My First Undergraduate Shakespeare Essay: The Mystery is a Result of the Richness
|Hieronimo's post below and Simplicius' (Simplicii?) reply got me thinking about my own early efforts to engage with Shakespeare as an undergraduate. For the first time in many, many years, I checked my wayback machine (i.e., the folder on my hard drive marked "College") and found the following, written for a survey class during the first semester of my freshman year. I hope my co-bloggers will offer up some samples of their own early work? I doubt that they will be able to top mine.|
The title of the essay really tells you everything you need to know: "The Morality of Falstaff." Here are the first few paragraphs. I promise, in all seriousness: I have not altered a word of it.
Falstaff has always been a favorite character of Shakespeare enthusiaists. His ambiguous motives and sparkling wit have inspired many a heated debate over coffee in smoky cafes. They will also inspire me to write a brilliant essay.Shakespeare enthusiasts in smoky cafes?? Fat people are evil?? What was I, high?
I sucked! I would give this a C- if I was feeling generous! To think that I remember that class only for the unending sourness of the graduate student instructor. No wonder he was in such a bad mood. In any case, this just reinforces what H and S have been saying. When we complain about the disintegrating skills of incoming students, we are romanticizing our own past skills, forgetting the huge crowds of disinterested students of which we were often members, and essentially dismissing young writers (I would have dismissed my young self immediately) who probably should not be dismissed. I hereby pledge to refrain from posting snarky comments about student writing. Until next semester.
See all y'all at the smoky cafe for a heated debate over coffee.