• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Cultural differences of Petronius The Widow of Ephesus. Petronius The Widow of Ephesus is a folktale that has been modified by each culture to entertain and to teach. In their own ways, each version portrays the theme of lo

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sam Chuks 4/18/12 English 102 Cultural differences of Petronius' "The Widow of Ephesus" Folk tales are stories passed down usually by word of mouth but often they are written down. Folk tales teach a valuable life lesson while entertaining the reader or in some cases the listener. Petronius' "Widow of Ephesus" is no exception when it comes to conveying an overall message to the reader. Regardless of the version, the tale teaches a lesson of love, loyalty, and sacrifice. Although most variations of "The Widow of Ephesus" express the same message, not all of the details are alike with each other. Generally, the theme is consistent: love breaking all ties between the widow and her husband are still present in each variation. In the tales, the narrator recalls a tale of love in which an apparently faithful woman discredits her vows of marriage after a certain point subsequent to her husband's death. In "The Widow of Ephesus", the widow met her breaking point when she "saw in him a young man, handsome and eloquent." (Petronius). She then loses her ties with her deceased husband and "ceased to hold out, and the conquering hero won her over entire." (Petronius). This same example of weakness is portrayed in the other tales. ...read more.

Middle

In "The Widow of Ephesus" the soldier spends too much time with the widow that one of the criminal bodies are taken. The widow, out of newfound love, offers to give up her own husband to keep the soldier alive as well. This detail is included in some of the other versions of the tale. In "Here It Is Told of a Gentleman Whom the Emperor Had Hanged" The knight stumbles upon the widow after already losing the body he was charged with guarding. After very little discussion, the widow proclaims her love for the knight and easily gives up her husband's body for him when she says "so great is the love I bear you. Let us take this husband of mine, and draw him out of his sepulchre, and hang him in the place of the man who was taken from you." (Il Novellino). The same action is done in "The Perfidious Widow" and in "A Widow Digs Up Her Deceased Husband and Hangs Him on the Gallows". Like the original, the soldier leaves his post to attend to the widow and a body is taken. Out of newfound love, the widows in both tales offer to use their husband as a sacrifice or scapegoat to keep the soldier alive. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead of the widow and the soldier being together after sacrificing the husband, the soldier instead expresses his dislike for the widow and her actions, saying "I don't like you, and I won't have you. You can go to the devil. After the way you treated your dead husband, how would you treat me, your living husband?"( Purselt). The ending in "Here It Is Told of a Gentleman Whom the Emperor Had Hanged" is similar in which the knight tells the widow generally the same idea: "Lady, since you showed so little regard for one towards whom you professed such love, so would you have even less regard for me." (Il Novellino). Petronius' "The Widow of Ephesus" is a folktale that has been modified by each culture to entertain and to teach. In their own ways, each version portrays the theme of love, loyalty and sacrifice. The general idea and plot in most of the tales are to some degree the same and employ the widow and the male figure characters to represent those of the original. Although the endings and how the tales play out differ greatly, they all sustain an identical theme: love breaking all ties between the widow and her husband. This theme defines the widow and associates all the other variations to the original tale, "The Widow of Ephesus". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    when one of the characters is flashing back to a previous memory or event FORESHADOWING � Almasy draws his arm across Katharine's neck, a foreshadowing of their violent and passionate love affair; Kip's emotional distance, which prefigures his desertion of Hana at the end of the novel TONE � Reflective

  2. madness through king lear, the fool and edgar

    We are reminded of Edgar's humanity in Act III Scene vi (the mock trail scene) as he listens to Lear's lunatic agony, his 'act' as Poor Tom momentarily breaks down at "Bless thy five wits" this in turn is another moment in which Edgar's caricature increases the pathos of a scene.

  1. In what ways are Gatsby and George Wilson similar or dissimilar, to whom is ...

    Comparatively, George does not involve himself in such a tainted world and instead follows a morally acceptable path in life by owning a legal garage. To some extent though, Fitzgerald uses this character to emphasise how such a traditional stance like the one George takes up (where one follows the

  2. EXPLORE THE VIEW THAT MALES VALUE WOMEN PREDOMINANTLY FOR THEIR CHILDBEARING ABILITIES, BUT THAT ...

    Those who are unable to become pregnant are deemed "Unwomen", insulting and offensive - showing that the entirety of what it means to be a woman rests on the ability to give birth.

  1. Comparing "The Supernaturalist" by Eoin Colfer to "1984" by George Orwell

    Ziplock dies immediately, but Cosmo survives, observing for the first time a cryptozoic species, which appears to drain his life-force and make him and his pain. Cosmo is rescued by a group of street children who can see and battle these creatures (which they call parasites).

  2. Compare the ways in which Larkin and Duffy present the reality of love.

    Furthermore, the noun ?horizon? carries connotations of an unreachable, faraway destination, thereby showing the infinite stretch of time. The disorderly nature of the phrasal verb ?heap up? is significant as well, not only reflecting the gradual construction of an emotional barrier between the couple through time, but the haphazard and chaotic confusion that time has the potential to create.

  1. Explore the theme of trauma in The Bell Jar and Regeneration

    as she describes this literal rape as being a ?battle? between Esther and Marco. After she has fought Marco off, ?he wiped his fingers under his bloody nose and with two strokes stained [Esther?s] cheeks,? however , as Marjorie G Perloff said in ?A Ritual for Being Born Twice: Sylvia

  2. How are dystopias portrayed in The Handmaids Tale and 1984?

    In this way, we may interpret the heavy imagery throughout ?The Handmaid?s Tale? as referring to these rights and questioning to what extent women are just means to an end ? i.e. reproduction of a dominant male. Primary amongst these are references to the menstrual cycle: ?I tell time by

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work