itâ€™s not like we are going to just turn a blind eye and act oblivious to the rest of the play! If we take what we know about whom the characters develop into and compare it to Act 1, we can use our tools to analyze the journey from where they started and try to pinpoint the roots that lead to their fate later on in the play.
After seeing the groups in Phase 1 present all of the pros and cons of their tools, Iâ€™m really interested to see how everyone is able to make things work in Phase 2.Â I wonder if all of the teams will use very similar tactics, or if the methods we all decide to use to combine our tools will be extremely varied.Â I am crossing my fingers in hopes that we can find a happy medium between all of the tools so that each one finds its own role in our analysis. I think this way of approaching Act 1 by attempting to combine all of our tools will really set us up for success.Â We are bound to run into some snags here and there, but hopefully putting our 5 minds together with knowledge of 5 different tools can really work to our advantage and help us analyze Hamlet to the best of our abilities.