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Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet
Transcript of Goodnight Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet
In literature, symbols are essential in the development of the theme. In Ann-Marie MacDonalds play,
Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)
, there are many symbols that help the readers understand Constance. Constance`s thesis shows us that she has the ability to write very well. She is first portrayed as very weak and her only strength is her ability to write. After her encounters with Desdemona and Juliet, Constance`s character changes drastically. With her fountain pen, they both undergo the great change of alchemy; turning something of lesser value, into something with a greater value. Throughout the play we see the colour green come up a significant amount of times. Green represents Constance`s new beginning at life.
Constance's thesis states that Shakespeare's
were originally comedies, written by an unknown author
Constance believes that if she were to decode the Gustav Manuscript, she will be able to prove that Shakespeare made the comedic plays into tragedies
intro- 1 minute
thesis- 30 seconds
argument one- 3-5 minutes
argument two- 3-5 minutes
argument three- 3-5 minutes
interactive component- 10 minutes
conclusion- 1 minute
Developing The Theme Through Symbolism
Ann- Marie MacDonald develops the theme of self-awareness and personal transformation through the symbols of Constance's thesis, the fountain pen and the colour green.
Constance is extremely confident with her statement on Shakespeare altering the "comedic" plays into tragedies
She believes that the proof to her thesis lays within the manuscript
The only thing shes confident with is her ability to write
" whoever cracks the Gustav code will be right up there with Darwin, Bingham-" (MacDonald 16)
Constance is determined to decode the manuscript because she will finally be given credit for the work that she has done
She wants her theory to change the way people look at Shakespeare's literature, just like Darwin and his theory of evolution
Her thesis shows us that she is very good at analyzing
she is often analyzing and trying to decode everything
"As a matter of fact, yes. If you take the second letter of the eighteenth word in every second scene in
, and cross reference them with the corresponding letters in
Romeo and Juliet
, it says: 'i dare not name the source of this txt."
It is clear to us that one of Constance's strengths is analyzing things
She will not stop researching and analyzing until she can prove her thesis
After finding "i dare not name the source of this txt" this gives Constance hope that she will be able to prove her thesis
The Fountain Pen
The fountain pen is a symbol for alchemy
Alchemy is a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy, transmuting base metals into
Any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value
At the beginning of the play, Constance is treated as "little value" by Professor Claude Night
She does not speak up for herself when he treats her terribly
"Oh i'm not, I'm, I'm not the least bit special, I'm, I'm just one flawed and isolated fragment of a perfect infinite mind like anybody else.." (MacDonald 16)
She herself believes that she is unimportant and worthless
At this moment in the play, her pen is
At the end of Act 3, scene 6, Constance finally speaks up
"Nay nay!! - Nay. Just....nay....both of you. I've had it with all the tragic tunnel vision around here. You have no idea what- life is a hell of a lot more complicated than you think! Life- real life- is a big mess."(MacDonald 86)
At the end of the play, after her encounters with Desdemona and Juliet, Constance becomes strong and realizes that the only person she needs to please is herself
"For those who have the eyes to see: Take care-for what you see, just might be thee. Where two plus one adds up to one, not three."(MacDonald 88)
This quote is said by Constance to Desdemona and Juliet after she found out that she was the author of the manuscript
She says this because Desdemona and Juliet are part of her, they are not three individuals
"she feels her pen behind her ear, removes it, and looks at it. It has turned to solid gold, feather and all." (88)
At this time Constance's fountain pen undergoes alchemy, turning
Constance also undergoes alchemy, turning into her more valuable self
The Colour Green
"Green is the color of growth, the color of spring, of renewal and rebirth."
The colour green shows up multiple times in the play and it is extremely significant
Green is the symbol for new beginnings and freshness
Constance writes her thesis in green ink, it is a fresh idea that no one has though of before
"Throughout the rest of the scene Constance works aloud on her doctoral thesis: a copious dog-eared document handwritten in green ink on foolscap." (7)
it signifies that a new beginning is on it's way (development of her thesis)
green is a symbol for envy
"[she stuffs her thesis into a drawer of her desk. He wipes his green ink-stained fingers on his handkerchief]"(16)
Professor Night has stained his fingers green after reading Constance's thesis. This symbolizes that he is envious over Constance's ability to write
this is why he passes off her work as his own
Constance Ledbelly's determination to reveal the unknown author of the Gustav Manuscript leads her through a journey of personal transformation. From being thrown into the worlds of two Shakespearean plays, Othello and Romeo and Juliet, she finds the missing parts of herself. Constance shows great strength and confidence in her writing ability. Writing allows Constance to express herself in ways that she cannot verbally. Her character starts out to be a very weak and soft spoken, making it easy for people to take advantage of her. After her encounters with Desdemona and Juliet, Constance's character changed for the better. The theme of Constance's personal transformation was developed by the symbols of Constance's thesis, the fountain pen and the colour green.
Synonyms at Dictionary.com Mobile." find out | Synonyms at Dictionary.com Mobile. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 June 2014. <http://thesaurus.com/browse/find%20out>.
"The Color Green." Empowered By Color. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 June 2014. <http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-green.htBanach,
Jennifer. "How to Write a Good Essay." Bloom's How to Write about Tennessee Williams. New York: Chelsea House Publishing, 2009. Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 6 June 2014 <http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE54&WID=101973&SID=5&iPin=HTWATW002&SingleRecord=True>.