Saturday, February 28, 2009

Soul Mates

All of the speeches about love given in the Symposium were interesting, but the one that I liked the most was Aristophanes'. Although I do not necessarily agree with his idea that we all have one soul mate, I like it. People today always talk about their "soul mate" and how there is that one person out there that will complete you. I am not sure if the idea came specifically from this piece of literature or not, but before reading it I never knew how the idea a of soul mate came about. Whether or not Aristophanes' story is where it originated, I would like to think that it is because it is such great story. It makes complete sense as well because if we did used to be one body but were split in half, two people truly would share a soul. When looking at love in this way it kind of does give someone hope and trust that there is one person out there that is perfect for you.

When I read this the first thing that popped into my head was the movie "Hancock." Hancock is a superhero that remembers nothing about his past at all. For the majority of the movie he believes that he is the only one of his kind, but later he finds out that this isn't true. There is one other being like him, a woman in fact. She explains to him that there used to be many others like them, but they all lost their immortality and died. When such godlike beings were created, it was done in pairs. The other was similar to their soul mate. Now, if the two spent too much time together they would be able to live in love and happiness, but they would lose their immortality. I thought that the idea of love and soul mates presented in the movie was a kind of representation of that described by Aristophanes in his speech. Once again, it is an example of how the past can be seen in present pop culture.

Something else that I found interesting was the idea of tallys, or symballem. When I was young I had friendship bracelets and necklaces that I shared with many of my friends. In fact, I am pretty sure that to this day I still have the pieces somewhere. It is interesting that the idea went from a broken coin and morphed into friendship charms centuries later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Test 1 Prep

1. Stycomythia: A rapid succession of one liners (conversation)
ex) lines 441-581 in "Antigone"

2. Hubris: Excessive pride or arrogance

3. Eleusinian Mysteries
a. done: a reinactment of the abduction of Persephone
b. seen: a stalk of corn or wheat
c. said: "rain concieve"

4. 5 conflicts of Steiner
1. men vs women
2. youth vs aged
3. living vs dead
4. individual vs society/state
5. gods vs men

5. Epithet: a handle
ex) trim ankled Persephony

6. Sparagmos: the tearing or rinding of live flesh

7. Anthropocentric view: humans, rather than gods, at the center of the universe

8. Miasma: "the polution," kind of implied curse that falls over a land that has not treated the dead properly

9. Antigone's view of politics: she is not really interested in politics, but believes in devine law over a king's decree

10. Meaning of Creon's name: ruler

11. Notion of a moving target: characters change throughout the story as things change around them

12. Myth of eternal return: endless repettion of things (cyclical)
ex) Homeric Hymn of Demeter (seasons)
ex) "Ground Hog's Day"

13. Who is Hermes like? Stewie from family guy (trixter)

14. Thoreau said that we should read the eternities rather than the times.

15. Who is guilty of taking one who lives above and throwing them below?
1. Zeus (orchestrated Persephone's fall)
2. Creon ("Antigone")

16. Inillotempore: "in the great time"

17. Which two mythological figures are polytropic?
1. Hermes
2. Odysseus

18. 3 Great Tragedians
1. Sophocles
2. Euripedes
3. Easchylus

19. Who is the god of the crossroads? Hermes

20. Agon: conflict

21. "All that is past posseses the present."

22. 2 best thins that can happen to you according to the chorus of Oedipus.
1. never to have been born in the first place
2. to die

23. Sarvam dukam sarvam anityam: "everything is suffering everything is fleeting"

24. Anitgone's name means? "Anti-birth"

25. What injury did Oedipus sustain as an infant? Holes in the ankles

26. Hermes used these two words to prove his innocence: born yesterday

27. What did Robert Johnson do at the crossroads? Sell his soul to the devil to become an epic musician

28. According to Freud, why do we laugh? To keep from crying

29. What does it mean to make something anagogic? going into the hevenly realm

30. Synex: impotent old man

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Steeling Fate

Like Hermes, almost all of us have stolen something at some point. There is that one thing that you just have to have. Maybe you do have the money to buy it, but figure that there is no point when you can just take it. Maybe you don't have the money to buy it, but just have to have it anyway. Some people steel for the rush that it gives them. Some feel that they are invincible and will never get caught. Different people steel for different reasons, but no matter what their reasoning is, steeling is steeling.

As Kayla revealed in class, she stole her brother's chocolate when she was young. Unlike Hermes, she was luckily enough not to get caught. Unfortunately as a child I was less lucky, and got caught for my crimes. There are two incidents that really stick in my mind. One of the times I stole a piece of cut fruit from a grocery store. At the time I didn't realize that what I did was wrong. I'm pretty sure that the fruit was sitting there cut as a kind of display of what it looked like on the inside. Seeing the meat of the fruit, I guess I figured it was a sample. While my mother pushed the grocery cart I sat on the bottom rack and ate my stolen treasure. It was my mother that eventually saw that I was eating a piece of fruit that was obviously not paid for. Needless to say, she was not very happy with me. There were some harsh words and not so harsh reprimands that time.

The next time that I remember I was very young as well. It was then, in one sense of the word, that I stole fate. For some reason I was attracted to a small pink role of paper in a little plastic tube at the checkout line. I had no idea what it was. In fact, I don't think that I could even read the majority of the words written on that bright colored paper yet. In some ways, I must have known that it was wrong to take the paper without paying for it because I hid it in my sock drawer. I was not doing my own laundry at that point, of course, an my mother found it while looking through my drawer. I remember her asking me where I got it, and I told her. She asked if I knew what it was, and I told her that I had no real idea. She told me it was a horoscope. Once again, I had no idea what it was. The funny thing about it was, it wasn't even my horoscope. It was someone else's fate that I had stolen. Anyway, my mother made me take it back to the grocery store and apologise for taking it. I was absolutely mortified. Getting caught was bad enough, but having to do that was almost unbearable. Needless to say, I did not steel anything again for a very long time. I had temporarily learned my lesson.

That is the way in which I am like some degree anyway. Like it is said, the past possesses the present. What I did was simply another version of the thievery done by young Hermes, the boy born yesterday.