MOOC course review-Shakespeare In Community

Summary of the content of the lecture and my opinion.

In this lecture, many different people such as actors, teachers or students appear and freely talk about Shakespeare and share their knowledge with us.

The introduction lecture was about what people think about the Shakespear the playwright . There was no doubt that Shakespeare is the greatest playwright in the literature history. Shakespeare had perfect understanding about the human nature, so each of his characters perfectly reflects our lives.  Shakespeare could catch almost every aspect of human lives including grief, love, loss of loved ones and so on. I learned that Shakespeare is a historical playwright not only because his plays are well-structured and interesting, but he totally understood the lives or ordinary people.

The thing that caught my attention during the introduction was that everyone in the video seemed to be in love with Shakespeare. They looked so happy when they discussed about Shakespeare and had their own solid views about his plays. I was impressed about their passion for literature.

It was very impressive when one of the people in the lecture said that ‘ There is no answer to the question “Why study shakespeare?”. However, we can try to find the answer of it by studying Shakespeare.” From his short words, I realized how difficult and sophisticated Shakespeare’s plays are. Even person who studies literature for a long time cannot hastily judge the value of Shakespeare’s pieces; instead, he decides to study about them more. Before I try to find the answer of something, I should try to explore as much as I can about the question.

The next lecture that I chose to study is ‘Romeo and Juliet’. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is  a very famous play, which I had read and watched the play for several times. For I was so familiar with it, I thought that I understand the play to some degree. However, I realized that I was totally wrong as I studied the lecture. First of all, there were so many different perspectives looking at the single piece. The actress who plays Juliet says the play touched her even more when she read the lines after she was in love, while the actor plays Romeo recalled his childhood experience and talked about how the play is about people caring for each other. The actor also said that the play is not just about Romeo and Juliet but uniting the two  families. I realized that deep understanding about the play is essential for actors to perfectly play the given role. Furthermore, some people focused on the age of Romeo and Juliet. Even though their love seems to be mature, they are actually around 13~14 years old. The words when they swear their love to each other are romantic and pure, just like their ages. I realized that I was focusing only on the story, and neglectd the details such as the character’s ages. Finally, the language is a very important part of Romeo and Juliet. One of the famous characteristics of Shakespearer plays is the texture of words. Almost evey single line has the rhythm, so it is important to read out the lines of Shakespeare. Even though his original plays are hard to understand for me, I want to try to read them, and feel the unique rhythm and texture of the words.

Comment on the level of the language used by the professor.

I could follow what the people talking in the video in general, but sometimes I could not catch what exactly they want to say. Some of them was my English problem because I could  not understand the term or sentence they spoke, or the vocabularies were unfamiliar to me. However, the bigger problem was that the topic is Shakespeare; the language of Shakespeare is hard to understand even to English native speakers. Therefore, it was sometimes hard for me to follow the lecture when the phrases from Shakespeare plays were mentioned.

Comment on the ease or difficulty of navigation. 

Finding the course related to my passion, and signing up for it was not difficult. However, I was a bit confused at the beginning because this course was a bit different from the other courses; there was no lectures updated weekly. Apart from that, I think the categories in this courses are well organized.

Would you recommend the site and course to my friends?

I would like to recommend this course to my friends. It would be perfect if the friends are big fan of Shakespeare, but even though the friends are not interested in Shakespeare, I am sure that this course will offer them a great opportunity to explore the field of English literature. It will give them the idea about Shakespeare not only as a playwright who writes fun plays but also as a human being who greatly catches human natures of people.

If you had time, would you like to continue studying the full course?

I definitely would like to continue studying the full course if I had time. It is such a shame that I am only studying a part of it because I have got the final exam coming. However, when I am free, I want to start this course by reading the pieces studied in this course. I want to re-read ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. There were also two pieces that I have not read before; ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ and ‘The Tempest’. I want to read them as well. If I continue this course after reading them, I will go through the different opinions about each of the pieces and compar them with mine. Since this course gives me a new perspective of studying pieces which is different from the way I learned in schools, I am sure that this course is worth spending time with.


Top 5 posts from my blogging group members’ blogs

1. Top 5 cutest animals in the world from Ji-eun

Although there are heaps of interesting posts in Ji-eun’s blog, I immediately decided to select this post as one of my favorite posts when I saw it. I don’t exactly know why, but since I was a child, I was obsessed with cute things. Everytime I walk past shops selling adorable goods or I see puppies on the road, I can’t take my eyes off them. I especially love the cute photoes of animals that she chose. I want to keep them in my phone gallery!

In addition, it is so tragic that harp seals and red panda are endangered. I also saw a post about the process that people peel the skin of seals and sell them. It was very shocking and cruel. I wish all illegal hunters would realize what inhumane things they are doing, and stop them as soon as possible.

2. Japanese government playing matchmaker from Jenny

This post caught my attention because I used to think of matchmaking as an old and boring way to find a partner. When I was in highschool, my biology teacher told our class that she met her husband through matchmaking. I was shocked; probably because I was too innocent. I thought all marriage should start from natural romance. Of course, I don’t think like that anymore; instead, the role of matchmaker is often essential because some people really need to find their partners, but it can be not that easy in the reality.

In fact, according to Jenny’s post, the government encourages citizens to date and marry in order to increase the low birth rate. I thought marriage is something out of the government’s concern; however,  when I found out that Japanese government is playing a role of matchmaker, it was very impressive. This is a very positive action that a government can take. Korean government should also consider being matchmakers themselves, or bring other solutions in order to solve Korea’s low birth rate problem.

3. Begin again review from Jiseon

 Begin again is not a dynamic film that catches everyone’s eyes, but I loved it so much because of the beautiful story and the songs. The song ‘Lost Starts’ became very popular after this movie was released, and I personally love it so much. Like Jiseon said on her post, the background of the music video in the film was fascinating. It seemed natural and humane that it was even better than a fancy studio.

It was also amazing how music can deliver one’s mind to another. Since I have no talent in music, I do not have experience of communicating my feeling with others through music. Still, I learned how powerful music can be. It can not only break other’s hearts but also heal each other’s broken hearts.

4. 5 best places to visit in Seoul from jenny

This post about nice places to visit in Seoul is actually very helpful for me because I moved to Seoul only 2 months ago, so I don’t know much about good places to visit in Seoul. Jenny’s post gave me a lot of useful information about great places to go on weekends, or after school with my friends.

I have been to Garosugil for the first time on Saturday, and I was impressed by unique shops and restaurants. If I had seen this post before I went there, I probably would have visited the chocolate pizza restaurant. I definitely should try it next time. Furthermore, I haven’t heard of Sangsu-dong before, but I found out that there are many quiet and comfortable cafes there. When I want to take a rest by myself in somewhere quiet, I should go to Sangsu-dong cafe.

5. Misbehaving students punished with Mozart from Peter

Punishing students with music is an intersesting idea. For Peter once told us about music torture to us during classtime, I read this post carefully. I agree with Peter’s idea that Mr. Walker is a caring teacher. He chose to broaden the musical knowledge of students instead of scolding them when they mishaved. The more focuse should be on the teacher’s effort than how the detention was done.

In fact, the music torture of the CIA is more intersting than the main article. If I was to be grounded in a room and listen to the same music for 24 hours, I probably would have gained some mental disorder. The music torture is appropriate since it does not hurt the prisoners physically, but it gives huge stress to them at the same time; furthermore, It doesn’t cost for any tools or chemicals.

10 best film musics

10. Lost stars (Begin Again, 2014)

Begin Again is a movie about unpopular musician Gretta and a fired producer Dan making their own music that they truly love. Unlike them, Gretta’s ex-boyfriend dave left Gretta because he wanted money and fame. I was very surprised that this song is actually sung by Maroon 5. It is interesting that the lyrics are very poetic and philosophic.

9. My heart will go on (Titanic, 1997)

Titanic is a legendary film by James Cameron, and the film gained the largest number of awards. I remeber when I was in elementary school, I went to a video rental shop with my family. In the televionsion in the shop, the music video of  ‘My heart will go on’ was on. Even though I hadn’t watched Titanic at that time, I was deeply impressed by the song. I can still recall Celin Dion singing this song in the screen. Even if I listened to it for short time, this song stuck really strong on my memory.

8. Let it go (Frozen, 2014)

‘Frozen’ is the film that brought ‘Let it go’ boom all over the world. Literally the whole nations were singing this song at the winter that ‘Frozen’ was released. Even Elsa costume was worn by many children all over the world. A lot of Korean singers posted vidoe of themselves singing ‘Let it go’. There were even invisible competition between them about who sang better. ‘Let it go’ comes out when Elsa left the kingdom and starts to live in her own winter kingdom by herself. She tells how hard time she had, and now she will be free from the world that made her suffer. The lyrics are actually meaningful, but I think I just enjoyed singing after the melody instead of thinking what the song means because it was played almost everywhere.

7. Do you hear the people sing? (Les Miserables, 2013)

Even though Les Miserable’s film music is rated the 7th in my list, the film itself is the most impressive films in my life. I really liked the novel since I was young, and this film perfectly converted the scenes that I had imagined in my mind into vision. The scene that Anne Hathaway sings ‘I dreamed a dream’ made me cry. That is my favorite scene, and my favorite song is ‘Do you hear the people sing?’. It sounds grand and resolute, that I can feel the overflow of emotions of the people involved in the French revolution. The grandness is doubled when this song is sung by hundreds of people.

6. He’s a Pirate (Pirates of the Caribbean)

‘He’s a Pirate’ is a representative soundtrack of the film ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. This song perfectly shows how this movie is dymanic and adverturous. Since it is played by an orchestra, the listeners feel more grand than when it is played by a solo artist. Everytime I listen to this song, the image of Jack sparrow comes up to my mind. Even though this song does not have lyrics, it perfectly draws the image of pirates to the listeners’ minds.

5. Way back into love (Music and Lyrics, 2007)

Everytime I listen to this song, I think how sweet and lovely it is. In the film, the man is the composer and the woman writes the lyrics. So they make a song together. ‘Way back into love’ is the result of their co-work as well as the proof of their love. I also like to watch the music video of this song because they mood when they record this song is very romantic. Among the top 10 best film music list, I think ‘Way back into love’ has the most beautiful lyrics.

4. Reality-Richard Sanderson (La Boum, 1980)

La Boum is a French film about love between many different people. The main love issue in the film is the love between Vic and Matthieu. The famous scene that Matthieu puts on a headset over Vic’s head through the noisy party music is from this movie; the song that comes out from the headset is ‘Reality’. ‘Reality’ is played as many different versions in ‘La Boum’, and it shows the pure and romantic atmosphere between the two kids. They lyrics is about how the the dreamed one has actually become the lover in reality. For Vic, who loved Matthieu with all her heart, this song would have represented her mind very well when she started dating with him.

3. Can’t take my eyes off you (10 things I hate about you, 1999)

In the film, Heath Ledger performs this song in front of Katarina to express his love to her. The relationship between the two people started because of money (Katarina’s sister Bianca’s boyfriend asked Heath Ledger to date Katarina so that her father would let her sister date as well). Despite the unpleasant start, Heath Ledger realizes that he loves her truly, and he gives a performance in front of everyone in the playground. Apart from the flim, this song is one of my favorite songs because of the romantic lyrics and familiar refrain. I love it how Heath Ledger was a mysterious guy who behaved like a freak, he changed so much as he fell in love with Katarina. The performance in front of school students was pretty romantic (lucky that Katarina was not a shy person that she did not feel embarrassed).

2. I have a dream(Mammamia, 2008)

‘I have a dream’ is a special film music because it is a remake of a famous song. This song gained its popularity before it was released because it was a song of ABBA, the best Swedish singing group. Later, ABBA’s soundtracks were inserted into the movie ‘Mammamia’. It is sung by Amanda Seyfried in the film, who perfectly sings it with her clear and beautiful voice. At the end of the movie, Sophie, the main character, decides to step forward for her dream instead of doing what others expect her to do. The lyrics of this song expresses her willingness to go through all the difficulties that she might face. Because of its beautiful and simple melody, I chose it as my performance evaluation song in high school music class, and played it with recorder.

1. All you need is love (Love actually, 2003)

‘All you need is love’ is a song that is often played in television shows when the relationship between two lovers starts. The beginning part of it is very well known by the public; I love the harmony part. It is hard to agree that ‘all we need is love’ but I get the idea that love can do many things for human. I chose this as the best music because listening to this song simply makes me feel so happy and loved.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 2001

Summary: Harry Potter, a fantasy novel written by J.K Rowling is made into a film by Chris Columbus. Harry Potter is a boy whose parents are killed by Voldmort, the worst villain in this flm, and raised by his materialistic cousins. On his 11th birthday, he is told that he is a wizard and will attend to a school called Hogwart; Hogwart is a school of wizardry and witchcraft. He meets friends called Ron and Hermionie and become the best friends. Harry Potter series is mainly about the adventures that Harry and his friends go through while they are staying in Hogwarts. There, they find out about the existence of sorcerer’s stone, and they also find out that it is in danger. So this film is mainly about the process that Harry and his friends find out about the stone and how they manage to protect it from Voldmort.

My opinion: For me, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a historical piece because it is the first piece of the series that played an extremely important role in my life.(complex)  Harry Potter used to be almost everything in my life when I was in elementary school and at the beginning of middle school. I had to stop my love for it because of my obligation to study; however, even after I had to study very hard, reading Harry Potter was one of my best hobbies to get rid of stress from studying. Even few weeks ago, I joked with my sister that I wish I was Harry Potter’s friend so that I don’t have to study, but all I need to do is memorize the spells.(compound)

Apart from my personal love for Harry Potter series, Harry Potter is actually a very didatic film. Harry, the main character, is a boy who understands the sadness of the weak and knows how to fight for the justice. Despite his young age, he is willing to fight against Voldmort who killed his parents. For me, it was especially impressive when Harry did not brag himself in front of the others even though he found out that he is a celebrity between the wizards and witches.(complex)  His bravenss and modesty are the virtues that should be followed by people. Furthermore, Harry Potter’s friends, Ron and Hermione, were very impressive for me because they are the model of people who truly cherish their friends. (compound) It was very touching when they even risked their lives to find Sorcerer’s stone with Harry.

Also, the scenes that Voldmort appears from the new professor’s head and trolls destroying the toilet are very imaginative. Villains and trolls are common themes between fantasy novel writers, but Rowling did an excellent job to adapt them into attractive forms. They did not seem stale at all. Harry Potter is an amazing piece for children because of its fantastic imagination and diverse characters, but it is also very attractive for adults because of its lessons and fresh concept of thinking.

J.K. Rowling is delving into the back story of one of “Harry Potter’s” more twisted Hogwarts professors.

J.K. Rowling is delving into the back story of one of “Harry Potter’s” more twisted Hogwarts professors.

J.K. Rowling delivers new ‘Harry Potter’ tale

Summary:  J.K. Rowling, an author of Harry Potter, is creating a new story about Dolores Umbridge. Dolores Umbridge is a professor of Harry Potter’s school and is famous for her toad-like appearance and her cruelness; she likes to punish students who don’t listen to her in inhumane ways. Since Dolores is such a unique character, and Rowling feels purest dislike towards her, J.K. Rowling decided to craft a story about life of Umbridge. (Complex and compound) According to Rowling, the idea of Umbridge came from her teacher. She hated the teacher intensely, and she liked childish accessories just like Umbridge. (Compound)

My opinion: Even though this article is more about Harry potter novel rather than the film, I chose this article as my post because I have loved Harry potter since I was 12. It is such an important piece in my life because it made my childhood full of variety of imagination. Therefore, the news of the back story of Harry Potter really thrills me. Furthermore, the idea of creating a story about one of the character’s life is very impressive. I was always curious about the lives of each of the character’s life because all I can find out about is the main chracter’s. I am very excited to face the story about Umbridge.

Snow dictionary

 J.K. Rowling is delving into the back story of one of “Harry Potter’s” more twisted Hogwarts professors.

Definition: [VERB] If you delve into something, you try to discover new information about it.

  • Korean Equivalent: (무엇을 찾으려고) 뒤지다
  • Synonym:  rummage, search through
  • Personal Sentence: As the scholar got interested in pyscholgy, she started to delve into it.

Dolores Umbridge, whom fans will remember for her toad-like appearance, her hair bows and the gruesome way she chose to punish students.

Definition: [ADJ] Something that is gruesome is extremely unpleasant and shocking.

  • Korean Equivalent:  소름끼치는, 섬뜩한
  • Synonym:  terrible, grisly, horrifying
  • Personal Sentence: I don’t like horror movies becuase many of them have gruesome scenes.

James Cameron: Before Avatar … a curious boy

Summary: James Cameron, the director of films ‘Terminator’, ‘Aliens’, ‘The Abyss’, and ‘Avatar’ gives a speech about his challenges as a filmmaker. In the past, he was a very curious child who called himself a ‘science geek’. He even became a scuba diver at age of 15 due to his love of marine lives. His love of drawing, paining, reading and science made him become a filmmaker. When he filmmed ‘The Abyss’, he caught the audiences mesmerized by the CG. Since then, the filmmaker started to embrace the CG into all of his films. The CG, which he called a magic, was taken much farther in ‘Terminator 2’, and had the same result with audiences. He decided to create a whole new world with the CG effect. His desire for it is shown in films ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’. He did all the expedition prior to filming himself (with his team), and during the process, he thought it was “really cool”. After the success of ‘Titanic’, he created a little flying robot, and explored the wreck of Titanic with it in order to observe marine life. Later, he got interested in space science, and he even created documentary films about space science. While creating the documentary films, he learned what a true leadership is. He applied the same principle of leadership when he made ‘Avatar’.

Opinion: Through the Ted Talk, I was actually deeply impressed by James Cameron’s passion for his career.I respect his courage to start on a field that nobody had touched before. Even though Avatar did make a lot of fortune worldwide, I don’t think that was not the goal of James Cameron. He was pursuing his goal and he wanted to feel the thrill of converting his imagination into a visible content. I also learned that his big success did not just appear out of nothing. He did try almost everything he could do and he loved what he was doing, no matter they were successful or not. Whenever I make a goal and work for it, I should not get easily frustrated like I do now. I will take the risk, and and not be afraid of failure like he said at the end of the talk. In addition, his opinion about leadership was also impressive. He considered his coworkers very important, and he respected his team. I learned that not putting limitaion on myself but letting other people do it is an important part of working in a team.

Snow dictionary:

So, you know, here I am now, on the deck of Titanic, sitting in a submersible, and looking out at planks that look much like this, where I knew that the band had played.

  • Definition: If something is submersible, it can go or operate under water.
  • Korean Equivalent: 물속에서 쓸 수 있는, 잠수정
  • Synonym: aquatic, submarine (?)
  • Personal Sentence: Submersible cameras are getting popular between tourists these days.

And even though the film didn’t make any money — barely broke even, I should say — I witnessed something amazing, which is that the audience, the global audience, was mesmerized by this apparent magic.

  • Definition: If you are mesmerized by something, you are so interested in it or so attracted to it that you cannot think about anything else.
  • Korean Equivalent: 최면을 걸듯 마음을 사로잡다, 완전 넋을 빼놓다
  • Synonym: fascinate, enchant
  • Antonym: bore, tire, disgust
  • Personal Sentence: Everyone was mesmerized by the speaker’s fluent speaking.



Why is it sad and lonely women who turn to chocolate?

Why is it sad and lonely women who turn to chocolate?

Summary: In films and TV shows, women who are badly stressed are often eating excessive amount of chocolates. They are distressed, dumped or hopeless and need some comfort from sugar. Those contents that include stressed women eating chocolate like crazy describe eating chocolate as if it is something “naughty”. The love of chocolate can be described as children’s, but never as male adults’.  In addition, women frequently appear as witches if they own a sweetshop. This can be observed from the films such as “The Wicker Man” and Hansel and Gretel.

Opinion: This article mainly provides examples of films that show stressed women who are obsessed with chocolate, or witches who brandish chocolate. I did know that many girls reduce their stress by eating sweet stuff, but I didn’t realise that the connection between chocolates and women in people’s mind is this strong. Although sad and lonely women do turn to chocolate in reality, it is an old cliche to consider chocolate as women’s. I think the author wanted to criticize the cliche through this article. Obviously, anyone can turn to chocolate when they are stressed, and it is not a taboo.This old cliche does need to be improved, in order that people to break the meaningless stereotype that chocolate is a female food, and they eat it when they are out of control.

Snow dictionary:

Adverts, too, propagate this mythology, although they take it to the opposite extreme.

  • Korean Equivalent: 전파하다, 선전하다
  • Definition: If people propagate an idea or piece of information, they spread it and try to make people believe it or support it.
  • Synonym: originate, produce, increase, make pregnant
  • Antonym: hide, conceal, decrease, kill
  • Personal Sentence: The newspaper company intentionaly propagated the scandal about two movie stars.

Plus, while we’re on the topic of children and sweets, it’s also worth noting that, in a tradition that dates all the way back to Hansel and Gretel, if you’re a woman in a film and you’re giving out confectionery, you could well be a witch.

  • Korean Equivalent: 과자류, 단 음식
  • Definition: Confectionery is sweets and chocolates.
  • Synonym: sweets, chocolates
  • Antonym:
  • Personal Sentence: Women and children are main target customers of confectionery industries.