This Broad’s Rather Broad Ideas

I currently have a couple half-baked ideas for my capstone project, and I’m having a hard time narrowing them down. At one point I thought I might write the libretto for a musical about Dungeons and Dragons (more specifically, people who PLAY D&D, and not the actual content and characters of the D&D universe), though I’m not quite sure if I could think of this project as a means of answering a driving questions, or if I could even complete it in the time allotted. That said, I still flirt with the idea, and I definitely haven’t given up on it as a potential project.

However, Ray’s suggestion to think about topics that we’ve been exposed to in undergrad that we have yet to fully exhaust got me thinking about other, perhaps more promising ideas. For example, last year I wrote a research paper about the image of the werewolf in medieval literature, and while I was really proud of my final draft, I felt that I had only skimmed the surface of my topic. Writing the paper allowed me to explore how, why, and when humanity creates images of monsters (in short, I think that the monster often indicates a disconnect in human understand, and reflects a particular fear [most likely borne from ignorance] of a given culture/era/population/etc), and I’ve been curious to explore the subject more ever since. I’m wondering if I could try and craft a potential project that could explore this idea in greater depth, or at least in a different genre/format from medieval literature (which isn’t my favorite genre to work in, if I’m being completely honest). I think there may even be a way to combine this topic with my musical idea, though I’m not entirely sure how I’d go about doing that just yet.

4 thoughts to “This Broad’s Rather Broad Ideas”

  1. Wow! This is fascinating. What two completely opposite ideas. I think it could be cool if you used music (similarly to the way you mentioned) to tell your perspective about monsters and what they symbolize. In a way, you can tell a story through the music or maybe turn it into a musical, like you were thinking about doing for Dungeons and Dragons. This will allow you to play around with different sounds, and then maybe you can even write words!

    I don’t know why, but I keep thinking about Forgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Siegel writes a play about Dracula, and uses puppets. You could change the genre, but still convey your perspective in a similar manner as your idea from D&D.

    Try it out – it could be cool!

  2. Hey Brooke,

    Do you have favorite monsters? Is the werewolf your favorite? Or are there other ones that you’re more interested in? Do different monsters connotate different things? I don’t know why – but I have an image as this as a website where it’s all different kinds of monsters and what they’ve been used for in the past. Like little bios – and then an opportunity for them to team up or despise each other in interesting (and maybe also silly) ways.

    Regardless this feels very you and I think you should definitely keep pushing it to its normal Brooke Gabriel awesomeness. Also let me know if you want to brainstorm more! I’d love to kick ideas around!

  3. B,
    You always have some killer ideas going on in that noggin and I’m about it. As much as I would love to see you write a libretto, I’m really into the idea of monsters and how the come about. There is a beautiful story by Stephen Crane ( called “The Monster” that is literally the creation story of a monster. I’ll let you read it and save us both time while I avoid summarizing it and move on along. Basically, mob mentality. Right? Think about it. Society makes monsters out of literally everything. Once the kid next to you thinks Dolphus Raymond (TKAMB) is a drunk, then you do too, and now he’s an outcast. A monster doesn’t have to be a werewolf, although many of the same characteristics apply. We make monsters out of hairstyles and stores and bands and basically everything we talked about in class Wednesday that we once loved but now hate. I think that evolution is particularly juicy. Young Frankenstein? He was a docile performing monkey until people pissed him off and he was suddenly worthy of a lynch mob. There are also quite a few dark, historical examples you could reference but I’ll leave that to your discretion. What I’m suggesting here is to expand your definition of monster and apply it to make some sort of social commentary. It would be interesting to compare your werewolf to high fructose corn syrup or something like that. No matter what your project is gonna rock so keep it up and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this progresses.


  4. Hey Brooke,

    I’m really fascinated by the idea of how monsters have historically been created as a projection of human fears of the “other” and the unknown. I think you could write a really interesting musical about this theme. Because you mention that medieval literature isn’t exactly your favorite, maybe you could extend the idea of a “monster” to something more modern in our society. Not too familiar with D&D, but I’m sure you could incorporate that universe in as well. Excited to see where you take this!

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