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British Literature Final


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1. Sources for knowledge about primitive rituals
a. The Memphite Drama
b. The Pyramid Texts
c. The Abydos Passion Play
2. The purposes of dramatic ritual
a. Influence events
b. Pass on tribal traditions
c. Glorify the deity, the tribal past, its heroes, or its totems
d. Give entertainment and pleasure
3. The characters in the Osiris myth and their roles in the story
a. Osiris – wise Pharaoh
i. Traveling throughout/borders of Egypt
ii. Coffer ended up as a trunk for king of Byblos
b. Isis – Osiris’ wife/sister
i. Search for husband, traveled to Byblos finding him
ii. Became maidservant of queen
iii. Revealed identity: brought dead Osiris and coffer to Egypt
iv. Hid mummified body in marshes of Delta
v. Gross fact: impregnated herself and bore Horus after Osiris dead
c. Anubis – jackal god
i. Mummified the corpse of Orisis
ii. Helped search for Osiris’ dismembered scattered body and put it back together with Isis, buried him at Abydos
d. Set – Orisis’ brother
i. Tried to steal Osiris’ wife
ii. Made Osiris climb in coffer and shut it, snt down Nile
iii. Found Osiris’ body in marshes, dismembered it, scattered pieces in Egypt
e. Horus – Osiris/Isis’ son
i. Hidden during boyhood by mother
ii. Set out to avenge father’s death – hacked off Set’s testicles
iii. Geb (grandfather) judged issue and awarded Egypt to Horus and affirmed his legitimate succession
4. The annual festival of Dionysus in the spring
a. Before Trojan War worship of Dionysus became popular in Greece
b. Story linked with the seasons, particularly with the rebirth of green things in the spring; and the pruning of the vines in the fall is a metaphor for his annual dismemberment
c. Symbolized such important human desires as the longing for green growing things of spring, bringing forth children for the new generation, and enjoying eternal life after death
5. Early dithyrambic poems by a chorus in goatskins (Tragoedia)
a. 8th century BC
b. Festivals evolved which competing choruses of 50 men dressed up in goatskins
c. Tragoedia literally means, “goat song”
d. A prize went to the best performance of a dithyramb, a wild song in celebration of the god’s annual rebirth
e. Chorus leader and chorus had dialogue
6. A tragedy’s organization into prologos, parodos, episodia, stasima, and exodus
a. Prologos – intro scene
b. Parodos – first entrance of the chorus
c. Episodia (or episodes) – 2 to 5, dramatic part
d. Stasima (or stanzas) – choral odes (goes between each episode), dramatic part
e. Exodus – final scene and exit
7. The division of the “playhouse” into skene, orchestra, parodos, and theatron
a. Skene – change costumes here
b. Orchestra – dancing ground, circular area at the foot of the hillside where the alter (for Dionysus) was center
c. Parodos – two points of entry and exit for the chorus where the theatron and skene almost met
8. The practice of producing tetralogies by three poets (City Dionysia’s festival) -- Panel would pick 3 poets
a. Three tragedies and a satyr play - Tetralogy
b. Usually, but not always on the related themes
9. The role of the chorus and its reduction to 15
10. The addition of a second and third actor
a. Aeschylus – added second actor
b. Sophocles added the third actor also and reduced chorus to 15 and introduced scene painting
c. Euripides: Made the language simpler and more naturalistic and he minimized the importance of the chorus
11. The reduction in the seize of the chorus
a. 5th century
b. Sophocles reduced size
12. The contributions of the three major playwrights
a. Aeschylus is the father of Greek tragedy
b. Sophocles (see 9 and 11)
13. The comedies of Aristophanes and Menader
a. Aristophanes made great fun of Euripides in comedy b/c he hated his modern outlook
b. Meander survives in fragments (what does this mean?)
14. The principle of decorum, Horace, French neo-classicists and Aeschylus
a. Decorum – invention of Aeschylus; having messengers tell about what happened off-stage—probably because it was just practical
b. French neo-classicists – took what they regarded to be a universal classical practice and had things reported by the messenger --- they said this was the idea that “you couldn’t have any violence on stage”
c. Horace: So apparently people just derived more of their decorum ideas from reading Horace.
15. Pylades, Electra, Clytemnestra, Cilissa, and Aegisthus
a. Pylades – cousin of Orestes son of Anaxibia and Strophius of Phocis
b. Electra – wants to avenge father’s death
c. Clytemnestra – wife of Agamemnon
d. Cilissa – nurse of Orestes
e. Aegisthus – has affair with Clytemnestra
16. The Areopagus
a. Refers to hill of Eres
b. Judicial body and has authority in capital case (capital case = lose one’s head)
17. The opening of Oedipus the King
a. Oedipus listenes to the story of the plague devastating Thebes (and he’s like, yeah yeah I’ve sent creon to Delphi)
b. Creon snt to Delphi for answer from oracle, returns saying must kill killer of previous king=== Creon has a political relationship to Oedipus
c. Oedipus dedicates himself to finding murderer – not knowing that he was the murderer – lots of Dramatic Irony
d. Oedipus is a relentless pursuer of the truth despite whatever it is.
19. The centrality of Hecuba in the Troades
a. Helps unify the play b/c she appears in every scene
b. Audience idenifies with her more than with any other character, pitying her for her own fate and for her mourning over the fate of her children and her grandson
20. Astyanax, Cassandra, Polyxena, Andromache, Helen, and Talthybius
a. Astyanax – son of Andromache, dies in play(hecuba’s grandson)
b. Cassandra – one who went crazy in the movie, predicts death of Agamemnon
c. Polyxena – assigned to the sacrificial pyre at the tomb of Achilleus
d. Andromache – assigned to Neoptolemus, has the son – widowed wife
e. Helen – started the war, wife of Menelaus concubine of Menelaus… I think.
f. Talthybius – informs women of assignments, also kills boy – He also sympethyses with Hecuba
21. Topical allusions in the play --- most important --- have to do about the force that is about to sail for Sicily (to attack the Spartans – playwrite is warning this)
a. Hecuba’s characterization of Odysseus as a scoundrel (allusion to second play’s plot)
b. Topically, the play had immediate significance for an audience that could at the same time view the action before them and the fleet at the Piraeus preparing to depart for Sicily
1. The uses of Marullus and Flavius
a. Tribunes in first scene of play
b. Flavuis and Marullus were the guards facing the mob *mob making fun* Commoners: Prose – Favor Caesar; Tribunes: Blank Verse – they like Pompey
c. They are upset b/c crowd was supporting Caesar and they like Pompey
d. Took the leaves off the statues b/c they were upset
2. Cassius’ view of Caesar
a. Has those two bad instances of Caesar that he uses to get Brutus to join
b. Plays down Caesar
c. CASSIUS = PHYSICAL (Private)(Physically weak and colossus at the same time and personal and to be lowly regarded personally / BRUTUS: SPIRITUAL (Public) – Brutus sees him as a public figure and spirit.
3. Caesar’s physical maladies
a. Infertile - Wanted to Antony whip Calpurnia in the feast of Lupercal
b. Deafness in the left ear
c. Epilepsy – fits sometimes
4. Antony’s offer of the crown to Caesar
a. Caesar has a fit (epilepsy) during this
b. Caesar keeps rejecting the crown playfully
c. Basically the two are messing around in front of the public about the crown
d. *rolls eyes at ….* Crowd Pleaser --- Makes it seem like Caesar doesn’t want to be king – but you never see it…
5. Cassius’ recruitment of Brutus
a. Cassius’ manipulation of him through subtle flattery
i. Cassiuus reminds brutus that people regard him as honorable
ii. Also uses Brutus’s family history
iii. Also uses the letters in several hands
• Cause would be honorable with Brutus (otherwise just envious of Caesar)
• Brutus is a stoic – can’t commit suicide if don’t like Caesar to rule
b. The use of letters in several hands
• Cassius will write several letters adoring Caesar to pump him up
c. Casca’s indictment of the conspiracy’s motives through the alchemy image
• Casca says, “Caesar’s countenance, like richest alchemy, will change to virtue and worthiness”
6. Brutus’ three vetoes in the orchard
a. No oath
b. Do not kill Antony
c. Does not want Cicero involved
d. All three of these prove to be something that if they hadn’t done it then it would have been better.
7. The role of Portia
a. Is Stoic (don’t commit suicide – oh slipped up on that one)
b. Wants to prove that she is worthy – so she wounds herself
c. Wife of Brutus
d. Brutus hears of her death, has an apparent lack of emotion
8. The attempt of Artemidorus
• He is a teacher of rhetoric
• He had had the advantage of having all these conspirators as students in his school – and overheard some of them speaking about Caesar
• The letter warns Caesar to stay away from everyone --- but he fails to do so (another example of how Caesar fails to head warnings)
9. Caesar’s reaction to Brutus as a murderer
a. Thought they were friends
b. “Et tu Brut?”
10. The difference btw the two speeches
a. Brutus’ speech
i. In prose b/c not emotional
ii. Everyone is on his side when he talks
b. Antony’s eulogy
i. Caesar is not ambitious – selfless
ii. Crowd says Antony is right – should mourn Caesar’s death
iii. Antony turns mob on Brutus --- calls them honourable too much
• Uses irony to keep calling them that a lot
11. The conflict of Brutus and Cassius
a. Their habit of dividing things
• Caesar
a. They divide Caesar’s body and soul
• Crowd
a. Divided the crowd
• Army
a. Who’s army goes which direction
b. The pettiness of their argument over bribery
• ‘You accept bribery’ – ‘’so do you’’
c. Money
12. Brutus’ idea of going to meet the enemy
a. Cassius doesn’t like it, believed the natives would support the opposers
b. Cassius doesn’t want a tried army with no supporters
13. The appearance of Caesar’s ghost
a. Antony’s setting his spirit free
• Ghost goes abroad (?)
• Caesar’s ghost is there to
b. The appropriateness of the visit to Brutus
• Starts to doubt motives b/c he thought he did the wrong thing all the sudden
c. His curious reaction to its words
d. His inquiry of his attendants
• Freaks out and starts asking his servants if they’ve seen the ghost
e. Revealing the second visits to Voluminous
f. Attributing the suicides to the ghost’s power
• Brutus blamed Cassius’ suicide on the ghost
g. Brutus’ conviction that he was wrong and that an evil deed cannot have good consequences
14. The contrasting philosophies of Brutus and Cassius
a. Brutus and family – Stoic
b. Cassius – Epicurean
15. Interpretation of signs and omens
a. Soothsayer’s words
• “Beware the Ides of March”
b. Calpurnia’s dream
• Caesar is a statue and blood was spouting out from him
• Romans were bathing in Caesar’s blood
c. Artemidorus’ letter
• He is a teacher of rhetoric
• The letter warns Caesar to stay away from everyone
d. Prodigious events
• Storm
a. Calpurnia cried out in her sleep during the storm with her dreams
• Fire
• Ghosts – something crazy is going to happen
• Lions
16. Cassius’ use of Pindarus for his eyes
a. Pindarus misinterprets what he sees and Cassius asks Pindarus to kill Cassius
b. Cassius wanted to be killed b/c he feared Titinius’ death so much
c. People do things because they don’t know things
17. The deaths of Brutus, Cassius, and Titinius
a. Brutus
i. Brutus’ honor, family history, associations of Roman republic: recognize it and ppl offer a tribute
ii. This is Antony’s second eulogy
• When Antony gave eulogy over Caesar it mainly condemns the conspirators
• Said Brutus is the noblest Roman of them all (all the conspirators) – no irony used
• Don’t say bad things about the dead?
• Brutus’ motives weren’t as bad as the others?
• It’s all in the air why he calls him honorable
b. Take place because of misinterpretation
1. Definitions of formalism
a. Formalism is a literary theory where we look at things (mostly writings) intrinsicly instead of extrinsically.
2. The difference btw connotation and denotation
The Connotation of the word is what someone thinks of when they hear it. Like the word “spring” has many connotations. Someone might think of a season when they hear the word sping – that is their connotation of the word. Someone else might think of jumping when they hear spring. Connotations are largely relevant. The Denotation is just the dictionary definition of the word.
3. The nature of allusions
Allusions are indirect ways of making you think. They often require a sort of before-hand knowledge or cultural literacy to understand them.
4. Symbolism’s occasional relationship to the intentional fallacy
Intentional fallacy is the wondering if a poet actually meant what he meant. Kind of like how Shakespeare has all this blood imagery that can be viewed as symbolism. Well we really don’t know if Shakespeare meant to place all those blood images in there as symbolism or not – that is intentional fallacy.
5. The differences and similarities among images, metaphors, and symbols:
a. An image is what something clearly is⬦ kind of like a picture
b. Metaphors: means something other than what it says literally. Usually false
c. Symbol is what it is, and something else too.
6. Irony’s use of contrast
a. Verbal Irony: Contrast between what someone says and what someone means
b. Dramatic Irony: Contrast between what a character doesn’t know, and what the audience knows.
c. Situational Irony: A Contrast between the expectation of something and its outcome.
7. The rhetorical effect of verbal irony
a. Irony operates through contrast, appeals to the intellect o the reader, and can evoke an emotional response.
8. Recognizing the use of sound devices
a. Aural
i. Rhyme: Half Rhyme/Slant Rhyme
ii. Metrics: Iambic Pentameter/Tetrameter, Free Verse, Blank Verse
iii. Onomatopoeia
iv. Alliteration
v. Assonance (repetition of consonant sounds)
9. Definitions and recognition of narrative, lyric, and dramatic forms
a. Narrative: Tell stories – they deal with events.
b. Lyrical: present a single speaker reacting to an emotional circumstance and resolving the tensions that emerge in the course of the experience
c. Dramatic: Represent characters histrionically enacting the events of a story (Some people say dramatic poetry is narrative)
d. Dramatic monologues often seem lyrical, though really they’re dramatic.
e. There are rarely pure forms of poetry.

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