If I were a historical figure, I'd most likely be Percy Shelley, in that allowing me to do things and interact with people was probably a bad idea.
Potential followers should be aware: I once rewrote Hamlet with strippers. You have been warned.
Call me Cat.
Ok, here’s my take on the Galadriel & Tauriel thing that seems to be sweeping the fandom. Personally, while I can understand why people are angry, (and I do understand, I genuinely do), I happen to love their positioning and expressions. Why?
Women are disproportionately the ones affected by war. BoFA is a fantastical setting, yes, but women are often the unwilling victims/survivors of war. However, I do not think Galadriel & Tauriel are made out to be victims within the banner, in fact the opposite.
I’m thrilled they’re not holding swords and looking stoic as hell because, quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of female characters needing to hold up swords in order to be deemed ‘valuable’. Additionally, one of the major themes of The Hobbit is greed and how fucking stupid and awful war is. Give me Tauriel looking shell shocked over the horror and brutality of war than being sucked into an ‘epic pose’.
Give me Galadriel being shown fighting for something aside from gold and tangible, I’ll take her being outstretched and reaching towards Gandalf, towards an ally and friend, over reaching for the Arkenstone. I’ll take women representing the true horror of war and death over some epic poses, thank you very much.
god am i really having this argument; apparently i’m really having this argument
so, yeah, poster 1. i wanna draw your attention to legolas and tauriel’s faces for a minute.
legolas is looking straight out at the viewer, his mouth is set in a line, he’s making eye contact with the camera. he’s interacting with the viewer. we don’t know whether he’s about to speak to us, or run at us, or attack us, but we understand that he’s going to take some kind of relevant action— not necessarily “action” as in Action Scene, but “action” as in he’s doing something. anything. he’s a character whose behavior and thoughts will affect the story.
tauriel, on the other hand, is looking off to the side. her mouth is a little open; her face is mostly blank. she’s leaning forward a little. it’s important to note that she is dressed in her Action Girl clothes— she’s even holding a weapon— but she’s not showing emotion or making eye contact, which is the universal human signal for “i’m not going to interact with you.”
the viewer is not led to interact with her as a character whose thoughts and behaviors need to be paid attention to, because it’s other people’s thoughts and behaviors that are going to affect her/the story. they’re not wondering what she’s going to do; they’re wondering what’s going to be done to her.
also, that photoshop is god-awful, but we’ll leave that alone for now.
galadriel, like tauriel, is also dressed in her Power Outfit— those are the same clothes she wore when she gave frodo the water of earendil, and when she showed him her mirror. this is not her “delicate harmless” dress. this is her “i have seen the two trees of valinor and the darkness of morgoth, i have held one of the three rings of power and fought with the noldor in the rebellion against the valar and gil-galad in the war of the last alliance, i have lived thousands of goddamn years in exile, come at me, motherfucker” dress
god galadriel is so cool. what was i talking about.
um. right. so unlike tauriel, galadriel isn’t centered in the frame— she’s off to the right, creating a visual balance with gandalf on the left. but gandalf is placed higher; your eye is drawn to him. he’s the one taking action— he’s lifting her up, holding tight to her arm— and from what we can see of his face, which is injured and bloody, he’s calm and determined. he’s surrounded by a mixture of light and shadow.
galadriel isn’t only dressed in white, she’s surrounded by white— the light is on her. the stones are pale, there’s no shadow. the shadow comes from the background, elrond and saruman, who are encroaching on her— she’s in danger from the darkness.
again, our point-of-view character in this shot isn’t galadriel; she’s not the one who’s acting, she’s being acted upon. the story being told is that there’s danger (elrond, saruman, smoky shadow stuff, extremely ominous leaves) and it’s threatening the light (galadriel).
and gandalf, who’s lifting galadriel up— he’s the hero, he’s preserving the purity that she represents. he’s injured, but he’s still fighting; she’s not hurt at all, and he needs to make sure it remains that way, that her innocence isn’t marred. she’s the object of protection.
it’s pretty clear here that we are not seeing these scenes through galadriel and tauriel’s eyes— we’re seeing them through gandalf and legolas’. it’s not galadriel reaching towards an ally and a friend; it’s gandalf protecting her. it’s not tauriel becoming traumatized by the horror of war; it’s legolas taking action as tauriel becomes incapacitated.
these women aren’t the subject of the scene. they’re the objects. and that has absolutely nothing to do with whether they’re holding a sword or not, and everything to do with whether or not the viewer is empathizing with them.
op, i want my media to have all kinds of woman characters— women with swords, women who are survivors and victims, women who value friendship and love, women who are materialistic, women who are selfless, women who are greedy, powerful women, powerless women, brilliant women, silly women, and for god’s sake women of color— just as much as you do.
but i want women’s thoughts, feelings, and actions— no matter what they are— to matter just as much to the story and to the storytellers as the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the men.
these posters aren’t telling that story.
Hayley Atwell guest stars as Agent Peggy Carter in Agents of SHIELD 2x01 "Shadows" (x)
like, it’s really important that hamlet is prince of denmark— it’s really important that he’s not just any random dude whose father has been murdered. “lord hamlet is a prince, out of thy star, this must not be” is important, and “imperial jointress to this warlike state” is important, and “there’s something rotten in the state of denmark” is important, and though i have no great love for him, fortinbras is important
because hamlet is— it feels wrong to call it political, as if there’s some standpoint shakespeare was trying to advocate for, and it feels wrong to call it about power, since it’s also about family, and grief, and depression, and lots of other things
but soooo much of it is the claustrophobic terrifying enclosure of elsinore, the invisible weight of the structure of the whole court, the environment of doublespeak and dual identities— claudius is never referred to as “claudius” in dialogue, only as “the king”— rosencrantz and guildenstern’s implications that hamlet is only sad because he didn’t get the throne, hamlet’s slow shocked realization that a king can end up in the guts of a beggar and when you’re dead it doesn’t make any damn difference—
hamlet isn’t just anybody, he’s an heir, he’s the king’s son, denmark’s a prison and he is trapped in it because he is the prince of denmark. not a lord, not a general’s son. he comes from power and he has lived in power all his life and that is important.
also, because i’ve gone 5 minutes without mentioning cal shakes hamlet:
Pictured: Clint Ramos’ set model for Hamlet, the majority of which is taken up by an empty swimming pool. Ramos and director Liesl Tommy took much inspiration from photos of abandoned mansions and palaces—places that were post-power but pre-ruin. (x)
if it’s that modern au post I think it’s giving more of a hamlet trying to prove his uncle did it than hamlet tryin to find out who did it detective vibe? mystery isn’t a perfect word but idt that post is saying it’s a traditional “murder mystery”
yeah, but hamlet isn’t doing that either?
i mean, that’s def better than the other thing, but hamlet is not sam spade, is the point here. i mean it’s a lot of the point. hamlet is very much not trying to prove his uncle killed his dad (i mean, first off, he’s not trying to prove anything, he’s got explicit confirmation from his dad that his uncle did it and his dad didn’t tell him to ~expose claudius to the world~, he told him to get revenge, because hamlet’s not supposed to care about exposing claudius to the world, he’s just supposed to kill him)
hamlet is a shit detective. like, he’s a shit hero archetype in general, but specifically he’s a shit detective— the arc of the detective story is about knowledge, searching for answers or searching for people or trying to publicize things For Great Justice— and hamlet’s arc is not about knowledge. (tho lol i am sure he wishes it was.) it’s about action.
like, raymond chandler:
But down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world… The story is his adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure.
this hero is not hamlet. this story is not hamlet’s story.
there is a post about shakespeare adaptations going around that i will not reblog because i really do like most of it, but i will make this passive-aggressive comment, because i can:
who on earth thinks that hamlet is a murder mystery. who thinks that hamlet is about hamlet trying to find out who killed his dad. who thinks that. how.
black widow: the name of the rose; quotes