Much Ado About Acting
Monday was an exciting day. We started it off with a discussion like we do most days. Before we attended a play in the evening, though, we did a little acting ourselves. Each group was assigned a scene from Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare to perform in front of the class. Everyone did a very good job at portraying their characters and we had we had a good ol’ time watching their interpretations.
Much Ado About History and Science
After that we had time to explore London by ourselves. Many people went to Tower of London. The Tower, which dates from the early 1000s AD, has a somewhat bloody history. Today, though, its function is to hold the crown jewels and to showcase the Tower’s history (including full suits of armor and torture devices). Over the last few days, a few of us have taken advantage of the Natural History Museum, which is free and conveniently located right across the street from our hotel. The exhibits include mammals, amphibians, dinosaurs, birds, and geology. There was a 10-foot-tall mechanical T-rex that moved and growled. Elijah’s favorite jewel from the geology exhibit was an Australian opal. A small group went to Abbey Road, made famous by The Beatles in their iconic album cover.
Much Ado About Nothing
We ended the day together by attending the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) performance of Much Ado About Nothing later that evening. The RSC presented their version of Much Ado as a companion piece to Love’s Labours Lost, which we saw last week. In fact, the RSC decided to add a subtitle to Much Ado, titling the performance Much Ado About Nothing: or, Love’s Labours Won. The same cast did both plays, and much of the set was the same. Overall, the play was hilarious and the director’s choice for how to portray the characters was unexpected.
Much to Discuss
We had a lively discussion about Much Ado About Nothing on Tuesday morning. We found several different ethical problems, including when it is justifiable to act on hearsay and how different definition of justice can change the ethics of a situation. For example, in Much Ado, one character publicly shames his fiancé at their wedding based on rumors he heard of her infidelity. We discussed whether he was right to do so, whether the fiancé’s cousin was justified in asking for extreme revenge, and whether dueling is an ethical way to achieve honor and resolve conflict.
Much More to Come!
After discussion on Tuesday, some of us went to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the aquarium, a home at the end of Hampstead Heath with a view of the Thames Valley, and the Florence Nightingale museum. Full reports on those experiences are still to come.
Until next time!