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Motifs, Themes, Important Details


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What does Plato's Book IX discuss?
Justice versus Injustice
Plato starts book IX by discussing the _______ man, who has a ______ in tyranny.
Tyrannical and Soul.
The tyrant is the 'beast' of human nature (the very worst kind of man). Furthermore he lives in constant fear of others.
One important term for Aristotle's Poetics.

Mimesis is the act of creating in someone's mind, through artistic representation, an idea or ideas that the person will associate with past experience. Roughly translatable as "imitation," mimesis in poetry is the act of telling stories that are set in the real world. The events in the story need not have taken place, but the telling of the story will help the listener or viewer to imagine the events taking place in the real world.
According to Socrates, souls have three forms of desire: ______, _____, and ______
desire for wisdom, desire for honor, and desire for money. Socrates concludes that the lover of wisdom, because he will profit from his knowledge at a very early age and will never lose his wisdom, is the clear winner in this scenario.
Socrates argues in Book IX that a pure ____ soul still won't profit as much as a normal _____ soul.
unjust, just

The tyrant, who is also the most unjust man, is the least happy. The aristocrat, the most just man, is the most happy.
Another important term in Aristotle Poetics
This word translates almost directly as "error," though it is often rendered more elaborately as "tragic flaw." Tragedy, according to Aristotle, involves the downfall of a hero, and this downfall is effected by some error on the part of the hero. This error need not be an overarching moral failing: it could be a simple matter of not knowing something or forgetting something.
The tyrannical man is ruled by his ______ desires.

The proof is that these desires occasionally come out at night, in our dreams, when the rational part of us is not on guard. But only the tyrannical man allows these desires to emerge in his waking hours.
The tyrannical man is the son of the ________ man.

According to Socrates, there are five types of souls: royal, timocratical, oligarical, democratical, and tyrannical.
An important term that relates to Aristotle's Poetics--starts with an A
This word translates as "recognition" or "discovery." In tragedy, it describes the moment where the hero, or some other character, passes from ignorance to knowledge. This could be a recognition of a long lost friend or family member, or it could be a sudden recognition of some fact about oneself, as is the case with Oedipus. Anagnorisis often occurs at the climax of a tragedy in tandem with peripeteia.
Some of the characteristics of the tyrannical man are....
He is anarchy and lawlessness. The most decent parts of his soul are enslaved to the most vicious part, and so his entire soul is full of disorder and regret and is least free to do what it really wants. He is continually poor and unsatisfied, and he lives in fear.
How does Plato's Book IX relate to other works?
Plato's Socrates tries give the reader of glimpse the psyche of the tyrant.

He might argue that even in the case of these tyrants, the true driving force was a greed for money and power, and that reason, though playing a tremendous part in their deeds, was only instrumental reason, serving the ends of a nightmarish, lawless appetite.

We might apply Freud and The Uncanny considering tyranncy starts out in an unconscious dream state, but finally surfaces.
Another important term relating to Aristotle's Poetics--starts with My.
When dealing with tragedy, this word is usually translated as "plot," but unlike "plot," mythos can be applied to all works of art. Not so much a matter of what happens and in what order, mythos deals with how the elements of a tragedy (or a painting, sculpture, etc.) come together to form a coherent and unified whole. The overall message or impression that we come away with is what is conveyed to us by the mythos of a piece
Socrate's tyrannical man and the uncanny
Yet it is difficult to completely dismiss the suspicion that the real motivating force behind at least some of these regimes (of the tyrannical man)was a perverse idea and not an insatiable appetite.
Two important terms in Plato's dialogues are: _______ and ________.
Appetite and Reason.

Appetite is the seat of all our various desires for food, drink, sexual gratification and other such pleasures. It contains both necessary desires, which should be indulged (such as the desire to eat enough to stay alive), unnecessary desires, which should be limited.

Reason lusts after truth and is the source of all of our philosophic desires. In the just man, the entire soul is ruled by reason, and strives to fulfill reasonÂ’s desires.
Another important term from A's Poetics--starts with K
This word was normally used in ancient Greece by doctors to mean "purgation" or by priests to mean "purification." In the context of tragedy, Aristotle uses it to talk about a purgation or purification of emotions. Presumably, this means that katharsis is a release of built up emotional energy, much like a good cry. After katharsis, we reach a more stable and neutral emotional state.
Book IX, then, completes the discussion on justice. In it
Socrates explores three main topics:
1. the tyrannical man; 2.
justice is happiness; and 3. justice is profitable.
Book IX connection to Wide Sargasso Sea
Public or political tyrant (as a slave owner) is suddenly alone with his slaves outside the protection of any State or law, and at the same time surrounded by neighbors that reject slavery and would kill the slave owner if they could catch him in action.
Another important term from A's Poetics--starts with Per...
A reversal, either from good to bad or bad to good. Peripeteia often occurs at the climax of a story, often prompted by anagnorisis. Indeed, we might say that the peripeteia is the climax of a story: it is the turning point in the action, where things begin to move toward a conclusion.
Plato Book IX: The philosopher's pleasure is ______, whereas others partake of apparent _______.
True and pleasures.
Another Important term from A's Poetics--starts with L
Literally "untying," the lusis is all the action in a tragedy from the climax onward. All the plot threads that have been woven together in the desis are slowly unraveled until we reach the conclusion of the play.
Plato's Book IX: Man is born of three components of the soul:
reason, affect, and appetite.

The philosopher is always the victor--he has what others have but more...
Plato's Book IX: Pleasure and Pain another theme...
Pleasure can be good (cause or escape from pain), Pains considered the absence of pleasure.
Another important term from A's Poetics--starts with De...
Literally "tying," the desis is all the action in a tragedy leading up to the climax. Plot threads are craftily woven together to form a more and more complex mess. At the peripeteia, or turning point, these plot threads begin to unravel in what is called the lusis, or denouement.
Plato Book IX: The Rest State....
is achieved through the acquisition of wisdom only, not honor or wealth as per the others.
Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man important idea...
Stephen realizes that the art that he will forge is not merely a beautiful object, but an entire eternal existence. Through his art, Stephen creates an "imperishable being" very much like a soul—he will not just create literature, but will create himself.
Plato's Book IX: His mantra....
The man guided by wisdom lives pleasantly in a State of the mind--in fact, a divine State, in harmony with the Ideal, and irrespective of any State found on earth. He enjoys a inner peace unattainable by another path.
What is the Irish word that Steven Dedalus uses that the Dean doesn't know?
Tundish. Steven sees the Dean as an "English convert" who speaks the words of another nation (funnel).

Regarding words, Steven says:
"I can't speak or write these words without unrest of spirit." The "tundish" episode with the dean shows Stephen the necessity of making this distinction and the importance of creating a distinctive and truly Irish voice for himself.
Plato's Book IX: The Ideal Soul is comprised of three unequal parts:
The Chimera (of dual nature), the lion, and finally the man, joined together in one beast that on the outside, Socrates says, resembles a normal man. He who allows the beast to rule is the unjust man.
Important notion: Man should look to the city within.
Philosopher has _____ as well as _______.
Reason as well as experience. Philosopher lives 720 more pleasurable than the tyrant.
Plato is the founder of "moralistic" and "didactic" critcism which separates....
Form from Content and erects external moral standards. Poetry as antirational and without content.
One of the main themes in Plato's "Ion" is the _____ of _____.
copy of ideas.

Plato locates reality in "ideas" and "forms" rather than in "appearances"
The Poet is _______ to society.

The Poet leads men away from the truth since he makes copies of copies since he imitates appearances so his creation is "twice removed from reality"
Ion discusses the connection between ______ and ________.
Madness and Divinity. Poet is the interpreter of the copies of ideas--> not art but inspiration.
In the Ion, Plato seeks to subvert the traditional status of poetry by having Socrates argue that poetry is both:
non-rational and non-cognitive in nature.
Ion is an accomplished ___________.
Rhapsode (professional reciter of epic poetry).
Critics concerned with "Moral" and "Didactic" content of literature are, in a sense, __________.
Plato's Theory of Forms states:
objects in this world are imitations or approximations of ideal Forms that are the true reality. A chair in this world is just an imitation or instantiation of the Form of Chair. That being the case, art is twice removed from reality, as it is just an imitation of an imitation: a painting of a chair is an imitation of a chair which is in turn an imitation of the Form of Chair. Further, Plato argues that art serves to excite the emotions, which can detract from the balanced reasoning that is essential to virtue.
Aristotle's "Poetics" can be read as a...
response to Plato's attack on art.
The main focus in Aristotle's Poetics is....
is on Greek tragedy. Though there were thousands of tragedies and scores of playwrights, we only have thirty-three extant tragedies, written by the three great tragedians: Aeschylus (525–456 B.C.E.), Sophocles (496–405 B.C.E.), and Euripides (485–406 B.C.E.).
Aristotle <-> Imitation
Plato <-> ________
Aristotle: Two important elements of P:
-all art is based on imiation (mimesis)
-characters must be better or worse in action than ordinary people (to produce katharsis)
Comedy imitates the ugly but not the...
imitation of significant action, complete great, enhanced language, dramatic, purgation by pity and fear.
-which uses dramatic, rather than narrative, form, and deals with agents who are better than us ourselves. Tragedy serves to arouse the emotions of pity and fear and to effect a katharsis (catharsis) of these emotions. Aristotle divides tragedy into six different parts, ranking them in order from most important to least important as follows: (1) mythos, or plot, (2) character, (3) thought, (4) diction, (5) melody, and (6) spectacle.
The first essential to creating a good tragedy is that it should....
maintain unity of plot. This means that the plot must move from beginning to end according to a tightly organized sequence of necessary or probable events.
Aristotle and plot...
A plot should consist of a hero going from happiness to misery. The hero should be portrayed consistently and in a good light, though the poet should also remain true to what we know of the character. The misery should be the result of some hamartia, or error, on the part of the hero. A tragic plot must always involve some sort of tragic deed, which can be done or left undone, and this deed can be approached either with full knowledge or in ignorance.
Aristotle: Epic poetry is....
is similar to tragedy in many ways, though it is generally longer, more fantastic, and deals with a greater scope of action.
Aristotle argues that ______ is superior to ________.
Tragedy and Epic
Aristotle: Chapters 1-3 lists the different kinds of poetry....
epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, dithyrambic poetry, and most flute-playing and lyre-playing. Next, he remarks that all of these kinds of poetry are mimetic, or imitative, but that there are significant differences between the
Art for Aristotle is....
the translation of the Greek word techne and is closely related to "artifice" and "artificial." Art for Aristotle is anything that is made by human beings as opposed to being found in nature. Thus, poetry, painting, and sculpture count as "art," but so do chairs, horseshoes, and sandals.
Aristotle Chapters 4-5:
-Imitation comes naturally to men, thus we delight in seeing representations
-Epic poetry has "no fixed limits of time" whereas tragedy does.
-Dithyrambs (tragedy evolved from the dithyrambs) were sung in honor of Dionysus, god of wine, by a chorus of around fifty men and boys, often accompanied by a narrator.
Aristotle asserts that any tragedy can be divided into six component parts:
(a) the spectacle, which is the overall visual appearance of the stage and the actors. The means of imitation (language, rhythm, and harmony) can be divided into (b) melody, and (c) diction, which has to do with the composition of the verses. The agents of the action can be understood in terms of (d) character and (e) thought. Thought seems to denote the intellectual qualities of an agent while character seems to denote the moral qualities of an agent. Finally, there is (f) the plot, or mythos, which is the combination of incidents and actions in the story.
Aristotle claims that the ______ is the most important of the six parts of tragedy
Plot. Aristotle notes that forming a solid plot is far more difficult than creating good characters or diction.
Why is "katharis" important?
The idea, it seems, is that watching a tragedy arouses the emotions of pity and fear in us and then purges these emotions. But, by virtue of mimesis, we aren't feeling real pity or real fear.
"mythos" (plot) is important to Aristotle because....
the "plot" of a tragedy, is not just referring to who did what to whom, but is speaking about how the events in the story come together to bring out deeper, general themes.
Plot, then, is central to a tragedy, because...
that is where, if at all, its value lies.
Aristotle says that Poetry is ______ to history because history always deals with particular cases while poetry can express _______ and general truths.
superior and universal (think of Shakespeare)
Aristotle states that the plot of a tragedy should consist of one uninterrupted causal chain with no...
superfluous elements (nothing that is not a necessary part of this chain) is the essence of what Aristotle means when he talks about the unity of plot or action.
Important note: Mythos (plot) differs from the English plot...
the Greek mythos is not quite the same as the English "plot": we are not so much talking about the sum total of the events in the story so much as the way they are held together to form a coherent statement. If we were thinking simply in terms of the events taking place on stage, it would be obvious that a tragedy must have a beginning, middle, and end. In talking about a beginning, however, Aristotle is not talking about the first things that happen on stage so much as the first link in a causal chain that leads logically to the conclusion. (Think of Lacan)
While Aristotle insisted on the primacy and unity of plot, _______ has achieved fame as one of this century's greatest playwrights by constructing plays that arguably have no plot at all.
Samuel Beckett
Plato: Mimesis Bad because....

Aristotle: Mimesis good because....
Plato: takes us further from the Ideal.

Aristotle: gets us closer to the essence of the Ideal
Plato looking through ______; Aristotle looking through_______.
telescope, microscope.
The "Poetics" argues for the value of ______ (________) and the benefit of _______ (________).
mimesis (imitation)
catharsis (katharsis)
Chaucer's "The Caterbury Tales" Prolugue describes ____ pilgrims in the ___ Century.
29, 14th. The tales invoke a microcosm of English society and entertains with ironic glee for its privileged class.
In the "Caterbury Tales" the ________ is huge, an amateur wrestler, red beard, fearfully looking, legendary, likes to tell bawdy tales (cartoon like that match his cartoonish character)
In the "Caterbury Tales" the ____ __ _____ is somewhat deaf, a seamstress, married 5 times, marries and buries, travled to Jerusalem 3xs, advocates mastery over husbands and love making.
Wife of Bath
In the "Canterbury Tales" the ______ is a thin student, middle class bargainer, solemn, book smart (spends money on books instead of clothes), wants to achieve higher station, speaks little but when he does his words are wise and full of moral
In the "Canterbury Tales" the _______ is genteel, loves truth, freedom, chivalry and honor, he's valorous but not boastful, and is the archetype for quiet hero which is a staple for Western genre fiction and film.
On a symbolic level, a pilgrimage suggests the great medieval theme of human life as a ________.

Maybe think about Tom Jones, Jane Eyre,and other novels where journies are present.
The road to ______ symbolizes the path of earthly human life, as well as the linear course of ______ _______ through time, and even the temporal sucession of language itself.
Canterbury, human history.
Some key ideas in the General Prologue are:
-moving from secular to sacred place, with implied return
-pilgrimes form a temporary community. Word play on "folk/flok"
-the prigrimes are a "flok" unified by a religious purpose, but the bond further through tale-telling
Key points in telling tales in CT:
-Genre & Social Class
-Character Revalation (the tales reveal,some are confessional and personal)
-Social Competition (literary contest arranged by the inn keeper; characters quit each others tales; difference of literary genre (romance/fabliau, celebratory/satirical)
A ______ is short comic, often bawdy tale in verse that deals realistically and satirically with middle-class or lower-class characters. Fabliaux were often directed against marriage and against members of the clergy.
The invocation of ______ in the General Prologue begins is lengthy and formal compared to the language of the rest of the Prologue and situate the story in a particular time and place, in cosmic and cyclical terms, celebrating the vitality and richness o
spring, and spring.
The great chain of being:
God (supreme spiritual being)
angels (subordinate, spiritual beings, rational soul)
humans (spiritual beings w/body, rational soul)
animals (bodily being, animal soul)
plants (bodily being, vegetable soul)
elements (bodily being only; no spiritual element)
nothing (absence of being)
In the "CT" Estate Satires were_____...
the word estate refers mainly to social class, rank, and occupation or trade, and these tales satirize these class distinctions (paints portrait of person within a class--stereotypes, the cheating miller, etc.)
In Chaucer's time there were three medieval social classes:
the nobility (those who fought), the clergy (those who prayed), and the commoners (everyone else).
The various kinds of unity found in the "CT" are:
1. Temporal Unity (narrative unfolds in linear fashion in a specific time and place)
2. Narrative Unity (frame-story of the pigramage to C unifies the separate tales; "roadside drama").
3. Psychological Unity (frame story told by a distinct voice-the I/Eye, literary persona of Geoffrey as the narr.)
4. Symbolic Unity (book incl. a world incl.nature, human society, spiritual universe. The CT imitates the great 'book' of the world 'written' by God.
In the "CT" examples of ______ are important to each type of character.
Clothing. Examples of clothing are particular to the Knight (armor) the Wife (makes clothes). Chaucer's satire method includes the three senses of "estate" (social class, rank, and vocation) as well as clothing, physiogomy, manners, and speech).
The General Prologue paints ______ of each of the characters.
Portraits. Many are struck by the "individuality" of the portraits, but equally striking is the extent to which the pilgrims are defined by their membership in social groups. Before we find anything out about the "state" of their souls, we learn their social estate.
In the CT the pilgrims become a community for the duration of their journey as the result ______ _______.
Social Contracts
Outline of the GP:
1. Poem (Proem) lines 1-18
2. Narrator's self introducion 19-42
3. Portraits, some pilgrims merely listed 43-714
4. Narrator's apology 715-46
5. Host's proposition 747-821
6. Departure & Straw drawing 822-858
1. The Proem in sum has a....
cosmic sweep, ranging from the four elements of the natural world through vegetable, animal, and human relations (Great Chain of Being); into the heavenly spheres of the circling constellations.
Main theme in CT's Prologue is....
natural and human cycles of birth and death, the journey of the individual through the earthly life; and the sickness and health of the soul.
Summary of Key Themes in General Prologue:
1. The quest, a journey toward a goal that is secular, spiritual, or both
2. order, governance, and authority in cosmos, society and self;
3. social difference, social contract, social conpetition
4. social, moral & religious, and poetic uses of language (especially stories)
The Knight's Tale is a....
-is a romance that encapsulates the themes, motifs, and ideals of courtly love.
Conventional Motifs of Courtly love in the Knight's Tale:
Love at first sight, male worship of female love object, male constest for love object, formal questions of love.
The _____ imagery in the KT is significant because:
-Sex (sexual imagery of tower and garden)
-Psychology (theater as the mind or sould looking out upon the world through the senses)
-Philosophy (an image of life's possibilities, or sharply constrasting alternatives (paradise/hell, joy/sorrow, freedom/imprisonment)
In CT windows are used to frame outside life (Knight's Tale). What other works do this?
-To the Lighthouse (Mrs. Ramsey looking out, Lili looking in.
-Tennyson's Lady of Shalott (she's gazing on Lancelot's reflection. Mirror is her window)
Characters in the Knight's Tale
>Theseus is the duke of Athens in the KnightÂ’s Tale; most powerful ruler story;called upon to make the final judgment, but he listens to othersÂ’ pleas for help.
>Palamon is one of the two imprisoned Theban soldier heroes. He falls in love with the fair maiden Emelye, which brings him into conflict with Arcite.
Characters in the Miller's Tale
>Nicholas is a poor astronomy student who boards with an elderly carpenter, John, and the carpenterÂ’s too-young wife, Alisoun.
>Alisoun is the sexy young woman married to the carpenter. She is bright, sweet, like a small bird, and dresses in a tantalizing style—her clothes are embroidered inside and outside, and she laces her boots high. She willingly goes to bed with Nicholas, but she has only harsh words and obscenities for Absolon.
>Absolon is a parish clerk, a bit foolish and a bit vain. He curls his hair, uses breath fresheners, and fancies Alisoun.
>John is the dim-witted carpenter and is jealous and possessive of his wife.
Characters in Wife of Bath's Prologue
>The First Three Husbands the Wife of Bath says were “good” because they were rich and old. She could order them around, use sex to get what she wanted, and trick them into believing lies.
>The Fourth Husband the WOB says comparatively little about her fourth husband. She loved him, but he was a reveler who had a mistress. She had fun singing and dancing with him, but tried her best to make him jealous. She fell in love with her fifth husband, Jankyn, while she was still married to her fourth.

Jankyn -
The Wife of BathÂ’s fifth husband, Jankyn, was a twenty-year-old former student, with whom the Wife was madly in love. His stories of wicked wives frustrated her so much that one night she ripped a page out of his book, only to receive a deafening smack on her ear in return.
Characters in Wife of Bath's Tale
>The Knight - ayoung knight that rapes a maiden; to avoid the punishment of death sent on quest by the queen to learn about submission to women. Once he does so, and shows that he has learned his lesson by letting his old ugly wife make a decision and is rewarded.
>The Old Woman supplies the young knight with the answer to his question, in exchange for his promise to do whatever she wants; she tells him he must marry her; the knight begrudgingly agrees, and allows her to choose whether she would like to be beautiful and unfaithful or ugly and faithful, she rewards him by becoming both beautiful and faithful.

ArthurÂ’s Queen -
ArthurÂ’s queen, presumably Guinevere, is interesting because she wields most of the power. When ArthurÂ’s knight rapes a maiden, he turns the knight over to his queen allows her to decide what to do with him.
Characters in the Knight's Tale Cont.
>Arcite is imprisoned with Palamon in the tower, falls in love with Emelye too. He gets released early and wins EmelyeÂ’s hand, but dies in a fated earthquake causes his horse to throw him.
>Emelye is sister to Hippolyta, fair-haired, glowing, we first see Emelye through a window. She is the object of both PalamonÂ’s and ArciteÂ’s desire.

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