“Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence” (Althusser). Discuss with reference to the texts on the course.
"Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence" (Althusser). Discuss with reference to the texts on the course. Each of the central characters in "Open Secrets" by Alice Munro and "Paradise Lost" by John Milton are driven and sustained by the relationship between the realities of their existence and their personal ideologies. The conflict between ideology and reality is an important theme in the work of Munro and Milton and both the obvious discrepancies and the more subtle references to this define many aspects of the plot and characterisation. An examination of the reactions of characters to the restrictions placed on them by the reality in which they exist, and their perception of this reality is fundamental to understanding the ideologies which they possess. Their ideologies are the crucial influence on the experiences and eventual fates of each character. Ultimately the question of whether or not these relationships and conflicts are resolved or overcome is the key to gaining a deeper insight into the texts, and simultaneously provides the reader with evidence of the authors' own beliefs and ideologies. In Paradise Lost, Milton makes use of the ideas of contrast and opposition in order to create a text which is highly significant of his own personal ideology and, at the same time, a beautiful and intricate piece of
Kubla Khan and its Relation to Romanticism
Kubla Khan and its Relation to Romanticism 'Kubla Khan,' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is one of the most enigmatic and ambiguous pieces of literature ever written. Allegedly written after a laudanum (an opiate) induced dream, the author claims to have been planning a two hundred to three hundred line poem before he got interrupted by a 'man from Porlock,' after which he had forgotten nearly all of his dream. This may have been merely an excuse, and the poem was scorned at the time for having no poetic value, one critic even going so far as to call it 'more a musical composition than a poem.' This is partly true, as the language seems to strive for an aural beauty more than a literary beauty, although it accomplishes both. Like many great artists, Coleridge has been most appreciated after his death, when his radically different works could be justified, as the ideas presented in his works hadn't been popular during his life. Coleridge's philosophy in life was very romantic, and so nearly all of his poems exemplify the romantic ideal, especially Kubla Khan. This romantic poem uses brilliant imagery and metaphors to contrast the ideals of romantic paganism with often ingratious Christianity. The vision of paganism is the first idea introduced in the poem. The super-natural reference to 'Alph,' or Alpheus as it is historically known, 'the sacred river, [which] ran/ Through
Milton's Paradise Lost - Political Satire? How does this help to understand the poem?
Milton's Paradise Lost - Political Satire? How does this help to understand the poem? Milton takes the traditional epic and transforms it with the clarity of his moral vision and with the power of his language, turning it into piece of rich and powerful verse. In the early parts of "Paradise Lost", Milton manages to convey sympathy with Satan's heroic energy, with Satan's rebellion against Milton's god seen as an epic battle where the devil and his followers are banished to the external and horrid place of hell. Satan describes the "hell within him" wherever he goes and, yet as the epic narrative progresses, the allegiance subtly shifts to Christ's message of love and a vision of Paradise free of Satan's destructive force. Milton believe that the proper end to all activities should be in God or goodness, based on this central belief of good and evil and its association with the Augustine concept of the 'chain of being'. Milton beliefs in a heaven, chaos and hell, as clearly defined entities, are more consistent with poetic myth rather a rational, scientific belief although Milton had visited Galileo, and the concept of physical space and the Universe clearly influenced his thoughts. Milton's blindness prevents him from seeing any light, except in strong symbolic terms, as the light of God illuminates and inspires the mind. Milton makes references to the greatest classical
A Study of Traherne's Metaphysical Poetry
A Study of Traherne's Metaphysical Poetry It is more than mere coincidence that the two poets who have produced the greatest visions of Paradise in the history of English literature both composed their works in the same twenty-five year period. The first - John Milton, needs very little introduction, while the second is the lesser known seventeenth century religious poet Thomas Traherne. Traherne's poetry, only uncovered at the end of the nineteenth century, has been quickly disregarded by many critics who consider Traherne an unrefined blend of Herbert and Vaughan. This hasty dismissal of Thomas Traherne as a poet in his own right seems a little unfair. Rather than judging Traherne's poetry by the preconceived standards we use to judge the likes of Herbert and Vaughan, his poetry should be analysed independently. Graham Parry, writing in his book, Seventeenth Century Poetry, states that Traherne's works record `the essentials of a life of praise and delight within a recovered Eden'1 This underlying theme of Paradise was one that was to dominate the mid-seventeenth century. It is not chance that Traherne and Milton emerged from the same period. Amidst the fervent atmosphere of the English Civil War there was much expectation that Christ would return to restore an Earthly Paradise. At a time when institution was collapsing many of the creative minds in England sought God
Jean-Baptiste Molire's Don Juan has all the outward appearances of seventeenth-century French farce - the stage settings are surreal, the costumes are ludicrous, and the wordplay is witty.
James S. Bowling Dr. Candyce Leonard MALS 775 2 February 2005 Molière's Don Juan: A Man Behaving Badly "He is the greatest rascal the earth has ever held, this madman, dog, devil, Turk, and heretic..." - Sganarelle, Don Juan Jean-Baptiste Molière's Don Juan has all the outward appearances of seventeenth-century French farce-the stage settings are surreal, the costumes are ludicrous, and the wordplay is witty. The particulars have their origins in Molière's years of experience directing a troupe of traveling actors in southern France. Appealing to a popular audience, Molière adopts the format of the Commedia dell'Arte, the troupes of traveling Italian actors that present farce with a maximum of gesture and mime and a minimum of dialogue. Despite the trappings of farce, Don Juan has very serious elements, ones designed to elucidate the character of the protagonist, his relationship with the world, and his impact on those he deals with. It is Molière's genius to join these elements to themes that attract a more aristocratic (and presumably more sophisticated) audience in the nation's capital. In many respects, Don Juan is a man apart and totally self-contained. Just as Satan, in Milton's Paradise Lost preferred to "reign in Hell rather than serve in Heaven," so Don Juan is adamant to follow his own life prescriptions-no matter what the outcome-rather than
The Dualistic Genesis of Paradise Lost
Mary Kline Doctor Martin English 3210, Section 301 23 Nov 04 The Dualistic Genesis of Paradise Lost In The Role of the Reader, Umberto Eco points out that ideological bias can lead a reader to interpretations employing codes not envisaged by the sender. The task, then, is to affirm one's bias clearly at the beginning, and then infer away. In this paper the Fall of Man in Paradise Lost is filtered and interpreted through two matrices not intended by John Milton; that of Semiotics, and that of Buddhist psychology. This paper, therefore, is a humble attempt to see if this interpretation will yield new insight into the human condition in its pre- and post-lapsarian state. Eco (1984), citing the classical definition of a sign, aliquid stat pro aliquo, points out that the correlation by which the sign stands for the signified can be of diverse forms. This paper will primarily have as focus the; "sign [that] is a manifest indication from which inferences can be made about something latent" (Eco, 1984:15); an example of which being footprints as sign of a person's passage. Linguistic "signs" may also take part in this relationship. In Paradise Lost, JohnMilton, retelling the tale of Genesis, posits a number of characters, places and objects: God, Satan, Heaven, Hell, Eden, Adam, Eve, two trees of intense significance, and a sweet fruit with a bitter aftertaste, amongst many
A Voice of Internal Conflict.
A Voice of Internal Conflict The most insightful and interesting stanzas can be found in a lyric poem. In this type of poetry, the voice in the writing is essentially that of the poet. An accurate example of this is "A Far Cry from Africa" by Derek Walcott. The attitudes of the speaker in this poem represent the same sentiments and experiences of the author himself. Walcott is a man of African descent, raised in the Caribbean on the ex-British colony island of St. Lucia1. This history of growing up in an English environment, aware of an opposing descent, influenced the life and work of Walcott. In this poem, he expresses the theme through the speaker's attitude, perception of his environment, internal conflict, and the tone and mood that are created by these elements. The feelings of the speaker toward the subject of the poem are very clear. He openly criticizes the brutality between the Africans and the colonial settlers. The language of the poem demonstrates that the speaker is angry at the entire situation and judgmental of both parties involved. Phrases such as "Corpses are scattered through a paradise" (4) and "his wars dance.."(19) combine the presence of violence with positive concepts. The speaker is mocking the brutality by describing it using the words "paradise" and "dance", that are normally associated with celebration and bliss. He refuses to accept the motives
How does Gaskell use setting and location to reveal the character of her heroine, Margaret Hale?
How does Gaskell use setting and location to reveal the character of her heroine, Margaret Hale? The final title of her novel 'North and South', suggests the important role setting and location play in Gaskell's story of Margaret Hale and her relationship with Milton mill-owner John Thornton. During the course of the novel, we see Margaret settled in three locations; Harley Street, Helstone and Milton. Each of these settings represents a different social stratum and we see Margaret develop in her perception and attitude towards each of them. They all contribute, in some way, to making Margaret the girl that she is at the end of the novel. The book opens in Harley Street, where we are presented with the character of Edith. Edith's role in the novel is to act as a contrast to Margaret or 'control sample'. Through her, we can see what Margaret's life would have been like had she accepted Lennox. Edith is the model Victorian woman and she fits in perfectly with her Harley Street surroundings, but Margaret is far more independent, strong-minded and unconventional. When having her lover describe her future life in Corfu, "the very parts which made Margaret glow as she listened, Edith pretended to shiver and shudder at...because anything of a gipsy or make-shift life was really distasteful to her. Margaret, on the other hand appears to be ill at ease with the superficial attitudes
Discuss the presentation of Hell in Book One of ParadiseLost.
Discuss the presentation of Hell in Book One of Paradise Lost. Hell is presented in several ways within Paradise Lost but there are three main techniques used by Milton. These include through his own commentary, through Satan and his speeches and also through Beelzebub. Additionally Hell is also presented through the techniques used by Milton, his structure, style and use of language. Throughout Paradise Lost Hell is presented as a place, but also as a state of mind, which Satan refers to in his speech. Milton uses many opposites in Paradise Lost, contrasting Heaven with Hell, God with Satan, and good with evil. The contrast between light and dark exists in all of these opposites. The narrator characterizes the angels' physical appearance as full of light, and the devils' as shadowy and dark. Milton also uses light to symbolize God and God's grace. The absence of light in Hell and in Satan himself represents the absence of God and his grace. The opening scenes reveal Hell as a fiery, glittering place that reflects the corrupt souls of the devils. Milton establishes two opposing poles of evil and good, dark and light, and the action shifts to Earth, a region blessed by Heaven but vulnerable to the forces of Hell. Milton's first description of Hell is full of negative emotive words, 'obdurate pride' and 'steadfast hate' are adjectives used by Milton to describe Hell and
Contrasts and Unity in Lycidas
Contrasts and Unity in Lycidas Lycidas is a poem of contrasts. Milton switches themes constantly, disrupting the flow and making it a poem of parts, disconcerting the reader who expects a unified entity. However, if we consider Lycidas to be a work in which Milton himself is the central persona, then the disparate parts can be brought together in a multi faceted unity. The opening section is replete with the imagery of unripeness 'harsh and crude' and 'bitter', which, although applied to evergreens and to the occasion, suggest the unpreparedness of the poet to undertake the task in hand. The first line, with its non-rhyming ending, warns the reader not to anticipate an accomplished poem. Indeed as we progress through the work, we find several unrhymed lines in an erratic rhyme scheme together with an irregular stanza pattern and eccentricities of meter. The intrusive six syllable lines amongst a majority of iambic pentameter have their origins in the Italian canzone but the occasional extra syllable must be regarded as a sign of the poet's immaturity. However the small eccentricities (they are too insignificant to be called errors) may well be deliberate. Take, for example, the case of the first line. The sentiment expressed is as out of place as the bachelor rhyme. Milton had at that time written verses on certain insignificant individuals but no one deserving 'Laurels'