Friday, August 8, 2008

My, My Moliere

This is the program art for "Taming of the Shrew." I fell in love with it!! Look how their souls float about each other and take each other in! Passion, beauty, and in the end, respect!

OK, on to the meat of the blog...

I love art.
I love Moliere.
I love Shakespeare.
I love pretending I am a peasant paying a penny for a standing seat and speaking in a British accent.
I love buying Elizabethan pastries and booing Iago from a replica of the Globe theater.
I love taking my tenth graders to the Shakespeare Festival and seeing them grow and gain knowledge and show enthusiasm and excitement!

Most of all...I love being a tenth grade English teacher, and while giving a funny Shakespeare anecdote, suddenly seeing someone familiar....MY tenth grade English teacher!

I have not seen this woman since I was 15 years old. And there she was. Can I tell you the wonder and excitement of seeing her.

"Excuse me, you were my tenth grade English teacher."

"Oh my goodness! Yes I was! This is amazing, remind me of your name again."


"Yes, I remember you, what an AMAZING, talented, gifted, beautiful (ok, embellished story at this point, what can I say, it's what I do) you were! So, what are you up to?"

"Well, this is SO fun to tell you. But I am now a tenth grade English teacher and these are my students! I have brought them to the festival to learn and enjoy."

The look on her face was priceless...I think the greatest desire of a teacher's heart is to know that somewhere, somehow she made a difference to someone.

"And, because of you, all of these students can quote Anthony's 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen' speech. I made them memorize it, just as you did me!"

The first play we saw was an AMAZING version of "The Taming of the Shrew" (set in Italy in 1946). I have to admit, the first half of this play, with Kate's spunky independence (this one played less violently than Elizabeth Taylor) is so enjoyable! I love the energy, the words, the fun that the two characters have...but it has always made me sad that Kate had to be tamed. I didn't want her to kiss her husbands boots or her lose her wild nature. The morning after I saw it, I woke up early for breakfast at the hotel. I shared a table with two older women..they began to rant against women who don't give their husbands enough. "Feminism has ruined the American family! Women should be more grateful for their mate. What's wrong with waiting on your husband? This play speaks truth." I sat there and took it all in. I had some thoughts. They both looked to me for a comment...I just held up my bare ring finger and said, "I have yet to be tamed." That's all I could get was an interesting perspective. But the play also played it well...great play on words, eh? The director, the only woman director of the festival, really was able to convey not a taming of sorts, but a mutual affection, adoration, and love that the two developed. I loved it.

Monday evening was "The School For Wives". A delightful production. Moliere is the Shakespeare of France! I have quite the crush on him! If I could pick one person from history to have a torrid affair with, it would be him.

“It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right.”
“To live without loving is not really to live.”
“People can be induced to swallow anything, provide it is sufficiently seasoned with praise”

Stunning. We saw this outside in the Globe. It was raining, we sat through it, the actors pretended it wasn't there. We went to a session with the actors the following morning in which they discussed their motivations and the acting process. We were all enthralled. Othello said that he isn't usually a method actor, but that on the death scene with Desdemona, a prop person had forgotten to remove Cassius's hat. It was on the corner of the bed where she was sleeping. He said it really struck him, caused such anger in him while in character that the death scene that night was probably the most intense they have ever done. My students and I were in awe at this tragedy of tragedies.

We studied "Cyrano de Bergerac" last year in school. The students were MOST excited to see this. They had all the background knowledge. They had acted it out. They had analyzed it. And now they were seeing it for real. It was amazing.

I've seen this musical a thousand times, but this magnificent production made it feel like it was the first. I haven't been part of this story in such a way since I was a child. It was a great finale to our trip.

Yesterday morning, before we left, we were invited to see a read through of a new play about Leonardo da Vinci. In it three characters from his paintings come to life. They talk to him and they ask him to justify his art. They put him on trial in a sense, trying to get to the core of what caused this greatest of inventors and thinkers to create and do what he did.

That's an interesting idea I've been thinking about, if the characters I create through writing and painting could come and speak to me, what would they say? What would yours say? Have you ever had a conversation with something you've created?


Rowena said...

Hey D'arcy! How can you write about so many things that I want to respond to in one post??? No fair.

I LOVE hearing your stories of teaching Shakespeare. I loved teaching Shakespeare to my 9th 10th and 11th graders. We didn't go to a festival, alas... Because of me, there was a school full of inner city teenagers who thought Shakespeare was awesome. Even if I didn't teach the kids, my students' enthusiasm spread.

My first experience with teaching Shakespeare was as a Student teacher, when we had the "bad" kids, left in class on trip day, so we decided to do a Jerry Springer version of Othello. The rest of the class, even the school, was so jealous. That was my turning point in getting a resistant class to want to learn what we were teaching.

And I do love your meditations on feminism, marriage, conservativism, religion, spirituality, women, men, partnership. It's such a complicated issue, I don't know why we have a tendency to paint it with black and white.

And yes I have done "interviews" with my characters and have always come up with surprising and interesting details that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

Jenn said...

That is so neat about running into your 10th grade english teacher and being able to show her what an influence she had on you!

I'm sure that made her day for many days to come.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Wonderful post, D'Arce! Lots of "meat" in here!

I LOVE the fact that you saw your 10th grade English teacher, and had the opportunity to tell her that YOU were now a 10th grade English teacher. Wow.... I wish we had a "YouTube" clip of that moment... I can only imagine what an amazing conversation that was for both of you! I bet that made her whole YEAR. Seriously. I have a feeling that will go down as one of the highlights of her teaching career. Very cool indeed.

I've always LOVED Shakespeare. MacBeth, Othello, Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, etc., etc. Love them all.

I'll sometimes sit down, when I need a work break, and just read some sonnets and savor them. Roll the words over in my mind like sweet, succulent berries.


Bill S. rocks.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Okay, I can already tell I am going to be the only one commenting who does NOT like Shakespeare...which is ludicrous, I know, because I LOVE English Lit with a passion. But I loathe Shakespeare and his plays. All of them...except Taming of the Shrew. I actually almost enjoyed that one. His comedies entertain me a smidgen more than his tragedies. I know everyone probably will chalk it up to my being uncultured and dull-minded, but I really love Oscar Wilde and other English playwrights. Just not Shakespeare.

D'Arce, I can't hold back. The floodgates are breaking. You KNOW how I feel about marriage...I've told you WAY too much about mine. But I can't help but feel too much antagonism toward marriage and men from you than I think they deserve. I really, really think this world would be a better place (men included! marriage too!) if both men and women squelched their hostility toward each other and just treated each other with kindness and respect and gentle words and patience (note: I did not say subservience).

I can already feel the heat from everyone else who reads these comments on your blog. I secretly derive a sick satisfaction in playing the part of the devil's advocate. It's made all the easier for me to do so via internet rather than face to face with all of these people! Ha!

That said, I really LOVED your post. I loved that you met your teacher. And that you are now a teacher with such passion.

D'Arcy said...

Rowena!! Are you serious? Othello--the Jerry Springer version? This sounds awesome!! I cant wait to steal that for this upcoming school year.

I had a feeling you get to know your characters very well!

Jenn--Thanks for stopping by my blog! It's always so good to hear from you. Wasn't that cool about my English teacher!? I couldn't have planned it better myself. Those moments make life super sweet!

HWHL--yes, the sonnets are like fresh berries, the words like chocolate to my soul, the ideas always fresh and life giving.. I love Bill S.!!

Jenn Fletcher!!! You Devil's Advocate you! That's the role I love playing in my classroom, getting them to think outside their boxes.

Let me clarify!! I love men! I love them deeply! I respect them immensely. I have had broken hearts year after year because of the love and trust I put into the men in my life. I don't hate them. I don't disrespect them. I cherish the good ones I meet and long to fill my life with one special one that can take me as I am.

Now, I didn't mean for this to come across as a feminist rant (and heaven knows I don't shy away from those!!). I just think women throughout time are fascinating...some have no problem with being treated with less than they much as I believe there is good in the world, i also believe there are many men who treat women unkindly, unjustly, and subservient. I have seen it far too often. I think the two women i spoke with that morning were completely content in their life choices and I am completely content in mine, and we differ, and that is ok....I don't need to change them, they don't need to change me.

I mean, come on Jenn, the title of the play has the word SHREW in it. Shakespeare writes of this independent girl and calls her a shrew and only merits her value once she gets married and obeys her husband (to the point where if he says that the moon is really the sun, then she must say it is the sun). That's a reflection of where the world once was, and it has come a long way...

My main point was that this was the first production where I felt that the "Shrew" actually was able to keep most of herself intact, while having that respectful relationship. And that was awesome...seriously the best production ever!

Also, you were an ENGLISH major--how can you NOT adore Shakespeare....even a little, just the tiniest bit...anything?

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Our A/C broke today and I am listless and bored, so here I am to respond.

No, D'Arce. I don't like Shakespeare. Not even a little bit. I think his plots are shallow and his characters are under-developed. But I generally have a difficult time with plays for that very reason--I relish thorough character development, and you can't do that in a script meant to be preformed in just a few hours. I guess that is why I only like comic plays. Who cares about the characters! Just make me laugh!

The guy thing. Of course you like the NICE guys! That's not a very difficult thing to do. (More of the devil's advocate here...I'm so bored tonight, I must do something to entertain myself, so please indulge me.) I keep thinking of my own little boys, though. And, by comparison, the other boys their age who attend the same school who have been raised by negligent mothers and/or fathers. In the last two years there have been a lot of kids that come from inner-city Chicago in an effort to flee the drugs there. But their parents have a difficult time breaking the cycle. When I volunteer at the school I am heartbroken by what I see. Those little boys...they turn hard at some point. Emotional defense mechanism, I think. They stop caring about hurting others because nobody cared whether or not they were hurt. I watch them--something in their eyes--when you acknowledge something good about them. A light illuminates there. Potential for something better. But it doesn't last because they aren't surrounded by that sort of positivity.

All I am saying is this. How much is negative speculation serving the world? No matter how much women have been hurt by men, how can dwelling on it or discussing it or even "philosophizing" about it benefit the world? What if there is even a small risk of propagating the problem because it would--in turn--send out a negative ripple that would make others get defensive or hurt or angry?

What is the best way to tackle this issue so that the world at large (or at small) could better be served? Any thoughts? This seems to be something I am always trying to discover, and my thoughts always seem to come back to the same sort of solutions: love those I have in my power to love, smile to the rest, show kindness always, give others the benefit of the doubt--not saying I always do these things, just saying I think they have a greater impact than philosophizing (sp?). What do you think?

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
I think it very cool you met your old teacher. Some magical synchronicity there.
Keep exploring D'Arcy. The world is a better place because when you ask the questions it makes us who choose to read think, consider, and hopefully grow. As Socrates wrote,roughly, "I know little but my own ignorance".
You keep on rocking peoples worlds

Sugar said...

A Christian friend of mine who is also a theater actress once gave me a copy of the scene where the shrew is tamed. She was always telling me to give in to the authority of my husband. I am still incredibly uncomfortable with that sort of talk. Especially when those same women use manipulation rather than cooperation as their language with the man they obviously resent.

Glad to hear you reconnected with your English teacher. My 10th grade English teacher was my absolute favorite... have never forgotten her.

HappyWifeHappyLife said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HappyWifeHappyLife said...

A response to the latter comments.... regarding marriage, male/female relationships, etc.

When marriage is done the way it's supposed to be done (ie: the Original Formula), it works.

The pastor of my church gave a wonderful message back in April on marriage and what true "Mutual Voluntary Submission" (ie: serving one another in love) looks like. If you're interested in listening to the message, it can be found at - click on Resources, Messages, then go back to 4/20/08.... you can burn a copy for free, or listen to it on your computer.
Or, you can view the PDF study notes:

That's my (remaining) 2 cents!

-Happy Wife

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

I just wanted to add that I was typing last night really late, I was really tired, and trying to entertain myself. It all came out with more passion than I general feel about these things.

I decided that the Socrates comment was cool. Debate and questioning definitely have a place, so long as blanket statements aren't made while passing through such a state of admitted ignorance.

I hope none of my comments sounded like an attack on you, D'Arce. Your explorations are totally valid. And really fun to read about.

I promise I won't over-comment any more. This was a one time thing. I promise. :)

Sugar said...

Jenn Fletcher! WOW! You are so passionate! I love that you wrote your heart out... I'm heading on over to your blog... gotta learn more about this empassioned person...

D'Arcy said...

Jenn!!!!! Don't you dare stop this exchange of ideas, and don't you dare apologize for your ideas and feelings. This is the reason I have a blog! Hello! How boring would it be to just have a sweet little place where people come and coo and coddle you and never say what they really think.

Girlfriend, you can dish it out, I can take it, and I can dish it right back, and this discussion is no where near bring it on!! Yeah!!!

First of all, I have to say that I am baffled by your disdain for Shakespeare, your belief that his characters are underdeveloped and plot lines dull......


this from the girl who reads Stephanie Meyer.....

'nuff said! :)

Now to the man issue, honey, I am blogging in my head write now the next blog entry for me that I will start writing it right after this comment.

I am a high school teacher...I interact with these lost souls every day, these men who aren't sure how to be men, and these women who don't know how to use their power and find their worth. That's a whole other issue.

But, there are MANY, MANY men in this world who do know what they are doing, who know right from wrong, who know how to hurt and how to love. And many, many, many of these men hurt the women they come into contact with. Whether it was my Christian boss who continually made comments about my blond hair and how I should be married and at home raising children, from the elders I interacted with on my mission who were upset when I outperformed them in every way and responded in anger and hurt to me with "I just don't understand why you are doing better, I mean we have the priesthood and you don't." To the men I have dated who were uncomfortable that I wanted a PhD, or I wanted to work, or I had a brain, or I called them on their crap, or I didn't understand why I couldn't have the priesthood too....

As a side note, did you know it is ok for a NON member to be the Sunday school president, but not a woman? That's right, many callings in the church can be held by men not even baptized into the religion but there is no place for a woman to have that calling. And what do I hear from the women, "Oh, we don't want THAT responsibility!" and a smile afterwards. Well, after I have served as the Sunday school freaking SECRETARY for over three years (until just recently when I quit!!) I can tell I was just as capable, if not MORE SO to be PRESIDENT of the Sunday School than the 21 year old who was put in, and who kept telling me to clear my lessons with him because it was "His sunday school, not mine". That is not right to me, it will never be right to me. The church, the world, does not hold women in equality and I can not sit back and take that lovingly.

To the million of experiences that happen to millions of women by men who should know better I say hell no will I respond with calm love, with understanding, with smiles. I will NOT be one of those women who must make things ok, who doesn't want to cause a stir, who needs to do everything in love and therefore not be a radical.

I will not be that woman in this world. I will be a woman who stands up, who isn't always careful not to ruffle feathers or cause embarrassment. I will not, I cannot do this or be this woman. If all women did this, we wouldn't have the vote, we wouldn't have the chance for education, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Ahem, talk about passion eh?

Alright girlfriend....bring it on!!!

D'Arcy said...

By the way....that WAS a feminist RANT!!

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Ha ha! I am laughing so hard! Thanks for not being mad at me. My turn, now!

(First, I want to say that I love that you welcome my debate rather than get hurt over it. Same goes with me.)

1. Stephenie Meyer! That was a good one! I am the FIRST to admit that she is a horrible writer. I still read all three books in 3 days flat. She's entertaining on a very shallow level. Book 4 sucked. I couldn't even finish it and hated it from page one.

2. The man thing AGAIN! I still disagree with you. And I promise you, I am NOT the sort of woman to say any of those things that you listed above with a smile on my face. I don't subscribe to the philosophy that "men can do no wrong". They ought to be held accountable when they have done so. That said, I still hold a somewhat idealist perspective and I REFUSE to give up on it.

My argument against you is this: Your opinion does not get
RESULTS. It does not improve your conditon.

An opinion is a dangerous thing because opinions propel us to act. If your opinion is making you act in a way that does not get results, then I must oppose it.

THIS is what I think could solve the problem (the plight of inequality for women). It will never actually happen--too idealistic, no matter how much I hold to it--but if everyone thought the same way I did, then this could actually get some real RESULTS!

Simplified, it goes something like this: if every woman (mother or otherwise) took every child and LOVED them and showed them their potential and taught them to respect woman (and men! and animals! and the environment! And chocolate!), if those children really felt validated and appreciated and special, then they would grow up trying to make this world a better place. Screw the men of this generation. It's over for them for the most part. But, if every woman did THIS for every child, then the next generation could save the world. Seriously, God gave the power to change the world to WOMEN--not men! (That is why I am totally at peace with the whole priesthood-thing. I feel God gave women equal--if not superior--power.) Mothers are the ones with the power to change the men of the next generation. DON'T ROLL YOUR EYES! Someday, my little Lincoln and Isaac will grow up to be the most gentlemanly, considerate, intelligent, hard-working, world-conscious, loving men around. I'm hell-bent on it. So far, I am succeeding! And if everyone had a mind to do what I am determined to do, then the greater part of the world's problems would evaporate.

Like I said, idealistic. I wish everyone was as idealistic as I am!

As far as the church leadership/priesthood stuff goes, I still hold firm to the belief that you either receive a witness that it is the truth (and if you do then you follow is a test, remember? The reward comes later) or else you don't receive a witness. That is not even an issue for me. I still feel the greater power was given to women. Not just in motherhood, but in influence. Not in a deceitful way, either, but in a Christlike way. There is great power in a woman who lives to improve the world. Mother Theresa is one example. Dispute THAT, D'Arcy!

D'Arcy said...

Alrighty, I will!!! I love a good challenge and this is fun.

1. You said, "Your opinion does not get RESULTS. It does not improve your condition."

Who says that my opinion doesn't get results? What proof is there to that? How do we know what one woman standing up against injustice will do for the truth, that's EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING IN RAISING YOUR BOYS!!!! Is it not???
However, I am NOT at all ready to give up on the men (and women) of our current generation. I am not ready to give up on the teenagers I teach. I am not ready to let the high school girls believe that their worth and value lie in being a wife and a mother. I do NOT want to devalue those roles, roles I both long for and desire, but roles that shouldn't take the place of the fact that we are each human, with wants and needs, and as human beings...we should be equal and equally treated....there is my idealism for you!!

Just go to NOW ( National Organization for Women) at, and what is the first article that comes up?

Victory! House Passes Historic Pay Equity Bill

That is a result, my friend, a huge result for women fighting for equality....which is at the root of my beliefs and my opinions and my desires.

Look at the things facing us, remember when Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was murdered? It was like I knew it was coming, but the shock of it all the same was heartbreaking. Did her brief run yield any results? They did in my life. She inspired me!! There is currently so much violence against women, in countless forms, and forgive me for getting to the nitty gritty of this--internationally you can trace it from acid and bride burning, to genital mutilation, to sexual slavery, to murder and to more and more. Are you really telling me that we don't have it in our power to yield results across the world to these crimes against women?

The statistics of domestic violence against women in the United States are staggering - where three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day. And yet we hear constantly that judges are refusing protective orders to frightened women, and even ordering continued contact with batterers in order to accomplish custody or visitation exchanges. Some judges even turn over custody to the abuser. This hit very close to home when a friend of mine was murdered by her husband in a church parking lot just last year, after being refused a protective order. I know this just brought a huge downer to this discussion, but I truly feel that fighting in THIS generation CAN change things, CAN yield results, CAN empower women in a way we might not realize they need to be empowered because it hasn't hit home in our personal lives.

2. Now to your said, "If every woman (mother or otherwise) took every child and LOVED them and showed them their potential and taught them to respect woman (and men! and animals! and the environment! And chocolate!), if those children really felt validated and appreciated and special, then they would grow up trying to make this world a better place.

Amen, Jenn. Amen. I agree. I agree completely. I have full confidence in my abilities to do the absolutely same thing that you are doing in your home. I will do it, I see the value, and I love, love, love and THANK YOU for doing it now! YOU are yielding results, and I AM yielding results and together, Jenn, you and I just might make a and for the future.

3. To the church is something no one likes to see or admit. What if I receive a witness that part of it is true? What if I LOVE the Book of Mormon...but not the temple ceremonies? What if I LOVE the ideas of charity and faith and love and kindness, but don't think that Christian prophets hold the only truth and wisdom? Hmmm...see even then you think...but D'Arcy, if one thing is TRUE then the rest MUST be true...because it's the way we've always been taught to think and feel and reason. I don't reason that way anymore. I am trying to find a way to come to terms with what I feel is truth for myself. I wish the church had more than the sunday school answers, the "right answers" that yield the "right ideas" and make everything wrap up in one fail safe package.

4. I can't dispute Mother Teresa's power. So I won't.

Jaime said...

D'Arcy, what a fabulous post!!
I still remember when I did Shakespeare with my 6th graders in the Bronx. It wasn't a deep unit, since we were a social studies class with not much time. Yet, we read a few scenes, watched two different versions of Romeo & Juliet (tradition one, and Leo diCaprio one) and then saw it in person downtown. At the end of it, they were understanding the language and getting a feel for the time-- my two main goals.

So great that you were able to see your teacher. I've wanted to see a few of mine from HS, and just haven't had the opportunity. What a rewarding experience.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Everyone is going to think we are crazy, D'Arce!

Okay...I just can't compete with you on an intellectual level. I am not nearly as well-read or educated. So, I can't cite as many examples as you. Knowing me, I probably won't cite any.

I mispoke when I said we should, in a word, forsake this generation. You are absolutely right. We ought to try to save every sould that we can NOW. Not just for the future. I completely agree.

The point that I was refuting was NOT the idea of standing up to inequality in general, but to making statements on a blog laced with an edge of negativity. On occasion I feel that you state some of your opinions (about men and marriage and the church) as facts (or even if they ARE facts, there is a slant to them that is biased and therefore those facts may be contrued by others in a way), so then I fear you may cause a negative ripple effect in an unforseen way. I was referring to your blog-philosophizing when I said that what you were doing would not get the best results for improving the condition of the world. My point was that negative rants cannot yield the kind of results that positive living can. I stand by that. Even the bill you cited that was passed--though good in many ways--may have some negative consequences as a result of the antagonism and feuding that so often accompanies politics these days. (I have such a beef with politicians! Both democrats and republicans!)

Living a higher law is the best way! That is my point.

But you are correct! We need to do all we can for everyone! Your students are lucky to have you.

Church stuff now. Who says Christian prophets hold the monopoly on virtuous truths? Thirteenth article of faith, honey! Funny, though...I've struggled with the Book of Mormon, but my experiences in the temple have cemented my faith. Interesting, isn't it? I don't know what to say to you, except that each of us must live according to the dictates of our own conscience. My conscience is never at greater peace than when I follow the truths taught by the Savior and all of the prophets--both ancient and modern. I am grateful for the distinction between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, so that each individual circumstance may have the individual answer it deserves. This covers all of the bases for me. On this count I have found peace.

I can't really say anything brilliant and earth-shattering to make you see it from my point of view. (Though I am sure you would be able to if you were in my shoes.) are one of my best friends and I am glad we don't have to always see eye-to-eye to enjoy each other.

As always, good luck in your pursuit!

(PS...I think you've officially won this round. Not because you are necessarily right, but because you are so much more eloquent and convincing than I am in your arguments! Though, in truth, I think we are mostly in agreement.)

D'Arcy said...

Dearest Jenn,

I concur. We have both made valid points. We have both expressed passion, in the end we have both respected each others ideas.

I knew all along you meant my negativity, and yes, I do see it, and yes, I need to work on it. Like I have said before, you are a much better woman in this respect than I am. But of course, it didn't serve my argument, so I chose to ignore it, and NO, I am not going into politics!!

I am not smarter or more educated than you. We've just had different passions these past few years, while yours have revolved around making a difference in the lives of your children, mine has been focused on the larger world issues at hand. Both serve a purpose.

I think we both presented pretty good arguments. Now, let's wipe the sweat from our brows and rejoice in this amazing friendship that we share!

I love you girl!!

Until my next post.....which I hope you won't agree with either!

Gustav said...


Your blog rocks.

The debate between you and jenn is fascinating.

As a lawyer who has read thousands of legal arguments and opinions, I would say that each of you have powerful arguments.

Yet, perhaps the most powerful idea is that people need to be free to express their views and this expression does change the world, and our own lives everyday.

There needs to be both the everyday love that jenn espouses with her children along with the freedom of expresssion and people like you D'Arcy who bring light to dark places. And in this world of ours there are many dark places for women and men.

Bring the Light On D'Arcy, and jenn keep loving those children of yours, it is your greatest gift to humanity.

Rowena said...

Hoodeha, girl! Your comments do get heated. And you pack a hard wallop with your debate. I had no need to step in, but I would like to say to Jenn, who is also a passionate debater, that I believe it is not just women's duty to love the children and teach them well, but also, equally men's duty. Why does no one speak of that?

What is a man's role in today's much less black and white society? I think it must be terribly confusing to step out in the world with no set role, since women are able to bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan all while carrying junior on that stylish hip.

But I don't think that means we should run hiding back into old fashioned, rigid ideas in this much more fluid world. I think it's time to create a new way of managing that partnership between man and woman, one that allows both of them to fulfill their destinies and callings and passions. What if childrearing is not a woman's destiny? What then? What is she left with?

But hey, I came over here to tell you D'arcy that I responded to your comment on Sugar's blog.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Hey Rowena!

There is much that goes unsaid, even while commenting on for some...uh...I don't know, ten pages or so. I completely agree with you! Good dads are absolutely essential in raising good children. My husband is sitting beside me right at the moment and you will not find a better, more involved, more loving and patient father on the planet.

I issue a call to all the men out there to step up and be the best fathers and role models that they can be!

D'Arcy said...


Thank you for your comments, and for neutrally declaring Jenn and I both debate winners! I'd love to see us in a courtroom if I knew we wouldn't both start laughing at each other...but yes, passion is good. Searching for identity is even better, and so important and something I see as a continuing process.

Rowena! You bring up a great point! And not wanting to ignore men's roles, I just blogged about it and have now officially spent too much time on the computer...

I also got your message via Sugar's blog. Thanks friend! I wish we could hang out in a world that wasn't so virtual!

Alisa said...

I am so excited that you loved these plays! The Taming of the Shrew is a great one--meant to make fun of gender inequality of which they knew better in English Renaissance (believe me, plenty of feminist writing/pamphleteering at the time). I mean, the whole game at the end, "let's see whose wife will be more unnnecessarily obedient to her husband" is great. Katherine knows it is a game, and she masters it. In one film version, when she gives her whole speech about obedience to the other women, she winks to her audience. That wink does it all. It's saying "Yes, yes, this is a game, ladies. Let's let him *think* he's in charge." In that sense it's not only her husband who wins the bet: She wins. *She* tames her behavior but switches her independence into a more complicated, layered realm, revealing a streak that can't be touched nor tamed. Shakespeare is allowing both genders to poke a little fun at each other.

It's great how these themes are still relevant, hot-button issues today! It just proves Shakespeare was a great universalist with excellent ambiguity.