Group fives reenactment of the story of Persephone's abduction and Demeter's frantic searching was pretty funny. I found it quite amusing when "Demeter" puts the baby in the fire and there was a picture of fire on the wall. Very entertaining! And their rendition of the Elusinian Mysteries was very cool. I liked the can of corn. =P
And everyone had awesome finger-snapping abilities!
Group six's show, Whose Myth is it Anyway? was very well done! The dating show was very cute and the party was excellent. I really liked their buddhist-Irish ho-down song at the end.
All in all, great performances! Now off to finals and a warm, sunny summer! Hopefully! =)
I think "and the Future" needs to be added on to the end of that statement.
So many things in this class connected to so many other things in my life and it was crazy how my eyes were opened to it. Before I learned how to see how things happening now had already happened, I just went through life day by day. Nothing seemed that important and I never really realized how many things connect to each other, even if those things are polar opposites. Between seeing Ovid's Metamorphoses and Lucius The Golden Ass in all the things I do and all the people I know and seeing the conflicts in Antigone in all the conflicts of today, I now know how nothing is unimportant. Everything connects to every other thing just as the past connects to the present and the present will connect to the future.
Dr. Sexson's Classical Foundations in Literature class has opened my eyes to new worlds and connections that I would never have thought possible. In reading the classic works that we have throughout this course, I feel much more enlightened to the broad world out there. Nothing is original except for the voice it has. There can be thousands of translations of one piece of literature, yet each one can sound different. Each one has their own flare. I've always been afraid to write certain things, because it I feel as if I'm not being original. Truth be told, I'm not being original, but the unoriginal will become original because my own voice gives it life.
Thank you Dr. Sexson, for such a wonderful semester. This truly was my most enjoyable class and it was always a treat to attend classes and listen to the connections being made along with the discoveries we all made as a group.
We wanted an over the top, ridiculous and funny video with a lot of different references. We made Jesus the character to give Donald the golden touch and also to take it away while also referencing another religious culture by including the golden buddhas.
Most of the video, I thought, was pretty self explanatory. We didn't get too far away from the original story, but still presented elements of our modern times like the text messaging instead of the whispering reeds and the baldness of "Mr. Trump" instead of giving him asses ears.
It was a lot of fun to make and very enjoyable to watch. I really wish whoever has the video now could post it on youtube or maybe burn me a copy? Heh.
Group three was great! It looked like they put in a lot of work to come up with their play scripts and rehearsals! Out of the three plays they performed, I have to say I enjoyed "Mark and the Toilet" the most. I thought it was really entertaining and even funnier when we found out that it was based on a true story. The Sparagmos Dance was also very amusing! I think Rio should become a beatbox.
Since I'm in group four, I'll just say I thought our video was very entertaining. To be honest, that was the first time I got to see the entire thing all put together, so I really didn't know just how funny it was going to be. I thought Brian was a very good Donald Trump and Zach was a pretty good Jesus. =P
Now on to groups 5 and 6!! Good Luck!
The symposium of group one was hilarious! And I was really surprised to learn that they hadn't rehearsed their speeches. They all just wrote them on their own and read them. I would have thought that at least one or two of them would have been really similar, but they weren't! Each had their own take on love and each of them was interesting and entertaining! I really liked that Kayla breifly came down with the hiccups. =P
Group two's game show was fun! It was quite funny to watch people act out a charade for their team to guess the answer to. I found it a little unfair that my team lost by a LOT! Haha, but no worries, it's the fun you have playing the game that counts.
Group three and four are up next on monday. I'm in group four, so we'll see how that goes.
Where to begin?
I must be honest and say that, behind David Malouf's An Imaginary Life and Ted Hughes version of Ovid's Metamorphoses, this is probably my third favorite book we've read for the class and it ranks pretty high on my list of favorite books of all time.
I enjoyed how many problems Lucius got himself into by being no better than a common ass. The story of the eunich preist probably made me chuckle the most out of all of them. All of the stories that are told throughout the story of Lucius' metamorphoses were very entertaining and I'm very happy with the ending. The Goddess Isis is fascinating and I've been meaning to research her more thoroughly since I've read a couple of other pieces of literature that mention her. The fact that she intervenes with Lucius and allows him to transform back into a man made it a happy ending. And as he becomes Isis' servant, he is transformed in another way and the ending is made even happier.
Who doesn't love a happy ending? Happy endings give us happy feelings.
But there are those stories that a bad ending works wonders on. I couldn't count how many things I've read with a tragic ending that just made the story that much more enjoyable. Those are usually the books I read again.
The Transformation of Lucius otherwise known as The Golden Ass by Apuleius was a good read as well as inspirational.
And another note on this class as a whole, usually I struggle with things that I've been assigned to read. This class, however, was the exact opposite. I enjoyed reading every piece of work we encountered.
Today's presentations were great! I especially enjoyed Jake's take on violence in the media and the relation between the past and present violence and Bizz's take on metamorphosis between Lucius the golden ass and Gregor the insect. (I really liked that she referenced the His Dark Materials Trilogy-I'm in love with that series!!) I also liked Nick's power of the eyes. Eyes have always fascinated me. My notebooks consist of thousands upon thousands of doodles involving eyes. Looking at something or someone really is powerful.
Now I'm really looking forward to the group presentations on Friday. I'm curious as to what the other groups came up with. :)
Good luck with presentations!
Why is the idea of a soul mate so appealing to us? Is it because we are always searching for that special someone that is everything we want? Is it because we are indeed only half of a soul and we need our other half to be harmonized and peaceful? Personally, I don’t think soul mates exist and that could just be my own pessimism and Aristophanes argument in Plato’s Symposium does make sense as a metaphor. Who wouldn’t want to believe that we were all once connected as a tally and rolled around doing cartwheels? Heck, I would just like to be able to do a cartwheel, screw being connected to my other half. =P
I’ve never believed in the idea of love at first sight because I believe that you have to know a person before you can love them. I believe love is based on trust and honesty and you don’t have either unless you’ve gotten to know that person. I’d like to think that the people on this planet are all honest and trustworthy, but in reality, can anyone really be that naïve? You can watch the news every day and see all the hate and destruction that people wreak. Is it possible to trust someone that has not earned it? Or would you trust someone until they did something to lose your trust?
I think when I was younger, I trusted everyone until they proved untrustworthy, but now that I’m older, I tend to not trust most people and wait until my trust is earned. Is that fair? Is it right? I don’t know. I remember having my cousin Nicole stay with us for a good month one summer. I think I was around 10 years old and she was 11 or 12. It was the month of August and I had just had my birthday and gotten tons of presents from my parents. Nice presents. Nicole and I had a lot of fun together hanging out with all the neighborhood kids and I trusted her. We seemed to be good friends. After two or three weeks, just a little while before she was supposed to go home, I was looking for one of my birthday presents. I looked high and low and got my parents in on the search, but we couldn’t find it. One day, my father took Nicole and I on a walk to 7eleven to get a slurpee (which are amazing, by the way). My mother was sorting things in our guest room where Nicole was staying and noticed her bag open. Laying on top of all her stuff was my present and a bunch of other things. Nicole was apparently a collectomaniac. She’d stored away a bunch of my knickknacks and most of my birthday presents. Not to mention a few things of my parents including my father’s NAVY class ring. Nicole was confronted and her parents were called and she was punished. I think. After that episode, I didn’t trust her much. I couldn’t understand what was going through her mind when she was loading all that stuff up into her suitcase. Had she been lying to me the entire time about everything? I think that is when I stopped trusting people automatically and started waiting for them to prove themselves honest.
Now that I’m almost 20 years old, I see everyone as the same. Instead of trusting someone outright, I view them with indifference. I neither trust them or distrust them, but wait until they do something before I categorize them.
I’ve had plenty of relationships and I’ve dealt with each in the same way. Only two had my complete trust. The others were fun, but unstable. I could never pinpoint what was going on in their heads or what they were going to do next. One such person--we’ll name him Kody--I have dated quite a few times off and on for the past few years. He can be sweet, thoughtful, and fun; but he can also be selfish and an asshole. As of now, I think I have him almost figured out. He uses his ability to be sweet, thoughtful, and fun while he’s being selfish. Just a while ago, actually, he came crawling back for the 5th or 6th time wanting to make something work. He used all kinds of arguments and sweet words but I called him on his BS and he finally caved and admitted to it. We’re still friends but he’s fallen into the untrustworthy category. The only thing I can trust in him is his ability to lie to get what he wants.
The two that did have my trust--we’ll name them Joe and Matt--were wonderful and I did love them. Whatever that means. They gained my trust and our friendship grew. Things happened between us, but they still have some of my trust. I don’t talk to them often, but when I do, the conversations are usually more substantial than general “How’s the weather?” I don’t think any of them are my soul mates, but I do think that the relationship I had with them may be close to what a soul mate relationship is supposed to be and that is one that is based upon trust, friendship, honesty, and caring with a little attraction on the side instead of one based entirely upon lust.
While I don’t believe in love at first sight, I definitely believe in lust at first sight. You can see this portrayed in movies, books, and in real life. Who hasn’t had that guy next to you say, “Damn, she’s hot”? Lust can definitely lead to a relationship of love, but only because lust pushes us to introduce ourselves and make a friendship. After the friendship is made, trust and caring ensue and love can be formed.
But I guess the entire process can never really be turned into an exact formula because love is a tricky topic and there are those random cases where two people fall just about instantly in love. Must be nice, eh?
I don’t think I’ve really broken the law in serious ways; just the usual speeding, drag racing, breaking and entering, vandalism, underage drinking, the use of illegal pyrotechnics, unauthorized fires, stealing, trespassing, breaking city curfew, evading police, and associating with fugitives. It’s really no big deal, right?
While I won’t go into detail on the majority of all of the above, I will say that committing them was a lot of fun (and slightly dangerous) and they were done with very good friends. =)
The experiences actually brought us together even more than we already were. We shared something exciting and adventurous with each other, and now we can reminisce on those memories for a good laugh.
When I read of Hermes in the Homeric Hymns, I thought of him as a little baby just looking for some devious fun. He really was a stinker, but he was enjoying himself when he stole Apollo‘s cattle. Much like our Family Guy’s Stewie character, he amuses himself through his actions, and, in turn, is amusing to us. Hermes’ first fart joke was amusing in an Old Comedy, bawdy type of way and it makes us chuckle to think of it.
Not all law breaking is done for entertainment, though. Sometimes it is done to uphold some kind of ethic thought. Take Antigone, for example. Antigone actually had a reason to break the law. She stood up for her traditions and morals and illegally buried her brother. She broke the law in a very obvious and public way and suffered the consequences with her head held high.
Antigone’s way of breaking the law was done as a statement of her morals--just like those who are involved in political demonstrations of today--while Hermes just pulled secret pranks for his pleasure.
I definitely relate to Hermes’ method of rule breaking than to Antigone’s. I’d much rather have fun with the law.
And come on, (not to be crude and completely against worldly matters or anything) but which is more interesting and entertaining? Watching the news on a demonstration? Or watching the television show COPS?
So here is that George Steiner's Antigones passage that we were supposed to blog.
I found the following passage to be intriguingly true.
“What is demanded of us is the attempt to think through or, rather, to bring to full life in our moral imagining the enigma whereby the ‘cursed’ deed of Antigone seems to embody the ethical aspirations of humanity whereas the civic legalism of Creon brings devastation.” (Steiner 257)
Sophocles’ Antigone is an example of a debate between what is ethically right and what is lawfully right. It allows us to question what is permitted through ethics and what is permitted through law. A governing body in any society must make laws to control and pacify its people, however, some laws may be disliked because they go against certain morals or traditions, but they are not made to please everyone; they are made to set up boundaries. A current example of debate between ethics and law in our own country would be the argument of gun use and ownership. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the mantra “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people” and I’m also sure each of us has our own opinion on what is right. And there’s even the example of God in the public and what the government is doing to appease everyone’s individual rights. It all comes down to which consequence would you rather face for your actions? Would you rather uphold your traditions and morals and stand up for your opinion? Or would you rather uphold the law of government and its search to pacify the people and set boundaries?
I honestly don't know what I would choose and I guess it would depend on what my morals are and how strongly I'm attached to them. Certain morals that concern my family and friends are way up on the list of those that I'm attached to and I feel almost certain that I would choose being ethical if those morals were threatened.
As to the connection to Beauty and the Beast, I suppose I see the connection between the inanimate objects and bodiless voices speaking and serving around the house, but beyond that I'm not sure. Cupid is really not a beast. He's a beautiful creature (and I guess you could count being a creature as a beast, but I don't). The Beast is beastly and bear-like. He's nothing like the beautiful, winged love God. I suppose the beast connection could be made because both the Beast and Cupid are mythical and inhuman beings that have fallen in love with a mere mortal woman. The more and more I think and type about this, the more I'm convinced that yes, I guess Cupid and Psyche do connect to Beauty and the Beast.
I love it when I convince myself of something I didn't really believe at first.
Presenting my own paper reminded me exactly how shy I am and how I'm really not good with public speaking, no matter the size of the group. Oh well, it's over and done with. =)
Sadly, I won't be in class on Monday to see the next 15 presentations. I get to drive to Missoula for a neurologist appointment that was scheduled without my agreement that it would work for me. So instead of enjoying the creativity of our class, I'll be driving. Yay! Not.
If anyone would be kind enough to kind of recap what everyone presents on Monday in their blog, that would be wonderful.
I also think I should probably finish the 11 blogs I have half written in my drafts on here. Hehe, it might be beneficial. So maybe I'll finally get around to it this weekend now that I'm not worried about 2 out of 4 term papers, a stack of books to read, finding an apartment to move into, 5 exams, and being sick. They really like to load up the work in April, don't they?
But hey, there is only 2 or 3 weeks left of classes and exams!! I'm actually a little depressed that this class is just about over, though. It's been very enjoyable and I feel much smarter than I used to. Hah.
So today's presenters were:
Brian Z. who talked about originality and how it's not possible to be original.
Alyssa W. (Me) talked about transmigration/transformation of the soul.
Crystal T. read the dialogue between her and her sister about the class readings and a little about transmigration.
Jennie Lynn talked about laughter in life.
Shelby S. talked about nothing being as it seems.
Zach S. talked about connecting the past with the present through emotions.
Kristin S. talked about the relationship between Roman and Greek gods.
Shoni S. related her movie collection to texts and discussions we've had in class.
Sam R. talked about the short story he wrote about a boy picked up by an older man on the highway who proceeds to give him a sort of life lesson.
Elizabeth R. discussed the comparisons and differences between love and lust.
Brittany R. read some of her short story about falling asleep and waking up in ancient Athens.
Katie P. related her experience of hanging out with Bozeman's own chorus and how the past really does possess the present.
Jillian P. told us about the short story she wrote as well as a paper concerning anamnesis and the difference between knowing something and knowledge/wisdom.
Have a great weekend!
The first actual definition of transmigration came from Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He taught that the soul is immortal and merely resides inside the body. It was believed that the soul must go through a series of rebirths, or, in other words, must migrate from body to body repeatedly, until it completes the sequence and is purified enough to be able to leave the cycle.
Plato, another famous Greek philosopher, agreed with Pythagoras on most points of his theory on transmigration, except for a couple variations. His theory of metampsychosis allows the soul to have a small inkling of knowledge of a past life. He taught that all learning is recollection. The process of recollection, or anamnesis, is a life long process of relearning everything you knew before, and learning new things from it all. With that in mind, in contrast to Pythagoras, Plato believed the soul is initially pure until it comes into contact with a living being, and, upon inhabiting the being, the soul becomes tainted and must be good to eliminate bodily impurities and return to its pre-existence state. Otherwise, the soul will be doomed to spend its time in Tartarus, a place of eternal damnation and believed by some to be the origin of Hell in Christian theology.
In Plato’s Symposium, Diotima speaks to Socrates that "birth is a sort of eternity and immortality." In birth, the soul is reborn and able to live and learn again. Diotima continues to argue Plato’s belief that the soul becomes impure upon contact with a living being by saying, "And this is true not only of the body, but also for the soul, whose habits, tempers, opinions, desires, pleasures, pains, fears, never remain the same in any one of us, but are always coming and going." By experiencing all the "impurities" of life, the soul takes a long time to return to its state of pre-existence. (Symposium 30)
The ancient Egyptians believed that the souls migrated from body to body and this was one of the reasons they embalmed their dead. They wished to preserve the physical body so it could accompany the ka, or soul, after death. The notion of a migrating soul developed into a way to explain family resemblancesthe soul of a deceased person would transmigrate into a new born infant of the same family and cause a similar appearance. This theory of ancestral reincarnation is also believed by the Australian aborigines.
In 533 AD, the theory of reincarnation or transmigration of the soul was declared heresy by the Council of Constantinople on the grounds that it went against the eschatological teachings, or end of the world teachings, established by the orthodox Christian doctrine. Since it is the continual rebirth of the soul, transmigration was contrary to the idea that man has one life to live to merit his heavenly reward or hellish damnation. Early Christians, such as Gnostics, Manichaeans, and Carthari, took Christ’s teachings literally when he replies to Nicodemus in John 3:5-7, "The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. So don’t be surprised at my statement that you must be born again." Taken literally, Christ says you must be reborn in order to achieve passage into Heaven which is very similar to Buddhism where the soul must be reborn continuously to purify itself before it can achieve moksha, the liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth and freedom from earthly limitations.
Buddhism and Hinduism are very similar in their beliefs towards transmigration. The beliefs of Buddhism and Hinduism are that the continual rebirthing of a soul can move either up or down the ladder depending on its karmic count; good karma will move your soul up the ladder while bad karma will move you down the ladder. This is called samsara. If your soul is good and strives to purify itself, it has the ability to be reborn in its next life as something higher than it was before. Eventually, the soul will have completed the cycle and purified itself enough to experience moksha. The only difference between Buddhism and Hinduism is the former has a method of samsara that includes twelve main causes and six worlds that a karmic count leads to. The twelve causes include ignorance, volitional action, consciousness, form, six sensory organs, contact, sensation, desire, grasping, becoming, birth, and death. The worlds from most favorable to least favorable include the world of gods, demigods, human beings, animals, hungry spirits, and demons. It is undesirable to be reborn into any of the worlds except for the world of the gods.
Transmigration of the soul is a form of metamorphosis in that the soul changes throughout life to either become what it needs to become or to fall back into what it was before. During life, the soul comes across experiences that it has to relearn from a past life and how it reacts to such circumstances will cause the transformation of the soul. In David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life, Ovid speaks that "We have some power in us that knows its own ends. It is that that drives us on to what we must finally become. We have only to conceive of the possibility and somehow the spirit works in us to make it actual. This is the true meaning of transformation. This is the real metamorphosis" (Malouf 64).
In Ovid’s own works of Metamorphoses, he depicts the transformations of many people into animals. Curiously, most of the people being transformed have offended someone else in their human form and are transformed as a form of punishment. Acteon, for instance, was turned into a stag because he "Stared at the goddess, who stared at him" while she bathed in a pool (Hughes 99). His curiosity got the best of him and his soul’s body was changed. In Apuleius’ The Golden Ass, Lucius’ is transformed into an ass for his curiosity. While his soul is still his and he keeps the memories of the life he has lived so far, but his body has changed.
Social beliefs of reincarnation and transmigration usually have something to do with past lives and ghosts. However, the transmigration of a soul could be so simple a thing as the soul transforming from an earthly or willful creature into a creature of discipline and gentleness. While the soul has no beginning or end, it can transform repeatedly in order to reach its nirvana. In each new life, the soul recollects what it knew before and applies it to situations it may come across. It learns from those experiences and transforms to be ready for its next life, whatever it may be. The body may experience an end, but the soul will live on to repeat life whether it is as a human or a bird or even a tree. Everything is connected to every other thing.
So my paper was very research-y, but I found so many things interesting to me that I couldn't leave it out. Here are some websites I found concerning transmigration and reincarnation that were very interesting.
James Luchte Philosophy - Wandering Souls: The Doctrine of Transmigration in Pythagorean Philosophy
Fundamentals of Buddhism: Rebirth
Study Guide 2
1. First and last words of Metamorphosis Mandelbaum Translation
“My soul would sing of metamorphoses.”
“I shall have life.”
2. What is flyting?
The interchanging of insults.
3. What is a tally?
A broken piece of coin to share with a friend. Occurs in Aristophanes speech at the symposium.
4. Know the Echo and Narcissus story.
5. Which 2 characters from Ovid are models for Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet? Pyramus and Thisbe
6. Name 3 of 7 speakers in symposium.
7. What is metempsychosis?
Transmigration of soul
8. What is catharsis?
Purging of emotions pity and fear (Usually in tragedy)
9. What is the worst thing you can experience according to the Trojan Women?
The sacrifice of a child.
10. What does obscene mean?
11. What is the difference between Old Comedy and New Comedy?
Old comedy is bawdy, lewd humor
New comedy is romantic (boy meets girl, can’t have her, pursues her; weddings, feasts, and dancing)
12. What is Plato’s word for remembering what you forgot?
13. Dr. Sexson says to think of reincarnation as ___.
Poetic thought or metaphor
14.What did Paris choose when offered gifts by the Goddesses?
Most beautiful woman-Helen
15. What character does Aristophanes use to reconcile Lysistrata?
Naked girl named Reconcile.
16. Difference between Sophoclean and Euripidean comedy?
Euripidean is emotional truth
Sophoclean is formal truth
17. According to Sigmund Freud, what do we do to keep from crying?
18. See number 5. Explain what 3 were saying.
19. Tragedy deals with the ___. Comedy deals with the ____.
Individual and Community
20. What is Parabasis?
The part of the play where abuse of the audience takes place. Ancient Comedy
21. In which Ovidean tale do 2 bears become constellations?
22. Woman are taken as spoils of war to become ___.
Slaves and concubines.
23. What is phallocentrism?
Domination by male point of view represented by the phallis.
24. What does Aristotle think is the perfect literature?
25. Symposium - what happens when you see something pretty?
Shoulders start to itch b/c of your wings.
26. What is nostos?
27. What was Niobe turned into?
28. When a god does something it can’t be retracted.
Know Ovidian Transformations
4 ages- Myth of Declintion. Gold, Silver, Bronze, & Iron
Myrrha-Tree-from which Adonis was born
Tiresias-Man to woman to man to prophet
Know both Lysistrata Essays
Iphigenia at Aulis
An Imaginary Life