Friday, September 25, 2015

New School, New Country, New Degree

Hello everyone, we're back after a crazy, crazy, time. Since the last post, I have graduated with my MA in English Lit, gotten married, moved back to Southern Ontario (yes, in Canada!!!) and begun a PhD Program in English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

I am no longer allowed to plan three major life events and/or changes for the same six day period.

So Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are coming out of the big notebook labeled "Life."

The move itself was surprisingly easy--sitting on a plane for eight hours is basically a long day in classes. What has been hard to adjust to is the time change, the huge climate change and learning a whole new city. It took me three years of driving in a city I lived in for fifteen years to really get to know it, learning my new city has been interesting. I absolutely got seriously lost a few times in the first few days--don't ask me about finding Laurier for the first time until after I graduate, or I might burst into tears at just the memory.

That's actually another thing about so much change in so short a timeframe: for like the first four or five days, I was crying basically uncontrollably at least twice an hour. (My poor husband gets so many "Best Husband" awards for marrying me, letting me shanghai him to another country and then crying all over the place for days. He's been a rock. A very, very calm rock.) The crying thing stopped pretty much once the jetlag did, but talk about an emotional response to a ton of upheaval. What ended up working really well for me was taking those days slowly. If we were out walking trying to find a grocery store, or just trying to find our way home from a grocery store and I started crying, we found a place to sit or just stop for five minutes, I cried it out and then we kept moving. My new school ID photo was taken literally moments before I needed to find a spot to take a break again--here's hoping nobody looks too hard at that picture.

The days of tears actually served a useful purpose: I got the emotional stuff out and dealt with before I had to be standing in front of 20 freshmen teaching.

Part of my funding package for my PhD involves teaching a tutorial session for a basic English course, which despite y having held a TA-ship for the entire second year of my Master's Degree, is a totally new experience for me. I'll say this much: so far my best moment was when a 10 minute lecture on the history of whores and theatres not only happened, but was relevant to the material.

That's all for this session of Notes from the Ivory Tower, but I am planning to be around more, now that I'm relatively settled and have more time.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

And Finally... Freud

Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are being pulled from the annals of the Literary Theorists. That's right everyone, today We're talking about Freud!

I'm sure that lots of us can quote a line or two from Freud:

"Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"

"The Oedipus Complex"

"Psychoanalytic Theory"

"Freudian Slip"

But what actual theory do these snippets entail? A lot of it has been discredited in the world of clinical therapy, but Freud is still widely used in literary criticism, and his theories have influenced the western world more deeply than many realize. For instance, Freud drastically changed the way we read, interpret and perform Hamlet. (Oh yes, there ARE a lot of references to Shakespeare. I'm writing my thesis on him, so deal with it. Also, Freud intentionally misreads Hamlet, which is INFURIATING.)

What we're going to do this time is  quick, boiled-down overview of Freud's main theoretical texts. So, without further ado, here we go!

The Oedipus Complex (From The Interpretation of Dreams)

The quickest way to describe the Oedipus complex is that young boys are born with a desire to marry their mothers and kill their fathers. Which also happens to be the plot of Sophocles' Oedipus. Rather than commenting on a classic Greek work, however, Freud is looking at this as a developmental stage that children go through, and can be the basis for the later development of neuroses.

Some problematic quotes (From The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism 2nd Edition):
"Being in love with one parent and hating the other are among the essential constituents of the stock of psychical impulses which is formed at that time and which is of such importance in determining the symptoms of the later neurosis."

"It is the fate of all of us, perhaps, to direct our first sexual impulse towards our mother and our first hatred and our first murderous wish against our father."

"The play is built up on Hamlet's hesitations over fulfilling the task of revenge that is assigned to him: but its text offers no reasons or motives for these hesitations and an immense variety of attempts at interpreting them have failed to produce a result."

Clearly, there are a couple of problems with Freud's theory. Like, for instance, what on earth do you do if you're a female? Or, quite frankly, anything other than a heterosexual, white male? Freud addresses this late in his career, or tries to. He disdains the Electra complex, and attempts to create a rather tortured argument to demonstrate how boys and girls develop in the same manner. Obviously this is considered some of his weakest work.

As for his blatant misreading of Hamlet and complete ignorance of the critical storm that revolves around that play, all I will say is that Laurence Olivier had clearly read Freud before filming his Hamlet, and frankly the results are a weak, unbelievable Hamlet with a seriously uncomfortable closet scene.

Prior to Freud, the closet scene would have been done very differently. Like, with two chairs and a plate of sandwiches. Not in the bedroom. Without the uncomfortable Freudian subtext. (For more context, see the linked video above.)

Medusa's Head

This is a short text, about a page long that expands on the single idea that "To decapitate = to Castrate" (From The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends 3rd Edition, Edited by David Richter). Essentially, the multiple phallic symbols on Medusa's head represent castration. Freud also posits that an erect phallus on display is saying "I am not afraid of you. I defy you. I have a penis."

Oh yes, Freud did just pit the penis and vagina in an epic mythological battle and had the penis win.

The Uncanny

This text is Freud's attempt to concretize an aesthetic quality. The word in the original German is "unheimlich", which Freud goes on to lengthily define as something that is belonging to the house/family, is familiar, concealed, kept from sight... it goes on until we have such a mishmash of definitions that the word itself almost becomes meaningless. So we begin with a translation problem; Freud himself states that "uncanny" is not the best translation for "unheimlich". But the point of this first section of the essay is to define a word to describe a certain feeling.

The second half of the essay examines a short story called The Sand Man. What that analysis devolves into is Freud going back to his roots and positing that the fear of losing one's eyesight is a substitute for the fear of, you guessed it, castration!

Hopefully you've enjoyed this edition of Notes from the Ivory Tower, and if you didn't precisely enjoy it, I hope you got a few good giggles out of it. We'll be back next time with something else fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What Would Rheumatoid Awareness Mean to You?

This is a Special Edition of Notes from the Ivory Tower, for Rheumatoid Awareness Day 2014.

Let me start by briefly telling you my story.

In December of 2011, I went to the hospital for a breathing issue. The next day, my left arm wouldn't straighten completely. Then, as December wore on into January, I began to be in a great deal of pain. By February 2012, I was missing classes due to extreme pain and fatigue. I finally went to the doctor at the end of that month, and a few weeks later, I got a phonecall from my GP, telling me that my blood test had come back positive for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and he was referring me to a rheumatologist. I was not nearly as afraid as I should have been that day. My expectation at the time was something along the lines of "I'll take meds for three weeks and be fine". Since that time, I have tried methotrexate, Humira, Simponi, Actemra, Xeljanz, Orencia, and I'm currently awaiting my second Rituxan infusion. During that time, I was going to university. When I was diagnosed, I was in my third year of my undergraduate, studying English and Theatre. I have since graduated with a BA in English, and I'm currently enrolled in an MA program, also in English.

I honestly thought I was going to crash and burn the year I was diagnosed, and so what Rheumatoid Awareness would mean to me is coming from the viewpoint of a university student.

The first semester I was sick, my GP told me that my tests had come back positive in mid-March. I was not formally diagnosed until July 2014, after changing Rheumatologists. That was one of the hardest things to try to explain to my Professors, especially mid-semester. I was clearly sick, but I couldn't tell them what, specifically, was wrong, and I didn't know what I needed other than time and understanding. Thank goodness for teachers who were willing to give me just that, because I passed every class I took that semester. What Rheumatoid awareness would have meant in that situation, and still would mean to me, is that... well, let me do it this way:
  • Patients get speedy, clear, and EARLY care/diagnosis, so that we can begin to educate those around us and ourselves;
  • Patients get clear and realistic information from our Rheumatologists
  • Drop "Arthritis" from the name of the disease... those of us who are attractive 20-somethings get disbelieved based on the "A"-word alone and it can be devastating
  • Professors, Employers, Family members, Friends and everyone in the lives of those living with Rheumatoid Disease would listen with open ears and minds
  • Universities would redesign their Disabilities Services offices so that students with chronic illnesses can function within the system, instead of around the edges and grey areas of the system
The list goes on, but those are the big ones for me, and those are the ones I would emphasize, given a choice to change anything in my life (except for having Rheumatoid Disease, obviously. If I could change that, I would in a heartbeat.)

That is what Rheumatoid awareness would mean to me, and as a student, I will continue to speak up about my disease and what I need, and I hope to continue to work with people (and there are and continue to be many in my life!) who listen with compassion and understanding.

Thanks for reading this special edition of Notes from the Ivory Tower, we'll be back next time with our regularly scheduled notes!

The Turducken Time Theory

Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are being pulled from Literary Theory, with an emphasis on Time. These notes come from a combination of existing theories of literary time, mixed up together into my own Turducken theory.

Just like a Turducken is various deboned birds stuffed into one another, the Turducken Time Theory takes existing types of literary time and stuffs them inside each other in various incarnations to make time work in various ways in various pieces of literature. And yes, I did just overuse the word Various. Let's start by looking at the different varieties of literary time.

Chronologic Time

Chronologic time is the thing most people automatically think of when someone mentions time. It flows forward in a linear fashion, and is continuous. "Chronologic" comes from the Greek "Chronos", and it is the simplest form of literary time. It can also be used in literary discussion as "out-story" time.

Kairos (Event Time)

Kairos, or "event time" comes from the Ancient Greek word "Kairos", and it describes a section of time in which an event occurs. The ancient Greek is also associated with weather; by this association then, kairos refers to events that are beyond the control of characters in the narrative. Weather included. For example, the storm scene in King Lear is a good example of kairos, because it is an event which is clearly outside of Lear's control, and yet is a temporal shaping factor of the arc of the narrative.


Periodicity is another form of event time, but rather than being associated with weather, periodicity is associated with disease. Specifically, the time in which a disease runs its course. This article discusses periodicity in terms of geologic time and climate change in Cowper's The Task, and is certainly worth a read; it helps explain periodicity.

Mythologic Time

Mythologic time is fully and expertly explained by Umberto Eco in his article "The Myth of Superman", but I'll break it down quickly here. The two mainstays of Mythologic time are In-Story Time and Out-Story Time.

In-Story Time is basically the chronologic time within a narrative, and is 'consumed' by the characters. It has a beginning and a middle and an end, and while it can be linear and forward moving, it can also be cyclical, backwards, spiral...any narrative flow can be in-story, consumable time. Once In-Story Time has been consumed, it's finished, done, and we as the audience or reader can take the narrative as a whole.

Out-Story Time is either chronological time, or it is the time that we as readers use as a lens with which to analyze In-Story Time which has been fully consumed (or, as with Superman, exists in an omnipresent now that prevents Superman consuming his In-Story Time and thus ending the story).

Biblical Time

Biblical time is an easy one. The Bible lays out a timeline, and then attempts to impose that timeline on chronological or Out-Story Time.

Now that we've quickly gone over the existing theories of literary time, let's explore how we can stuff them inside of each other and how it affects the way we look at time and temporality in literature.

Obviously, chronological time is the Turkey, because it exists both within and without literature. So everything we stuff into chronological time exists, but whether it exists inside or outside of story time can make the turducken theory kind of meta at times. The myth of Hercules is a good place to look, and actually Superman functions in the same way (Seriously, read the linked Eco article, it is AMAZING). Because we have a concrete body of literature in the cases of Hercules and Superman, their narratives exist and evolve in chronological time outside of the narratives. They also both contain event times, and mythological times as well as fun little narrative arcs that serve to keep Superman from "ending". This is a quick look into what time can do, but it applies to literally any literature you care to examine with the Turducken Time Theory.

Hopefully you enjoyed these Notes from the Ivory Tower! We'll be back next time with something else fun.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Finals in Grad School

Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are being pulled from the Fridge. And by fridge, I mean the six or eight bottles of Sparkling Cider I went through trying to write my final papers/projects for my first semester of Grad School. We're gonna get at least one blog entry in this December, and this one is going to be less academia analysis and more a recap of what I did, what I wish I had done, and what might get done next time for finals.

Ok, so a pretty safe assumption to make when one is in graduate school is that one knows how to write. One can write a sentence; therefore one can write a paragraph; therefore one can string many sentences into many paragraphs and many paragraphs into a paper of a predetermined length.

That was the first assumption I threw out the window this exam period.

For some reason, particularly with my 18th Century British Long Poem Paper, I never once assumed I had the ability to write the cursed thing. To be fair, it was a pretty experimental paper; mixing 20th century composition pedagogy with an 18th century genre that is still debated as a genre, but it was something I should have been easily able to read about, form an opinion on, and discuss and/or defend that opinion for "about 20 pages" (unspecific syllabi are you BEST FREINDS in grad school, and no joke!).

So. what did I actually do wrong, and what was just me freaking the hell out about my first 20 page paper that was worth 40% of my grade?

Things I Actually Did Wrong
  • I didn't start researching the paper until three weeks prior to the deadline
  • I didn't start Writing the paper until two weeks prior to the deadline
  • I didn't somehow make it about my Thesis (This won't always be possible, but wherever it is, DO IT, it'll help you later)
  • I drank between six and eight bottles of sparkling cider. By myself.
Things That Were Just Me Freaking Out
  • I didn't think I could write a coherent sentence to save my life
  • I thought my topic was wrong/stupid/too long/too short/too theoretical to work, despite having the topic cleared by the professor in advance
  • I didn't think I could write
  • I drank between six and eight bottles of sparkling cider. By Myself. (Really can't emphasize that one enough....)
And this is for just one paper. I went through a similar process with my Old and Middle English paper, except in THAT case, the paper was actually related to my thesis (Which created its own fun little mindfuck, I'll tell you), and I had a minor grad student meltdown in my professor's office. Grad students  everywhere, be grateful for professors who will listen to your meltdowns and then help you fix them. They are the best people to have around during grad school, and if they're on your committee, even better!

Now that we've laid out the problems of finals, let's talk about fixing them.

To be honest, a lot of the stuff that was Me Freaking Out got fixed once grades were posted. I pulled straight A's on my first semester of grad school, and with final papers being worth between 30-50% of my final grades, clearly I can still write papers. As of writing this blog I haven't gotten the feedback from the papers yet (that'll be mid-January), but the final grades were a huge confidence boost, and my cider habit has decreased back to normal. Some freaking out is going to be normal over finals week, it's a stressful time and the stakes are pretty high.

Not this high, Though.
So don't stress too much about the stress that is Just You Freaking Out.
What we can actually fix though, are the researching and writing habits that led to my writing the papers the night before they're due, slamming each individual key on the keyboard as though they had each personally murdered one of my children, until I get within a page or two of the limit and decide "it's just going to have to be good enough" and email the thing in.
If we reference the handy list above, then the two biggest issues were starting the research, and starting the writing. I don't care if "starting the writing" for you means you make notes on a Starbucks napkin on like, the third, sixteenth and twenty-fourth days of school, as long as you keep those napkins and keep thinking about the paper in some form from day 1. The way I do papers is I build a "Percolatory Period" into my semester; a couple of weeks where the topic and the paper are constantly on the back burner in my brain, and notes and sentences accumulate in various forms until I basically have the paper written in my head. THEN, when I'm writing the paper the night before it's due, I know what I want to say, and I've already sussed out my arguments. There's no mental stress, it's just getting down long-held thoughts and polishing the grammar a little.
As for starting the research earlier... Just get on Google scholar once a week. Or JSTOR. Or Project Muse. Something. As long as you read one or two really cool articles a week, then you'll probably be fine for sources once it comes to writing your paper. And good articles tend to lead you to other good articles, and once you have a sense of what the critics at large are saying on your topic, you can agree or disagree at will, and in an intelligent manner. You just have to do it consistently. And frequently. And all throughout the semester. Granted, it helps if you actually LIKE the topic you're researching, which is why trying to make literally everything about your thesis helps. (As a side note: if you hate your thesis topic, do yourself a favor: GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN.)
A Digression into Making Everything About Your Thesis
While I found that making my Old and Middle English final paper about my thesis is really helpful in that I have actual text I can apply to the Thesis, during the finals period and the writing of the actual paper, I had a meltdown over the whole thing. I love my topic, I loved the paper. Except it was either too big for the scope of the class, or it was AT MOST an eight page paper. Both of those were problems that added to my overall stress, and it wasn't something I had the mental capacity to figure out. This is where amazing committee members come in. To figure it out, I ended up discussing the thesis first, and then paring down the conversation until I was talking about a paper that had to do with my thesis, but would come to the required page allotment using material that was primarily relevant to the class. So it got figured out, but it was a challenge.
The moral of this little story is, Don't Let Your Thesis Hijack your Final Papers. Let Your Final Papers Feed Your Thesis.
Obviously I'm not the first grad student to freak out over her first set of final papers, but here's my story and my coping mechanisms (Cider is seriously delicious), and hopefully someone else manages to avoid the meltdowns!
Hopefully you enjoyed these Notes from the Ivory Tower, and if not, we'll be back next time with something different!
An Update: As of 2/4/2014, my grades have come back in. I pulled straight A's overall, with the final papers pulling A's and B's, respectively. B papers drive me nuts, but thank goodness for Instructor Feedback! I'll be able to make those changes for this semester and write stronger papers.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Disney's Debt to Shakespeare

Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are being pulled from Shakespeare and tossed into a shaker with Disney. That's right: Disney made Hamlet with Lions and Romeo and Juliet with Lions.

People at large are pretty comfortable with The Lion King as the comedic, Disney version of Hamlet. So comfortable, in fact, that we have images like this:

Yes, the Lion King is Hamlet and The Avengers and The British Monarchy. We got it, internet. That'll do.

What we don't got, as a general rule, is that this
is actually Romeo and Juliet. With Lions.

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In the fair Pride Lands, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where lion blood makes lion paws unclean.
From forth the fatal lions of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their marriage bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their comedy-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but one of their end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

 In the same way The Lion King looks like Hamlet, we have the Lion King 2. If this were a Disney adaptation checklist, they have indeed hit all the main points.
1. Feuding Families?
In one corner we have the Pridelanders! Or rather, Capulets- Simba is daddy Capulet, Nala is mommy Capulet, and miss Kiara is Juliet. In the other corner, we have The Outlanders! -er, Montagues. Daddy Montague was eaten by Hyenas in the last movie, but mama Montague has a grudge to settle, and Romeo got rechristened as Kovu.
Feuding families? Check. Also, one of the great Disney Villain songs:
2. Star Crossed Lovers?
Scar's son and Simba's daughter. If I really need to explain this one, then you really need to revisit your childhood.
Star Crossed Lovers? Check.
3./4. Totally Creepy Pseudo-Suitor?/ Best Friend who dies?
Shakespeare gives us Tybalt, who is actually Juliet's cousin, and Tybalt is who Juliet's parents try to set her up with. Since this isn't Aladdin, Simba isn't actually trying to marry his little girl off. In a weird inversion/mixation with Mercutio, Disney gives us Nuka. Nuka is actually Kovu's brother, and he is such a screwball creep... well, I'll let this clip do the talking:
Aaaaaaand in case you thought Disney forgot the "who dies" part of the Best Friend role, well:
Ok, I apologize; this is actually in Croation. Apparently YouTube doesn't have this scene in English, but I think it's pretty clear from the video: Nuka dies via being crushed to death by dead trees, which, for Dinsey, is actually not too gruesome.
Totally Creepy Pseudo-Suitor?/ Best Friend who dies?
5. Moment of Death?
A huge part of the R&J story is the scene where Romeo discovers Juliet dead and kills himself. Obviously this is Disney, so we get one scene where Kovu finds an unconscious Kiara in the middle of a burning field. Way to sanitize that for the kids, Disney. Kovu then pulls her out of the burning field, but there's a moment where it looks like he might open her throat, and the original plan was to let her burn to death. What on EARTH did my parents let me watch??
Moment of 'Death'?
So, overall, Disney owes a tremendous debt to Shakespeare in terms of story outline. Obviously they don't match up exactly- Disney was making children's films, not tragic murder-fest flicks. But the uncanny resemblances are highly reminiscent of Shakespeare's own habit of borrowing and adapting plot devices (Read: blatantly stealing other people's work).
Hopefully you've enjoyed these Notes from the Ivory Tower! We have no idea what we'll be doing next, but it should be entertaining.
Honorable Mention:
Disney didn't JUST steal from Shakespeare... they can be judgmental and sliiiiiiiiiiiightly classist/racist all on their own. Which is why THIS SONG exists:
Thank you Disney.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The King, The Knight and the Queen

Today's Notes from the Ivory Tower are being pulled from Arthurian Legends and Musical Theatre. That's right folks: we're talking Camelot!

Let's start with His Royal Highness, King Arthur. Arthur is the original Good Guy; given a chaotic England, rapacious knights running rampant and a reluctant queen, he comes up with an order of Knights whose catchphrase is "Might For Right". And were it not for a little incestuous nookie, and a too-good-to-be-true-except-for-the-whole-banged-his-best-friend's-wife-thing Knight, that could have been epic for all time. Arthur's role in musical theatre was originated by the wonderful Richard Burton, and was played twice by Richard Harris.

"Avalon? Please. Hogwarts is where it's AT."

For the Richard Burton Fans out there, here is the man himself, singing 'Camelot':
Richard Harris gave two very different performances of this song. One was in the 1960's movie version, which is absolutely a seduction of Vanessa Redgrave. This is a king looking for a queen, and he is willing to use the sheer awesomeness of his lands to get her. The second Harris performance was a 1980's stage version. Twenty years changes the performance significantly. The more mature Arthur is expressing a joy absent of base sexuality when describing Camelot to Guenevere. So the older Arthur is a more childish portrayal, and the younger Arthur is more politically minded, so to speak.
The 1960's Version
His entire manner is just SCREAMING about how awesome he is, and by extension, how awesome he's made Camelot. Right down to the weather...
The 1980's Version
Ok, yes, this is the entirety of Act I. Enjoy.
Essentially, we see three different King Arthurs. His Lancelots have been just as varied, however.
The role was originated on Broadway by Robert Goulet, and the song that made his musical career is a phenomenal little number called 'If Ever I would Leave You'. This song is essentially his love letter to Guenevere, comparing her in each season and concluding that there isn't a season where she is ever unattractive enough to leave, despite her being another man's wife. Now, courtly love made the worship of the queen by the king's knights almost a requirement; they could even hang out naked together, provided it was "courtly" (read: not sexual, although kissing was apparently also allowed). Learner and Lowe, depending on the cut of the script, can either declare the Lancelot-Guenevere relationship as chaste, sexual, or ambiguous, but however you cut the script, this particular song leaves the audience in no confusion about Lancelot's passion for Guenevere.
First, we have the original Robert Goulet:
Just for funsies, let's look at some of Lancelot's other numbers, as performed by other actors.
First of all, we have 'C'est Moi', Lancelot's opening number, alternatively titled 'Look How Awesome I Am'. In 2008, Nathan Gunn sang Lancelot in a staged performance of Camelot with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The music is phenomenal, as one would expect from a world-class orchestra, but Gunn manages to bring the funny by playing up the comedy in a song that other actors have taken so seriously that the audience can't take the character seriously. By hamming it up, Gunn invites the audience to laugh with Lancelot, as opposed to laughing at him.
Sam, darling, this one's for you.
Alternatively, we have Actor Franco Nero in the 1960's film version of "Camelot", also singing 'C'est Moi'.
Could the man be taking this more seriously? The 1982 film version of Camelot saw Richard Muenez as Lancelot, and he follows the Nero vein as far as performing 'C'est Moi' goes. You can see his performance in the very long clip above.
Now we get to the object of these two men's affections: Guenevere.
Guenevere is a problematic character; in the Arthurian canon, she is painted as everything from 'token woman' to 'demonic whore who turned down the best man ever and caused the fall of Camelot'. How she is portrayed is greatly dependent on how the author wants to portray Lancelot. It is very hard to be sympathetic to Lancelot (or the concurrent and phenomenally beautiful Tristan) without also painting Guenevere in a light that is, at least, not slightly neutral. In the very earliest Arthur stories, Guenevere has nothing to do with the fall of Camelot; she has no illicit relationship with Lancelot. The French Arthurian legends are the first ones to mention the adulterous affair, and then it spread like wildfire, and another woman was demonized.
The role was originated by the lovely Julie Andrews, and we'll be listening to her rendition of 'Before I Gaze at You Again'.
Julie Andrews was not the only actress to sing Guenevere. Vanessa Redgrave performed with Richard Harris, and Marin Mazzie sang with Nathan Gunn. Unfortunately, not a lot of clips of the Marin Mazzie performance exist, so the next clip is of Mazzie and Gunn, in the scene where Lancelot and Guenevere get caught.
For the Vanessa Redgrave example, we'll be looking at her sing 'The Lusty Month of May'.
Obviously, Redgrave was not chosen because she can sing.
And there you have the King, the Knight and the Queen.
Obviously there are other characters in Camelot, and the two Honorable Mention numbers are as follows:
1. Mordred, Arthur's son with his sister Morgause, sings 'The Seven Deadly Virtues'
2. The Final Ultimo, as sung by Richard Harris (1969)
A NY Times review of the Marin Mazzie Camelot is linked here.
Hopefully you've enjoyed these Notes from the Ivory Tower! We'll be back next time with another fun topic.