The Relationship Between Seeing and Understanding Essay

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“To see something is not necessarily to understand it. Make an argument about the relationship between seeing and understanding in texts on this module.” I think that to see something doesn’t necessarily mean you understand it. I’m going to explore the relationship between seeing and understanding prior to linking my opinions together at the end. First, when talking about audience I think you need to be clear as to what your role is as part of the audience (or reader) of the play you’re seeing. As you see the story unfold – in most cases – you begin to understand what you’re supposed to understand about it. With Hamlet for example, it is a play about being human, and there are many bits of wisdom and lessons conveyed which people begin to understand after seeing the story unfold. In a long speech to Laertes, Polonius says: “Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportioned thought his act.” “Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice. Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgement.” “And this above all – to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Shakespeare, William, Hamlet, 1987. 1.3.59-60, 68-69, 78-79) To explain, the audience hearing the advice will know it to be advice, so they will understand more that the purpose of Hamlet is to help you gain an insight into who we are as people, and what we’re like. Polonius doesn’t take his own advice. He speaks too much, acts rashly and doesn’t stay true to himself, which becomes a factor contributing to his death. The audience should see this and actually understand what happens if you don’t follow the advice he gave Laertes. Theory has no context or real world application unless it is put into practice, and by extension, unless you see it implemented into the real world (or not in Polonius’s case) then you can’t understand

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