"Mythology / Folklore / Science Fiction" Essays

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Wife's Story Firstname Lastname Research Paper

Research Paper  |  1 pages (366 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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B.

Cover Art

Night, and the moon, figure prominently in the story. Cover art should include a full moon with the suggestion that there is something sinister in its influence. Attached is a sample the art department can use as inspiration to capture the essence of this story.

C.

Back Cover/Catalog Copy

"He was a good husband, a good father. I don't understand it. I don't believe in it. I don't believe that it happened" (Le Guin, 2011). So begins Ursula K. Le Guin's haunting tale of moonlight and mystery. A young mother is increasingly troubled by her husband's late-night hunting trips and the unexplainable changes that have come over him. She fears for her family and knows that she must protect them at all costs.

References

Le Guin, U. (2011). The wife's story. In Acosta, D.L.P. a. A. (Eds) Literature: A World of Writing Stories, Poems, Plays, and Essays [VitalSource Digital Version](pp. 3-27) Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions.

Werewolfman. Retrieved March 23, 2013, from Google…… [read more]


Quintessential Elements of Grotesque Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (724 words)
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Comparison of Poe's Gothic Fictions with the Southern Gothic Stories

Similarities

Both stories, A Rose for Emily and A Good Man is Hard to Find, are representative of gothic elements such as the use of crime and horror. In A Rose for Emily, the very thought of Emily not only living with a corpse, but sleeping with it is horrific "The man himself lay in the bed" (490). He adds that "The body had apparently once lain in attitude of an embrace" (490). In A Good Man is Hard to Find, O'Connor provides a description of a horrifying murder scene where the misfit kills grandmother and her family. In the scene after the accident, the mere introduction of the misfit sends terror down the reader's spine. "The grandmother shrieked. She scrambled to her feet and stood staring" (1149). In all these two stories the gothic elements are similar to Edgar Poe's The black Cat and The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Poe's style of writing, which includes excessive use of adjectives in The Fall of the House of Usher instills a spirit of fear, and even despair in the readers, " & #8230;upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain & #8230;" he adds "… upon the bleak walls - upon the vacant eye-like windows - upon a few rank sedges - and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees" (1193) or more evident is a scene in The Black Cat "…with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire…" he continues "… sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder…" (14).

Differences

Faulkner's story, A Rose for Emily, and O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to find are representative of Southern Gothic, they adapt Gothic elements, such as crime and horror, to portray the social condition of the American South. On the contrary, Edgar Poe's The Black Cat and The Fall of the House of Usher are gothic fiction whose prevailing mood is terror or suspense. His intention is to tap…… [read more]


Men and Women Depicted Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (904 words)
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Again, such a turn of events demonstrates how mythology often depicts men as being easily manipulated by women. The fact that mythology depicts men in this manner also suggests that they should be viewed as highly fearful creatures. However, the fickleness of men is a theme which is absolutely repeated upon. Theseus falls in love with Araidne and then abandons her, falling in love with her sister Phaedra. According to the myths, it's still not clear how that happened exactly. This example showcases yet again another instance where ment exhibit a certain degree of disloyalty and infidelity to their partners.

These texts and the gender roles which are highly prevalent within them, serve to demonstrate that no matter how lofty or superior these heroic characters like Hercules and Theseus are, they can still be affected and influenced by the rather concrete gender typologies that resound through mythology as a whole. For example, while Hercules is still a great hero and a great warrior, he still falls prey to the common tropes and archetypes of gender. He is still easily manipulated: for instance when he marries Deianira, she gives him a clock which has a balm at the center of it, which Deianira thought would make him love her forever, but which ends up almost killing Hercules. This event alone portrays these standard gender archetypes once more: Deianira was being manipulative. Even if she didn't intend to kill Hercules, she did intend to try to exert force over his own free will. Hercules demonstrated that he could in fact be manipulated in this way. In the myth of Theseus, Theseus' fickleness is indeed acute: he doesn't just fall out of love with Ariadne, he abandons her on the small island of Dia. Thus, aside from being heartbroken, his wife is left deserted and pining for him even more. This speaks to not only an inconsistent character of the male gender in general, but a cold and unfeeling heart.

Thus, Greek mythology as a whole has many concrete treatments of men and women and the actions which are often connected to each gender can be very specific and acute. The myths of Hercules and Theseus demonstrate that men, regardless of their individual attributes and specific character details, are treated as fickle and easily swayed or manipulated by women. Women are at once treated as ethereal, beguiling creates at best, who are often ready, willing and able to manipulate men. At their worst, women are treated as shrews, and generally bloodthirsty for revenge and creatures who will stop at nothing to get…… [read more]


Supernatural Tales Epic of Gilgamesh Essay

Essay  |  3 pages (1,064 words)
Style: MLA  |  Bibliography Sources: 1

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Eventually despite the fact that, they will not offer Gilgamesh exactly what he wanted (to be immortal like them), they gave him extremely little in the way of positive, practical spiritual advice.

Hercules has been viewed as the greatest of all heroes in the mythology of Greek, Hercules was known as the strongest man in the world. Above and beyond marvelous substantial strength, he was also known for his great self-confidence and he also measured himself equal to the gods. In terms of intelligence, Hercules was never a blessed one, however his courage was the major factor behind the lack of cunning. He was an easily angered person and his unexpected sudden occurrence of rage over and over again debilitated blameless bystanders. The outstanding side of Hercules was that after the fury passed, he could realize the mistake and used to be in full of sorrow and guilty for the occurrence, the important bit is that without any conditions he was ready to take whichever type of punishment for his misdeeds. This was one hero who could only be defeated by the supernatural forces, and it was through magic that his mortal life came to an end. It is important to note that in Greek mythology, parentage Hercules as well as Dionysus with half-mortal were entirely immortal and were therefore worshiped as gods.

Numerous disastrous stories encircle Hercules hero, these started from the Hera's detestation for Heracles, it is said that the background of this hatred culminated from the fact that Hercules was born to Alcmene, a mortal female. Conceivably the largest part of Hercules famous story emerges from his twelve labors which started from killing the Nemean lion and ended with capturing Cerberus. It is said that all these tasks were laid down by the king Heracles' archenemy Eurystheus as a retribution for killing one of his own children. It is believed that the grounds for this dreadful action were due to Hera's anguish, which drove Heracles mad. Hercules immortality was granted by the king as a result of successful completion of the twelve tasks. Unlike Gilgamesh who never got what he wanted (to be immortal like gods), due to his relationship with both the people as well as the gods instead the gods gave him extremely little in the way of positive, practical spiritual advice. It is clear that after Hercules death he became a god unlike Gilgamesh who just died and got buried and forgotten.

Conclusion

Perhaps it is proper to remind ourselves that the Epic of Gilgamesh has constantly been referred to a lively embryonic tale. It probably started as separate verbal hero narratives progressively and disconnectedly composed and reframed around Gilgamesh. Even though researchers refer to a certain version of the epic as the "standard Babylonian version," it is proper to acknowledge that this is indeed one snapshot instant in the narration of the story.

Reference

W.T.S. Thackara, "The epic of Gilgamesh: A spiritual biography" for a theosophical interpretation. Or see my "Exploring diversity through… [read more]


Myths and Fables in Pygmalion Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,277 words)
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Sexing the cherry uses the fable of twelve dancing princesses to convey almost the same message. Since Winterson is known for her feminist streak, it is only natural that she couldn't use this particular fable in its original form. She has twisted the story and takes the readers on a ride to the world of imagery and imagination when she extends the story of twelve dancing princesses a little further to find out what happened to them after they had gotten married.

A discovered that my own life was written invisibly, was squashed between the facts, was flying without me like the Twelve Dancing Princesses who shot from their window every night and returned home every morning with torn dresses and worn-out slippers and remembered nothing. I resolved to set a watch on myself like a jealous father, trying to catch myself disappearing through a door just noticed in the wall. I knew I was being adulterous; that what I loved was not going on at home. I was giving myself the slip and walking through this world like a shadow. The longer I eluded myself the more obsessed I became with the thought of discovery" (Sexing the Cherry)

The writer imagines what life was like for the princesses once they got married. In his time and space transcendental experiences, Jordan gets to meet the twelve princesses and discovers that they all had left their husbands because they never found any happiness with them. This is when Jordan falls hopelessly in love with one of the sisters who doesn't respond in kind and appears to be very elusive. The twelve princesses were not living with their husbands anymore and were happier than ever in each other's company. The story has also been given a modern touch by introducing the support of feminism in the princesses who defy the laws of the society and decide to love without the support of any male figure. This was an essential part of the whole storyline and it is important to know that Winterson has used fables only to convey to her readers the importance of her message that females are better off without men because the latter were simply incapable of providing a productive partnership. This may appear to be a rather harsh message but this has been stand of Winterson on the issue of heterosexual relationships.

While Shaw's play used mythology keeping in view the Victorian English society and its norms, Winterson has not imposed restrictions of time and space. Though her novel is initially set in 17th century England, it spans three centuries and the characters moves back and forth in time. But since the novel itself was written in the last decade of the 20th century, the writer did not feel any need to impose any kind of restrictions on her work as far as narrative style, language or plot were concerned. It is more important to keep in mind the time period in which the two works were written… [read more]


Myth to Reality the Hidden Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,548 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Both served as illustrations to the illiterate or semi-literate. Many of the animals used had quite specific meanings. The fox, for example, had been employed since antiquity to denote covetousness, thus its use by Aesop and La Fontaine in the "Fox and the Grapes." (Partridge, 1958) Many of the two fabulists' images were so instantly recognizable by contemporaries that they… [read more]


Classic Story A&ampp, John Updike Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,735 words)
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And he is quite honored and pleased, much as Paris was, and quite willing to accept his situation.

Sammy plays the fool as so many have before, over beauty, but he dresses it in nobility and justifies the righteousness of his ways. That Aphrodite has sway over all by way of her beauty is a given that is accepted without question. Certainly if her brother Apollo were to walk in with all his beauty and receive such treatment from the owner of the shop it is unlikely that would have make a difference to Sammy or spurred him on to action. And that here is what beauty does, it spurs the hero to action. But unlike stories of old when that action had meaning, here at the end of the story, Sammy is left with his principles and his confused desire but little else. As Paris said in the Iliad, "We don't get to choose what the gods give us, you know, And we can't just toss their gifts aside.' (Homer, p 52) For romantics like Paris and Sammy there is no choice when the goddess presents herself.

References

Homer. Iliad Translated by Stanley Lombardo Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing 1997

Lightbown, Ronald. Sandro Botticelli. 2 vols. Berkeley: U. Of California P, 1978. Luscher,

McFarland, Ronald. Studies in Short Fiction. Volume 20 (1983): 94-100.

Updike, John. Pigeon Feathers, and Other…… [read more]


Betrayal and Atonement in Narnia Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,881 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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The fact that Aslan does this reinforces the view that Edmund's sin is meant to symbolize the sins of all mankind, and just as Jesus took those sins on his own head by atoning for them, so does Aslan follow the same course. The betrayal would be far worse if Edmund had undertaken it entirely on his own, as Judas did, but Lewis does mitigate the offense by making Edmund seem enchanted and under the spell of the Witch.

The theme of betrayal and atonement is an oft-repeated one in fiction and in the West usually refers back in some way to the Christian story of Jesus atoning for the sins of all humankind. Lewis retells the story in a new form for young readers and uses this to lead into other biblical material reshaped as myth in the other six books in the Narnia series. Lewis's narrative could easily be over-analyzed and has been by some critics, but the essential meaning is clearly such as could be grasped by a young reader who would have little understanding of or interest in the sort of hair-splitting indulged in by many critics.

Works Cited

Attebery, Brian. The Fantasy Tradition in American Literature: From Irving to Le Guin. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1980.

Brennan, Matt. "The Lion, the Witch and the Allegory: An Analysis of Selected Narnia ChroniclesThe Lion, the Witch and the Allegory: An Analysis of Selected Narnia Chronicles." Into the Wardrobe - Papers (November 1998), http://cslewis.drzeus.net/papers/lionwitchallegory.html.

Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins, 1950.

Lewis, Naomi. "C. S. Lewis: Overview." In Twentieth-Century Children's Writers, 4th ed., Laura Standley Berger (ed.), 1995. Gale Group: Literature Resource Center.

Lindskoog, Kathryn Ann. The Lion of Judah in Never-Never Land: The Theology of C.S. Lewis Expressed in His Fantasies for Children. London: Eerdmans, 1974.

Myers, Doris T.C.S. Lewis in Context. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1994.

Ross, Linda. "C. S. Lewis: Overview." In Twentieth-Century Young Adult Writers, 1st ed., Laura Standley Berger (ed.). New York: St. James Press, 1994. Gale…… [read more]


Don Quixote, a Gaunt, Middle-Aged Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (557 words)
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However, unlike the sharp Robin Hood, Quixote causes much harm at first, as his imagination does not allow him to see things as they really are. For example, when Quixote sees a simple forest, he exclaims, "That you see over there, with long arms, is the great giant

Brocabruno, of mighty strength, who seized the great Mameluke of Persia.(p. 736)" He wants to fight this imagined force but he is really just fighting trees.

Like the Incredible Hulk, a comic book character who changed his entire appearance and state of mind when he got angry, Quixote's character is constantly sitting between a state of madness and a state of sanity. Both characters may be difficult for some audiences to identify and sympathize with yet Quixote's character seems more human. He simply gets too carried away with his perception of chivalry. One of his greatest displays of chivalry is seen when he tells Dulcinea, "I ask of my lady that I may be allowed to serve her, that I may hold her in my heart, that to her I may dedicate each victory and call upon her in defeat, and if at last I give my life, I give it in the sacred name of Dulcinea.(p. 1128)"

The character of Don Quixote can be compared to so m any other heroes, both of past and present times, because he is representative of the quest of every individual trying to find value and meaning in life: "I know who I am and who I may be if I choose"…… [read more]


Superheroes Ruba Superhero Shows Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,655 words)
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While Batman's story is fictional, his character is also portrayed as human, and thus, his character can b applied in real life because of his all-too human qualities and character.

Spiderman, as Peter Parker, was not bestowed with the wealth and fortune that Bruce Wayne had; however, he possesses an extraordinary ability of immense strength and agility because of the… [read more]


Power of Myths Case Study

Case Study  |  4 pages (1,254 words)
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For example, modern man is still in awe of important and powerful personalities, such as sport celebrities, pop stars, political bigwigs and almost everyone who is above the normal herd. A good example of modern day mythological figure is Nazi tyrant, Adolf Hitler. His life explains how mythology still plays a role in our lives and how we are still surrounded by shadows of ancient heroes. Hitler can be compared to Oedipus who rose to heights of fame and success only to later cause his own demise and collapse. Like Oedipus who arrogantly declared, "I am, myself, world-famous Oedipus," Hitler also saw himself in the same light. The reason why I believe Hitler contains some very important mythological elements is because he was one of those who had completed forgotten God and were looking for power and force within themselves. According to Campbell, this was one of the essential features of mythological characters. He writes: "There's a transcendent energy source.... That energy is the informing energy of all things. Mythic worship is addressed to that. That old man up there has been blown away. You've got to find the Force inside you. [Your life comes] from the ultimate energy that is the life of the universe." while most of us today believe in the existence and power of God, mythological figures like Oedipus and others had little t do with that One Supreme Power. They felt they had god-like powers and could do anything and thus they depended on themselves only with occasional support from gods.

However their gods were not like our concept of God. To them, even God could be defeated with right kind of powers and strategies. This was exactly what Hitler appears to have believed. He wanted to rule the entire world and this ambition destroyed his life. But this over-dependence on one's self was what caused the ruin of both Hitler and Oedipus. As Choragos says in the closing speech: "Men of Thebes: look upon Oedipus. This is the king who solved the famous riddle And towered up, most powerful of men. No mortal eyes but looked upon him with envy, Yet in the end ruin swept over him." In exactly the same manner, Hitler became famous when he was able to win a large part of adjoining areas through his military strategies and might. No one could dare challenge his authority but ultimately he was also ruined because of some fatal flaws of character just like Oedipus. His connection with myths was acknowledged by Hans Juergen Syberberg in his film Our Hitler (1978): "Devil and eternal tempter of democracy, or hypnotized medium of the world's masses, or tool of capitalist exploitation and social explosion...a last memory of distant myths" (Syberberg 1984, 36-37) Thus we can safely conclude that indeed myths are still very powerful because of what they represent. They have a great deal to offer to the modern man provided he understands their worth and seeks to unearth their meaning.

References

Campbell, J.… [read more]


Angels and Fairies Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (824 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Mostly benevolent in nature, they are few tales of malicious acts practiced by fairies (The Fairy Faith, 2001). According to some beliefs, fairies were renowned to tempt humans to the islands where they dwelled. These islands were magical places where it was always springtime, no one got old or ill, and everyone was happy.

However, once a person entered, they were trapped there forever. They have also been known to have a reputation for kidnapping newborn babies and leaving a changeling in their place. To protect against this sort of behavior, parents were encouraged to lay a pair of the father's pants over the babies crib or hang an open pair of scissors above it. Horseshoes, crosses, bells, and four leaf clovers were other things believed to have protected one against fairy mischief.

Pixies, goblins, Changelings, Banshees, and Leprechauns are only some of the many varieties of fairies existent in various cultures (The Fairy Faith, 2001). On the other hand, angels only have one type but have many different duties. For example, many believe that angels have been sent out as divine messengers to humans to instruct, inform, or command them (MSN Encarta, 2003). An angel can function also as a protective guardian, as a heavenly warrior, or even a cosmic power. Like fairies, the line between a good angel and a bad angel, or demon, is thin. In this light, angels are broadly described as personified powers mediating between the divine and the human.

In conclusion, there are many similarities and differences between angles and fairies. Fairies are the guiding spirits of locations on earth. There are fairies attached to entire regions, such as the Pacific Northwest, and there are other fairies attached to a small area, such as a school.

Angels are the guiding spirits of the Heavens, and represent energy sourced from God. Angels are tasked as intermediaries between spirits and bodies. An angel's main purpose is helping people accomplish their soul's purpose here on Earth. There is a hierarchy -- some angels serve overall purposes such as the evolution of all mankind and other angels serve components of the purpose, such as the evolution of a person.

Bibliography

Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. (2003). Angels. MSN. Retrieved from the Internet at http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761565749/Angel.html

Walker, John. The Fairy Faith. History of Fairies. 2001. Retrieved on the Internet at http://www.thefairyfaith.com/intro3.html… [read more]


Holes by Louis Sachar Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,233 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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He is a man of power and the power comes from and through his music. The bard, his human and elven friends fight modern greed, hatred and corruptness. This battle involves elves and half-elves who have disguised themselves to fit into modern day San Francisco. They also battle secret government agencies which is kidnapping people with psi abilities. The whole… [read more]


Personalities Who Have, by Their Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (881 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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The chosen comic book character to be reflected upon here is that of "Garfield" the cat. What the two characters represent in the comic strip is the alter ego of man, his inner thoughts, motivations, masked feelings, and uncounted everyday life dilemmas. As an art form the comic strip sublimates the mysteries of everyday man into metaphoric form giving rise to the needs of common man. The dialogue between Jon and Garfield is a reflection on life, exemplary of the storm of human experience, and a cultural expression. Comic book writers, in creating their own histories, characters, and legends, present their material on the basis of current contemporary thought. As such that which the writer expresses in comic book form is the alter ego of those who read the material. The comic book character often becomes our "shadow self."

Comparisons made between comic book characters and the self permits us to become a part of the mindset of the character, good or bad. Further, the transference of self permits us to associate with similar personalities as well as learn about our own personality. Without even giving much thought to the possibility of resembling a Jon or Garfield, the reader has, through situational identification, compared the self with reference to three important human behavioral dimensions; namely, how we perceive the self, how we would like others to perceive us, and how we think others perceive us (Cooley, 1902). To those reading the comic strip "Garfield" there exists an abundance of self character comparisons, a great deal of introspective reflection, and a means whereby the mind, according to Jung is "...not a tabula rasa..." But the collective consciousness of mankind (Laszio, 1958).

Comic strips or books permit present the reader not only to make personality type comparisons but also permit the reader to search for meaning through the expression of someone who might possibly represent the self. They allow the reader to explore parts of themselves and to evaluate situations that have political, economic, religious, cultural significance, or simply fascinate them. Further, and only if temporarily, comics offer explanations of truths, the survival of humanity, and even peculiarities of nature. Comics exist as the ultimate comparison of the self to the largest character around us - the world.

References

Cooley, Charles Horton, (1902). Human Nature and the Social

Order. New York: Scribner's.

C.G. Jung, Psyche and Symbol: A Selection from the Writings of C.G. Jung, edited by Violet S. de Laszio (1958).…… [read more]


Artistic 'Techniques' Art Becomes Reality Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (596 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0

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Now he will haunt others too.

The script was written in a series of coffee shop all-nighters, caffeine and sugar and sleep depravation becoming language as I dictated the screenplay to another. Like the oral myths of singing bards and holy shamans, the story came to life as I spoke it to another, and became all at once concrete and fluid as he put it down on the page, his own interpretation of what I had said adding to the energy of it. Each photograph used n the film carefully taken using shadows and obscure angles to cause of a sense of unrest and unavoidability as they sit upon the back wall of the room which represents the boy's mind. The painting -- ah, a masterpiece in itself -- the oil tarps found deep in the woods wrapped around bones and furs of long abandoned and forgotten hunting trophies, stained with the "Warning: Toxic" paints of landfills and garbage piles and the maddening lead-filled house paint found in a storage cellar miles from civilization. Red, red, red, black. Night falls, the generators cough into compliance to our demand for electricity, and the lights glare into his eyes as my own words flow through his lips. Between frames of film later drawings of ancient rites and back alley longings will be interspersed. Perhaps the audience will be deft enough to catch it, or perhaps the drawings of India Ink and sweat will only seep into their subconscious as they watch. This is my body, the paints and film canisters and darkrooms of a thousand sleepless nights waiting for this moment when my art would become reality. Drink of it.… [read more]


Personal Definition Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,978 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+

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Bloom writes, "Early black heroines are invariably exemplary, characterized by their self-sacrifice and by their tireless labor for the collective good." Yet, Alice Walker defines her heroes in terms of realism and power. They overcome and survive the circumstances of their births. Survivalist is another word for Alice Walker's heroes. I believe that Walker's heroes fit into the parameters of my definition. They have intent to succeed and they overcome incredible hardship to further their purpose. Their sacrifice is selfless, designed to forward the fate of those around them, if only to suffer so the others do not have to.

From the meaning of hero in ancient times to the label and connotation of the word hero today, one can trace a common connotation. Hero means different. In Greece, one recognized a hero as a brave, strong man whose metal was tested by incredible challenge. He persevered for the good of his quest to achieve his goal. If he failed, his effort was still heroic. He was remembered for his intent as well as his achievement. He was different from ordinary men. He suffered great challenges and achieved greater glory. When Gods disappeared from the meaning of the word, heroes became mere mortals. They are still different from the rest of us. They are among those who overcame the temptations of the day, whose intents and actions are noble. Sir Gawain fought the Green knight believing he would die. He was a hero whose intent was to defend the honor of his king by going to his death.

Gould suggests that every hero becomes such because of his fifteen minutes of fame. This writer believes a hero to be more. Walker endows her heroes with tenacity, a will to succeed and a purpose. White finds heroism in the consistency of effort, diligence and exacting perseverance.

A find heroism in the rise of one to meet the expected or unexpected challenge, in the understanding of the sacrifice, and the willingness to risk when all others remain silent. I do not require my heroes to have super powers. Nor do I require them to be honest or noble. My heroes take themselves and their circumstances and reach beyond them.

At some point in time, they look past themselves toward a goal that will, in their estimation, better the lot of others and in some manner, they force themselves to act.

Works Cited

Ayto, John. Arcade Dictionary of Word Origins: The Histories of More Than 8000 English Language Words. New York: Arcade Publishing.1980 http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=98103788

Bloom, Harold, ed. Alice Walker. New York: Chelsea House, 1989. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=91053230

Strunk, William, and E.B. White. "The Elements of Style." American Greats. Eds. Wilson, Robert A. And Stanley Marcus. New York: PublicAffairs, 2000. 72-73.… [read more]


Goblet of Fire International Relations Essay

Essay  |  4 pages (1,276 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1

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These aspects of human nature when it comes to multiculturalism, though somewhat apparent in the scenes at the Quidditch Cup, are far more important during the Triwizard Tournament. The main foreign characters that are introduced in the novel are Karkaroff and Viktor Krum from Durmstrang, and Madame Maxine and Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons.. Rowling is careful not to mention any nationality or country of origin for either the schools or these particular characters (it is known from the Quidditch Cup that Krum is Bulgarian, but this does not necessarily apply to the Karkaroff or to Durmstrang). At the same time, it is entirely obvious that Beauxbatons is a French school, and the Durmstrang is located somewhere in Eastern Europe, with its distinctive Slavic/Germanic flavor. The immediate reaction is, again, sensationalistic, and this is aided by the modes of entrance chosen by the two foreign schools.

It is clear that the Triwizard Tournament is a competition, with each school displaying a huge amount of pride and even standoffishness that is never made overtly nationalistic, but carries clear overtones of cultural disparity. At the same time, the exotic nature of the foreigners has its effects on the other characters. Ron is basically speechless anytime he is around Fleur, and even the stoic Hermione is initially won over by Viktor Krum's foreign mystique. The wonder and amazement expressed at the foreigners diminishes somewhat as they are known better, and Rowling actually manages to show the similarities of the different cultures involved in the tournament by highlighting their reactions to the extreme competitiveness of the tournament.

All cultures cheat, and Rowling does not shy away from this fact. Each of the champions in the Triwizard tournament receives aid from the adults accompanying them, and no one (except the honorable Harry Potter) is surprised by this. The cheating that occurs is one of the earliest and strongest bonds of similarity drawn between the various cultures, as though Rowling were letting the similarity be seen through humorous foibles in order to allow for a somewhat more relaxed guard about one's own culture. Knowing how alike different cultures are in negative ways might allow them to see positive ways in which they are similar, too.

Ultimately, Rowling's message is that progress is made through increased international cooperation, and that adversity is best met with an acceptance and utilization of diversity. As Dumbledore puts it, "differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open" (Rowling 723). During both the Quidditch Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, the various cultures depicted were in competition with each other. Despite this, they still managed to find areas of commonality with each other that allowed them to connect on more than just a superficial and sensationalistic level. When things take a darker turn, and there is a real-world problem to be faced, the spirit of competition is subdued by the need for increased cooperation. Much of the novel deals with the need for… [read more]


Personal and Political Issues in Superhero Comics Especially the Cold War and Urban Crime Term Paper

Term Paper  |  8 pages (2,225 words)
Bibliography Sources: 3

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Comic Book/Cold War & Crime

In the earliest years of human civilization, they were called gods. They lived forever, and each had a special role or power. Although at times they interacted with the humans on earth, there was no denying that their ultimate rule. In modern American times, these superheroes do not rule over humans, but they do "rule,"… [read more]


Violence in Fairy Tales Research Paper

Research Paper  |  5 pages (1,663 words)
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¶ … Tale Violence

Violence in Fairy Tales: Just or Unjust Desserts?

The role of violence in children's entertainment remains controversial. While studies have extensively charted the negative impact of exposure to violent imagery in video games and television programming, specialists in the field of fairy tale literature -- from the Brothers Grimm to contemporary critics -- have been relatively… [read more]


Critical Thinking About Heart of Darkness Essay

Essay  |  2 pages (691 words)
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Heart of Darkness

Mr. Kurtz and the Absence of Method

Before Kurtz went insane, he was not only the best ivory agent the never-named trading company of Heart of Darkness ever produced; he was considered "the emissary of pity and science and progress, and the devil knows what else" (Conrad 1902, p. 94). But at some point, the devil overcame all the pity and science and progress -- a moral collapse rendered even more disturbing by its resemblance to recent abuses of power.

Indeed, the post-Abu Ghraib psychology of evil sheds new light on Conrad's much-discussed parable of civilization and its limits. Kurtz embodied the "system" of the company and European civilization to an exquisite degree as a gifted organist, a splendid orator and writer, a "universal genius" (Conrad 1902, p. 98). But in the absence of active moral supervision, alone in his upriver Inner Station, he indulged all the worst and most savage impulses of human nature. Marlowe attributes this degeneration to Kurtz' isolation from society, its laws, and the threat of punishment:

How can you imagine what particular region of the first ages a man's untrammelled feet may take him into the way of solitude -- utter solitude without a policeman -- by the way of silence -- utter silence, where no warning voice of a kind neighbor can be heard whispering of public opinion? These little things make all the difference" (Conrad 1902, p. 126).

Cut off in this way from censure (Gerrig, Zimbardo, Desmarais & Ivanco 2009, p. 339) and given the prospect of substantial rewards for capturing ivory, he exercises his power in monstrous ways.

However, what is most chilling about this particular monster is the way his colleagues in the Company only condemn his crimes when his exercise of power -- his "method" -- becomes an impediment to their long-term interests. As the manager frets inappropriately to a Marlowe sickened by his trip up the river, Kurtz is only guilty of impatience, inefficiency, and perhaps indiscretion:

He did not see the time was not ripe for vigorous action. Cautiously,…… [read more]


Homer's Odyssey Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,371 words)
Bibliography Sources: 4

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Homers Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey continues in the spirit of divine intervention the Iliad has set forth. The gods, mighty characters that dispose of human lives as they fancy, are far from perfect creatures, destined to see that divine justice is made above all else. The world of gods in Greek mythology is far from perfect and the divine world in the Odyssey illustrates that.

In spite of their superiority over all men, the gods are presented in the two Homeric epics as characters subjected to emotions and possessed by feelings and desires similar to those men are. In the Odyssey, when human characters are rising through their actins to the virtues of gods, they are often characterized as "godlike." It is, in fact, the humanity that lends its attributes to the Greek Pantheon and Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, Helios or Circe become representations of human behavioral patterns. For example, "the actions of Poseidon and Helios in the Odyssey recall the ruthlessness of the gods of the Iliad…The divine background of the Odyssey shows little change: the gods, like human kings and overseers, may show favor to certain selected mortals, and may at times even feel under some ill-defined obligation to step in and exercise their authority in support of the just cause, but this is not their normal or perennial preoccupation."

As seen from the Iliad, the role gods play in the development of the epic is not that of overseeing that justice is done in the human world. Gods may be at times on the side of just causes, as Rutherford explained, but this is often a transitory phase in their interference with the human world. Their seeking for justice is more related with their favoring a certain character than with their overall attitude or character.

When considering the divine characters in the Odyssey, Jenny Strauss Clay points out that the Muse the poet is praying at, at the beginning of the epic, a goddess herself, is above all the one being able to know every detail of past actions of men and gods alike. Not only are Muses able to know the past in detail, but they are also able to distinguish between mortals and gods, even when the latter are not meant to be recognized. The author is thus empowered by divine inspiration from the Muse to know everything related to the human as well as the divine world.

Although, the world of gods appears to be far less perfect than their divine character should make it, some times, Homer describes the place of their dwelling, mount Olympus, as closer to what the monotheistic religions of the our age are envisioning as "heaven": "clear-eyed Athena passed away, off to Olympus, where they say the dwelling of the gods stands fast forever. Never with winds is it disturbed, nor by the rain made wet, nor does the snow come near; but everywhere the upper air spreads cloudless, and a bright radiance plays over all; and there the blessed gods… [read more]


Salem Witches Witchcraft Has Been a Popular Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,839 words)
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Salem Witches

Witchcraft has been a popular subject of discussion throughout many different societies throughout the world and religions. Many people have a belief in witchcraft, but choose to believe that it is something negative and even evil. In the United States (and throughout the world), witchcraft is practiced as a Pagan and Wiccan religion. This religion, or way of… [read more]


Movie the Fall Research Paper

Research Paper  |  3 pages (964 words)
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Fall

What does the FALL tell us about stories? What do we learn about stories from the film? What questions does it raise? And what answers does it propose?

The film, "The Fall," uses different elements of storytelling beginning with the "long, long ago" at the start of the film. We meet Roy (Lee Pace), a paralyzed stuntman in a hospital bed, and a little Romanian girl, Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), who is a patient in another wing. She doesn't speak or understand much of English, however, the two are able to communicate with each other via Roy's storytelling. Roy tells her a story about a handful of adventurers that are trapped on an island, the prisoners of Governor Odeous who is -- like his name implies - odious. The film reenacts the story as Roy tells it. Essentially, while Roy is telling the story, the audience is seeing it through Alexandria's eyes, which is quite fantastical.

Director Tarsem Singh uses aspects from the hospital throughout Alexandria's interpretation of Ray's story. This gives the film a very childlike storytelling quality in which the audience can reference other movies that use these elements -- for example, "The Wizard of Oz." In the "Wizard of Oz," people from Dorothy's real life back in Kansas are characters in her fictional and fantastical world (i.e., the scarecrow, the cowardly lion, and the tin man). Another film that uses similar elements is "Pan's Labyrinth."

"The Fall" also employs mixing aspects of reality with fantasy, which gives it more of a darker feel sometimes (especially towards the middle to end of the film). Two films that comes to mind is "Gulliver's Travels," and Gilliam's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." Through this mixture of fantasy and strange reality, the Tarsem manages to conjure up images that leave an indelible lasting impression on the audience. This is another way in which Tarsem is able to capture the audience. The use of powerful imagery is a way to bring people into a story and it doesn't matter whether or not the storyteller and the audience speak the same language. Tarsem seems to be telling us that stories are universal and storytelling is something that takes imagination and not necessarily just words. Stories can be broken down into visual elements in film -- through use of plot and character (dialogue as well, but a story can be sufficiently told with just the elements of plot and character (Block 2).

There is a definite juxtaposition between the scenes where Roy is telling his story to the young girl and the way that the fantastical scenes are done. Even the acting is different, which is one way to emphasize the story part of the film. Roy and the girl interact in quite natural ways while the recreated story is overacted and even campy. This is often the distinction between adult stories and children's stories. For…… [read more]


Commencement Speech Essay

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JK Rowling

The Fringe Benefits of Failure

Author J.K. Rowling, famous for her mega-successful Harry Potter children's book series, gave the commencement address at Harvard University in June, 2008. Her speech was funny, endearing and profound, and the audience gave her a standing ovation.

Several things make Rowling a good speaker. In her very first sentences, she admits her own fear about public speaking and used self-deprecating humor to put herself and her audience at ease. Rowling acknowledged her position as a popular fiction author, joking that she felt as if she were at the "world's largest Gryffindor reunion," a reference to Harry Potter's House at Hogwart's School of Magic. Both she and her audience were in on the joke, and she had successfully cracked the ice. Rowling also admitted that she could not remember a single word of the commencement address she heard 21 years previously, so why worry?

Rowling's speech hit upon two themes; the unexpected benefits of failure and the importance of imagination. Before she was a successful writer, Rowling failed spectacularly. Her marriage was short lived, she was a single mother, and she was very, very poor. Her and her parent's worst fears had come true. "By every usual standard," she says, "I was the biggest failure I knew." Rowling had no way of knowing the eventual success that awaited her, and she admits that those were very dark days in her life. So what are the benefits of failure? According to Rowling, failure strips away everything inessential. "I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized," she says. "Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life," she says.

Rowling's tale of her own failure is inspirational because we all know about her current successes. If a poor single mother working as a research assistant can find time to curry away and write her novels, longhand, which of our dreams is too fragile to survive…… [read more]


Blade the Movie 1998 Essay

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Blade: A conflict of self

Blade, the 1998 film based on the Blade graphic novels, provides insight into a conflicted protagonist as he tries to identify his place and function in the world. Blade, portrayed by Wesley Snipes in the film, is a human-vampire hybrid that is on a self-appointed quest of protecting humanity from vampires. Blade draws upon several literary themes and tropes, and plays homage to ancient Greek tragedy while incorporating elements of Romantic literature. While revenge is a driving factor in the film, Blade grapples with his identity and embodies characteristics of a hero, "the Other," and of a reluctant vampire.

Blade is reminiscent of ancient Greek tragedy and revenge tragedies. In Blade, like in Greek tragedy, a subplot reveals that Blade is essential to Deacon Frost's plan of resurrecting an ancient blood god known as the Magra. It has been prophesized that Blade's blood is the key ingredient for helping to resurrect the Magra; Blade's role in the resurrection of the Magra was foretold in the Erebus codex which the vampires revere. Much like revenge tragedies, Blade's motives are influenced by a wrong committed towards him early on in his life, in this case, a wrong committed towards his pregnant mother before he was born. The beginning of the film provides the audience insight as to the nature of Blade's power; his pregnant mother was bitten by a vampire, mutating Blade at a genetic and sanguine level. Because of this change, Blade was born neither human nor vampire, but rather a hybrid of the two. This distinction is reminiscent of Greek tragedy; Blade is neither mortal nor immortal, but rather a demi-demon, who possesses the supernatural qualities of those that he has vowed to destroy.

Blade…… [read more]


Dierks Bentley Prodigal Son's Prayer and the Bible Term Paper

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Dierks Bentley's "Prodigal Son's Prayer" and the Bible

The prodigal son is such an iconic story that even those without a strong foundation in the Bible know the basics of the story. A wandering child, somewhat of a disgrace, returns home. He is greeted with open arms, though he fears that he will be treated with disgrace. However, the story… [read more]


Could Aliens Have Built the Pyramids Research Paper

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Aliens

The Egyptian pyramids at Giza are among the most perplexing monuments on the planet. As with the ziggurats and the pyramids of ancient Central America, the Giza structures seem practically impossible to construct without modern machinery. As one Web site points out, "a group of modern scientists attempted to build a pyramid out next to the real one using modern technologies, and after something like 100 days, succeeded in building one about 1/40 of the size of the real one," ("Aliens Built the Pyramids"). Furthermore, the pyramids seem to have been constructed according to ancient astrological alignments that may have implied communion with extraterrestrial entities. The architects also seem to have advanced knowledge of engineering and geometry that could foreseeably have been imparted from a non-human source. No archaeologist is absolutely certain how or even why the pyramids were built, which is yet another reason for speculation about possible extraterrestrial intervention. After all, theories as to how the pyramids are founded on circumstantial evidence alone. Although the archaeologists have the upper hand in terms of the credibility of their evidence, it is remotely possible that extraterrestrials were involved somehow in the construction of the Egyptian pyramids.

There is no proof that aliens did not build the pyramids, so it would be irresponsible to eliminate the possibility of extraterrestrial intervention. No archaeologist or scientist can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that extraterrestrials did not visit Egypt and build the pyramids. No alien skeleton or DNA has ever been found on location at Giza but extraterrestrials with the capacity to travel through space and/or time might also be immortal or simply too intelligent to leave behind traces of their presence. Egyptian mythology and paintings do not rule out the presence of alien beings on Earth. "ancient Egyptian writing often talk of beings from the sky, the sky opening and bright lights coming down to teach them technology and give them wisdom. Many pictures and symbols resemble UFO's and aliens," ("The Great Pyramids Built by Aliens or Egyptians?"). Pharaohs were considered semi-divine in a way that could suggest they viewed themselves as alien beings superior to the primates on planet Earth. A vast and mysterious universe certainly boasts more life forms than those that exist in the Milky Way. No scientist can definitively dismiss the existence of extraterrestrial beings; therefore, the alien theory cannot be completely discounted.

Aliens may have provided the technological and managerial power behind the construction of the pyramids. The pyramids would be an engineering feat in the 21st century of the common era, let alone four thousand-plus years ago. The individual stones in the pyramids weigh a minimum of a ton, some up to eighty tons; the average weight of the stones is more than two tons (Guardian's Egypt). Ancient…… [read more]


JM Barrie's Peter Pan Either Book Essay

Essay  |  9 pages (3,135 words)
Bibliography Sources: 6

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Peter Pan

Is Peter Pan really only a children's story -- or is it, as Michel W. Pharand states, "…also a surprisingly -- often shockingly -- adult story" (Pharand, 2007, p. 227)? After reading through the fifteen essays in the book J.M. Berrie's 'Peter Pan' in and Out of Time: A Children's Classic at 100 (Donna R. White and C.… [read more]


Salem Witchcraft Trials Essay

Essay  |  6 pages (1,596 words)
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Salem Witchcraft Trials

In one satirical movie on the ugly episode of witchcraft, a judge asks two witnesses for their views on why they think the accused woman is a witch. The responses are worth paying attention to because they reveal the flimsiness of the entire episode. One man says, "She turned me into a newt. I got better." The… [read more]


Structure and Function in Harry Potter Essay

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¶ … Ritual Magic of Rites of Passage in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Magic, or at least the human belief in it, is at least as old as human civilization. It is the most basic form of explanation of and attempts at interaction with the natural -- and the supernatural world, and yet magic rituals, beliefs, and rules can be just as complex and integral to a culture or society as any more extensively developed religion. In recent times, magic has been taken out of the realm of the fundamental cultural phenomenon, and through fiction has provided another way of understanding our own culture. The stories in the Harry Potter series, for instance, provide a way of looking at coming of age from a magical perspective. Rites of passage have always had a strong presence in worlds of magic, and the world of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is no exception.

Harry Potter is marked -- physically, emotionally, and fatefully -- from the time he is one-year-old, in what can only be seen as an obscure and uncommon -- entirely singular, in fact -- Rite of Passage. Voldemort's murder of his mother, who died protecting Harry, left a mark and some sort of connection between Harry and his nemesis, as well as setting up the infant with a special path in life. The magical rule in operation here is similar to the "sympathetic magic" noted by Frazer in early cultures (Geertz 8). Though Harry did not ingest anything or even consciously participate in the ritual, he was altered in an important way by a transfer of power and spirit that took place on the night his parent's died and Voldemort's curse backfired. It was this unwitting rite of passage that created the Harry Potter readers know, and the ushered in a very specific life for the boy.

The rites of passage in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone appear throughout the novel, but another fairly large one occurs at the very end of the book, as Harry comes to grips with the events that formed his first rite of passage detailed above. Harry must overcome the loss of his parents in order to grow into the next stage of his life, but this comes with an acceptance of their memory rather than a denial of his loss. The Mirror of Erised and the photo album Harry receives makes this presence far more real in the magical world than in the world outside the fiction; the "ancestor soul" that supplements the Western concept of the single soul in many magic-practicing cultures is rendered explicitly corporeal here (Harris 18). Harry's rite of passage in this sense allows his soul to become complete, or allows all of its components to…… [read more]


Heroic Archetypes: Hamlet, Oedipus, Beckett's Tramps Essay

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Heroic Archetypes: Hamlet, Oedipus, Beckett's Tramps, And The Hero Of The Future

The Shakespearean hero Hamlet is seemingly the paradigmatic tragic hero of what is perhaps the most famous play ever written. Hamlet is nobly born, as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern remind him, and as Polonius reminds Ophelia when he says that Hamlet is a prince "out of thy star" (2.2). Hamlet's fatal tragic flaw is usually depicted as his indecision in not revenging himself upon Claudius soon enough. Hamlet creates various 'roadblocks' to his goal, such as refusing to kill Claudius at prayer and staging a play to see if his father's ghost is telling the truth while he gauges the king's reaction. Hamlet also shows the characteristics of intelligence and ability to appreciate the irony of his fate like a classic tragic hero.

Hamlet may also be classified as a kind of sub-species of tragic hero, a 'revenge' hero, in which the central character is bound to revenge the death of a loved one. Hamlet engages in an elaborate deception to conceal his motivations. He is ostensibly bound by a supernatural force to take revenge, and must dissemble to achieve his ends of vengeance. The angry, assured, mourning or mad persona Hamlet presents at different times to the court is very different than the sarcastic but honest, doubting self he presents to the audience and Horatio.

But Hamlet is not an ideal type of a tragic hero or a revenge hero. Unlike the typical tragic hero, he does not seem ambitious -- he does not try to kill Claudius until forced to do so by the ghost. When Rosencrantz says: "Why then, your ambition makes it [Denmark] one [a prison]; 'tis too narrow for your mind," Hamlet responds "O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" (2.2). Internal rather than external states are more important to Hamlet -- he hates hypocrisy and those who "seem" or "smile" but who are really villainous (1.2; 1.5).

Hamlet is angry at the lack of respect shown to his father after death, but he frequently doubts the existence of the supernatural, the plot device on which his heroism depends. His famous monologue "To be or not to be" speaks of the 'perchance' nature of dreaming; his scene in the graveyard, shortly before his own death exhibits his belief that humans return to dust, nothing more (5.1). Thus even though Claudius may be guilty, it is never certain if the ghost is really 'true' given that the ghost is only visible to those sympathetic with Hamlet's cause: revenging himself upon Claudius brings about the destruction of the Danish throne, rather than truly makes the world more just. Horatio says that Hamlet's death has meaning, but it is uncertain if Fortinbras will be able to appreciate what that meaning is, and Hamlet is accused of "treason" by the court before he dies (5.2).

Unlike a tragic hero,… [read more]


Persuasive vs. Directive Communication Essay

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Persuasive vs. Directive Communication

PERSUASIVE vs. DIRECTIVE WRITING

DIRECT MODE:

Mary Jones

Team Leader

PERSUASIVE MODE:

Most people think that Halloween parties are just for kids. But you might be surprised to find out that Halloween could also be fun and, not to mention, beneficial for a working adult like you. Not only will you establish good camaraderie with your officemates, you will also get a chance to show off your creativity and impress people. Not to mention, you will have a chance to gain benefits for yourself as well.

The upcoming Halloween party offers activities in which you will have to mingle with our officemates. This is good for our team because we will be able to share thoughts and ideas about something outside work. Furthermore, you will also have the chance to meet people from other departments. You may be surprised to stumble into people in the office that has the same interests as you do. Also, you can get to know your bosses up-close and personal!

You will be able to impress people with your costume too. For example, the way you made your costume may reflect how you can be creative on actual projects in the future. Also, the higher ups will be impressed if we, as a team, are united in a common theme, such as characters from FAIRY TALES. This will show them that we are all good team players!

Management will be awarding the best costumes (individual/team) with cash prizes. So don't miss this chance to show off all the creativity you've got. By giving your best, you will increase your chance to win the best costume (individual) award. And by doing so, our team's chance to grab the award for the best costume (team) award also increases. Furthermore, aside from the money, you will also win the approval of your bosses through this.

So mark your calendar this coming Saturday, on the 31st of October. Come to our Halloween bash in a FAIRY TALE costume like Prince Charming, Evil Step Sister, or Fairy Godmother, and…… [read more]


Ford Motor Company and Accounting Research Paper

Research Paper  |  4 pages (1,506 words)
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Ford Motor Company and Accounting

It is in the nature of humans to wonder about the unknown and search for answers. At the foundation of nearly every culture is a creation myth that explains how divine inspiration created the world, nature, and humanity. Within each culture, creation mythology provides the very basis of fundamental structure -- who are we? From… [read more]


Stephen Crane Once Upon a Time Essay

Essay  |  7 pages (2,578 words)
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Stephen Crane

Once upon a time: The fable of Crane's 'naturalistic' "The Open Boat" and the life lesson of the Blue Hotel

When Stephen Crane "found himself floating in a dinghy for thirty hours after The Commodore, the steamship he was on, wrecked on its way to Cuba," he was inspired to write one of his most famous short stories,… [read more]


Culture Hero Prometheus and Beowulf Thesis

Thesis  |  2 pages (743 words)
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Cultural Heroes: Prometheus and Beowulf

The cultural hero is an individual who embodies the values of his culture in an idealized fashion. He is tested by fire, figuratively and often literally. His mettle must be proved again and again, and every test is greater than the last -- Prometheus creates man only to realize he must find a way to give his creation fire; Beowulf slays the monster Grendel, only to be confronted by Grendel's mother. Often the cultural hero stands apart from ordinary men and women because of his towering greatness. The unique strength and courage he possesses is a curse as well as a blessing.

This is perhaps most notably seen in the example of the cultural hero Prometheus, from ancient Greek mythology. Prometheus was a Titan, the god of foresight, who was instrumental in creating humanity from his breath and dust. The other gods, like Zeus, feared the strength of men, and refused to give the human race fire. Prometheus took pity upon his creation, and gave humans the ability to keep warm, see by night, and also to cook their food. As he was a wise god he knew that he would suffer for the gift he gave to his creation. Zeus, out of anger for this other god's disobedience, tied Prometheus to a rock, and sent a vulture to tear out the Titan's liver day by day. Because Prometheus could not die, being divine, he would have to suffer this horror for the rest of eternity.

Prometheus was honored by the Greeks, not simply because he gave humanity fire, but also because he embodied the spirit of hubris the Greeks both feared and admired. Prometheus defies the will of Zeus, and pays the price. Unlike other societies which might admire such valiancy, or simply condemn it, the Greeks had an ambiguous view of hubris. On the one hand, they lauded clever tricksters like Odysseus, who could outwit the Trojans and sorceresses with his cunning -- but Odysseus must pay with many years of wandering, because of his arrogance. Likewise, Prometheus is a great creator on one hand, but he also is not rewarded for his defiance of the king of the gods. He is not freed…… [read more]


Sorrowful Woman Essay

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¶ … Sorrowful Woman

The traditional fairytale offers several themes that give insight into the role that women play in society. The woman wasting away in captivity is a theme that is repeated throughout fairy tales: Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast all share elements of this tale. Moreover, in many of these tales there is a negative maternal figure that is somehow responsible for the damsel's distress. However, in each of those classic stories, the woman is saved by a prince of some sort, who rescues her from her isolation and takes her to live happily ever after. The reader is left to presume that happily ever after means marriage, children, and all of the other trappings of domestication that women are supposed to desire. In "A Sorrowful Woman," Gail Goodwin begins her story with the familiar phrase "once upon a time," and, throughout the story uses the familiar imagery of the fairy tale to challenge the traditional notion of what women desire, making it clear that happily ever after may be the most elusive fairy tale of them all.

The most prominent theme in "A Sorrowful Woman" is the idea of a woman who is wasting away in captivity. The mother retires to bed the first night, simply needing a break. A few days later, instead of just retiring to bed, the woman takes a sleeping draught. She is given the draught by her husband, which makes it seem as if he is doing something to keep her in captivity, but it is significant that she asks for and seems to want the draught. In fact, the husband repeatedly enables to woman to be in captivity, for example bringing her breakfast in bed and letting her sleep through the day. However, he does nothing to keep her there; she is her own captor. The mother begins to spend all of her time in the bedroom, isolating herself there physically and mentally by escaping into fiction stories. Eventually the mother refuses to see the family, asking her husband to push notes under the door for communication. Though her husband is not depriving her of nourishment, she begins to act as if he is, sneaking downstairs for food and supplies.

Eventually, she moves herself into the white room that had been occupied by the nanny, placing herself in a subservient position. Of course, there is a significant difference between the mother's captivity and the traditional distress felt by a damsel in a fairytale. In this story, the mother is both the captive and the captor, so that it is impossible for anyone else in the story to save her.

Another prominent theme in "A Sorrowful Woman" is the theme of the wicked mother. Goodwin begins her story by having the mother look at her husband and son, "the child a tender golden three." (Goodwin). Rather than being filled with love or admiration, Goodwin describes that, "The sight of them made her so sad and sick… [read more]


Greek Heroes Heroic Warriors Thesis

Thesis  |  3 pages (963 words)
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Greek Heroes

Heroic Warriors

The subject of heroism is biased according to the cultural lens through which it is viewed. Greek heroes, such as Gilgamesh, Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus were considered heroes in their time. However, if one were to view them in a modern context, they may not appear as heroes, but rather ruthless and murderous villains. The following will compare Achilles and Odysseus in terms of their warrior abilities and heroic deeds. It will support the hypothesis that Achilles is representative of youthful exuberance, whereas Odysseus is representative of the wisdom that comes with age.

In the Illiad, Achilles and Odysseus are viewed as arch rivals. Their modes of gaining and maintaining power are opposites. Odysseus is renowned for his cunning and wisdom in war. Whereas, Achilles is renowned for this physical might and ferocity. Achilles displays a hot temper and an all-consuming wrath. One could consider Achilles as representative of a young, physical hero and Odysseus as representative of the old wise hero emphasizing spiritual power. Both are considered to be key characters in Greek mythology, but they represent different attributes of the hero complex.

Odysseus' spirituality and commitment to the Gods is highlighted at the feast table of Achilles the night before the battle. Achilles simply serves the meat to the people. However, before Odysseus will take a bite he, "told Patroklos to make an offering to the Gods" (Illiad IX, p. 139). Odysseus wishes to attend to spiritual matters. Achilles seems more concerned with satisfying his own hunger, with neither the time, nor the inclination to address the wishes and needs of the Gods.

It appears that Achilles respects Odysseus' wisdom when he addresses him, "Odysseus, master soldier and mariner" (Illiad IX, p. 141). However, one must wonder if he would have taken the same action if he were not in the company of dignitaries. This may have been a strategic move, rather than a genuine act of respect. Achilles is later described as, "unmoved by the affections of his friends who made him honored above all others on the beachhead. There is no pity in him" (Illiad IX, p. 151). The public honor and respect shown for Odysseus is more than likely a political move rather than an act of true respect. Often Achilles' actions and words do not match his true feelings and intentions.

In Book XIX, the differences between Achilles and Odysseus are highlighted when Achilles attempts to send his warriors into battle without being fed. Achilles says, "Let us recover joy of battle soon, that's all! No need to dither here and lost our time," (Illiad XIX. P. 176). Achilles feels that eating is a waste of time. He feels that the excitement of the battle will sustain his warriors.

Odysseus reminds him, "Do not send Akhaian solders into the fight unfed! Today's melee will not be brief," (Illiad XIX, p. 176).…… [read more]


Romantic Poet a Midsummer's Night Parallel Thesis

Thesis  |  4 pages (1,435 words)
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¶ … Romantic poet

A Midsummer's Night Parallel: The Language of Oberon and Thesus' Worlds

Marriage, fertility -- and a world upside down. Although the rules that define courtship and marriage Theseus' kingdom may seem to stand in profound contrast to that of Oberon and Titania's, they share many similar characteristics. First of all, even in fairyland, there is a… [read more]


Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Essay

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, And Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Both Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Alice in Wonderland belong to the fantasy genre because of the numerous events that happen in both books that are not connected to the real world, because of the presence of various mythological beings and animals and because of the readers' expectations that the events in the book are supernatural. However, it is also interesting to note that both books, despite being in the fantasy genre, have serious connection with the real world, especially in what the main characters are concerned. Based on the real world, in fact the books become fantastical representations of natural events.

Both books start in a similar manner by making the reader face the magic and creating a fantasy that allows the authors to transpose the reader in a supernatural environment. In Alice in Wonderland, the connection with the fantasy world is done through the rabbit hole, although there are several real life elements that lead up to that. The beginning of the book does not anticipate the fantastical continuation of the story: Alice and her sister are sitting on a riverbank and her sister is reading a book. However, the apparition of the rabbit complaining about running late is essential in announcing the fantasy that is about to develop: the rabbit can talk. Elements such as the key by the glass table and bottle labeled "drink me" are further instruments by which the author is brining the reader closer to the fantasy world, in which Alice enters by going down the rabbit hole.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in facts starts already with the fantasy world, there is nothing to make this transition smooth as it is in Alice in Wonderland. The wizard world is celebrating the downfall of Lord Voldemort. The allusions to the fantasy world are very clear here, compared to the element sin Alice in Wonderland: wizards and magical curses and a lightning bolt that leaves only a small scar on Harry Potter's forehead when Voldemort plans to murder him.

One of the important elements of fantasy in Alice in Wonderland is the implication of animals throughout the book and the fact that they generally tend to have human characteristics, notably the gift of speech. They are not necessarily entrusted with supernatural powers, like in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but they talk and give advice. In Chapter 5, for example, the caterpillar is presented as a wise individual who listens and gives advice to Alice. The March Hare is probably another good example, although the tea party takes less of a fantasy approach and more of a parody. An exception to this could be the Cheshire Cat, but only because its size and presence in a tree bring about extra mystery to the character, to the degree to which the reader can attribute it supernatural powers without it having any.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, as mentioned,… [read more]


Chopin and Oates: An Awakening Research Proposal

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Chopin and Oates: An "Awakening" as to where modern women "Are going and have been"

Both Kate Chopin and Joyce Carol Oates can best be characterized as feminist authors of their respective centuries who show how apparently positive female social roles actually limit women. The heroine Mrs. Louise Mallard of "The Story of an Hour" seems to have a happy life as a protected wife. She has been treated like a child for most of her existence, supposedly because of her physically weak constitution. When Mrs. Mallard learns of her husband's apparent demise, she feels a strange sense of joy, because she realizes his death means her liberation and her ability to do what she wants. However, when she learns he is alive, she is struck with horror, and dies. The beautiful, teenage heroine Connie of "Where are you going, where have you been" seems to have mastered youthful, feminine seduction and coquetry, but she is undone -- raped and perhaps murdered, it is implied -- by the fact that her apparent maturity has the ability to attract a much older, experienced, and more cruel man ironically named Arnold Friend.

Kate Chopin was famous for chronicling the frustrations and limitations of the role of married women during the 19th century. Chopin's book the Awakening told the story of an adulterous woman seeking futilely to find fulfillment in the institution of marriage and the arms of a lover. It was condemned by the public but later championed by modern feminists. Chopin was born in St. Louis in 1850, a product of a 'mixed' marriage, unlike the upper-class woman of "The Story of an Hour." Chopin was second child of Thomas O'Flaherty of County Galway, Ireland and Eliza Faris of St. Louis ("Kate Chopin: Biography," Kate Chopin International Society, 2008). The inspiration for the New Orleans setting of the Awakening came when Kate married Oscar Chopin of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana and moved with him to live in his home city. The marriage seemed to be happier than the individuals whose lives Chopin later chronicled in her novel and short stories. She and Oscar traveled widely, not just from her home, but throughout Europe. Yet she clearly drew from her own life to write "A Story of an Hour." Oscar died an untimely death from malaria in 1882, and her own father died young in a railroad accident, similar to that which is mistakenly and briefly believed to take the life of Brently, the husband of main character Mrs. Mallard of "The Story of an Hour." Chopin understood the fantasy of liberation in non-marital relations enjoyed by her heroine, although unlike her other famous heroine of the Awakening, Kate enjoyed extramarital liaisons only after her husband's death. In 1884, she briefly engaged in a tryst with a local planter before moving to St. Louis' more civilized environment, and richer cultural life. St. Louis proved to be a positive influence on Chopin's works, in contrast to the even more constrained…… [read more]


Epistemology and Skepticism in Films Essay

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¶ … Truman Show directed by Peter Weir. Specifically it will discuss how the film raises the issue of appearances differing from reality, and how that affects the skeptic and the true believer in all of us. Truman Burbank is a true innocent in this film, trusting those around him and his own perceptions to be the truth. However, they… [read more]


Livia's Garden Painting at Prima Porta Term Paper

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Livias Garden

The Technical, Symbolic and Cultural Implications of the Garden Painting at Prima Porta

When Augustus evolved to take on the mantle of Octavian, uniting ruler of the glorious Roman Empire, his tenure would initiate a period characterized by an interest in reform, rebirth and the strict maintenance of peace-time conditions. His rule is one which, even today in… [read more]


Slavic God Dazbog Term Paper

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Dazbog (Serbian: Dabog / Polish: Dazbog, also Dazhbog) is one of the main Slavonic gods in Slavic Paganism. Dazbog, the "god of gifts" (as one account translates it) was a sun deity and the center of a fertility cult. He was also called the "Giver of Riches." He was a rock star: provider, protector and fertility god.

It's uncertain what Daz means, but bog means "god." Some scholars translate it as "day god," and others as "war god" (though the latter isn't a popular theory).

In Slavic mythology, Dazbog is the sungod is reborn every morning. During the day, Dazbog rides in his diamond wagon (aka the sun) through the sky. At the day's end, he has become an old man, and he dies when it gets dark. The next day, the cycle begins and he is reborn again.

Dazbog's father was another main Slavic god, the sky god Svarog. Dazbog's brother is the fire god Svarazic. In most accounts, Dazbog's wife is the goddess of the moon, Myesyats. Their notorious marital dissent, the Slavs believed, were the causes of earth quakes.

The couple's children are the stars. Each autumn, the couple divorces, but every spring, they remarry.

Dazbog's festival is at the summer solstice, when his 'heavenly wedding' to the moon- or dawn- goddess is celebrated.

Some myths have Dazbog married to the morning star goddess Zvezda Dennitsa. In yet another Russian myth, he is married three times: first to Zlatogorka ("Golden Hill"), daughter of the Underworld god Vij; then to the winter and/or death goddess Marena, and thirdly, to Zhiva ("life").

The contemporary translation of the celebration is now Christianized as St. Ivan's day.

In Slavic tradition, people swore oaths to him, as the sun was omniscient. As such, Dazbog was the god of law and moral order. His interest was in ensuring justice serves the good and that evil be punished.

Although he's most commonly associated with the Slavs, there are very strong Russian roots in the origins of Dazbog. There was a statue of Dazbog in Kiev, on a hill in the courtyard of a castle. It shared the space with idols Perun, Chors, Stribog and other pagan deities.

In old chronicles Dazbog is termed "Czar Sun" and "Son of Svarog." He was the latter, one of three sons of Svarog.

What has been recorded about Dazbog doesn't give a clear image of his character and role in the Slavic pagan universe. Still, it is generally believed he was originally the Slavic "clear sky god," but he may have overlapped or was synonymous with the sun-god in many regions.

Most people familiar with mythology know of the Greek god Helios, and early Russian texts, notably a sixth-century Byzantine chronicler, usually translate Helios to Dazbog. It makes sense, as both were worshiped as a solar deity. In the old Russian epic Slovo o pluku Igoreve Vladimir, the Russians refer to themselves Dazbog's grandchildren. Ancient Slavs defined their origins as from divine beings.

Dazbog is at the center… [read more]


Bear by William Faulkner Term Paper

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¶ … Bear

The True Meaning of the Hunt

Man was dispossessed of Eden," (Faulkner 246), since the loss of the Civil War, the American South has always carried a sense of bitter nostalgia within everyday life and events. Southern authors, like William Faulkner, used this melancholy tone as a way both glorify the South as the American Shangri La, as well as show the bitterness of that cultural history as having no place in a modern world. "The Bear," a piece in Faulkner's Go Down, Moses, represents this ideology with the importance of the hunt to its participants. As long as the hunt continues, their tradition will not die. Once the bear was finally slain, the hunters succumbed to the same desperate state the rest of the South had fallen into.

Many are quick to assume that the background of the piece serves as just that, a background, for the larger conflict between man and nature. The story focuses on the character of Isaac and Old Ben, the seemingly immortal bear. Old Ben embodies the will of nature, and is seen by the hunters as an immortal creature, "the old bear, solitary, indomitable, and alone; widowered childless and absolved of mortality," (Faulkner 186). This image represents an image of nature as both powerful, but also depressing. It is an age old struggle, where man is pit against nature. Old Ben in powerful in strength and will; however, he is the sole animal to withstand the force of man. Therefore, there is no glory in his role without a very intimate bitterness. The more controlling man attempts to be over nature, the more nature will violently assert herself. Therefore, every new season the hunters gather for the hunt, but yet they can never slay the violent bear.

However, the background environment proves to much more important than most would think. Not only does it help play into the larger theme concerning man's struggle with nature, but it also incorporates its own subplot into the story. Despite their continual failure to kill Old Ben, the hunters still search for him "in the thick great gloom of ancient woods and the winter's dying afternoon," (Faulkner 192). Faulkner describes the hunt for Old Ben in a tone which seems more like an ancient epic. When Isaac succeeds more and more as a hunter, he is opened up to a very mystical world, "He had killed his buck and Sam Fathers had marked his face with the hot blood, and in the next November he killed a bear," (201). The hunt resembled myths and legends more than practical modern day hunts.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the American South fell into decline, both economically and emotionally. This time period thus produced much literature and fantasy focused around the myth of the South. Faulkner takes this myth and adds a bitter twist with the idea that this fantasy has absolutely no place in modern life. The killing of the bear was the… [read more]


Midsummer Night's Dream Term Paper

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¶ … Midsummer Night's Dream

The Stuff that Dreams are Made of:" "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" and "Thirteen Going on Thirty"

Both Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer's Night's Dream" and the director Gary Winick's 2004 film "Thirteen Going on Thirty" might be classified as romantic comedies, despite the fact that one was authored during the 17th century, and the other during… [read more]


Pan's Labyrinth Term Paper

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Pan's Labyrinth: A Film Analysis of Camera Technique

Director Guillermo del Toro's Labertino del Fauno, or Pan's Labyrinth (2006), is a brilliantly directed film. The director has demonstrated his expertise and skill through the use of modern technology in special effects, the motion picture camera, and the simplicity of mythology to blend the otherwise separate dimensions of reality and fantasy, layering the fantasy over the reality, to create a unique film presentation. Many filmmakers have moved from fantasy to reality, or vice a versa, but Pan's Labyrinth is a film where the technique of layering allows the blending of fantasy and reality in a seamless way, a layering of the two dimensions, and this is done in simple story way, but employing the complexity of special effects and the camera.

The Camera

Like film theorist L.D. Giannetti (1976), Pan Labyrinth's director, Guillermo del Toro, believes that motion is expressive and will bring forth from the viewer strong emotional responses that help them connect to the character on the screen. Del Toro says that he relies on moments of the actor's looks, captured by the camera, to convey the sense of emotion or thought to the audience.

Film researchers Benjamin H. Detenber, Robert F. Simons, and Gary G. Bennett Jr. (1998) discuss the concept of involving the viewer emotionally in the film. They support del Toro's contention that the look conveys the sense of emotion to the viewer, and the viewer responds in a like manner either relating to, or not, to the expression of the actor's conveyance of emotion (p. 113).

The looks of Vidal, the fascist captain is consistent with the evil that has come to be associated with World War II fascism. In the film, we witness Vidal as he is prepared to commit vicious acts of violence against the members of the resistance, and, in the end, even when he knows that he has lost his at least his war in place, he still shoots Ofelia.

The reality of the war and the myth of the labyrinth provide stunning and intriguing contrasts. A young girl whose innocence provides the avenue for fairies and fauno to enter her life is the layering of fantastical myth over the reality of one of the most horrible wars fought by mankind. Even though Ofelia is able to defeat the monsters of her myth, she cannot defeat the monster of the reality of mankind's war or Vidal's cruelty.

Throughout the picture, the looks that convey the fascination of the young girl in the presence of the fauno and the colorful winged fairies contrasted against the dark sadness of her mother's hopelessness, and her mother's inability to see the evil in Vidal provide the viewer with the emotional range that invests them in Ofelia's struggle between the reality of war and the fantasy of the myth of the labyrinth.

The Technology

The technology employed by the filmmaker's is outstanding, and the costume of the fauno and the other creatures and the fairies are… [read more]


Disney's Cartoon Short the Tortoise and the Hare Term Paper

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Disney's The Tortoise And The Hare

Summary and Overview of Disney's Cartoon Short: "The Tortoise and the Hare" (1935)

Most people today may not remember a time when a movie ticket, a box of popcorn and a balcony seat represented an entire day's entertainment for young people in America, but motion pictures in the early 20th century featured a number… [read more]


Odyssey the Suitors Pester Penelope Because Odysseus Term Paper

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Odyssey

The suitors pester Penelope because Odysseus has been away for so long. They are blinded by their greed: for Penelope's hand but more so for Odysseus' fortunes and land which they would then receive. The suitors are so foolish that some of them, led by Antinous, plan on killing Telemachus to remove Odysseus' sole male heir and the only genuine threat. Their failure foreshadows their eventual demise and hints at their overall stupidity.

Without bothering to consult the gods or to venture to sea for themselves, the suitors are convinced Odysseus is dead. The suitors' symbolic blindness worsens when Odysseus returns to Ithaca in disguise. Eumaeus takes him in, unaware that the beggar is his former employer and later helps Odysseus and Telemachus defeat the silly suitors. Then the suitors fall for Penelope's plan of proving Odysseus' real identity: the archery test.

The suitors' main downfall is their own hubris, the arrogance they have that they have a right to take over Odysseus' wealth and steal his wife against her own will. Their blindness to their misdeeds is met with the wrath of the gods as well as Odysseus' effective brute force. The incident ironically bolsters Telemachus' strength and confidence, serving as a coming-of-age initiation in which he proves his manliness.

2. The sheer stupidity of the suitors is further elucidated in Book 22 when Odysseus kills Antinous. He deliberately aims for Antinous and yet the suitors think it was an accidental shooting -- even after he completed the difficult task and wins the contest. The explanation for the suitors thinking that Odysseus accidentally shot Antinous is that they are stupid and full of hubris.

3. A sub-plot of Homer's Odyssey is Telemachus' coming of age. Coming of age stories and rituals are usually accompanied by a symbolic or actual journey. Thus, the odyssey is as much Telemachus' tale as it is his father's. Before Telemachus set out in search of his father he seemed immature, even weak. He needs Athena to smooth out the path before him. She serves the role of fairy godmother in a fairy tale: a wise female helper.

Telemachus' journey is a dangerous one but he needs to undergo it to prove his manhood. If Athena is the fairy godmother, Nestor is like Telemachus' godfather. Both Nestor and Athena are "mentors" for the young Telemachus on his real and symbolic journey. Telemachus seems blessed throughout the Odyssey because of Athena's assistance. She not only helps him embark with a sturdy crew but also she warns him of the impending danger posed by the suitors. Yet in the end Athena allows Telemachus to fight his own battles, building his strength so that he can prove himself a man worthy of following in his father's footsteps.

4. Odysseus tells tall tales throughout Homer's Odyssey, culminating in his using a disguise to cover up his true…… [read more]


Fandom Was Born When the First Two Term Paper

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Fandom was born when the first two people started talking about their favourite program and it rolled like an avalanche into our times when fandom took unimaginable proportions for those first people who used to bring it up as a means of interacting. Today there are associations, estates (Tolkien Estate) and numerous fandom communities around the globe the existence of… [read more]


Homer Dante Term Paper

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Homer, Dante

Homer and Dante

In Homer's, the Odyssey and Dante's, the Inferno, we see the universal quest of the hero. But there is a difference. The Odyssey is an epic adventure that would certainly be deemed heroic in its very being. The Inferno, on the other hand, is less overtly so. It is more of a personal journey, told… [read more]


Odysseus Telemachus and His Journey to Heroism Term Paper

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Odysseus

Telemachus and His Journey to Heroism

The Greek mythology and its heroes have never ceased to fascinate the reader. Stories of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, Poseidon, god of the seas, Aris, god of war and battle, or the simple people whose lives have been transformed by annexation to the gods, such as Achilles or Odysseus (Ulysses), transport the… [read more]


Compare and Contrast Beowulf and Achilles as Hero Figures Term Paper

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¶ … Beowulf and Achilles as Hero-Figures

Both Achilles and Beowulf are the centre hero-figures of the literary works they are presented in and the poems "Beowulf" and "The Iliad" are centered on their existence and evolution. However, while Beowulf's mythological struggle seems to bear an extraterrestrial projection, his success seemingly determined the outcome of mankind's faith, Achilles is the centre of a battle between individuals on Earth. Despite godly interventions, the Iliad remains a battle between the Greeks and the Trojans over the fate of Helen of Troy rather than a glorious combat of mythological perspective.

Further more, while Beowulf is presented in full dynamism, fighting and slaying numerous dangers for his kingdom (Grendel and Grendel's Mother, the Franks, the dragon etc.), Achilles personality develops almost entirely and to his death in the Trojan War, all previous mentions of his life being limited.

Achilles' battles are all fought against human individuals (if we out aside the battle he fought against one of Poseidon's sons) and the battles he obtains are all on this human level. While considered almost invincible in these battles, he never provokes any of the gods to fight him. In fact, based on the Greek conventions on the role of gods in every day life and their place on a significantly superior level, Achilles only occasionally dares top provoke them verbally. There is a very clear separation in the Iliad between gods and mythological beings and human kind.

On the other hand, in Beowulf, the hero often fights mythological beings with significant success. He kills Grendel and Grendel's mother and fights and kills the dragon, in the end of the poem. Beowulf's challenge to mythological beings seems perfectly reasonable and, indeed, he is often successful in his quests. His character is so build that he can traverse the human world and access the mythological world with the same odds of succeeding. From this point-of-view, he is less limited as a character than Achilles is.

In fact, Beowulf is himself a half mythological character. This derives not only from the mythological conflicts he is involved in, but also from the way he approaches issues, from the way he is perceived by the rest of his community. He is more than a king, he is a mythological king. On the other hand, Achilles only leads a troop of Myrmidons in the Trojan War, he is not even the leader of the Greek armies and has to submit to Agamemnon's control. Despite being the best warrior of the army, he…… [read more]


Red Riding Hood Stories Term Paper

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¶ … Red Riding Hood

Stories have been part of culture from the very beginning of human development. The pre-historic cave paintings in France, for example, depict tales about hunting trips. Over time, fables and fairy tales have continued to be integrated into everyday life. However, scholars disagree on the primary reason for why these tales have remained so important even in modern times. Are they just a means to provide information or entertainment with no hidden agenda? or, is their purpose to encourage societal mores or help individuals deal with their hidden psychological dilemmas? "Little Red Riding Hood" has been used to demonstrate these different interpretations.

Little Red Riding Hood was Charles Dickens' first love, he says: "I should have known perfect bliss." This story is related in different ways throughout the world in scores of languages. Barnes and Noble sells over one hundred different editions, including one diagrammed in American Sign Language to their own children. Yet, according to Orenstein, centuries ago "Little Red Riding Hood" "was a bawdy morality tale for adults, quite different from the story we know today (4)."

Since then, scholars say that fairy tales have many varied meanings. Some say they represent a seasonal myth of the sun swallowed by night or the personification of Good triumphing over Evil. Others see such tales in Freudian terms as the Ego overcome by the Id or as the relationship between Man and Woman. Still others see these stories as a way to impart society's ethics and as a moral primer.

Charles Perrault wrote some of the first classic fairy tales in the 1600s, but they were intended for adults, not children, in order to "convey his views on the development of French civility" (Zipes et. al). He was writing for his peers in the literary salons. His "Little Red Riding Hood" conveyed the cruel fate of a little girl who strays from her intended direction by talking with a wolf. The girl and her grandmother are ravaged, because they did not act the way that proper females should in 17th century society. Similarly, the Brothers' Grimm story "Little Red Riding Hood" stresses the importance of learning one's lesson, and the message of the Charles Marelle's version was "never talk to strangers."

Psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim's 1976 book, the Uses of Enchantment, became an instant best seller when he applied Freudian philosophy and terminology to fairy tales. In the book, he stresses that fairy tales have a deep psychological focus for children. They provide a safe place for youth to struggle with their inner trauma. Bettelheim argues that underlying text in these tales revolves about such matters as penis envy, castration anxiety, and unconscious incestuous longings. There are hidden psychosexual conflicts in a number of fairy tales including "Little Red Riding Hood" (Cashdan 11). He sees "Little Red Riding Hood" in oedipal terms: The "danger is her budding sexuality, for which she is not yet emotionally mature enough" and the tale "deals with the daughter's unconscious wish… [read more]


Throne of Blood Term Paper

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Throne of Death

Akira Kurosawa's Throne of Blood is more than just an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. The film is a visual feast with riddled rich symbolism. It is that symbolism that makes Throne of Blood so memorable. In the film, Washizu and Miki are samurai warriors and friends who stumble upon a witch in the woods. The witch seduces… [read more]


Oedipus the King Blinded to See Term Paper

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Oedipus the King

Blinded to see the horror of his fate -- Sophocles' Tragedy "Oedipus Rex"

It is easy for a contemporary viewer to apprehend that the fate of Sophocles' "Oedipus the King" is a horrible. Oedipus fulfills his foretold destiny to marry his mother Queen Jocasta and kill his father King Laius. However, for a Greek audience Oedipus' fate would be especially terrible. Oedipus loses his vision, the most precious of all the senses, fulfils his fate to become a parricide in a world where filial duty and respect was of paramount importance, and becomes dominated by the influence of women in a patriarchal society. His only reward at the end of the play is that, now blinded, he can finally see the nature of human life clearly -- human beings are blind when they think themselves powerful, and they are playthings of the gods and goddesses.

The theme of blindness allowing people to see clearly is perhaps best embodied not by Oedipus' self-inflicted fate of blindness at the very end of the play but by the presence of the blind prophet Tiresias. Only the blind prophet knows why a plague has been inflicted upon Thebes. Oedipus begins the play full of self-confidence. "The opening of the play makes at least two things clear to us. First, the citizens have enormous respect, even love, for Oedipus. They acknowledge not only his political power (which they have given him), but also his pre-eminence among all human beings for wisdom, especially in dealing with things they don't understand: 'We judge you / the first of men in what happens in this life/and in our interactions with the gods'" (37-39) (Johnson, 2004).

However, because of the zealous confidence of the citizenry in his ability to solve problems and because of his success solving the riddle of the Sphinx, Oedipus cannot conceive that he is the real source of his city's ills, despite mounting evidence to the contrary as the play progresses. He condemns Tiresias, just as he condemns the then- unknown man who caused the plague in the first scene -- ironically condemning his own self. Although sighted, the king cannot see clearly, because his human arrogance in his capabilities conceals the real truth of human life. Human beings have little control over their fate and the will of the gods. As a blind man, Tiresias already knows this all too well. This is why, although "not in the original myth" Sophocles chose to include the blind prophet, to contrast his insight with the sighted Oedipus' stubbornness. (Roisman 2003:1)

Although Oedipus is arrogant, and hubristic, his tragic flaw is not the flaw of over-confidence in the manner of some heroes, like Odysseus, for example, who tells the Cyclops his name after blinding the demigod, and unwittingly condemns himself to wandering the seas in punishment. "It should be noted that Sophocles never suggests that Oedipus has brought his destiny on himself by his "ungodly pride" (hubris) alone, although this is a common theme… [read more]


21st Century High Fantasy in the Book Term Paper

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21st century high fantasy in the book "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling

With the popularity of the Harry Potter book series, the fantasy genre is said to have been revived, increasing awareness about books and authors who are credited to be good examples of this particular literary genre. However, the fantasy genre, with its revived popularity, has also evolved to become a 'higher form of fantasy' -- that is, the creation of high fantasy. The concept of high fantasy is controversial in that it takes the genre to a higher level or form, which, considering that fantasy is already a high form of the human imagination's expression, takes fantasy to a higher, if not highest, development.

This paper looks into the concept of high fantasy in the novel, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by the author JK Rowling. In the discussion and analysis of the novel, characters, elements, and plots in the novel are included as cases in point in developing the argument that indeed, "Harry Potter" contains the elements comprising a high fantasy novel. Specifically, this paper posits that in the novel, high fantasy is the dominant genre because it specifically targets the adult segment of the market, wherein fantasies require a greater understanding and imagination development for this group. Thus, what makes "Harry Potter" a high fantasy novel, then, is the level of imagination development that occurs during the adult individual's consumption of the "Harry Potter" material. While the novel also mainly targeted the young adult segment, its inclusion of the adult segment deemed it necessary for the high fantasy genre to exist as a way of coping with the levels of imagination adults have (as compared to children).

Balfe (2004) provided an appropriate assessment of the fantasy genre as it relates to the present nature of society as a highly consumer-oriented society. Fantasy as a genre in today's reading public is determined through the kinds of theme propagated within the literary work. That is, more than anything else, fantasy -- specifically modern fantasy -- is characterized by "a quest involving 'the world, or the universe, or the Lord Almighty...which includes a Peter Pan figure, a girl of noble birth, and a moron of some kind" (77). These characteristics bear striking resemblance to Rowling's own development of the main characters of the novel: Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. Respectively, each character represented the 'ideal character' presented, wherein Hermione assumes the 'girl of noble birth' role, Ron as the 'moron' who acts as humor relief in the novel, and Harry as the 'Peter Pan figure' in the novel.

The author's analogous resemblance of Harry with the Peter Pan figure in the fantasy novel demonstrated how, in Rowling's attempt to capture both the young adult and adult segments, she mixed both elements, which…… [read more]


Decameron a Monument to Ingenuity Term Paper

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¶ … Mounument to Ingenuity

The Decameron - a Monument to Ingenuity

Giovanni Boccaccio's masterpiece the Decameron, is one of the greatest literary works that follows the tradition of the frame narrative. Some of the one hundred stories that Boccaccio gathered in his work originate in ancient works that belong to the same tradition of the "story-within-story," like the Arabian… [read more]


Apollo and Artemis Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (2,104 words)
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Apollo -- artemis

An Examination On The Greek Gods

apollo and artemis

As one of the most important of all the ancient Greek gods that dwelt on Mount Olympus and influenced the lives of men on earth, Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto and was the twin brother of Artemis. He is generally seen as "the god of… [read more]


Chinese Religion Term Paper

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¶ … Chinese Gods are very different from other Western and Indigenous Gods. Most Chinese Gods and Goddesses are deified humans rather than traditional concepts of immortals. Buddhist tradition believes in the transcendence of human beings into Godhood through their actions in their human life. Therefore Gods are oftentimes as prone to human behavior as the human beings. The Chinese Gods are numerous and represent a plethora of different Chinese myths. Unlike other polytheistic cultures, China does not have a set universal doctrine of Gods and Goddesses; instead the use of mythology creates many different Gods that become popular within segments of the population. Some of the most famous deities include the Monkey King, or Sun-Wu-K'ung, the Eight-Immortals, the Jade-Emperor, etc. Chinese deities oversee different aspects of human life and therefore have different functions within the conception of Chinese religious belief.

The Chinese Gods segment their control through their different deity status and functions. At the supreme level, the Jade Emperor rules over the entire "court" of Gods and Goddesses from his throne. He is the stern-faced Ruler of Heaven and proctors over all of the Gods. However, even he is beneath the ultimate power of the Buddha who controls and governs the sanctity of the entire universe. Below the Jade Emperor is composed of a litany of Gods and Goddesses with different functions. Guan-Yu for instance is the Daoist God of War and Martial Arts; he proctors the arena of warfare and martial art that is popular within Chinese culture. However, Chinese culture does not identify a universal system of deity recognition; therefore deities will serve different purposes or control different elements depending on the specific region of China.

Becoming…… [read more]


Hansel and Gretel Term Paper

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Hansel and Gretel as Gender Role Models

Hansel and Gretel" is an ancient German fairy tale, part of a large group of stories and folklore collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s. The two brothers spent their lives collecting stories, doing scholarly research, and publishing their findings. They were leaders and innovators: "German literature had only recently become an accepted field of study..." (Zipes xxi), but they were not the first to study folklore in Germany, "nor were they first to begin collecting and publishing folk and fairy tales" (xxiii). However, their knowledge of old German literature was vast, and they were conscientious, indefatigable workers. "Hansel and Gretel" is one of the stories they gleaned from their research, which was aimed at a greater understanding of German language and customs. The story reveals what the culture of that time expected the roles of men and women to be. When one reads the story, the inevitable question arises, how do two children triumph over evil and powerful adults that plot to kill them? The answer is through cooperation and adherence to traditional gender roles, Hansel and Gretel outsmart and overcome evil forces that would do them harm. Gretel is pious, kind and dependent, but intuitively clever when forced to rely on her own resources. Hansel is manly and protective, a leader who depends on logic. Together they survive.

Hansel and Gretel" is about two disadvantaged children whose parents lack both the moral and financial resources to care for them. The stress of poverty has presumably taken a great toll on their mother, who is abusive and determined to get rid of them. She calls her son a "fool" several times and blames the children for their own abandonment.…… [read more]


Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce Term Paper

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Owl Creek Bridge - Bierce

In an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce takes his readers on an ironic journey through a brutal death and the possibilities of heaven and hell.

Although there is much more literary criticism available on Bierce's other works, critics at enotes.com suggest that this story has "been lauded as an example of technical brilliance and innovative narration, as well as for its examination of such themes as the nature of time and the complexities of human cognition"(enotes.com). I would not classify it as brilliant but, perhaps, for its time, it was groundbreaking. In fact, one critic does describe Bierce as a writer whose thinking may have been before his time. "He was a cynical journalist writing at a time when social thought was dominated by optimism. He was the writer who introduced psychological studies in fiction into an American literary scene dominated by realism, naturalism, and regionalism" (Korb).

Bierce's use of manipulation and shock, as well as blurring the line between reality and fantasy may have been clever, but it could also be seen as a grossly obvious literary tactic. However, Bierce was deeply affected by his experiences in the war, and he used his writing to convey to his readers the true horrors of war. One critic notes, "a predominant theme in several of Bierce's short stories is the physical and mental anguish associated with war" (Singletary).

This story, a poignant, ironic look of the process of death, possesses an eerie tone, as well, as evidenced by its appearance as a Twilight Zone episode. I believe that Bierce created a horror story to impress his readers with the finality and futility of war and the gruesome misery it entails. Rather than simply write another war story, Bierce captivates his readers with a supernatural cliffhanger that shifts in and out of the realm of possibility and leaves us affected and caring about Peyton Farquhar.

Bierce is most often referred to as a satirist. However, satire requires some element of humor, which disqualifies An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge from the genre. The dark quality of the story coincides with Bierce's reputation as bitter and cynical, but the story is so vividly written that it more accurately reflects the stark horrors experienced by a man who saw too much war. After having participated in many gruesome battles, Bierce was assigned to "the highly dangerous work of a lone pre-battle reconnaissance scout," giving him months of time alone to think about what he had seen (Hopkins). This story is an anti-war statement, or at least a wake-up call about the horrors of war.

The story opens with one very long descriptive paragraph that is so detailed it gives us the sense of hyper-vigilance. Fine details about the rope, loose boards, the posted sentinels with their weapons resting in front of their left shoulders, the sense of formality at the scene at the bridge and observations of the stream and woods all seem to be emanating from… [read more]


Salem Witch Trials. The Writer Examines Term Paper

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¶ … Salem Witch Trials. The writer examines the cause and argues that it was hysteria that allowed it to happen.

The events of the Salem Witch Trials were so tragic and shocking that to this day people will use the phrase "with hunt" to describe something that is being driven by a force other than sound reasoning and good sense. It is important to understand the meaning and causes of the Salem With Trials and the hysteria that was at the base of the issue so that society can be sure it never happens again.

THE TRIALS

It was 1692 in Salem Village when the otherwise peaceful residents suddenly succumbed to mass hysteria and as a result of that hysteria 19 men and women were declared witches and hung from gallows nearby.

It was a quick moving hysteria that caused dozens to sit in jail without a trial wondering what would become of them. It caused one-80-year-old man who refused to go to trial over the accusation that he was a witch to be pressed to death under large heavy stones by the townspeople and then almost as quickly as the hysteria began it was over and it never happened again (An Account of Events in Salem (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM).

To understand how and why it happened can help modern society avoid something similar happening with regard to terrorist accusations, or other finger pointing at people based in fear not fact.

Why did this travesty of justice occur? Why did it occur in Salem? Nothing about this tragedy was inevitable. Only an unfortunate combination of an ongoing frontier war, economic conditions, congregational strife, teenage boredom, and personal jealousies can account for the spiraling accusations, trials, and executions that occurred in the spring and summer of 1692(An Account of Events in Salem (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SALEM.HTM)."

Samuel Parris was invited to become the preacher in Salem. Until then he had been a planter and a merchant. He moved to Salem with his wife, daughter, niece and Indian slave to accept the position.

In 1692 his daughter became very ill, she ran around screaming in pain, she threw herself under the furniture and she complained about having a fever.

Today it is believed that she may have suffered from asthma, epilepsy, psychosis or some other medical disorder but at that time medical science in its relative infancy and they had no idea what was causing her bizarre behavior.

The doctor in town had just finished reading a book about witchcraft, and when several of the little girl's friends began the same symptoms he diagnosed witchery as the illness.

A neighbor, Mary Sibley, proposed a form of counter magic. She told Tituba to bake a rye cake with the urine of the afflicted victim and feed the cake to a…… [read more]


Lady Justice Themis Goddess Term Paper

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Lady Justice: Themis

Themis, also known as Lady Justice, embodies the goddess of divine justice in Greek mythology. One of the twelve Titans, the oldest Gods from Greek mythology, Themis is the daughter of Uranus, the God of the Sky, and Gaia, the Goddess of the Earth, and also the second wife of Zeus, preceding Hera, the Queen of Gods. A divinity of first rank, Themis lives in Olimpus, where she resides in peaceful faith and harmony with everyone, being the only one of the Titans to be accepted by the great Olimpus Gods.

One of the most ancient and sacrosanct goddesses, Themis is the embodiment of divine order, law and custom - the traditional rules of conduct first established by the gods. She is recognized as one of the prime counselors of Zeus -- the father of all gods, the supreme leader -- being often represented as seated beside his throne, advising him on the precepts of divine law and the rules of fate. Themis, thus, seconds Zeus, her primary function in Olimpus, according to Homer, being that of convoking the meetings of both gods and men. It is she who summons the Gods to assembly and keeps order at their banquets. She is the one to instruct men in the ways of obedience of laws and peace. She also presides over the proper relationship between man and woman. Homer presents her both as a goddess and as a normal human being, indicating, thus, the universal equilibrium of justice.

Themis, the Goddess of Justice, is often depicted as carrying a scale in one hand -- symbol of the impartiality with which justice is served, the balance of justice -- and a sword in the other -- symbolizing the power held by those who make the decision, the force of law.

Themis is also said to have had the gift of prophecy, being acknowledged as the predecessor of Apollo, the God of Oracles, presiding many ancient earthly oracles, including the one from Delphi. In fact, some say she was the one to build the Oracle at Delphi.

In Ancient Greek times, women play a significant role, having a high status, in terms of making decisions, proclaiming laws and establishing peace and justice. Themis is one of these divinities, one of the wise women with a high judgmental capacity. She is the daughter of Gaia, Goddess of Earth, deity that represents nature, "mother of all" and that's the way she was chosen to be born. Everything related to nature is a symbol of the feminine. The etymology of the English word "justice" comes from the Latin word "iustitia" which…… [read more]


Ethics of Spider Man Research Paper

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His trials and tribulations are foundational to the character, and steeped in normative ethics. One example can be found in another prayer sequence where Peter and "God" discuss why bad things happen to good people: PETER PARKER (thinking): Me and God, we have this little game. We're still working out the finer details, but it basically works like this: He… [read more]


Arabian Nights Research Paper

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Arabian Nights and the Supernatural

As Bruno Bettelheim states in The Uses of Enchantment, the fables depicted in Arabian Night are of a specific character that has been shown to be part of the universal nature of stories of enchantment. For centuries such stories have been woven into the fabric of various cultures and civilizations for a multitude of reasons,… [read more]


Doppelganger in Harry Potter Novels Term Paper

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Doppelganger in Harry Potter Novels

The battle between good and evil has been a timeless reality and has been evident in various works be it in written, oral or visual forms. These works may be fictional or based on real life but the lesson remains therein that good and evil are inseparable and always try to best one another. Most people like to believe that the good is often the victorious amongst the two but there are times when evil triumphs in both reality and fiction. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels exemplify the fight between what is right and what is wrong with the main protagonist Harry Potter as the good guy while his nemesis Lord Voldemort is evil personified. The side to where each of them belongs to is the major difference between the two. They are similar though because both of them are great wizards in the world they represent and both would stop at nothing to destroy each other. Consequently, in the fight between Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, they seem to be doppelgangers because of detailed similarities they have. Each of the seven novels of Rowling has presented the similarities to the point that in one of the books, Rowling wrote that the young Potter may be the heir of Slytherin in the same way as how Lord Voldemort deemed himself such "honor."

Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort may have lived separate lives and belong to different generations where the former belongs to the present young and upcoming generation while the latter is with the older generation. There are parallels in their lives though especially in the part where both of them where orphaned at a young age. Harry though had the "fortune" to live with close relatives -- the Dursleys, albeit he was treated more like an outsider and an indentured slave. Lord Voldemort as the young Tom Riddle grew up in the foster system until he gained admittance to Hogwarts. As young lads not yet in their 11th year of life, Harry and Voldemort never knew they were wizards until it was revealed to them when they turned eleven years old. Even though they did not know they were wizards during their childhood years, they have both been experiencing "weird or strange" occurrences in their lives that they could not explain especially when they feel angry or frustrated.

Perhaps one of the evidence that points to a major similarity between Harry and Voldemort was when the former bought his first wand at Ollivander's. Since the wand chooses the wizard and not the other way around, Mr. Ollivander told Harry that, "It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother why, its brother gave you that scar."

Thus, Harry's wand had the same phoenix feather as that of Voldemort's and this phoenix feather originated from one and the same source making Harry and Voldemort equal in terms of their wands' capabilities. In yet another similarity although there was… [read more]


Antigone as Tragic Heroine in Sophocles' Play Essay

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Antigone as Tragic Heroine

In Sophocles' play Antigone, the titular character, like her father Oedipus, may be seen to fulfill the requirements to be considered a tragic hero or heroine in the Aristotelian sense, but only if one is willing to expand the concept of the tragic flaw beyond the common notion of hubris or pride. This is not an instance of changing a definition to fit a particular phenomena, however, because Antigone's tragic flaw suits her particular character as a tragic heroine in the same way that hubris works as a tragic flaw for a tragic hero. In short, Antigone's flaw is her over-investment in the standards of the patriarchal society in which she finds herself, and in particular her superstitious insistence on burial rites for her brother at the expense of her own life. However, before considering how Antigone's character flaw ultimately leads to her own downfall, one must consider the other facets of her character which reveal her status as a true tragic heroine.

Antigone obviously fulfills some of the more basic requirements for tragic heroism, as she is the daughter of the former king (albeit a disgraced one) and niece to the current ruler, Creon. Furthermore, her nobility of character is revealed in her inability to let her sister Ismene die in her place, when she tells her "Don't try to share my death or make a claim / to actions which you did not do. I'll die -- / and that will be enough" (lines 624-6). It is worth noting that only Antigone's attention to her sister's life is mentioned here as evidence for her noble character, because her devotion to her brother after his death is actually an instance of Antigone's own tragic flaw, rather than evidence of her generosity or nobility of character. This is due to the fact that as a woman in a markedly patriarchal society, Antigone's flaw could never be the kind of hubris or pride seen in male heroes, because she actually has little to be proud of. Instead, her flaw is in her support of and reliance on these male-dominated social standards, and this unwarranted devotion to the corpse of her brother leads to her inevitable death.

Although readers have undoubtedly been tempted to side with Antigone in her argument with Ismene regarding the former's decision to bury their brother, one must acknowledge that at this point in the story, Antigone is still under the influence of her tragic flaw, and thus her arguments must be read with an eye towards tragic irony. Thus, when she harshly tells Ismene that she will "do my duty to my brother -- / and yours as well, if you're not prepared to. / I won't be caught betraying him," she is actually revealing the extent of her ignorance and fantasy (56-58). Polyneices is already dead, and even if the birds and worms have not yet started feasting on his corpse, the fact remains that the person that Polyneices is gone and… [read more]


Salem Witchcraft Trials Research Paper

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Salem Witch Trials

This case involves a woman named Mary Parker who was accused of performing witchcraft upon several citizens within her community. The formal accusers, the ones who came forward and testified in court to the accusations against her, were Sarah Phelps, Hannah Bigsby, Martha Sprague, John Westgate, William Barker, Mercy Wardell, John Bullock, and Samuel Shattuck. There were several others who either witnessed or accused Mary Parker but did not testify in court. Their accusations and witness statements were part of the testimony of those who actually testified in court. These included Mercy Wardell, Sarah Churchill, William Barker, Timothy Swan, and Mary Warrin.

As for the charges against Mary Parker, she was "accused of acting witchcraft upon Martha Sprague and Sarah Phelps." Beside these two women, she was also accused of acting witchcraft upon Mercy Wardell, Timothy Swan, Mary Warrin, John Westgate, and John Bullock. Mary Parker was accused of using witchcraft to inflict painful fits upon, Martha Sprague, Sarah Phelps, Mercy Wardell, Sarah Churchill, Hanah Bigsby, and Mary Warrin. William Barker said that Mary Parker admitted to him she was in league with the devil, while John Westgate accused her of using witchcraft to send a "black hogge… with open mouth as though he would have devoured me at that instant…." When he fell while trying to run away, his injuries were blamed on Mary Parker's witchcraft skills. Samuel Shattuck accused her of bewitching his son, causing the boy to "shreek out as if he had bin tormented."

Witchcraft is currently not the usual subject of a American criminal case, but it is important to remember that in the 1690's, witchcraft was considered a real thing. That being said, a modern look at the case would indicate that she was not guilty of witchcraft, nor of any actions that may have contributed to the so-called fit's the victims said they were subjected to. The record indicated that one of the accusations against Mary Parker was that "she recovered all the afflicted out of their fitts by the touch of their hand." Modern science is extremely advanced, but even modern researchers have not discovered anyone who…… [read more]


Salem Witch Trials -- Theories Research Paper

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Nevertheless, the concluding paragraph of the text seems to weaken this reproving statement in endorsing "the detection of witchcrafts." Therefore, in Bernard Rosenthal and Perry Miller's views, the courts translated the letter as Mather's seal of appreciation for the trials to continue. Maybe Cotton's most self- negative act inside the eye of the public was his publication of the book… [read more]


Aphrodite and the Gods of Love Essay

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Aphrodite and the Gods of Love is the first ever exhibition devoted to the Goddess Aphrodite in the United States. Aphrodite (Venus), one of the most compelling of the ancient divinities, personifies female beauty and human love. The exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, tells the story of Aphrodite's influence in the daily lives of the ancient… [read more]


Evolution of Batman From the Character's Earliest Term Paper

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¶ … evolution of Batman from the character's earliest depictions on film and television through to the most recent adaptations by Christopher Nolan. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the ways in which Nolan's Dark Knight has distinguished the Batman character from previous adaptations. It will also show how Nolan has elevated the superhero genre by depicting the… [read more]


Dark Knight Research Paper

Research Paper  |  2 pages (627 words)
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Christopher Nolan Technique

The British-born director Christopher Nolan brings a very specific essence to his films. One can trace it from Memento (2000) to Insomnia (2002) to Batman Begins (2005), the Prestige (2006), the Dark Knight (2008), and Inception (2010). Nolan pulls together several different threads for his tapestries: psychological manipulations (Memento is about a man who has no short-term memory and must overcome this handicap to find the killer of his wife; Insomnia is about a sleep-deprived detective with a troubled conscience; Batman Begins illustrates the complex psychological framework of the Batman myth; Inception takes a deep and intricate journey into the layers of the mind), the elegant look of the film noir genre, and the contemplative feel of the philosophical -- weaving them all into a unique film experience. Nolan's oeuvre is one that reveals a director who is not afraid to strip away the layers of human emotion and psychology to expose the good and bad elements that compose the human heart. His work is also characterized by an increasing devotion to the spectacular, with each film seemingly attempting to outdo the previous one in terms of special effects and imagination.

This devotion to topping himself is one reason "Inception resonated with a global audience" (Rosenstock 114). Nolan devotees (won from his earliest film Memento and on through to the Dark Knight) knew that the director was going to deliver a psychologically-driven suspense film that would be packed with stellar dream-like special effects. Indeed, the emphasis on dream-like worlds, power, control, reinterpretations and illusions permeates all his films. As Adrian Gargett states in an essay on Memento, "The film proposes an ironic reinterpretation of the private-eye genre in which the conventional pattern of heroic self-determination played out by Leonard Shelby is contradicted by a self-conscious critique of the formula carried by the film's structure, a critique that sees the hero's…… [read more]


Compare and Contrast the Artworks Nike of Samothrace and Coatlicue Essay

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¶ … artworks "Nike of Samothrace" and "Coatlicue"

Goddesses Alike

Upon initial examination, an abundance of differences can be found between the pieces of art known as "Nike of Samothrace" and "Coatlicue." Each artistic representation is from a different culture, the former of which is Greek while the latter is Aztecan. A wealth of dissimilarities can be found between those two cultures, including several centuries difference in the time period in which the works were approximately created (Nike is believed to have been erected in the second century B.C. while scholars estimate Coatlicue to have been finished no earlier than the late 15th century) and in the actual renderings of the subjects. However, as was the case with most historical art pieces dating back to the Renaissance and beyond, both works depict religious figures, which each happen to be female and played a significant part of the culture and religious beliefs of the citizens in the epochs in which they were composed. Therefore, it is of immense interest to compare the setting, the subjects, and the symbolism depicted in each work, to understand what these pieces meant to their respective cultures.

There is a graceful simplicity to be found in Nike of Samothrace, which is evident in its marble composition and coloring. Currently located in the Louvre Museum of Paris, this statue (which is missing its head and hands) illustrates the winged goddess of victory. Nike's genealogy is fairly important to this work of art and to her prominence (Curators) within Greek artwork as a whole, and is both a point of similarity and dissimilarity with the Coatlicue. The Greek goddess was the daughter of two of the Titans (the gods who were believed to have reigned before the Olympians overthrew them) named Pallas and Styx, and her immediate family was populated by other gods who personified traits such as strength (Kratos), rivalry (Zelos), and force (Bia). Due to her role in the ensuing war between the forces of Zeus and those of the Titans, Zeus bestowed upon Nike her representation of victory, which became related to all sorts of competitions whether they were in sports, conventional battle, or even in (literary) arts (Curators).

The genealogy of Coatlicue is also highly significant to the Aztecan culture that revered her. Quite simply, she is the mother of everything, representative of the earth and therefore symbolic of both life and death and most of what happens in between these two states. She is regarded to have engendered the stars, sun and the moon, as well as her own gods and goddesses, including her son Huitzilopochtli and her daughter Coyolxauhqui. Similar to the legend of Nike, Coatlicue was also engaged in conflict with her immediate family, who were supposed to be "outraged" by the fact that "she was magically impregnated by a ball of feathers" (Robles & del Castillo). However, whereas Nike was pitted in the role of usurper by aiding Zeus to overthrow the Titans, Coatlicue was, in a sense, the usurped… [read more]


Lottery" by Shirley Jackson Term Paper

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Nebeker (1974) explains Jackson's use of name symbolism:

"Martin," Bobby's surname, derives from a Middle English word signifying ape or monkey. This juxtaposed with "Harry Jones" (in all its commonness) and "Dickie Delacroix" (of-the-cross) urges us to an awareness of the Hairy Ape within us all, veneered by a Christianity as perverted as "Delacroix," vulgarized to "Dellacroy" by the villagers.… [read more]


Hindu Goddesses the Reflexiveness Term Paper

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Pintchman and Coburn's analyses prove that indeed, Hindu goddesses have become genderless, depicting human characteristics inherently found among males and females. As genderless entities, goddesses possesses known female characteristics such as docility and gentleness, while at the same time, they can also possess male characteristics such as fierceness and aggressiveness, among others. Apart from being genderless, goddesses are known for their self-reflexive characteristic, which allows them to become symbols of characteristics of humans of Nature itself.

In effect, the ambiguous nature of goddesses allows them to assume and represent male and female characteristics. This has a big implication in the world of Hinduism, for it portrays human existence as a balance, a combination of both the male and female; this means that one needs the other in order to survive and live harmoniously in this world.

As an illustration, the characteristics of the goddesses Aditi and Kali are discussed in order to give a characterization of the balance between male and female characteristics in the persona of the goddess.

Aditi is the goddess that personifies motherhood. She symbolizes everything that depicts "wealth, safety, and abundance" (Kinsley, 1988:10). As the docile goddess, Aditi is also known for her free spirit, "unbounded," free from any kinds of illness or sickness. Kali, on the other hand, depicts everything that Aditi is not. As a creator (possessing the gift of motherhood), Aditi is Kali's anti-thesis, in the same way that Shiva is Vishnu's opposite. Kali signifies death and violence, often illustrated as "black or dark, naked, has long, disheveled hair" and is adorned with "severed arms as girdle, freshly cut heads as a necklace, children's corpses as earrings, and serpents as bracelets" (116). Aditi possesses female characteristics because of her docility, while Kali is mostly associated with males because of her fierceness and strong character. Nevertheless, the balance between these two goddesses illustrates their genderless and reflexive quality. That is, in the same way that goddesses can become docile females, they can also be fierce males in order to create a balance in the natural order of the world.

Bibliography

Coburn, T. (2001). "What is a goddess and what does it mean to construct one?" In Seeking Mahadevi: Constructing the Identities of Hindu Goddesses. T. Pitchman (Ed.). Albany: New York UP.

Kinsley, D. (1988). Hindu Goddesses: Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Pitchman, T. (2001). Seeking Mahadevi:…… [read more]


Cinderella Fairy Tales, Especially Old Term Paper

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This done she gave her a pair of glass slippers, the prettiest in the world." (p. 10)

Cinderella learns that while life offers deals us an unfair hand, still it is not exactly a gloomy place for the patient are always rewarded in the end. But God expects something from us such as patience in times of adversity and a kind spirit that is willing to help others. Cinderella possesses these qualities and is thus amply rewarded. "Cinderella, who was as good as she was beautiful, took her sisters to live in the palace, and shortly afterward matched them to two great lords of the Court, and they all lived happily ever afterward." (p. 14)

There exist many different versions of Cinderella story but they all have few things in common including Cinderella's suffering, her stepmother and stepsisters, a ball, a lost slipper and a happy ending. The reason this story endures and continues to grow in popularity is because it inculcates in children a sense of right and wrong while teaching them about the realities of life. Children who read these stories are usually living a sheltered life where people around them constantly pamper them. But life doesn't remain the same forever and while they may not face the same struggles that Cinderella encounters, they would eventually have to shoulder their share of problems. And this is when these stories come to a person's aid. Values taught through fairy tales are more likely to leave a lasting impact because of the impressionable age at which these stories are heard.

Despite criticism, the moral worth of these fairy tales cannot be denied. They are meant for children who are cognitively unprepared to learn moral lessons through structured studies and thus fairy tales provide the best means to inculcate in them important values about life, people, struggles, and happiness.

REFERENCES

1) "Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper" from Cinderella, Or the Little Glass Slipper, and Other Stories: Publisher: Henry Altemus. Philadelphia. 1905

2) Andrea Schulte-Peevers, The Brothers Grimm and the Evolution of the Fairy Tale German Life; 3/31/1996;

FIRST PAGE OF THE STORY PASTED BELOW:

Cinderella; or, the Little Glass Slipper.

T HERE lived once a gentleman who married for his second wife the proudest woman ever seen. She had two daughters of the same spirit, who were indeed like her in all things. On his side, her husband had a young daughter, who was of great goodness and sweetness of temper; in this she was like her mother, who was the best woman in the world.

"THE PROUDEST WOMAN EVER SEEN.

No sooner was the wedding over than the stepmother began to show her ill-humor; she could not bear her young step-daughter's gentle ways, because they made those of her own daughters appear a thousand times more odious and disagreeable. So she employed her in the meanest work of the house; she it was who must wash the dishes and rub the tables and chairs, and it was her place… [read more]


Mediumship in His Trade Book the Afterlife Term Paper

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Mediumship

In his trade book the Afterlife Experiments, clinical psychologist and University of Arizona professor Gary Schwartz offers "breakthrough scientific evidence of life after death." Based on a series of studies Schwartz and his colleagues conducted using spirit mediums, the author concludes that human consciousness does indeed survive the death of the body. Trance or spirit mediums are persons who claim they can channel, or communicate with, the souls of the dead. As Schwartz himself admits, "mediumship does not have a solid reputation for integrity," and usually more resembles "stage magic instead of science," (52; 51). Therefore, Schwartz undertook his research under a climate of skepticism, especially as he was a well-established clinical psychologist who graduated from Harvard. Publishing his findings in a trade book such as this one is a huge professional risk: laypersons unfamiliar with proper, established scientific methodology will be far more forgiving than Schwartz's colleagues in academia. Therefore, Schwartz can easily gloss over weaknesses and flaws in the studies and still present the material to the general public in a convincing manner. Moreover, the topic of mediumship, especially as it applies to communicating with dead loved ones, has a wide-ranging appeal. Not only did the New Age movement popularize such topics as the survival of consciousness but people are always going to be interested in the possibility of life after death and the sentimental notion of communicating with departed loved ones.

Schwartz's research began after some promising findings regarding the connection between love and health. Some early findings indicated that "men who perceived themselves as coming from the most loving parents had the lowest rates of physical diseases," (Schwartz 21). These initial research reviews also pointed to the possibility of people communicating with their loved ones from the beyond. Thus the author launched a series of supposedly scientifically-designed studies to determine whether "science can establish that love exists, that consciousness exists, and the survival of consciousness exists, in the same way that science has established that gravity exists," (11). However, as Ray Hyman points out in his article "How Not to Test Mediums," Schwartz's studies were far from being scientifically designed. Hyman, who actually practiced palmistry professionally and served as an expert on one of Schwartz's initial research panels, accuses Schwartz of designing one of the most flawed research projects he had encountered: "Probably no other extended program in psychical research deviates so much from accepted norms of scientific methodology as this one does."

Hyman offers numerous counter-responses to Schwartz's research results, pointing out essential, glaring flaws in his research methodology. The flaws that Hyman identifies in Schwartz's studies include the fallacy of personal validation, subjective validation, confirmation bias, belief perseverance, demand characteristics, and the foot-in-the-door phenomenon. Hyman also accuses Schwartz of drawing a false conclusion based on Occam's Razor, that the simplest explanation is the correct one, asserting that Schwartz never actually proves that consciousness survives death at all but rather leaps to that conclusion because the researcher could offer no other explanation for his… [read more]


Horatio Alger Gender and Success in the Gilded Age Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,025 words)
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Horatio Alger: Gender and Success in the Gilded Age

Horatio Alger's novels such as Ragged Dick and Tattered Tom were once considered to be the templates of American success stories for boys of all ages. The book Horatio Alger: Gender and Success in the Gilded Age chronicled the image of Horatio Alger and how it evolved through the writings of Alger, first through an introduction to the author and the age and then an edited version of two of Alger's most famous creations. Ragged Dick and Tattered Tom were specifically chosen to compare and contrast by the editor of the volume because they featured a characteristic Alger boy and an uncharacteristic Alger girl street-heroine.

The usual portrait of Horatio Alger is that he became famous in the Gilded Age for his many stories about boys who rose from poverty to wealth and fame through hard work, virtuous living, and, in the words of the title of one of his novels, 'luck and pluck'. However, the text of Gender and Success in the Gilded Age made clear that Alger was not an industrialist, but a fictional author and American myth-maker, whose stories often featured elements of fairy tales, rather than reality. In stories of the Alger heroes, Tattered Tom and Ragged Dick, readers of the Gilded Age merely read what they wanted to read, rather than see the historical events evolving around them, the lives of poverty in the urban landscape of America. The book showed how Alger's works merely reinforced a false image of the United States as a land where dreams of material prosperity, high social position, and power could come true. It showed what America would like to be, not what it was to Alger's readership.

The Horatio Alger myth has worked itself so deeply into American culture, that even readers of today who had never read one of Alger's stories may have referred to an honest, industrious adolescent who came from poverty to respectability through unrestrained capitalism and the Protestant work ethic as a Horatio Alger type of person. Yet the Gilded Age was one of the most socially and economically unbalanced eras of American history. Unregulated robber baron style capitalism resulted in the formulation of monopolies and the concentration of wealth of the American land in the hands of the few, rather than of the many.

In fact, even in Alger's actual stories luck has a great deal to do with the advancement of his protagonists. His boys are lifted from lives of honest privation on the street to white-collar respectability, from competitive struggle in alleys selling newspapers to the competitive struggles of the labor market by benefactors. Of course, the reasons these plots were so appealing was that they strengthened a sense of naive optimism that in America things would always get better for the deserving. But the plots also showed that even Alger, at some level, understood that hard work alone in America could not earn an honest living. One needed a benefactor as… [read more]


Compare and Contrast Passages From Homer's the Iliad and Hesiod's Theogony Term Paper

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¶ … Homer's 'The

Iliad' and Hesiod's 'Theogony'.

The De-Evolution of Aphrodite

Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, appears throughout the mythologies and literature of ancient Greece. Like all of the old gods, Aphrodite experienced many transformations that can be traced through time by studying the various incarnations of this character which appear in surviving writings. In Homer's… [read more]


Movie Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,100 words)
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¶ … Woods

Steven Sondheim's musical "Into the Woods," as evidenced by the filmed version of this popular production, may be one of the most thematically ambitious musicals of the late 20th century Broadway stage. This may seem like a paradoxical statement, as it is a musical about fairy tales. Fairy tales tend to confirm common moral norms and behaviors rather than subvert accepted truths, with the ostensible purpose of teaching children the right way to behave. But Sondheim's narrative construction of fairy tales takes the form of juxtaposed stories. By pairing stories with different lessons together, Sondheim infuses such stories as "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Cinderella" with ambitiously ambiguous instructional qualities.

This is why "Into the Woods" is not simply 'cotton candy' entertainment, like a traditional musical confection. Nor is it an easy tale of moral development and instruction like much of children's theater. Rather, the musical uses music and myth to teach lessons valuable to adults and children alike and to complicate modern morality. It questions rather than confirms the 'right' relationship between parent and child, price and princess, and self and society, rather than to simplifies common wisdom into morals of age-old fables.

Over the course of the play, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack of "Jack and the Bean Stalk," and "Rapunzel," must all grow up and attain maturity. They come of age as they proceed into the woods of the title and come out sadder and wiser people. But a deeper version of the wood's wisdom does not come until the play's second act. In the first act, all of the characters merely get what they want -- in the second act, the characters must deal with the consequences of getting what they wished for, including power, a prince, riches, a child, and eternal youth.

The true teaching quality of the musical only comes to the forefront in the song, "Children will listen," at the musical's end. Then, the ambiguous figure of the witch counsels the now widowed baker how to raise his motherless child and notes that children learn, not by being dictated to in the form of tales, but through looking at the example of their parent's lives. The witch herself has learned this sad lesson the hard way, in her dealings with her own, now dead, adopted child Rapunzel.

As different as all of the characters and tales are, all characters speak the same words "into the woods," throughout the play, signifying their evolving journey of experience. They must make a journey and take a risk to realize their quest to feed a grandmother, keep a cow named "Milky White," or to engage in the difficult endeavor of having, then raising a child. The four main plots begin in separate 'houses' in the musical's staging. Each character, before he or she enters the drama of the woods, is segmented like the pages or chapters of different storybooks (even though the baker's tale is largely Sondheim's own invention).

But through the tests and… [read more]

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