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Cultural/Historical/Literary Influences


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n artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions.
The Illiad (by Homer)
Teaches a lesson about heroic qualities, embodied the values of ancient greek culture (humanity)
Creation Hymn (from the Rig Veda)
the poet seems to be saying that the many gods of hinduism are manifestations of "the one" divine being who created the world. scholars point out, however, that the poet only offers suggestions. its not even certain that a single creator-god exists.
Advocates a life of complete simplicity and naturalness and of noninterference with the course of natural events, in order to attain a happy existence in harmony with the Tao.
Trojan prince who leaves Troy for Italy. Responsible, personifies the ideal traits of a Roman. Endured 7 years of hardships.
Meets and falls in love with queen Dido. Leaves her to go to Cumae
Faust Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Romantic Age- idealism, optimism, imagination, nature, desire for experience. Seeks knowledge through selling his soul. Will die when he is satisfied. Represents curiosity, desire for knowledge, unsatisfication. He feels that human boundaries have limited his knowledge- he has tried books & magic but still seeks more. Mephistopheles is honored and is serving his duty to God, is valued. Faust is viewed at pathetic/pitiable/easily tempted/desperate.
sanskrit texts written by several different authors that date from 1000 to 6000 BC. Use stories to convey difficult ideas. Emphasize that there is a single principle underlying all existence-- Brahman.
Tells Oedipus that the once Lauis' murderer is killed the plague will be cured in Thebes. Oedipus puts a curse on this unknown killer (himself).
Nine Circles of the Inferno
limbo, lustful, gluttons, greedy, heretics, the violent, the fraudulent, traitors
Focuses on human morality, good deeds, good behavior, high standards, subordination to elders. Those who fail to follow the moral way of Heaven are unworthy of a position of authority. Dominant ethical, social and political philosophy in China.
Ruler of thebes; Oedipus' birth father. Oedipus kills him
Four Noble Truths
Suffering is universal. The cause of suffering is desire (for material things). The cure for suffering is to eliminate desire. To eliminate desire following Eightfold Path.
A "hero" written about by Homer, who cares way too much about what society feels he should be, rather than what he thinks of himself. He gives up when he is stripped of his first place prize (medal of honor).
The Sphinx
Terrorizes Thebes- a monster with body of a lioness, the head of a woman, and wings. Destroys all who cannot solve her riddle. Oedipus solves the riddle for Thebes and is offered to be ruler & to marry Jocasta
History of Buddhism
Religion created in India (virtually extinct, but prominent in Asia) Came to china in 1st century AC and many forms of the religion eventually developed-- resulted in several variations in Buddhism that differ from original indianform.
Japanese + Buddhism
Looked to buddhism to teach them how to overcome the pain, misfortunes, and sorrows of life.
choral songs were divided into strophes that were sung while chorus danced
Bhagavad- Gita
Because Arujna is member of the warrior caste he is OBLIGATED to fight, but he fears hurting his relatives. Krishna, his charioteer (advisor + chariot driver) wants him to fulfill his social obligation with a knowledge of the Atman and with no anxiety of the results. EMPHASIZES that every action will be rewarded or punished.
Becomes King of Thebes
Ending of Oedipus the King
Jocasta realizes that Oedipus was her son and hangs herself. Oedipus blinds himself with pins.
Dr. Faustus Christopher Marlowe
Renaissance- reason, logic, feared magic, humanism. Seeks power/ambition through selling his soul. Will die in 24 years. Represents curiosity,temptation, unsatisfaction, He is unsatisfied with his current state and wants to improve. Mephistopheles is viewed as an evil enemy. Faustus is willing to whatever it takes to achieve what he wants.
Romantic Writers
Discard dominant ideas of the 18th century. Personal expression of thoughts/emotions. Poetry comes from imagination and spontaneity. Interested in ordinary people, folklore, supernatural, love, nature. Their descriptions of nature visually expresses their feelings and imaginations.
The one, universal, the self- existent, the absolute found within the individual. Achieved through meditation. Something that one "knows." Reality that underlies EVERYTHING seen, heard, tasted, smelt and felt. ALSO a priestly caste in Hindu tradition.
Started romanticism with 'lyrical ballads' a collection of poetry he co-authored with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Both his parents died when he was young, he lived with his siblings. Had a strong passion for the French Revolution. Briefly considered suicide. 1802- married & eventually had 5 kids. Faced the deaths of two of his children, the pyscological decline of his sister and a quarrel with Coleridge. 1843- Appointed British poet aureate -- died in 1850
a stationary song sung by the chorus
Unique obligations each person must fulfill in order to maintain harmony in the universe. Focus on duty not satisfaction
When a story begins with another story within that story.
Karma's Effect
A person with good karma will be reborn as a higher- ranking person and vise-versa
Wealthy/ Powerful city-state on Western coast of Turkey. 10 year sledge-- finally fell to Greeks.
Eight fold Path
1- Right Conduct, 2- Right Speech, 3- Right means of livelihood, 4- Right knowledge, 5- Right intention, 6- Right effort, 7- Right mindfulness, 8- Right concentration
A Modest Proposal
During time of rationalism, poverty was the dominant condition in Ireland. Jonathon Swift focuses his writing on the improvement of living standards for his fellow countrymen. Under his leadership, Ireland discovered its literary powers, and later spokespersons advanced the cause. Writers like he drew upon the current affairs for inspiration for their writing and used satire to ridicule their subjects.
Heroic Conflict
Aeneas = solitary figure, torn between duty and needs. Deals with the death of his wife, his father and his best friend and also has to leave the one he loves. He makes the right choices as a Roman, but Virgil makes us aware of the tragic tolls on his as a man.
the magician in a medieval legend, represented as selling his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for knowledge and power.
No clues are giving to his origins, he is poet, more than likely came from eastern mediterranean, maybe blind
a literary movement that in many ways contrasted with Romanticism. Sought to depict life as faithfully and accurately as possible.
Numbskull and the Rabbit
the relationship between the lion and other animals mirrors that of a king and his subjects. rabbit is kings supper for the night, lies and tells him he is late because he ran into a big lion who wants to battle him, takes him to a well, he sees his reflection, hears an echo of his roar, and jumps in the well to die, thinking that it is another lion.
Truth revealed by reason. Focus on intellect and nature. Philosophy The theory that the exercise of reason, rather than experience, authority, or spiritual revelation, provides the primary basis for knowledge.
The teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct, wisdom, and meditation releases one from desire, suffering, and rebirth. Ruled by Karma
The source of all souls and term for an eternal unchangeable soul
Where Aeneas meets a prophet who tells him to sail west around sicily to come to cumae where a priestess will sing and guide him on his journey.
Tao Te Ching Beliefs
Remain simple and keep order to avoid unhappiness, appreciate nature and "the way," the result from this way of living is happiness.
Fatherless king of Corinth, Oedipus' 'adoptive' father
Entrance to the theatre used by chorus
Dressing Room
John Milton
A modest proposal. A literary genius, a man of deep religious and ethical conviction, and a shaper of public opinion.
The Rig Veda
collection of 1028 hymns- mostly in praise of gods, or the origin of the universe.
The Tao or The Way
Cannot be adequately described in words and it would be insulting to its unlimited power and to the human mind to attempt to do so.
Aeneid (by Virgil)
A roman national epic. Make Rome equal in stature to Greece. Wrote poem to outshine Homer's Illiad and Odyssey. About a hero's duty to his people and his personal desires.
Describes a state of being in which the desire for earthly things has been quenched.
Lauis' wife/ Oedipus' mother/ Oedipus' wife.
Respected prophet tells Oedipus that he is the killer
One can attain personal tranquility and insights into the true meaning of life through rigorous physical and mental discipline.
Final Scene of tragedy
Precedes the entrance of the chorus
Satire/ Irony
For Swift, the situation that reduced families to begging and crime was adequate reason for a sustained work of satire. In order to emphasize the difference between the surface meaning and the underlying reality, Swift resorts to heavy irony, a device that implies the seriousness of a situation while recognizing only the mask that covers it.
1. nonexistence is linked with chaos and evil while existence is associated with order and trust- the purpose of Vedic sacrifice, in fact, it to ward off chaos; 2. existence is conceived as a bond that is rooted in nonexistence; 3. creation begins with desire
"transmitter of ancient truths," taught pupils to be gentlemen
Paradise Lost
Angel leads an unsuccessful rebellion against God and suffers eternal damnation. He devises a plan to corrupt God's newly created beings, Adam and Eve, through deceit. "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven." Grand, timeless, universal themes.
Non- Attached Work
The performance of one's caste-duty in a spirit of calm and self-surrender. // To fight without the concern for the results of one's actions.
godesses used to inspire
advocates proper behavior and high moral standards. Use of animal stories to teach moral lessons. Fables- brief narratives usually containing animal characters with human attributes, ending with a memorable moral. Taught indian princes how to govern a kingdom
sibi (from the mahabharata)
Hawk and pigeon fight. Pigeon lands on king's lap. he sacrifices his skin, then his whole body to protect the pigeon. the gods were testing him and he gained respect
The Analects
Written by Confucius, or "The Master." Lists Confucius' great ideas on moral behavior.
Ch'an Buddhism
Taught that one could attain enlightenment through meditation.
the mystery of brahman (from the taittiriya upanishad)
a father teaches his son about Brahman through peeling away what is not essential.
the inversion or rearrangement of normal sentence elements.

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