Monday, February 20, 2012

Law and Justice {belated Week 4 response}

With the successful closing of The Justice Project this past weekend, it is time to re-focus my energies on text, on reading and writing. I've been very wrapped up in production, but I hope the productions will sharpen my readings on Merchant and Measure.

The mid-term of the semester is almost here, so I'm hoping this week to have a potential germ for my final paper. Thus far, I've been doing a lot of thinking about the character of Portia, but I'm not sure that I want to continue this train of thought through for the rest of the semester. In performance, I played Portia in Merchant and also doubled as Escalus in Measure. This double was really fascinating, as Escalus acts as judge in the majority of his scenes in the play. Perhaps I'll want to draw out the connection of these two characters?

I am also interested, however, in the second half of this semester's reading as I move into some of the political plays. In "The quality of mercy," Portia talks of the power of kings on earth, and this seems to me a good jumping-off point for reading these early history plays. How do we see "earthly power" played out in the Henriad plays and in Richard III? Portia speaks abstractly of "the mightiest," but in the history plays that's who we spend our time with. What should the "throned Monarch" do with these concepts of law, justice, and equity (or mercy) that we've spent so much time thinking about and staging in The Justice Project?

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