Media. 8 Sept.



Act two provides us with a series of rhetorical/figural responses to nature. They include joke work-puns, taking-the-piss, & slapstick; lists, measure, quantification, commodification; and repetition; allusion; and tragedy juxtaposed against comedy.

Building off of both Danny and Kira’s comments towards the end of class on 9/3, we might also ask of The Tempest:

  • What do individuals or smaller groups of people lack that government supplies?
  • How are Shakespeare and his characters readers of a literary historical tradition and/or political the context in which they find themselves?


MLA citation

Berensmeyer, Ingo. “Shakespeare and Media Ecology: Beyond Historicism and Presentism.” Poetics Today 35.4 (2015): 515-533.

Before we work on the essay, can we quickly discuss the following:

  • What is a primary source?
  • What is a secondary source?
  • How can we assess the validity of secondary sources?

Berensmeyer, Ingo. “Shakespeare and Media Ecology: Beyond Historicism and Presentism.” Poetics Today 35.4 (2015): 515-533.

Part I. Group Activity

Please get into the groups that follow, introduce yourselves to your peers, and then respond to the prompts below. Write down as much as you will need to participate in discussion and be prepared to cite specific instances from the text.

  1. Ainee, Hannah M., Nicholas, & Robert
  2. Alexandra, Jeffery, Danny, & Angeline
  3. Kelsey, Beau, Caroline, Chan, & Thomas
  4. June, Sun, Isabelle, Patrick, Shamala, & Bailey
  5. Kira, Sarah, Madison, Tony, & Hannah P.
  • What are Berensmeyer’s main claims or goals?
  • Point out 1-2 of conceptual frames he deploys, and describe how he fits those frames to The Tempest. EX: Presentism, Historicism, Media Ecology. 
  • How does Berensmeyer’s essay and/or The Tempest expand or challenge ordinary expectations about human agency? Do you agree?

Part II. Mini Writing Workshop

  • Get into pairs
  • Exchange blog posts–either online or trade hard copies
  • In 3-5 sentences convert your partner’s blog post into a short “paper”


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