martes, 6 de septiembre de 2016

BELLE ÉPOQUE EUROPEAN SOCIETY

At the turn of the 19th-20th century:
European society is decadent and promiscuous. European society encourages intermingling between classes, friendships on equal terms between men and women, more creativity, and a more open discussion of sexuality.
Basically, European society is a 1960’s flower child.
Europeans as decadent and immoral.
European culture?
freedom and individuality in Europe.
For middle-class white women, sexual mores began to change, with birth control emerging as a discussible issue in some circles and pleasure in sexual relations starting to be recognized as a female, not just a male, possibility. Hemlines were rising, corsets were being discarded, hair was being worn shorter. So widespread and sweeping were the changes that even by the early 1890s the term "New Woman" - evoking the image of a confident, self-reliant, young adult capable of playing a public as well as a private role in society - had become commonplace. Not everyone was pleased about the advent of the New Woman, and not all women had access to the ideal. Furthermore, the ideal itself often varied depending on race, class, ethnicity, religion, region, or politics. Despite such differences, however, economic, social, and political change was finally taking place for many women.
 mainstream European values supported free love and creativity when it comes to sex, divorce, and marital fidelity. And as regards artists, Bohemians, and "people who write".
The class might examine social customs, marriage, money, justice, love, or gender. 
Historical context or references may also support or contradict a thematic 
interpretation. Explore the theme of "innocence" to begin your discussion. 
Students can research how writers, artists, and intellectuals might have defined 
this theme in 1875. Students can also examine how this theme is defined 
in Europe circa 1875. 
divorce and unconventional European living arrangements
all that is unknown and exotic in European society
European values and sensibilities.
 easy, free-spirited European charm.
élan and style would be at home in Europe,
a single woman's life in Paris. She was presumably able to savor the life of art museums, parties long into the night, possible lovers, wine, and exquisite food. This broader, more passionate life

Notes for 2016 Dermark Othello graphic mise-en-scène:
Setting:
Belle Époque or Progressive Era - Villas de Benicàssim in summer (September for imagining)
Mediterranean European pre-Wars society in summer, with its leniency towards free love and alternate lifestyles, as well as the context of armed peace, provide the perfect counterpart to Shakespeare's sunny Cyprus:
in these times, Germany provided the first welfare state ever and women's rights began to be recognized - no one realised the Great War was brewing beneath the surface - but still brightly coloured uniforms, eaves, and horse-drawn carriages were part of the everyday setting.
Male characters:
Only civilian male character - Roderigo -18/20-ish young former society man (student/ golden bohemian) with spectacles, boater hat and white suit, shy and insecure
all others military men, wearing Spanish uniforms of the Belle Époque
Othello - 30-ish colonel, Romany or Moorish descent, introverted and scarred war veteran; sinister and mysterious air. Des was the first who loved him for who he is, not for what he is: as such, he loves his friends dearly because they are the only true ones. When he snaps, he becomes uncontrollable and driven by what he calls righteous anger; will not listen to reason
Iago - 30-ish sergeant major, scarred psychopathic war veteran, closeted gay, only sinister in private; also envies all the others for being able to feel positive emotions (can only see and feel the dark side, like an adult version of Kai in TSQ): main motivation; to shatter the lives of those men who have not returned his secret love (gay military man)
Cassio - 18/20-ish lieutenant, the third wheel in the ménage à 3- freshly baked, extraverted and gentlemanly (right-hand-kissing), innocent and intelligent by-the-book stripling, childhood friend to Desdemona, then betrothed to Bianca... cohabits with her at the end of the story at the estate, a broken man (changes radically from the start of the story to the finale, as one of the two survivors and his military career blown to smithereens) comforted by his demi-mondaine mistress. 
Female characters:
Desdemona: the neo-Romantic heiress: 18-19 golden blond (Nordic traits), society heiress that embraces aestheticism and bohemian life, usually wears clothes with an Art Nouveau/Pre-Raphaelite flair; empire waist and an elaborate flower hairpin/headdress on her Josephine hairstyle (but sometimes switches to a boater, or even a shako, and riding breeches), a determined free spirit / dreamer raised in an eccentric manner, who discarded the trappings of high nobility to marry a mysterious military man and want "more than this provincial life". Kindly, friendly, yet so innocent that she is naive. Surely "Fredish (half French, half Swedish)."
Emilia: the desperate army wife: dark or auburn, wears maid's tuque or boater hat with maid's uniform and spectacles. Wears a bun. The only middle-aged female in the cast, a savvy aunt or older sister figure (oneesama) to Des and a mistreated wife who will finally lash against her tyrant of a husband. 
Bianca: the middle-class New Woman: 18-19 reddish auburn, bohemian tomboy, wears boater hat and (usually) biking or riding breeches. A biker. Wears a queue or single French braid. Even more of a free spirit and more assertive than Desdemona. A hothead/tsundere. Sometimes aggressive with Cassio (tsundere dynamics). They cohabit at the estate in the ending.
Prelude: Left Bank in winter (Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Champs Élysées, Place des Invalides, five-story townhouses, Métro, cafés and restaurants, grey sky, lots of snow); most characters if not all seven are introduced, as well as the relationships between them. Same European values and sensibilities; a different, more rigid setting (white winter in a cold townscape) to show what these characters are like in their usual everyday cold-season lives.

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