Today marks the 9th day on this study abroad trip, as well as our last day with our wonderful tour guide Victoria. We started off the day by touring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It was really informative in terms of Shakespeare himself, the history of the Globe, and the history of theatre in general. It was a nice warm up to actually seeing the the play Hamlet preformed there in the evening. After the Globe we went to Westminster Abbey and got another very informative tour. I am always just so impressed by the detail in these buildings. I throughly enjoyed this one because I remember seeing some of the architecture in the televising of William and Kate’s wedding. I also really enjoyed learning about the different clusters of famous scientists and poets that’s were buried there. Following that we went on a nice walking tour of the Inns of Court where maybe lawyers practice and aspirin lawyers study. I enjoyed seeing the architecture and learning a bit about the court system in the UK. Lastly we saw Hamlet. I had a phenomenal time at the play, Hamlet is a play that makes you think and reflect on your own life, it is entertaining and thought provoking. It was quite amazing we got to see one of Shakespeare’s finest works in the Globe itself.
My big surprise for today was the caring of characters in Hamlet. Hamlet was played by a women as well as many other parts that were men and Ophelia was played by a man. I was surprised at how these choices simultaneously made me think and also didn’t get “in the way” of the story at all. I found myself paying even more attention as a result of these choices. It even made you think a little harder about how men and women were spoken to and treated when you had to remind yourself of the gender they were “supposed” to be.
Westminster Abbey really connected with the theme of religion today. I thought it was interesting to hear Victoria tell more stories of scandals that occurred within the royal family as a result of conflicting religions or behavior that wouldn’t have been accepted by the church. I thought it was cool that the church had progressed over time burying poets that were originally banned. I also think it’s interesting how women weren’t greatly represented in those that were buried. In general I think the tradition and standards set by the church on how people are supposed to act and behave can seen as a big difference between England and America. I feel like there is a greater importance on being proper here than in the the United States, and that those ideals come from the Church.